is not really famous for its metal scene. Some people
might know Pentagram who later known as Mezarkabul. But
could you imagine there is also black metal in Turkey? It
is! One of those bands combining black metal with ambient
elements, is the one-man project called Yayla which just
released its fifth album “Pas.To.Rale”. The songs are
shorter and more compact, but the album is their best one
to date, in my opinion. People hardly know about Yayla, so
let me introduce this interesting project to you right
now. Here we go!
Emir! Please tell us about the early days of Yayla first!
When and how did it all start?
and Merdümgiriz (drummer of Blliigghhted) started it when
we were teenagers. We were listening to the most extreme
music out there and we just couldn’t get enough, we
wanted an extremity that was more than all else. We were
spending a lot of time on the mountains just being in
nature and listening to music. We used to do things like
making demos on tape and burying the only versions of
those tapes underground. Now we don’t do such things,
but it is how it began, quite intense.
you played in other bands before?
played in Flying Faggot, which is the basis of Viranesir.
I might revive it with an album.
the meaning of the word Yayla? Is it a Turkish word? And
how does it fit to the concept of this project?
a Turkish word meaning alpine tundra. We named it that
when we were 17 years old to express our enjoyment of
being in the meadows isolated from civilization and the
feeling we had when we were in nature. It is a vision of
death, total spiritual isolation, which is what this band
bands are your main influences?
grew up listening to orchestral music, pop, folk and rock
from my parents. Therefore I always cite Vivaldi, Simon
& Garfunkel, Pink Floyd and Cat Stevens as my main
basis. The foundation of my melodies lies within
orchestral music while the intensity and experimentation
comes from more modern music. When it comes to metal,
first and foremost it´s Burzum who took metal and made it
into ambient music while still using guitar, drums etc.
Next is Xasthur who pushed that idea even further. These
guys used romantic music melodies with hellish atmosphere
to make ambient music; very influential.
lyrics seem to be very philosophical. What do they exactly
deal with? And who or what inspires you for lyrics?
a soldier for a war you don’t understand.
run Yayla as a solo project. Didn’t you find the right
musicians? Or was it planned as a solo project from the
never think that I need anybody to make art. I just do it
by myself; fuck people! I made feature length films by
myself. What the fuck is a band? Having said that, Yayla
actually started as two-men project back in 2007, and in
the last album that founding member also came back and did
the drums. The point remains however that other people are
not a necessity to make art. My films by the way: http://merdumgiriz.org/Gotsiken/Films.html
first album “Ruhizolasyon” was an instrumental album.
Why did you choose to use lyrics later on? Or the other
way around: Why haven´t you already written lyrics for
wanted to make a new kind of extreme music, a totally
isolationist ambient music made with metal instruments. I
also wanted to not do drums on that album, but I ended up
keeping the ones I used for keeping the tempo. Good
question, I may make another totally instrumental metal
album one day, maybe without drums…
your latest album, “Pas.to.rale”, the songs are way
shorter than before; all around 5 minutes, not 10-15
minutes anymore. Did this happen on purpose or accidently
more or less?
suppose I was not very interested in monotonous and long
music when making that album, so I kept it short.
the last two albums, “Nihaihayat” (2013) and
“Pas.to.rale” (2017) there has been the longest break
(4 years) in Yayla history. What were the reasons for
made much other music in those 4 years. I also committed
suicide and spent some time in the mental asylum. I felt
like experimenting a lot with all the other projects that
I used as tools. Yayla is not an experiment tool.
Bandcamp it´s told that there are also tapes available
from all albums, and that they are self-made by yourself.
How important is it for you to keep this old traditional
cult format alive? Or was it just made because of the
is the best sounding medium for me. It takes good
technique to make great tapes and I like things that
require technique and craft. My tapes got a lot of
character and often my artists tell me the tapes I press
sound better than their masters. I take great care
converting the digital binaries to actual analogue sound.
It is not a matter of money as it costs more to make
tapes. I don’t understand the point of CD´s when there
is better quality digital audio available. If I had my way
I’d just make vinyl and tapes, but I don’t have enough
funds to make vinyl.
many CD´s and tapes have been done? Are they limited?
are unlimited as long as I am alive. The artists I release
are limited to our individual arrangements in contracts.
your releases (CD´s, tapes and shirts) are released by
Merdümgiriz Records. Is it a real label or just a name to
distribute all your stuff?
is the most real metal label with some 20 artists from
around the world. I released works of artists from USA,
Canada, Italy, Iceland, Germany, Norway, UK etc. We also
did a European tour playing live. We don’t care about
money or fame, just pure art.
it true that you paint all Yayla logo shirts on your own?
Why don´t you print some? How is the quality? And how
many have been made? Or do you only drawn one when it´s
ordered? How do you manage that?
only for Yayla, but for all bands on my label. It started
out as being a continuation of not depending on anyone.
Then it morphed into being an artistic medium. Quality is
very good; I only paint when it’s ordered. I am also a
real painter by the way:
about the idea to just use an abstract symbol instead of a
real band logo? Don´t you think it´s irritating to
people that don´t know Yayla?
my band logos play on the idea that metal logos are
incomprehensible. Well, mine are absolutely abstract! I
always want to make my music and art a step further of the
extreme aspects of the styles that I swim in. The biggest
success musically is “Ruhizolasyon” as it became a
total abstraction of black ambient, and also the film
“Fear Through Eternity” (https://vimeo.com/76544669)
which is an abstraction of dark dungeon music aesthetics.
But I also do the same in Viranesir´s synthpunk albums
and Blliigghhtted´s pushing the boundaries of progressive
chaos metal. Everything is an abstraction and exaggeration
in my art, so my logos only reflect that. I never do stuff
to please people, and if it irritates people, it is good!
I always wonder what the album is when I see the cover
that I can´t read or an image of something different.
I take a look at all your projects (Funeral Of God,
Viranesir, Blliigghhtted), they all seem to sound nearly
the same, more or less, because you mostly combine black
metal with ambient elements. Where exactly are the
differences between them all, in your opinion?
don’t think this is right. They don’t sound the same.
It’s just the genre tag on Metal Archives that says
black metal and ambient for my projects, which is
misleading. Most Viranesir albums aren’t even metal or
ambient, but Synthpunk. Anyone who actually listens to my
stuff would know the difference. I don’t need to point
it out with words. Also, Funeral Of God is not my band. I
only do vocals for it.
only exception is a death metal band called Red Bible
Black. But they are from Italy! How did it happen that you
joined the band? Have you ever rehearsed or just sent
files to each other? How did that work?
is the same guy who does Funeral Of God. He is from Italy.
I took his projects to my label because he makes extreme
as fuck music and he started asking me to do vocals for
him. We just exchange files, I don’t even know what he
let us also talk about the Turkish metal scene, okay? I
only know two bands actually: Pentagram (who were later
called Mezarkabul) and a black metal band called Death
Ritual. Are there any more bands you can recommend? And is
there really a metal scene in Turkey where bands support
is actually quite a large one. Almost every city has
extreme metal bands; most ones come from the big cities.
There are also very good syndicates supporting the bands
and the scene, like Takas Pazari and stuff. Them and some
others also organize concerts all the time as well. I am
friends with most main bands. There aren’t many bands
pushing boundaries though, in terms of content and form,
they are mostly unoriginal and good worship bands at best.
That is partly the reason why Turks don’t really follow
my music nearly as much as westerners, because they are
kind of primitive when it comes to appreciating and making
art. They don’t like new stuff very much, or
experimentation, which is what I strive to do. They like
their kebab like they have for centuries.
it hard to be a metalhead in Turkey? Is there a kind of
witch-hunt by the government or censorship there if you
are into black metal? And is this also the reason why you
moved to London? Or were there other reasons for that?
in Turkey there is no witch-hunt or anything. You can be
into black metal; nobody will give a fuck! Moreover, you
can also sing about racist stuff, degrading women,
genocide and metal stuff like that where in the west
you’d get censored for it. The real witch-hunters that
are a threat to Black Metal are Antifa, which we don’t
have in Turkey. So it is freer then west for freedom of
speech in that regard. However if you say shit against the
government or Islam, you might be prosecuted or beaten or
killed etc. Win some, lose some. However, those who would
prosecute, you don’t speak English and they wouldn’t
know your black metal lyrics, so nothing would happen. I
moved to London not because of metal, but because of the
general attitude of people. I have lived most my adult
life abroad. I am no longer Turkish, I feel alien there. I
just occasionally go back to eat some kebab and fuck cheap
people are now interested in getting all your stuff after
reading this: How can they get in contact with you?
can e-mail me or add me on Facebook.
tell me about the future plans of Yayla?
and more unconventional albums.
right, Emir! The last words are yours!
so much for the interview, Dan! Metal is more than music.
Push the fucking boundaries!
Author: Daniel Müller