Beekeeper: Staying True to The Traditions of Metal Musicby Brian Roy November 27, 2017
There is a long-standing history of Jewish musicians playing in heavy rock and metal bands. Well known mega bands like Kiss and Death have featured Jews, while Jewish musicians like David Lee Roth, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Miko Portnoy of Dream Theater and Geddy Lee of Rush are considered among the very best in rock and metal music.
But what is a little more unusual is when three Jewish kids from San Diego embrace their love for this music and create a thrash metal band that is already making waves locally and recently returned from a successful tour throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada.
The band, Beekeeper, comprises drummer Dylan Marks, guitarist and front woman Ally Levine and bassist Adam Wollach. They have been playing shows for a few years, but since the release of their highly acclaimed debut album, “Slaves to the Nothing,” they have made significant strides forward. Beekeeper has been opening for more and more impressive touring acts at bigger and better music venues while they headlined several concerts on their recent tour.
“We are a local band with strong roots in the San Diego Jewish Community,” said Dylan Marks recently. “We were friends first and this band came out of a shared love of vintage metal music by bands like Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Sepultura. What started as a project soon turned into a serious examination of our musical roots and a serious exploration of where we want to take this music ourselves,” he said.
Their album, “Slaves To The Nothing” is a very immediate and intense examination of these roots. Using their old school influences as the starting point, the album is a modern update using personal preferences, stories and lyrics to guide their passion. The music is extremely complex, but with a sense of humor. The same can be said of the band.
“It’s quite unusual for a metal band to be fronted by a female vocalist and guitarist,” said Marks, “but Ally is an exceptional talent. Our approach has always been to innovate and expand our interpretation of both the music and the genre. It’s always about breaking barriers and moving forward.”
Though Marks and Wollach both play in several other bands, Beekeeper is a very special and personal experience for all of them. Marks wrote all the music, most of the lyrics and produced the album, while Wollach, a sound engineer, engineered and mixed the recording but also designed the album cover.
Beekeeper is a labor of love shared by three special friends who truly grasp the harder side of music. Α