While many bands sing of ideal romance unimaginable to the average Joe, Prentzip’s new single “Shir Pop” (Pop Song) does just the opposite. It embraces that average Joe in his everyday frustrations as he falls for a girl who just can’t seem to reciprocate. Instead of chasing after her time and time again with grand gestures and heartfelt love songs, all he can manage is an aromantic pop song. We asked Haim Kalvo, lead singer and songwriter of Prentzip, some questions about the band and the new single.
How would you describe your sound?
Where does the name “Prentzip” come from?
Prentzip means 'principle.' When someone asks, “what’s the principle?” it’s like asking, “what’s the punch line?” So our music is about finding that punch line – or message – behind every song.
And you compose and arrange every song?
I write the songs, yes, but our new bass player, Jordan Lev-Ron, is in charge of the arrangements. He has been with us for almost one year and he’s great. And of course, when we practice and have rehearsals, everyone in the band gives their input to the arrangements – Itamar, the drummer, may suggest some new rhythmic ideas or Dor, the guitarist, some cool parts and colors.
Tell us a little more about the lyrics?
“Shir Pop” came from the realization that some of the girls don't deserve a love song or serenade, but some of them deserve a song of a different kind. The song makes fun of the situation of a guy who meets a girl and really likes her, but she doesn’t give a damn about him, and actually responds in a mean and indifferent way to his sweet gestures. When the guy realizes it, he makes fun of it instead of getting upset. He’s fully aware of her maltreatment of him, so he’s saying, “I really want to write a love song for you, but all I can write is this pop song because it’s all that you deserve.”
A lot of your songs revolve around these real life relationships, eh?
They’re not only about relationships, but also about trying to criticize and make fun of these relationships, of ourselves, and of the potentially embarrassing situations we get into.
What do you find this adds?
I think when you make fun of something, people feel immediately at ease. Making a big deal out of something isn’t necessary, and when you sing about it, it suddenly isn't a big deal anymore. I like to say, “don’t be ashamed about it, sing about it instead.’ It’s kind of like catharsis in a way where by letting it out on the table you’re able to move on.
Anyone who has seen your live gigs can attest to the fact that you’re a fan of pre-song banter. Do you find this conversation with the audience important?
Extremely! By having these little anecdotes between songs, I’m able to help the audience prepare for the content, which helps them form stronger connections to each song once we play them.
Could these singles eventually become a full-length album?
For now, we’re just working on singles. We do want to record more songs, and we will soon. This is our third single and we always want to make sure that our future singles are made in the “Prentzip” way.
There are some female vocals in the chorus of “Shir Pop.” Have you ever thought about bringing a female on permanently? Or any other forms of instrumentation?
Our goal is to take every song in a different direction while staying within the sphere of these four instruments. We want to get as many colors and sounds as possible out of what we currently have. Nonetheless, inviting a female singer to sing with us in concerts is definitely something we think about often.
Now that this single is out, what can fans expect next?
We have a performance on the 5th of August at Keoss Studios. It’s going to be a double feature with Almog Saban playing first. It's going to be an incredible show.
Who currently makes up your fan base?
Friends come, friends of friends come, new people, regulars, every gig promises a great mix. We are slowly gaining more and more fans…I’m confident that the crowds will keep growing.
Can you leave us with some words of wisdom?
There are only very few things worth taking seriously; try to make fun of everything else, perhaps in a song.
The band: Haim Kalvo - lead vocals and guitar, Dor Biton - guitars and vocals, Itamar Panai - drums and vocals, Jordan Lev-Ron – base and vocals