The Full-Tilt, Half-Naked Joys of Israeli Cock Rockers Monotonix

On the gleeful, uncouth, spontaneous, not-at-all-satirical chaos

You also can't

look or act like him without occasional unpleasant consequences. Like injury: Three years ago, in Brooklyn, an errant garbage-can toss dislocated Shalev's shoulder. ("Never stopped the show. But it hurt like hell.") Or bureaucratic interference: At Bumbershoot last year, event staff cut the band's power after four songs (crowd-surfing wasn't allowed); in Toronto, last October, three cop cars were waiting outside after the show. (Legendarily, Monotonix are banned from most Israeli clubs.) The band doesn't consider abridged performances successes or failures, just an occupational hazard. "Sometimes we feel bad that the show stopped, because people came to see us, and we only played five or six songs," Shalev admits. "If the police think they should stop the show, I'm going with them. I'm never gonna try to do riot, or turn the crowd against the police. The police do what they do because of security issues. I'm with them, I understand it, I'm not angry."

Rest assured, even at a huge event like this weekend's Voice-sponsored Siren Festival, Monotonix will end up among the audience, Shalev hoisted in the air on a kick drum, squirming his way across a sea of hands all along Stillwell Avenue. "We just got back from France, and we just played in the middle of a huge festival, and we played for thousands of people," he recalls. "It was very hard war zone to fight all the energy of the people who surrounded us. But it was fun. It's like you both doing a show and a mosh pit at the same time." Besides, Coney Island will be nothing compared to Monotonix's dream show: "Rush kind of signed an agreement with NASA—if there's gonna be a show on the moon, they will be the first ones that will do it. I wanna join them. And I promise you we gonna play on the floor, even on the moon. I just hope that we will have enough oxygen to do it."

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