A few years back, Juval and his girlfriend Mickey were living together in Tel Aviv, spending most of their days on the couch, watching TV, gradually lapsing into slack-jawed alienation--the sort of routine that feels great for a day or two but suicidal after a few months. They formed a band to escape that boredom cycle, turning their social misfits status into something meaningful. Mickey picked up some drumsticks with no real training and TV Buddhas was born.
The duo wanted to get onstage quick. TV Buddhas isn’t the sort of band that spends a week in the studio fine-tuning the snare drum. They thrashed out some DIY CD-Rs off the cuff (later collecting the songs on “The Golden Period” LP) and headed out on their first tour. It was reportedly a disaster, but that didn’t stop them. Towards the end of 2009, Mickey’s brother Uri joined the band and the trio moved to Berlin.
Following their heady beginnings as a jangly space-rock duo, the band has morphed into a catchy and economical punk band, drawing on the protopunk of the MC5 and Richard Hell in equal measure. You can look to the Ramones for this inspiration—those four boys from Queens provided the soundtrack to the TV Buddhas’ never-ending drives on tour.
As a trio, the band set out on their first US tour, and again, it turned out to be a disaster. Shows were cancelled, audiences didn’t show up, and the whole thing was a financial catastrophe. They shot a bunch of footage on tour—head to YouTube to see footage of them driving 20 hours to find out that the show’s been cancelled. They documented their trip in a self-produced film called Band in the Modern World. It’s an apt title—what you’ll see is a band dealing with the impossibilities of surviving in the current music market. In spite of it all, a new album is on the way and the next tours are booked. TV Buddhas aren’t planning on quitting any time soon.
By Andreas Richter
You should definitely watch part 2 right now.