poniedziałek, 10 sierpnia 2015

Subjugation interview by Zsiga Zoltán/ Blast fanzine

This interview will feature in the #3rd issue of Blastzine in hungarian language. So let's see what Zsiga Zoltán ask for Mustafa and Kaya from Subjugation!

are a relatively new name in the underground, but the members of the band are well-known from the Turkish scene.  

Please tell me, how the story of Subjugation started, what did you set out to do with this band and how did the line-up came together? 
Mustafa: Hey! We started the band in the very hot summer of 2013. Both Sakatat and Burial Invocation were inactive during that time and we were quite bored, so we just wanted to rehearse and steam off. We quickly enlisted a guitar and bass player and started to compose songs. We were actually planning to play in a more punkier, Discharge-influenced style, but the songs quickly turned into brutal grindcore. 

Continuing the line-up theme a bit; is it hard to find talented and committed musicians (who doesn't already play with hundreds of bands) for an underground metal or grindcore act in your country? 
Kaya: It’s quite hard to be honest. There are less and less people listening to music and even less grindcore fans. But the real struggle is finding people on your own frequency.
Mustafa: We have a small number of people in the country participating in the scene, but like you mentioned, everyone already plays in a thousand other bands.
Subjugation live/ pix shot by Niklas Larson.

What would you say are Subjugations main musical influences? How can you describe your sound? Old school death metal with fast parts, death / grind, grindcore, or something else?
Mustafa: We were initially influenced by the brutal and metallic American grindcore scene of the early 90’s (Terrorizer, Assück, Brutal Truth…) but in time we also included death metal, stenchcore and doom influences. I suppose you could describe it as crusty grindcore with doomy death metal parts but I’m sure going along with grindcore is just fine!

After listening to your songs, I think the Boss HM-2 / Sunlight sound is a huge influence to all of you, am I right? Everybody in the band loves this kind of swedish old school death metal, or only the guitar player? How long are you into this kind of music? 

Mustafa: We all enjoy the chainsaw sound of original Sunlight bands like Dismember, Carnage, Nirvana 2002, God Macabre etc. and newer bands like Vallenfyre and The Dead Goats. Although the style itself is not a main influence on us, we just wanted to see how the colossal guitar sound would fit this kind of grindcore, and I think it works so far. How long am I into Swedish death metal? Since my early high school years I guess, after I discovered At the Gates and Entombed. 
Kaya: We’ve been into a lot of genres since we started playing music and we played in a lot of different kinds of brutal bands. But my focus on this style  started when I first joined Sakatat.

What can you share with us about the creative process of the first demo, Torn Apart? Was it easy to write and record this first songs together as a band, or there were differences in opinions in the creative team how should they sound? 

Mustafa: All 6 songs on the demo tape & the split were recorded on the same session. Those were our first songs and it was a mutual effort, the guitar players would write the riffs and then we would finish it together during rehearsals, then later on I would add the lyrics. As I mentioned above, we were going for a d-beat sound at first but it became faster and faster with every rehearsal. We had some problems with the studio during the recording process, but it turned out fine in the end.

Did you get a good feedback from all around the world to the demo? How much copies were sold? 

Mustafa: The tape was released by a then-upcoming local label in limited quantities, so it did not get too much circulation, the feedback was quite good though! All the copies are sold out at the moment.

Where is the idea of the split with Haemophagus came from? Did you already know this band, and you contacted them about to do a split together? What do you think about Haemophagus’s music?  

Mustafa: I’ve been in contact with Haemophagus drummer David for several years, and when Burial Invocation’s drummer was denied his European visa right before our 2011 tour, we asked if David could help and he joined us in virtually no time. A year or so after that I went to see a concert of another band of him, Undead Creep, and the idea to release a split record sometime materialized there. So obviously Haemophagus was the first name that came to my mind when we were thinking about a split partner. I like them quite a lot and I think anyone who’s interested in Autopsy and Repulsion will too!

Haemophagus/ Subjugation split 7 inch cover made by Mert Aydın Artwork.

Your new song, Eviscerated appears on many different compilation materials, and this song shows a bit more raw approach, this was intentional? Can you share with us all details about the song and this compilations? 
Kaya: We composed around 20 songs after recording the demo/split songs in January 2014, but the split was still in the plant in January 2015 so we wanted to record at least one new track. As we’d record only one to be featured in compilations we chose a short, fast and raw tune. It’s out of our usual style a  bit, but the recording turned out to be better than the previous one!
Mustafa: The recording experience was quite different for me as I was abroad when they recorded the instruments, and I was to go on tour with Burial Invocation a week after I returned. I remember doing the vocals 2 days before my flight to Copenhagen for the tour, and they started mixing after I was gone. They would mail me the mixes to check and I’d listen to the latest mix whenever we played in a venue with Wi-Fi. Sometimes I’d go days without internet and find out afterwards they had sent me 5 different mixes in the meantime, and I was like “Dude, what did you do to my vocals 3 mixes ago??” haha! I very much enjoy the final result though. About the compilations, two of them contacted us (Noisecore Channel and Blast til Death), and I sent the recording to the remaining two (Noise from Hell and Mania for Conquest) after seeing their flyers online. They are all DIY compilations which you can freely download and print, and that’s quite cool in my opinion. All 4 are from different countries (Brazil, Indonesia, United Kingdom and United States), and we appeared alongside many bands we like; including Teething, Mindflair, Konform, Vatican City Syndrome, Yacøpsæ...

Is there any upcoming material in progress? Please tell me about how the next Subjugation materials will sound, compared to your current stuffs. Will it be exactly the same style, or maybe with a bit different (newer?) influences? Maybe it will be faster / slower, heavier, or more raw? 

Kaya: We’re just guessing at this moment, because our bass player switched to guitar after we parted ways with our original guitar player and we played as a 3-piece for around 6 months before that person also left. We have a revamped line up now with a new guitar player. The new tunes are going to be much more ferocious and also somewhat different from the past ones. It’ll still be that heavy, brutal grindcore at heart but we’re also adding a lot of doom influences.

Can you explain your lyrics a bit more detailed? I believe they aren’t about the average gore/ horror/ death metal themes, but more into a grindcore attitude, right?  

Mustafa: The lyrics of the 6 songs we released were influenced by Kierkegaard’s “The Sickness Unto Death”. Those do not constitute a concept or are not directly based on the book, but rather deal with the same matters and subjects. I wouldn’t call it usual grindcore lyrics, not overtly political or anything, but in the end the result is the same: the lyrics criticize the lives we live, in the societies we live in. We’re working on a different concept for the new ones.

As far as I know you have some side-projects; Burial Invocation and Funeral Pyre of Mankind. Can you introduce them to us? 

Mustafa: We founded Burial Invocation in 2008 and we play death metal with a lot of doom influences. We released a mini LP in 2010 and a split 7” with Japanese doom/death band Anatomia in 2011. We were inactive for some years but recently the EP and the split were re-released on one disc and we did a European tour on January. If you are into early Finnish-style death metal, it might be worth your while to check us out. Funeral Pyre of Mankind was a short-lived project which included me, Onur from Sakatat and Serdar from Radical Noise. We played dark crust punk influenced by the likes of Tragedy, Ekkaia and Ictus, and did a promo demo, but the result did not live up to our own expectations so the band was put on hold.

Lets discuss about your past bands, Nettlethrone and Despised. What can you share with us about the music of this bands, and why decided to splitting up them? 

Kaya: We were 17-18 years old when we first started playing as Despised and we used to listen to tons of technical death metal bands back then. While amateurish, it was my first band and I learned a lot about playing in a band from that experience. We recorded only 2 songs and played a couple of gigs before everyone went their own way. A short time after Despised was done, I got word that Nettlethrone was looking for a drummer. I had heard their demo before (recorded with a session drummer) so I was already familiar with them. I thought it was one of the best melodic death metal records out of Turkey at that time. We split up because of some disagreements a short time after releasing a full length album.

Your drummer, Kaya played in Sakatat (RIP) too. Sakatat became very famous (if I can say, iconic) in the international grindcore scene in a short period of time. Why? What was the secret of this band? Can you tell me, why they decided to split up? Do you miss this band?
Kaya: To be honest, it’s quite straining to have a band in Turkey. I think we did a quite good job in between studying in different cities, working dayjobs to earn a living and still play music and tour in the spare time we have. We played as much as we could, and wanted to end it on a high note with the best tour we could ever do instead of slowly fading away. It was also a time when all of us had some big changes in our lives (moving to different cities, starting new jobs…) so continuing would have been very difficult. I think the secret was not giving up on the band during the difficulties. Yes, we definitely miss the band a lot, we even call each other to tell “We were playing at this city at this exact moment during the summer of 2012!” to make our lives a little bit more miserable!
Mustafa: Oh, I’m sure the secret was Semih’s charming looks...

From Decimation I only have the Anthems of an Empyreal Dominion CD in my collection, but actually Kaya didn’t played on that album, right? He was a permanent member of this band, or just helped to them? Why he decided to leave Decimation? 

Kaya: Yes, I didn’t play on Anthems, it was the first full-length (Entering the Celestial Ruins) instead. It was a horrible experience for me. I used to be a permanent member but after focusing more on Nettlethrone I couldn’t keep the tempo up, so I left. My replacement was Goremaster from Cenotaph, and in hindsight it was for the best.

Please tell me some words about Byzantion Fest #2, about the venue, the organisation and the event. You played together with some hungarian bands, (Parazitozis, SxOxTxE, Chappa'ai), did you enjoy their show and their music? 

Mustafa: The venue in Istanbul, called Peyote, is the home of all the local and touring extreme metal/punk shows. We had already played there with Dutch crusties Kru$h a few months before Byzantion. The event was quite good, the attendance was very high, the bill included a dozen cool bands and the crowd went crazy the entire time. Unfortunately we missed the shows of Parazitozis and Chappa’ai because we had to catch our flight back home, but SxOxTxE was phenomenal and we hanged out with all the bands quite a bit during the morning, while waiting for soundcheck. Cheers to Mark & co.!

How famous is the band at home? How often can you play live at home? What about other countries? Did you get any invitation to play abroad? 

Subjugation- Torn Apart demo tape cover.
Mustafa: We don’t play much since there are not a lot of gigs here to begin with (like one gig every 2 or 3 months), but we booked some on our own in our home city and played several times in Istanbul, and all our gigs turned out pretty rad so far. We got invitations from a few DIY festivals in Europe, but we want to wait a little bit more and tour properly after releasing a new record.

Tell us about the past of Turkish metal, its old cult bands, very first death metal and grindcore acts. And what about the current scene? Are there promising new bands, fanzines, record labels, distros, good clubs for shows, and so on?  

Mustafa: The very first death metal/grindcore band from Turkey was called Deathroom. They started in 1989 and released their first and only demo Violate the New Born in 1993. It’s surprisingly good! After they paved the way, a lot of cool bands emerged in the 90’s; Cenotaph, Suicide, Flying Dirty Clouds, Cidesphere, Undermost and so on. We have a small but healthy scene nowadays, with a lot of death metal/grindcore/punk bands coming out. The fanzines died out because internet happened, but we used to have a good number of zines a decade ago. There are not a lot of labels here, as our post office is quite unreliable but there have been a tape label resurgence recently; Noyz Tapes, Suburgatory Records, Dead Generation Records are some of the good ones!
Kaya: My favorites from the old Turkish scene are early Cenotaph, Suicide, Corroded, Asafated, Autumn, My Garden and Bayt Gadol. There aren’t many places that allow extreme gigs in Ankara and only a few in Istanbul. We even had to use abandoned buildings as venues sometimes. There are a handful of venues now, but crappy pop bands take up all their schedule, usually. Istanbul is better in that sense with more venues being supportive and more events.

I like and follow some Turkish band, including Decaying Purity, Cenotaph, Decimation, Makatopsy, and from the grindcore scene, the above mentioned Sakatat. Do you like their music, are you good friends with them? What other bands can you recommend to us? 
Mustafa: We’ve been friends with the bands you mentioned since our early gigging days with Nettlethrone (actually my other band Burial Invocation is made up of some former Decaying Purity and Cenotaph members). I hate the guitar player from Sakatat though! Such a jackass… Some of my current favorites in the scene right now are Engulfed, Hellsodomy, Neglected, Urban Carnage, Ugly Shadows, Rektaltuse and Exposed.
Kaya: Godslaying Hellblast, Engulfed, Deggial, Urban Carnage, Exposed, Diabolizer, Sarinvomit, Impuration, Rektaltuse. It’s pretty much the same with Mustafa’s list, haha!

Do you sometimes play coversongs? If so, what are they? Are there any other covers you're planning for; or just wish to do next? 

Mustafa: We used to play Terrorizer’s Injustice when we only had a handful of songs (and we played it on our very first gig if my memory doesn’t fail me). Kaya hates the song though, haha! I actually enjoy doing covers a lot, but apparently I’m the only one with that opinion, so I don’t know if we’ll play more in the future.
Kaya: I think the only fun way to hear cover songs are tribute records. We may play some covers if we get on a tribute album, but honestly I don’t really like to play them on gigs.

What's your current playlist? Can you give me your top 10 favorite releases? 

Kaya: My current playlist is comprised of Emptiness- Error, Mark Lanegan- Blues Funeral, Emperor- In the Nightside Eclipse, Pallbearer- Sorrow & Extinction, Necrowretch- Putrid Death Sorcery, Dead Congregation- Promulgation of the Fall and Nasum- Helvete.
Mustafa: It’s quite hard to think of only 10 favorite releases and they change all the time, but Kaya landed the easier half of the question, so I suppose it goes like this, in no particular order:
At the Gates - The Red In The Sky Is Ours
Bolt Thrower - For Victory
Wolfpack - A New Dawn Fades
Assück - Anticapital
Demigod - Slumber of Sullen Eyes
Paradise Lost - Lost Paradise
Demilich - Nespithe
Brutal Truth - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses
Amorphis - Privilege of Evil (yeah it’s just an EP, but still)
Winter - Into Darkness

I have a good friend, who’s nickname is „Turkey", so please say hello to him in Turkish language! 

Mustafa: Here’s one you won’t find in any dictionaries: Naber yarraaam!!

Thank you for your time, finally, what could we expect from Subjugation in the future? Everything else, what I forgot? Feel free to conclude this interview with what you wish. Last words are for you.

Kaya: Thanks for interviewing us! There isn’t anything particular you forgot and I hope we’re gonna record a new one with our new line-up and tour next summer, so see you there! 

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