Familiar to numerous music fans all over the world by his unique trademarked signature sound, Yossi Sassi blends East with West, Rock with World music, melodic tunes with progressive passages, and traditional folk instruments with roaring electric riffs. With over 20 years of experience as a Producer, Composer/Arranger and Founding member of Orphaned Land, the worldwide pioneers of oriental metal, Yossi Sassi , Orphaned Land’s musical mastermind, continues to soar to new horizons.

Yossi Sassi has cooperated and recorded with artists from Kuwait to Portugal. He is a veteran performing artist, with hundreds of global shows and major festivals in his record. In 2010 alone, he performed ~100 shows in 30 countries, including U.S. and European tours, shows openings for Metallica, shows filmed for DVD (with Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson) and more.

Yossi Sassi recently released his debut solo album “Melting Clocks” [Verycords/Warner Music] which is basically a mixture of eastern and western melodies with lots of sounds combined. The album got good reviews so far.

I had the honour to do an e-mail interview with Yossi Sassi about his new album as well as his future plans.

Q : Firstly, congratulations on your new album „Melting Clocks“. How has the reaction been so far?

A :  Thanks ! I got many GREAT responses from fans and press. Of course there were few that expected something of a specific nature from me, like Orphaned Land no.2, yet all reviews loved it 🙂

Q:The album is a mixture of eastern and western melodies with heavy and progressive metal so there are lots of styles combined. What were your inspirations for this album?

A :It is a new fusion of sounds, East Meets West. The bouzouki meets the electric guitar. It has rock with heavy-rock and world music, metal with blues and more. The inspirations carry from over 25 years of musicality, from Joe Satriani to Dead Can Dance. Every person will find himself in the tracks, I believe.

 © Dina Bova

Q:  The legendary guitarist Marty Friedman (former bandmember of Megadeth) is also featured in this album. How was it like to work with him?

A : Marty is a good friend. Since he invited me to share the stage with him on “Thunder March”, we connected immediately. Marty is a great guy and amazing guitar player, it’s not the first time we cooperate and I respect him dearly. We have more plans for the future together. In October we will tour Europe together.

© Boaz bar-Levy

Q : Your career with Orphaned Land and your career as a solo artist have similarities for sure. What about the differences? What makes this solo album different from O.L records?

A : “Melting Clocks” has been a liberating experience for me. Sure, in O.L as a founding member and main composer/arranger I express myself freely, yet still bound to a certain “genre” or “expectations”. Here expectations were mainly that I produce a great-sounding album, and I am so happy to learn that people like this album more and more every day! Really, for me, I wasn’t sure how it will be received, since many know me mostly from “Orphaned Land” and might expect something more like O.L, but I knew I wanted to create something different, similar yet totally new 🙂

Q  : Do you think that you will attract a different audience with this solo album?

A : Naturally many O.L fans are interested in it, but for sure its potential is way bigger. I got responses from fans of Progressive Music, Instrumental music, Fusion, Rock and Oriental melodies that LOVED it.

© Matan Peer

© Ricardo Ferreira

Q :The album is mostly instrumental except a few songs like “ Ain’t Good Enough” or “Number’s World”. Is there a particular reason for this?

A : I had no guide-lines for singing more or less, I followed my heart, and the concept of the album. When I don’t sing the guitar sings, and vice versa.

Q:  What does the title “Melting Clocks” mean?

A :”Melting Clocks” is a musical journey, a concept album where every track of its 12 songs is on its own, different from others, yet strongly connected to the other tracks. It’s about the concept of time, a day in your life, and what you decide to do with it, knowing every day is one day less.  Some songs have lyrics to fit the concept, and in some tracks the guitar speaks instead.

Q :Is there going to be a world tour for this album? Or are you just planning to tour certain countries?

A : Definitely! We had some shows in the middle-east yet we go on Euro-Tour entire of October 2012 with Marty Friedman, and have plans for a U.S Tour as well,  and more European shows.

Q : What is your favorite track from this album?

A  : Well, it depends on the mood 🙂 But they are all well produced and sound great, depending on which mood you are at 😉

Q :What does the future hold for you? 

A : I create constantly new music and new ideas all the time, so really every month something new is happening with me 😉 I will launch my Bouzoukitara soon, a first of its kind instrument in the world, combining the East and West in one body,- it’s the embodiment of my musical journey. More tours are coming and also composing the new “Orphaned Land” album, producing several artists and more! 🙂

Bouzoukitara : Acoustic Bouzouki combined with Solid-body Electric Guitar

Interview by : Basak Gunel

Website   http://www.yossisassi.com