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WHAT’S UP Luc k of t he Dra

muscle disorder called Tierra Forma.

After seeking a second opinion,

it turned out Faierman had an abscess inside his stomach, a collec- tion of toxic liquid that can usually be treated with antibiotics. How- ever, because he was misdiagnosed he didn’t get proper treatment for an extra six days and the abscess burst open and caused a massive infection in his body. “It was really devastating to me,” says Faierman. “I was in and out of the hospital for nine months having multiple surgeries, I lost about forty-five pounds, and had to learn how to walk again after being stuck in bed for six weeks.” He didn’t let this misfortune drag him down, and instead used it as an opportunity to rededicate himself to his love of music. “It’s something that I still live

Mashtis members (l to r) Faierman, Bociek and Putis. (Photo by Tiffany Bociek)

By Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

Second chances can be rare, and local indie band The Mashtis is taking advantage of theirs. With the release of their second record in December, they continue to defy the odds with a band that came dangerously close to never existing. The group is made up of Itai

Faierman playing lead guitar and vocals, Neal Bociek on drums and Erica Putis playing bass guitar and providing backup vocals. Faierman and Bociek first met

in 2005 when they got together to play in what Faierman calls an “art noise band that was inspired by Sonic Youth.” It seems fate had a hand in the formation of Mashtis four years later with Putis, considering Faierman had a near death experience. After only a year of playing

together, Faierman moved back home to New York and was struck by a life-threatening illness that nearly derailed his dream. He visited an urgent care center

suffering from stomach pains, and was misdiagnosed with a rare

with every day,” says Faierman. “It was definitely a life-changing experience, I hadn’t written a song in about two years when it happened but this experience made me realize what was really important in life.” Faierman began writing new songs and playing them on an acoustic guitar while he was still stuck in a hospital bed, and went on to record the new tracks for an acoustic album that became the foundation for Mashtis.

“I moved back to San Diego and invited Neal to a show I was playing for my new album, and Erica happened to be there that night too,” Faierman says. “I gave them both a copy of the album


San Diego Uptown News | Dec. 9–Dec. 22, 2011

and it all sort of came together organically after that. Neal sent me a message saying that he had been playing drums along to my songs and asked if I wanted to jam some- time. Literally that same week Erica called me and said that she had been singing harmony to my stuff and playing bass along with it, so we all ended up getting together and mixed and matched our styles to find a really mellow sound.” The trio played their first show in Los Angeles in March 2009, and a few months later


played their first show in town at the Ruby Room in Hillcrest. Two years later the band’s mu- sic has only gotten better. Faierman has a smooth soft-spoken voice that sets the tone and draws the listener in, and Putis plays the bass guitar like it was a lead instrument. Mashtis is releasing its second 7-inch vinyl record, “A Canopy of Sundays” and will be hosting a record release party at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park on Dec. 9, followed by a show at Bar Pink in North Park on Jan. 11.u

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