Brainstorm: Yossi Sassi

This month we needle Yossi Sassi.

Q1You worked for Microsoft from the years 1999 to 2007. What was your job title?

Yossi Sassi: I was Group Manager Technology Solutions and Partners.

A: Big title!

Q2 Orphaned Land’s 1996 second album El Norra Alila derives its name from a Jewish **poem. During which part of Yom Kippur is that **poem recited?

YS: It’s when you’re closing the festival, it’s called Ne’ila.

A: Correct.

Q3 And what’s the longest song on that album?

YS: Technically The Evil Urge was the longest but we dragged that out with a lot of silence. The longest actual song is Flawless Belief.

A: Absolutely right.

Q4 So far which is the only Muslim country to permit Orphaned Land to perform within their borders?

YS: Turkey.

A: Correct.

Q5 And where in Turkey were you presented with your three Peace and Friendship Awards?

YS: Two were in Istanbul and the other was in Ankarra.

A: Correct.

Q6 Orphaned Land played Wacken Festival in 2010 on the Party Stage on the Saturday. Who headlined that stage?

YS: Damn, that’s a hard question! Ozzy?

A: Metal Church.

Q7 Who has replaced you as guitarist in the band?

YS: They haven’t officially replaced me, but live it’s session guitarist Idan Amsalem.

A: Okay!

**Q8 ‘Yesterday is a dream, tomorrow is a vision.’ This is a line **that was taken from which **one of **your songs?

YS: Sahara Afternoon, from Melting Clocks.

A: Correct.

Q9 Guitar god Marty Friedman plays on your current album Desert Butterflies, but who was his guitar counterpart in the band Cacophony and what was their second, final album called?

YS: Jason Becker, he’s such an inspiration. I can see the cover of the album, but not the name.

A: A bit niche, this one! It was Go Off!

Q10 You’re renowned for your bouzoukitara. What’s the Greek folk music that first adopted the bouzouki?

YS: Rebetiko.

A: It was.


Q11 Devin Townsend sang lead vocals on which 1993 album by which guitar star?

YS: Was it Steve Vai? The one after Passion And Warfare… no, sorry Steve!

A: Sex & Religion.

Q12 At which institution did Jon Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy meet and form Dream Theater?

YS: Berklee Music College. They were Majesty first.

A: That’s all right.

Q13 Porcupine Tree guitarist John Wesley’s currently playing with which group?

YS: Bigelf. He’s such a good guy.

A: Indeed.

Q14 Can you name Steven Wilson’s first solo album?

YS: Yes, it was Insurgentes.

A: It was.

Q15 Norwegian prog metallers Pagan’s Mind re-recorded their debut album Infinity Divine in 2004. Which song did they miss off it?

YS: I love their third album, Enigmatic : Calling, but I’m not good with track names!

A: It was Moonlight Pact.

Q16 What’s the opening song on Opeth’s Pale Communion?

YS: [Sings the riff] I can play it! But these days I can’t remember names.

A: Eternal Rains Will Come.

Q17 Which remake of a classic Paul Verhoeven sci-fi movie notably features Hocus Pocus by Focus?

YS: Got to be Robocop.

A: Yes.

Q18 And who wrote that classic tune?

YS: Jan Akkerman and Thijs Van Leer.

A: Correct.

Q19 Which Rush album features The Spirit Of Radio?

YS: Hmm, I don’t really know their catalogue that well.

A: Permanent Waves.

Q20 Which Pink Floyd album turns 40 this September?

YS: Dark Side…, no, the one after. Wish You Were Here?

A: Absolutely right.

TOTAL: 14½/20

Well, not too bad. I remember every album, cover and song from before I was 25, but nowadays…

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.