one of the first Messianic Jewish hard rock bands out there, Netzer has been rocking out in San Diego and beyond. We're Jews who believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as our Messiah.
Messianic Jewish Rock. What is it? It's not a genre, is it? A style? A perspective? A musical device? Netzer - in Hebrew "Branch"- is a name implying any number of meanings including olive branch, branch of Jesse, branch of music.
Netzer started in May 2001 as a worship band for a local Messianic synagogue in San Diego, playing live music at worship services and Bar Mitzvahs. At first they played traditional Messianic music. Little known to much of the musical world, Messianic music comes out of a distinct cultural religious movement that incorporates both Jewish culture and the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus). In the 1970s, the group Lamb put out their blend of musical blessing and people liked it a lot. They are the the forefathers of the current genre of "Messianic music". Thematically, Netzer follows in a similar fashion by striving to share and express Jewish culture, Biblical truth, and musical creativity to a new generation.
In the fall of 2002 the band started working on some original rock songs. The band did their first real "show" in January 2003 and recorded their first demo in March. While the demo sounded great, the band shifted away from the demo's pop-rock feel. A couple months later they recorded a hard rock demo called EP+. Few copies exist today.
Starting in March 2004 the band began recording their first studio CD. The CD would be called Deus ex Machina, which literally means "god in machine." This refers to Greek plays, during which "the gods" would be lowered onto the stage late in the dramatic action to help out. Thus, the term refers to divine intervention. Combining the influences of hard rock, techno, reggae, and alternative, Deus ex Machina would set the tone for Netzer's diverse musical landscape.
As band members began to move away for college, the line-up inevitably changed. Without a guitarist, the band looked around for assistance in order to continue their musical journey. Coming to practice one day with the hopes of recording sometime, Mark found the energy in the practice room to be inspiring and appreciated the need for the Messianic message to be expressed to the tune of modern music.
With new songs on hand the band stopped by the UCSD radio station one Winter day to record a demo of their new material. This resulted in three completed new songs in demo quality: "Kings Of Earth", "Shabbat M'nuch", and "Shalu Shalom Yerushaliyim", and unfinished versions of many more songs. The band looked back at it's old material and noticed it had quite a collection of other completed low-fi recordings. Together with the radio station tracks, the band had a nice collection of "garage"-styled recordings. Branches and B-sides is the fruit of these tracks.
The band continued to spend the bulk of the following months rehearsing the songs in preparation of what was to come. After playing only a few shows, the band found itself without a drummer. Also, longtime vocalist Alan was preparing to moving after being accepted into Judaic Biblical studies program. The band had several rehearsed yet unrecorded tracks on hand. Enlisting a local drummer from UCSD, Netzer set their eyes on recording a new studio album. Steadfast was recorded during the Summer of 2006. The title would become appropriate as a message that speaks to both the lyrical and musical content within the recordings, as well as the band's determination to endure. The music continues in the spirit of diversity. Tracks range from metal, punk, reggae, alternative, techno, funk, and pop rock. Lyrically, the album is a meditation on the subject of spiritual warfare - a battle between war and peace, good and evil, unrest and restoration.
Performances now consist of two distinct sets: a hard rock/alternative, and a mellower acoustic version of Netzer songs. The band is looking forward to performing its unique mixture of styles at a variety of venues ranging from peaceful coffee houses to energetic hard rock venues.
David (bass, vocals) was born and raised in San Diego, where his father is a Messianic Jewish rabbi. He started playing bass right before he helped found Netzer. He is a fourth year student at UCSD focusing in Media. He is also the current webmaster of this site. He doesn't enjoy working out but does like the beach, Christian metal shows and corny action movies.
Mark (guitar, vocals) is the most recent member of Netzer, having joined in October 2005. He graduated with a B.A. in Communication from UCSD, and now spends his time working oddball jobs, watching films, reading, and contemplating the deep thoughts of deep thinkers not excluding Jack Handy. His life soundtrack is akin to an iPod shuffle.
We've been playing shows for several years, from San Diego to Tijuana to San Jose and Beverly Hills.
hard rock meets alternative and punk and the result is always interesting
www.cdbaby.com/cd/netzer2 to stream all the other tracks.