On Saturday, August 11th, New York City’s music venue Terminal 5 hosted electronic duo and inventors of “psychedelic trance” Infected Mushroom as they premiered their highly-anticipated new show, "The Unveiling," featuring a stunning graphic set by V Squared Labs. Fans traveled from as far as the band's hometown of Israel to witness this visual and acoustic spectacle. Images ranging from warped mushrooms to intergalactic skies shot across background screens and spherically-shaped DJ booths as IM’s music transcended through various electric-infused genres, including electric guitar solos, dubstep beat, and even some reggae melodies.
Moments before the show was set to take place, mayhem ensued due to technical difficulties going down before their set, the show was this close to not taking place. Amidst the tech glitch chaos, IM member Amit Duvdevani, commonly dubbed Duvdev, was able to take time to sit down with Vibe in his dressing room, despite the stress of the situation (“I’m here basically clusterf**king”), and talks about what it means to become part of their Army of Mushrooms and even delves into politics (“I hate politics. They don’t go nowhere so we try to diverge ourselves from politics, and do music that makes people happy).” Well put... and the show must go on…
Vibe: What does playing NYC mean to you?
Duvdev: NYC is a big deal, and today we have a lot of troubles for the show…Our visuals are not working yet, so I’m here basically clusterf**king…we have a whole lot to do so I’m really out of it but the show, as we say it, has to go on.
What do you hope fans will get out of tonight’s performance, in spite of technical difficulties?
At this point I’m trying to save the night, and this is a weird interview because I’m telling you now I don’t know what’s going to happen. So, if there would be no unveiling show…I got to give my best anyway to put this crowd up because they’re here for a party. This is life on the road – shit happens.
What are your must go-to stops while in New York?
Usually I have time to hangout; I have a lot of friends in New York. I love the city but today it’s all been “Unveiling” and weird stuff is happening, and tomorrow I leave for L.A. at 7am.
What do you usually do to prepare for a set?
Now I’m drinking heavily, because I’m stressed. Usually I come and chill out with my friends, and do my thing before a show and just go on.
Do you perform any vocal exercises, when you're not drinking?
Not as much as I should. I just wing it depending on the day. Today I really slept kind of well you know, so I’m rested. If I’m on a day-to-day schedule doing five shows a week then I’ll exercise my voice more, less smoking, and all this kind of stuff.
What does it take to be recruited into the Army of Mushrooms?
Basically supporting the band, doing as much as he or she can for it. Tweeting about it, Facebooking about it, being a part of the army that brings people to be an Infected Mushroom kind of fan base. There are a lot of them, and they go crazy and we love them.
What drew you from classical music into trance?
I went from classical music to punk, punk to rock, rock to trance so it was kind of a transition of every kind of genre. I played in a punk band as a keyboard player, then a rock band, and then started doing trance back in ’96. Back in ’91, I went to a party in Israel, it was a trance party, and I was like “What the f**k is that?!” and that was the beginning. But then I joined the army in ’92 in Israel, which is mandatory, and did three years in the army, and kind of took me away from music. But when I was released in '95, I went to India, went out into the whole party scene, and then came back fully an Infected Mushroom.
Did you work with Vello Virkhaus and V-Squared Labs to conceptualize the live show?
The whole concept of the spheres you see on stage is ours, because we said that there was already a lot of cubes out there - there’s the deadmau5 cube, Pretty Lights – we wanted something different. So we came up with the spheres idea, and then when we came to V-Squared they said it’s pretty new technology to do a 3-D map on a sphere. So then we started working on it, and came up with a few ideas for the visuals. It was going back and forth, putting the music into it – it was a process.
Do you ever use your music to make a political statement, especially with the war going on the Middle East?
I hate politics. They don’t go nowhere so we try to diverge ourselves from politics, and do music that makes people happy. I don’t care what their politics agenda is, they all want to come and dance on the weekend. Left party, right party. Love this, love that. I don’t care about politics. Of course I want peace around the world, but this will not happen. It’s a bullsh*t kind of planet, but I try to make as much people dance as I can.
What are you plans after the show?
Let’s see what will happen. If it will be a clusterf**k, I will be very upset tomorrow. If it will work, I will be not having a heart attack so let’s see. Then we’ll continue the tour, hopefully with less stress than today.
Define your sound in one sentence.
Massive, hardcore, psychedelic, electronic dance floor music.