Brooklyn via Israel’s Van Goose – aka Shlomi Lavien – didn’t have the most expected musical beginnings. According to him, when his mother realized she had a hyperactive child, she decided against treating him with medicine and signed him up for a marching band class at a local community center. The only problem? His instructor thought the future drummer had zero coordination and suggested playing the trumpet instead.
Lavien spent the next few decades proving him wrong, a journey that took him into the studio and on stage with legendary Israeli acts, along with random gigs, like a loose recording session with Ryan Goslinglocal musician/producer Rona Kenan. He also spent the course of two albums with Habiluim, one of Israel’s most unlikely label acts.
“I always felt like something was missing,” he explains. “Like there’s a whole world inside my head about to explode. That’s when I started writing my own music.”
Blending elements of every genre the musician and songwriter has been exposed to – “I like to keep my options open.” – Lavien’s latest single, “She’s No Pressure,” is rhythmic and offbeat, full of tantalizing percussive parts and affected vocals. Even better? The song was inspired by a seriously crazy (and true) story.
“I read in the newspaper about a woman crashing her own funeral,” he explains. “Her husband hired hit men who ended up showing mercy and didn’t kill her. But they held a funeral anyway, as a setup for the husband. She just showed up and said, “Surprise! I’m still alive!” True story. That really intrigued me and made me think of what drives a person to murder their partner.”