-You were actually born in Israel and moved to Holland back in 1979! How did all this happen and was there a big change of lifestyle for you?

I grew up in a war zone, where music was a secondary thing. One day I just decided to move to Holland where I had friends, so I could concentrate on my music and pursue my dreams. I loved it in Holland, it's a great place to live.

-There are really not that many famous hardrock stars from Israel (Gene Simmons, you) Did you play in any hardrock/rock bands in your homeland before you joined the band "Mover" back in Holland 1979?

Are you kidding? There were no rock bands in Israel at that time. I had few friends, musicians, who loved rock music. We use to get together sometimes and play Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep tunes just for the fun of it. We were looked upon as freaks.

-Which bands/Singers would you say influenced you at the beginning?

Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Those were the bands. As for singers: David Byron (I loved the song July Morning) Ian Gillan, Paul Rogers and strange enough Tom Jones. (I didn't like his music but his voice is so powerful and he's got great range).

-Is it true that the first thing you did when you joined Hammerhead was to get rid of their guitar player because he sounded too much like Richie Blackmore? If so .. what´s wrong with the Blackmore style of playing? :-)

There's nothing wrong with Ritchie Blackmore's style I love the guy, but when somebody is looking like Blackmore, dressing like Blackmore, playing like Blackmore and happy to be a Blackmore clone, It creates a problem. I had to get rid of him for the band to have an identity.

-Then "Picture" wanted you as their singer in 1981 and you recorded one, classic album with them "Diamond dreamer" What do you think about the album now years later and what are you most pleased with?

Diamond Dreamer was the first album I ever recorded. I still think it's a good album The magic in that album is the chemistry between Jan Bechtum and me. Our collaboration song writing wise was great, we energized and fed from each other and you can hear it in the music.

-You left Picture some months after "Diamond dreamer" was recorded after a huge? fight with the manager. There´s been so many stories and rumors about the whole thing, can you please tell us your side of the story and what did really happen anyway?

When a manager and a musician fights its always about money. After the recording of the album we started playing 3 to 5 gigs a week, and we got paid very little or not at all. I talked to the other guys in the band about it and they said that was the way it always had been. After a while I decided to talk to Henk the manager about it. He said that he's got a lot of expenses and that there is no money left for us. So I asked to see the books, but he didn't have any so I asked for a band meeting, and in that meeting I realized that he was getting 30% of the top for himself and we also had to pay his house rent because he used one room as the office. We had to pay his phone bill and his restaurant meals and any other personal expense that he could connect with the band. I told him that I'm not happy about it and that changes must be made. A week later he found a stupid reason to start a fight with me (and it was not a huge fight), and used it as an excuse to fire me.

-You then started your own band "Horizon" (1982-85) Recorded and produced "Master of the game" before there was some problems with the guitar player? again , please do tell us what did really happen and why you decided to leave.

I did not have problems with Jack the guitar player, I just was not happy with the progress we made as a band and at the same time I got an offer from The Rods so I decided to take it.

-Then came "The Rods" years (1985-87) You moved to America (where you still live) and joined a pretty experienced band who already had recorded some six (6) albums before you came into the picture. How did the old "the Rods" fans meet you and was it difficult for you to step in and work with the band?

The fans were great, they welcomed me and accepted me from day one. The band was great too, it's easy to work with good musicians, there is a mutual respect and understanding.

-How did you hook up with David "Rock" Feinstein & Carl Canedy in the first place? and did they say why they wanted you as their lead vocalist? (info for the readers - Feinstein & Canedy took care of all the lead vocals in the past)

Jack Starr (Virgin Steele , Burning Starr) introduced me to Carl and Dave, they said that they wanted a strong vocalist for their next album and asked me if I am interested? I said yes of course, and a week later I was in the US working with the guys.

-"Heavier than thou" contains some really great, powerful vocals and some really good songs. Still, it became the last Rods album, my questions would simple be... WHY?

I have the same question, why? By the middle of '87, Carl Canady started getting a lot of offers to produce all kinds of band and he liked the production side of the business, so he couldn't give much attention to the band's needs anymore. At the same time David "Rock" Feinstein started a restaurant in Cortland New York, "The Hollywood" Restaurant and this required a lot of his time too (He makes the best pizza in New York). The band just faded away.

-What would be your BEST and WORST memory from all the rock´n´roll days between 1979-1987?

My best memories are and always will be my live performances. Nothing can match the high you get during that time on stage, the adrenalin is pumping, the connection with the fans is great. Those are the moments you live for. My worst is the ugliness of that episode with Picture's manager.

-Maybe you could tell us a little bit about your projects between the years 1988-1997? Did you or did you not sing with the band EXCITER for a while?

"Exciter", wow I almost forgot this, I did rehearse for a week or two with the guys, and it didn't work out. We didn't see eye to eye musically, so it was not meant to be. I was involved during that time with many projects, too many to list here

-Nowadays your main focus is with the band MOONROCK! What kind of music would you say that Moonrock stands for, where can old&new fans get hold of (buy) the Moonrock CD and how did you and guitarist Dani Shetrit (also born in Israel) meet for the first time?

"Moonrock" stands for good old hard rock with good and powerful melodies. We are still looking for a deal in Europe, until we get that done you can get the CD by e-mailing Shmoulik@aol.com, or visit my web page http://members.fortunecity.com/shmoulik.

The story behind Moonrock is kind of strange Dani the guitar player got the Picture album Diamond Dreamer in back in Israel 1983 and decided that he would like to work with me one day. In 1985 he moved to Holland looking for me. By then I had moved to the US to play with the Rods. So, he went back to England, then moved to the US, did his own music, his own band.

In 1997 Dani got my phone # from Carl Canedy (the Rods drummer) and called me telling me that he was looking for me for more than 10 years. I told him to come over, I was curious. The next day my door bell rings and there he was. That day we wrote 2 new songs and it felt great .We wrote all the songs first and then found musicians to help us record the album. We didn't have a big budget we didn't have a deal, so we used our own money for studio time. We produced the album and released the album ourselves. that's the story behind Moonrock.

The same studio musicians are still playing with us live. Dani and me are writing more material and it does feel good.

-Please do tell us a little bit about your future plans?

Sorry, I never make future plans, I always play it by ear.

Urban "Wally" Wallström