Undoer (Turkey) 06/01/2020
What is it that can make a band to stand out from the thousands of bands that release music nowadays? I guess that apart from composing interesting music, the thing that will get a band to the next level is the personalities behind it. I am really glad to present you a band that i think is one of those which can stand out. Baris, the vocalist and the one responsible for their very interesting lyrics, with a very nice attitude and really positive aura answered their first ever interview. I wish you all the best my friend. To many many more interviews and albums. Thank you.
1. Hails Baris. Thank you for accepting this interview. First of all, would you like to give me some info about the band and present me its members?
Baris : Thank you for having us. We’ve started as a 3-piece black metal band from Ankara, Turkey. Two of the three founding members are present at the band now and with the participation of our friend as the second guitarist, we have a full live line-up except we don’t use bass guitars on stage, hahah. Since we’re not that active as a live band, nowadays we’re working on the new tracks. I’m not sure if it goes to a full length or a second EP, I guess it’ll be decided after we feel we’re done with the writing process.
2. How did you all meet and which urge pushed you to create Undoer? How did you come up with the name?
Baris : Actually there’s nothing original about the creation of our band: Three of us who recorded the EP knew each other from our hometown scene for so many years. After lots of beers, the other two invited me for a studio session for doing the vocals and things went on. We didn’t talk about in what aim we’re planning to create our songs. The urge was, I guess, letting every individual to do his own thing. Mert created the music in his own way; black metal songs with some modern touches. Kaya is especially experienced about playing death metal and grindcore drums, so recording 8 minute tracks of black metal was a challenge for him. For me, it was cool to be able to write the lyrics without a “black metal template”. During the recording process, we were all agreed that a single, strong word with a negative touch would fit our music & lyrics, and “Undoer” was the option that we all felt right.
3. I see that all of you have been in other bands before Undoer. Would you like to tell me more about your experiences into music so far and give me some information about the most important one?
Baris : I need to answer this in behalf of the other guys since I’ve done nothing about music except a crappy black metal demo which we’ve recorded in my room during 2003, with pajamas on us hahah. For both the founding members and the newcomers, they were quite busy with the extreme underground metal and punk scene of our hometown, Ankara. It wouldn’t be right to name one band as the “most important one” but let me say this: The bands they’ve played with are among the first ones who toured abroad and opened the way to European festivals for our local bands. They’re still fairly respected for this.
4. In 2018 you released your first EP album with very interesting compositions. Do you want to tell me more about this release? How long did the writing process take you and are you satisfied with the final result?
Baris : Well, thanks to Mert, he likes to write his compositions embracing tunes from some other genres. Usually, after he’s done with the first draft, we’re reaching to the final shape during our rehearsals. As I’ve said before, the aim in the band is letting everyone to do their own thing so the length of the writing process may differ from track to track. “Vertical Lines”, our opening track was kinda finished during the first time we’ve ever played it, including its lyrics. On the other hand, I was still trying to put the words together for “Foul Gathering” five minutes before the recording session. So it’s an unstable process for us. About the result, we have no complaints. I think we’ve managed to reach our destination for a first release.
5. Some months passed between the digital release of your EP and the physical one. Is it you who approached Sun & Moon records or the other way around? Are you satisfied by the physical format and generally by their support and promotion?
Baris : To be honest, now I see that we were extremely impatient after all is done with the recording process and couldn’t wait to get in touch with a label first, so we’ve just put it online. I guess we wouldn’t do so if it was now. We got in touch with Sun & Moon Records first, not the other way around. I really like their approach to the bands in their catalog, you can even see it in their website, in the section where they welcome and encourage new bands to send their recordings to the label. After our first contact, they’ve been extremely supportive and patient to us. I know we act slow as a band, since we have busy daily lives, but they are sticking to their words. I’m extremely satisfied with the digipak format of our EP and looking forward to see the next one, hopefully not in a long time.
6. In my opinion, you have composed some very interesting tracks. Who is responsible for writing your music or is it an effort by the entire group? Can you describe me the process of writing and recording your music?
Baris : It seems I’ve unknowingly answered this above, hahah.
7. I recognized some of your influences but I would like you to tell me which bands have influenced your music and generally your personalities.
Baris : I wouldn’t name any bands especially influencing our music; we did not get on the road by saying “Ok, let’s make music like 90’s Moonfog bands”. I’m giving this example because I’ve read more than a few critics that resembled us to that era. I’m personally honored, but we never had any intensions to create something like this or that band. For example, just because the way of our promotional pictures, I guess some people considered us as a Mgla-wannabe band. Ok, we’re all into Mgla’s music but the aim there was to look like silhouettes, not to act like dark lords wearing black masks. As individuals, we’re into many genres of music, not only extreme metal and I guess this also reflects our personalities.
8. Your lyrics are also very interesting. I think they are very poetic and want to put the listener in a position to think. Who is responsible for the lyrics? Which topics inspires you to write about?
Baris : I’m responsible for them and thank you for your kind words. During the writing process of the lyrics, it feels like the music itself is choosing its own content and I act according to that. For example “A New Anthem”, our second track, felt so march-esque that it needed to be treated like an anthem and also needed a stronger voice than mine at some point, so I got help from my friend. I didn’t feel like to create a whole concept covering all songs with one subject until now, so the topics may differ from track to track. For our EP, three tracks inspired me about three topics; the self, the governance and the religions. All three lyrics had a common ending; fall of the self, the decline of the administrations and the downfall of all divine religions. The name, “Survival is a myth”, stands for the same fate of them.
9. Especially, your second track showed me some images of tyranny and the hypocrisy of that. Is there any connection of that track to the present Turkish government? If I am wrong, do you want to tell me your point of view of the government there, as the only information we get comes from the international press?
Baris : You can be sure that international press is covering the situation of our country way more accurate than the press here. According to our news, we’re living in our golden age with an iron-like economy, extremely solid international relations, a domestic satisfaction rate over 90% etc etc etc. As a 34 year old man living in Turkey, I feel like my whole generation and the ones after mine are extremely unlucky to born in a beautiful country in its most unfortunate era. Our whole economy is collapsed, human rights are barely existing since animal rights are none, murdering/abusing women became a daily routine, political corruptness is at its peak and no jurisdiction exists to stand in their way, censorship in the news and social media is so common that the people already forgot about it, racism against the minorities is extremely welcome, and the list goes on. About the track, it’s related with all the oppressive administrations who just won’t fuck off and die somewhere and just let the people be.
10. I am not familiar with the Turkish scene. Do you want to tell me if there is a strong underground Black Metal scene, both bands and fans? Are there any bands from Turkey that you respect and would like to suggest me?
Baris : I believe the underground scene in Turkey is evolving every other day, both metal and punk-wise, and we have pretty cool bands especially in our two major cities Ankara and Istanbul. It is fair to say that Turkish scene is mostly known with its black and brutal death metal sound, and bands like Burial Invocation, Hellsodomy, Engulfed, Diabolizer, Decaying Purity, Molested Divinity, Hyperdontia (half Danish though) are already pretty known with their touring and festival performances in Europe and USA, with bands like Cenotaph and Carnophage, who are among the first bands to sign contracts with foreign labels.
11. Turkey is a religious country, isn’t it? Is it easy for an open minded person to live and create there? Does religion affects your everyday life?
Baris : Turkey is a religious country for sure, but there are two aspects of this situation. In the western part of our country, starting from Ankara, life is a bit easier for the “open-minded” people. Of course it’s still a Russian roulette to wear a shirt with a design of cursing Islam on its front and walk through the streets with that, but in the most parts of those areas, at least we are allowed to drink at a pub with extreme rates of taxes, thanks to our beloved holy leaders. The eastern part of Turkey is another subject, even to a point of becoming Saudi Arabia. The education level is down to the ground there and the lifestyle is, well, I guess you got the point. Even in the major cities, some districts feel like you’ve traveled to an eastern part of Turkey. A friend of mine has encountered an ISIS flag in a store, not hidden but put to the wall with pride, just maybe 10 km away from the pubs district where we’re hanging out most of the time. Of course you wouldn’t know that those ISIS assholes bombed Ankara’s central train station, causing 103 people to die, among many other bombings in Ankara and Turkey, and still have supporters here. So yes, our daily lives are pretty much living with this risk all the time.
12. Are you in the process of composing new material? When do you plan to have your next release ready and would it be a full length or something else? Will the music follow the path of the first release?
Baris : We’re working on our new tracks. I can say that we’re following the path of our debut release so far, but maybe with less repeats hahah. Our friend Boros from Sun & Moon Records will probably have a heart attack after reading this because of the fact that I’m unable to give any dates at this point. All we care is to create something that we’ll be proud of just like our first EP.
13. Have you ever played live as Undoer? Are you interested in playing live? Do you plan any live appearances?
Baris : We’ve played live only once 6 months ago and planning to play again on February, both in our hometown. Personally I’m more than enthusiastic to plan a Balkan countries tour with Undoer, but our occupations in our daily lives make it hard to organize. We’ll see.
14. Have you ever visited Greece? Do you like any Greek band?
Baris : Actually it is more than common to have Greek ancestors for Turkish people because of the Ottoman history. As a 4-piece band, two of us have Greek, one has Serbian and one has Macedonian roots. Personally I’ve visited Athens and Thessaloniki, and looking forward to come again. I asked the guys about their favorite Greek bands, the first two names coming to mind were Dead Congregation and Cut Your Throat. Also I really enjoy a post-punk band from Athens called Chain Cult. We’ve hosted them for 2 gigs in Ankara and Istanbul, and became friends after that. They’ve just released their first full length and it’s on my daily playlist since then.
15. Would you like to add anything as a conclusion?
Baris : This is our first interview ever and still I’ve managed to make you wait for 2 months. Thank you so much for your patience and for letting us to introduce ourselves to your readers, I hope it was worth the read. We’ll see you in Greece, hopefully. Until then, cheers!