Ishay Berger

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Ishay Berger
Also known as Ishky Escobar
Born (1978-07-08) July 8, 1978 (age 38)
Origin Haifa, Israel
Genres Punk rock, pop punk, alternative rock, hardcore punk, grindcore, brutal death metal
Occupation(s) Musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, bass
Years active 1994–present
Labels Suburban Home, Kung Fu, Falafel
Associated acts Useless ID, Bo La'Bar, Whorecore
Notable instruments
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Precision Bass

Ishay Berger (Hebrew: ישי ברגר‎‎) (born July 8, 1978 in Haifa, Israel) is an Israeli musician best known for his work as the lead guitarist for Israeli punk rock band Useless ID.[1] and the bassist of brutal death metal/grindcore act Whorecore.

Professional career[edit]

Useless ID (1994–present)[edit]

Berger was one of the founding members of punk rock band Useless ID, when the band was formed in Haifa in 1994. He founded the band as the lead guitarist, along with lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Guy Carmel, bassist Adi Alkavatz and drummer Ralph Huber. Only two years after their formation, the band was already touring worldwide independently, mostly in the United States, but also Europe and Japan.

The band released its first full-length album, Dead's Not Punk in September 1997, through the band's own independent label Falafel Records. The band's second full-length album Get in the Pita Bread Pit was released in 1999, also through Falafel Records, and Let it Burn, the band's split album with The Ataris, was released in April 2000 on Kung Fu Records and was the last to feature the band's rhythm guitarist Guy Carmel on lead vocals. This was when bassist Yotam Ben-Horin took the role of lead vocalist and lead composer and songwriter for the band.

Following the band's split album with The Ataris, the band was offered a record contract in Kung Fu Records. The band then went on to release their international major releases, in all Berger played lead guitar as well as singing backing vocals: Bad Story, Happy Ending (2001), No Vacation from the World (2003), Redemption (2005) and most recently, the band's critically acclaimed and successful album The Lost Broken Bones released in October 2008, through their new label – Suburban Home Records. On all of these albums, Ben-Horin also wrote the majority of the material.

On January 27, 2011, Useless ID played their last show in support of The Lost Broken Bones at the Barby club in Tel Aviv, Israel, before taking off to record their new album at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado. The band entered the Blasting Room on February 2, 2011, to begin recording the new album.

Bo La'Bar (2005–present)[edit]

In 2005, Ishay Berger started demoing humorous songs that he wrote in his house, playing them only with an acoustic guitar, with him singing. The songs were mostly acoustic folk songs with a strong punk attitude, with humorous lyrics about topics such as consuming cannabis and alcohol, playing loud punk rock music, nerd culture, computers and more.

Berger, who decided to play under the moniker of Ishky Escobar in this project, has soon recruited his fellow Useless ID bandmate, drummer Jonathan Harpak, to join him in this project, to make the songs full-band and electric. Joining Berger on vocals and guitar and Harpak on drums, was bassist and vocalist Evil Haim (Whorecore, ex-Betzefer, ex-Lehavoth). They decided on the moniker Bo La'Bar – Hebrew for "Come to the Bar", which was based on their lifestyle of mostly hanging around bars and drinking alcohol.

The band started playing around Israel, playing in small intimate venues and bars such as the Patiphone and the Left Bank in Tel Aviv and the Syncopa in Haifa, as well as playing alongside bigger bands such as Useless ID, Betzefer and Eternal Gray in such big venues as the Barby club and the Comfort 13 in Tel Aviv, the Theater in Jaffa and the City Hall in Haifa. On their live shows, the band were many times joined by outside members to play guitar as Berger focused on mostly singing live, while not being able to play the guitar. Different members who played live with the band include Matan Cohen (Betzefer guitarist), Yotam Ben-Horin (Useless ID vocalist/bassist), Nir Doliner (Whorecore guitarist) and Avital Tamir (Betzefer vocalist). Filling-in for Harpak many times were also drummers Assaf Meiden (Whorecore) and Corey Swift (Mondo Gecko, The Backliners).

The band recorded and released a bunch of demos in 2008, and revealed that they plan to record a full-length album of original material, including final versions of the demos they released, which are songs that became live staple in their shows. Though they have later announced that it is unknown when will they have the time to record the full-length record as every member has his commitments with is respective bands, and Berger and Harpak are mostly busy with Useless ID who constantly recording or touring.

On March 1, 2011, the band was the supporting act for gypsy punk act Gogol Bordello on one of their 3 shows at the Barby club in Tel Aviv, Israel.[2] Berger has announced plans to finally record a Bo La'Bar record in 2011, and the first full-length album, entitled Bong Rock was released on July 8, 2011, on the band's Bandcamp page. The album was recorded with help from the live members of the band, including Matan Cohen on guitar, Guy Geller on guitar, and Yair Kampel on bass.

On April 1, 2012, it was announced that the band was then signed by German label Bandworm Records, who released that day the band's first album Bong Rock, as well as the second album Shtaim (simply translated as Two), on 7" vinyl,[3] though those vinyl were only available as an import from Germany.[4][5] The vinyls were then also released in a special show at the OzenBar in Tel Aviv, Israel, which took place on May 11, 2012, which was the release show for the band's second album. The same day, the album was also released on the bands' Bandcamp page.[6]

Whorecore (2010–present)[edit]

Upon Whorecore bassist Evil Haim leaving Israel to travel the Far East, and mostly India, Ishay Berger who was his co-member in the comedy punk trio Bo La'Bar was chosen as his replacement as a bassist in Whorecore until Haim returns.

Ever since joining the band in late 2009, Berger had the chance to play with the band in such big events as the Hellelujah Open Air in Herzliya in April 2010, the Showdown Festival in Tel Aviv, playing alongside his own main band Useless ID in May 2010, supporting Cannibal Corpse in Tel Aviv on July 8, 2010, playing the Summer Carnage Festival alongside Aborted, System Divide, The Fading and many more on July 21, 2010, and supporting Parkway Drive on their only Israeli show at the Barby club in Tel Aviv on November 25, 2010.

On April 19, 2012, the band released "Alai", the first single off the band's second studio album Makot. The single saw the band taking a different musical direction, towards more of a black metal sound, rather than the grindcore and death metal sound they embraced on their previous releases.

Bo Labar band members[edit]

  • Ishay Berger – lead vocals, guitar
  • Evil Haim – lead vocals, bass
  • Matan Cohen – guitar, backing vocals
  • Guy Geller – guitar, backing vocals
  • Yair Kampel – bass, backing vocals
  • Corey Swift – drums, percussion
Former members
  • Nir Doliner – guitar, backing vocals


w/ Useless ID[edit]

For a full discography, see Useless ID Discography

w/ Bo Labar[edit]

w/ Whorecore[edit]


External links[edit]