Celebrating 21 Years on Tour with Infected Mushroom (Interview)

In 1996, two Israeli musicians began producing electronic music under the pseudonym Infected Mushroom. At the time, Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani probably didn’t know how much success they would find with their new project. Eisen, 26 at the time, had more than two decades of musical experience and had started electronic music production in 1981. Duvdevani first dabbled in classical piano, heavy metal, and punk rock before attending his first trance party in 1991.

More than 20 years later, the duo known as Infected Mushroom continues to stretch genre limits, reshape live music expectations, and tour the world. Having recently released their 11th studio album, Return To The Sauce, we caught up with Erez and Duvdev during the northeast leg of the RTTS world tour. We got to explore the new Mushroom stage setup in both New York and Philadelphia, as well as the ups and downs of maintaining the Infected brand for 21 years…

“New album came out, Return to the Sauce, which is more of a psy-trance album. We’re going back to where we started. People are super happy about it. Me and Erez didn’t know how to approach it after doing so many years and going back to do a proper psy-trance album. It was fun for us because we haven’t done it for years. People accepted it really well. Now we’re back in the psy-trance business.” -Duvdev

“So many fans come to us and say they grew up with Infected Mushroom. It’s weird for us. These 20 years, it was so fast. I remember working on the first album. (The Gathering, 1999) Me and Erez have been having as much fun making music as we did at the beginning. Being on the road is easy. We have each three kids, that’s hard. Traveling the world is easy.” -Duvdev

In 2017, finding a musical team who have been working together for as long as Infected Mushroom has is rare. Although we didn’t ask the guys about any specific struggles that they’ve had, we talked about the music industry as a whole and why some teams seem to fall apart, despite finding success. Erez and Duvdev credit their resilience to sticking with their principles and core beliefs… music and family…

“99% of bands fighting is either about money or there’s a woman involved. Me and Erez, we have both, so we just keep it to the side. We’re good friends. We like doing music, we don’t care about money. When you see Infected Mushroom, it’s a big band, but technically, it’s just me and Erez.” -Duvdev

Several years ago, Infected Mushroom was at a crossroads when the influential psy-trance band decided to step their toe into the world of dubstep. What started as a taste of half-tempo bass, has quickly infused itself into the band’s entire live performance. Songs such as U R So Fucked and Nerds on Mushrooms feat. Pegboard Nerds have become staples in the everyday setlist. Breaking genre barriers is always a challenge. This can sauce tension in a group as some may be focused on financial success, while others are more interested in individual growth and being limitless…

“We like heavy metal. The first time we heard Skrillex, before it was anything, we thought it was amazing. The sound design is crazy. We don’t call it dubstep, we call it half-tempo. It’s very heavy-metalish. We love it, so we went there. To do psy-trance all the time is just fucking boring. To do a genre change, you always get shit for it because your fans don’t like it. After a few years, they’ll revisit it, and they’ll get it. We don’t care about how people perceive it. If we like it, we’re going to do it. There’s nothing commercial about Infected Mushroom, if people think there is, then they’re dumb. If I was going to do commercial, I’d drop 4 chords and bring a girl in to do the vocals. I know the drop of EDM and we just don’t care about that shit. We do what we like, and if some people don’t like it, that’s fine. “

With more than twenty years, 11 albums, and hundreds of live performances, we can safely look forward to more new music and mushroom-themed stages from this ’90s, Israeli psy-trance band. Upcoming Infected Mushroom live shows and DJ sets can be tracked on their official website.

“He (EDMT photographer) has a picture of me flying today, I didn’t know that this obese person could fly so high.” -Duvdev

So, what’s next?

“We’re working again on a new album. We don’t know how or when it’s going to be, but it’s started… Everybody like Avicii. He’s just a likable person” -Duvdev

That’s all… for now.