1. Hello Semih. How are you? What kind of nicely blasting things happened with SAKATAT lately?
All is good pal, enjoying some nice cup of tea over DYSTOPIA’s “Aftermath”.
How about you?
2. Your new record "Bir Devrin Sonu" was announced as a full-length album, but when I played it in my CD swallower the length of a bit more than 8 minutes was surprising. Can you introduce this release to our readers, explain the possible concepts, and unveil why it is so short? (Maybe you accelerated the music so much that the length of the 30 minutes album was reduced ? AhAh)
Sonu” is our very first album which is also our final. We recorded
it around early 2012 in winter solitude at our friends’ studio in
Ankara and the record came out on single-sided 12” and CD just in
time for our European tour last summer. Although it consists of
eight songs we tried to make it somehow “flow” rather than sound
like separate songs put in a row, if you know what I mean. Despite
very minor details, I would say the album represents how we ever
wanted to sound like, intense, fierce and in your face that is.
So, we are more than glad to see a lot of people are also digging
3. This new recording sounds super raw and abrasive, I'm sorry to tell you but we can't use the words "Grindcore" or "Powerviolence" anymore... So, what about harsh noise with blast beats? AhAh. Seriously speaking, your music becomes more intense through the years, your first recordings were less explosive and more regular, while what I heard the last years takes another level of aggression... Are everything okey in Turkey? ;-)
Haha, thanks! It is obvious that we barely handled our instruments when we first started. However, ever since we had this three-piece line-up, we aimed for the tightest and the most aggressive we could possibly get. Also, it is safe to say that our approach to grindcore has changed throughout years since we kind of figured out that it was possible not to lose focus on song-writing (whatever that means) and still pull off catchy tunes even with more emphasis on speed.
4. Once translated in English, the title of this release means "The end of an era". Should we see this as the topic of a declining world, slowly turning to ashes and preparing to implode, or perhaps your next records will be very different on a musical point of view? (Maybe with techno interludes a way Ahumado Granujo did, or with experimental noise parts between the songs?... Or with influences of traditional Turkish music? HuHu)
The title refers
to the fact that there is no way back from the point we, as the
whole society are all in now. All the riots in human history is
about reclaiming however, considering how we’re now in hand’s of
the system, it is too late to bother reclaiming anything, whether
it be human rights, access to resources that provide basic human
needs like water, food etc… you name it. The human race’s immunity
fed the system to own the future of all mankind.
I am pretty sure that for many bands out there, the urge to play fast and intense music is the sole driving force behind playing grindcore, which is totally understandable. In our case, though, I could say personal struggle against the system was pretty much the main motivation to play politically and socially aware music in the first place; which is obvious if you consider we were quite a sloppy band with longer lyrics on our first couple of records. However, as we evolved in years, the need or urge to play furious music has become half of the motivation as well even though personal struggle and hatred was still there. After all, most of our songs have been written after being pissed off at political or social events that have happened at the time.
6. Your high-pitched vocals remind me the screams of a cat suffering in the middle of a crushed nuclear power plant. Who or what are you thinking about when you scream? Are there nuclear power plants in Turkey, and did you already visit one?
I think the first record that has motivated me to actually do vocals
was NAPALM DEATH’s “From Enslavement To Obliteration”. The slow
opening track that makes you wanna tear your clothes off and the
next one where the tempo suddenly speeds up and makes you wanna
eat those pieces of cloth… that is the feeling we’ve always aimed
for. So, I guess that is what I have in mind when screaming, to
add kind of a post-apocalyptic insanity feel to it, that is.
7. What's your opinion about bands who have no, or partly, no lyrics? For you, as a singer, what is the most important: The meaning of the texts that should express something strong, or the feelings that have to come out (Even if there's nothing meaningful to say)?
This is a topic
that I’d given a lot of thought in last few years and I think sometimes
it does make sense not to have any lyrics. At least, it is a lot
more sincere than writing down all those supposedly political lyrics
but not meaning any of them, know what I mean? I have met many bands
on tours that you’d assume were politically-aware and all that looking
at their lyrics, but turned out to be just your average consumerists.
So, the bottom line is, it is better not to fake it than actually
pretend to have something to say but don’t believe in or practice
what you say.
8. I might
be wrong, but I have the picture of SAKATAT as a band that tours
a lot, playing many gigs here, and there, and also there.
I would say
we toured as extensively as we could. 5 tours in abroad in 4 years
is not bad, I guess, although still wasn’t enough for me, personally.
9. How is the situation for rehearsal places in Turkey? Should you be very careful not to awake the suspicions of authorities with your "revolutionary" and "rebellious" sounds, or is this only about not bothering the neighbors with too much noise? So you might rehearse in hidden or retired places such as in an old farm, in an old hanger situated in the middle of nowhere... (If I wanted to make a joke, I could have extracted the idea of yourselves rehearsing in a subterranean bunker, but apparently some peoples have problems with jokes on metal webzines, and I don't know if there are bunkers in Turkey... Are there any?)
Haven’t ever heard of a band that had a problem rehearsing or even playing in public since not a single band here is rebellious enough to make anyone care. It is mostly the activist folk musicians or bands that are in trouble with the authorities in Turkey.
10. You used to run a paper fanzine called IMPACT DRILL and released 3 issues on recycled-skin-paper (AhAh). Can you tell us more, so that the readers can gather some infos about it? Do you wish you had more free time to try and release more issues, or you became too tired with it and preferred to move to something else?
Well, I did
run a ‘zine called Impact Drill but I am pretty sure you are mistaking
it with another local metal ‘zine called Sonic Splendour put out
by my comrade which was the one with recycled-paper. J
11. You also used to run a small label assorted with a distro... Now I wonder if this is really over, because you released a grindcore and grindnoise compilation entitled "LOFI OR DIE" not so long ago... In 2012 this distro/ label might consists in selling recordings (Mostly your band's music?) during gigs?
It was a lot of fun to run a distro til early 2000’s in Turkey but as soon as local folks stopped paying attention, it became pointless. I still enjoy putting out compilations though; with all the great new bands, it is hard not to do anyway! “Lo-fi or Die” was my attempt to pay tribute to 90’s-style compilation tapes with rehearsal recordings that helped me discover the underground grindcore scene back in the day like “Grind The Faces Of Rock Stars” and others. I will keep gathering new bands for more editions and in fact, the 2nd edition should be out soon featuring bands like ALCHEMY OF SICKNESS, CAMPHORA MONOBROMATA, FRUSTRAZIONE, MINDFUCK, PARALYZED SOCIETY, SKRUTA and more.
the specialty of Turkey on an ingurgitating point of view?
Yeah, I guess European people are a bit confused regarding what is Turkish, Mediterranian or Middle Eastern food, haha. It is really hard for me to say if a certain food is of Turkish origin or not since Turkish cuisine is quite mixed as well. However, it is safe to say that what they serve as kebab in Europe can only be cheap imitations of the real deal.
13. In Turkey, are there kebab restaurants in every streets, or is this something we can mostly find in western Europe? Maybe the Turkish streets are filled with European restaurants and American styled fastfood stores? AhAh
Although Western-style fastfood chain restaurants might seem to dominate in bigger cities, especially where young population is also dominant, Turkish people do dig their local food. So, on a typical street you would have have about 3 kebab restaurants, 1 restaurant with traditional food, 1 fastfood store, 1 tea house and 1 bar, in no particular order.
14. Speaking of Europe, a couple of years ago Turkey was meant to be a part of Europe... Apparently it's still in the process of completion, and it's not clear... What can you tell us about it? Do you think it would be a good thing for your country, and for yourself as a human being, to see Turkey fully integrate Europe?
It is a joke
man; just an easy manipulation trick that helped the Turkish government
to capitalize this land’s resources without pissing the people off.
And the sad thing is, it did work so fast that not a single country
that has joined the EU has been capitalized this fast!
15. Could you translate Nihilistic Holocaust in Turkish? I hope you'll be able to provide our hears with something more fukked-sounding than our favorite private-datas-swallower Google and its translator...
If you refer to Holocaust as “the” Holocaust, then it would be “Hiççi Soykirim”; otherwise “hiççi kiyim” would work.
16. You're a big fan of grindcore, on the "core" side of things, it's not a surprise. So I'd like to have your feelings and opinion about the current health of the metal scene, and especially the genres that take quite some importance in today's deep underground: Old school/ retro death metal, ultra brutal death and affiliates, 80's heavy metal, thrash/ speed metal... It seems the 80's are back for quite a lot of peoples, or at least it's in the way...
human beings’ music preferences have a certain cycle which gets
back to the starting point in every 20 years or so. From what I
see, brutal death metal trend is already over and old school death
metal is on the rise more or less since that book came out; 80’s
classic heavy/thrash metal also seem to be doing fine and grindcore
scene is growing rapidly as well.
17. In your humble grinding opinion, what could please fans of old school Death metal and brutal death in your music? What could you tell them to try and convince their hears to remain opened once you pushed the "play button"?
Grindcore, or at least the type of it that we look up to, appeal to a very small audience worldwide, so I kinda doubt that any death metal-only fan would appreciate our stuff more than any WARSORE 7”. That is why true grindcore scene will always remain small. On the other hand, you have other grindcore bands that lean towards more death metal direction, both style and image-wise, like NAPALM DEATH, ROTTEN SOUND etc… that can appeal to a lot more people, including the death metal fans. Not that there is anything wrong with that though.
18. What were your favorite albums and demos for 2012? Which bands kicked you or impressed you the most on album, or during live conditions?
Oh, this will
take a bit long, haha! 2012 has been a long year with so many great
new records and shitload of vinyl re-presses. In fact, it felt so
long that I don't even remember what I'd been listening to in the
first half of the year! So, despite the risk of failing to remember
many rad releases, here is the list of some of the records I have
been enjoying last four months of the year:
19. Tell us about the future projects of SAKATAT, what the listeners could expect in the future, and feel free to conclude with what you wish. Grinding greetings.
thanks for the interview, G.! I have been a fan of Nihilistic
Holocaust ever since it was on paper, it is truly great to be featured!