Behind The Veil Tarkan Speaks Out.
Turkish Metaller’s ‘Mezarkabul’ have recently released their debut album through ‘Noise’ Records in Germany and what a great album this is, and if some of you remembered their previous albums under the name of ‘Pentagram’ then you’ll know what to expect. Bassist Tarkan speaks to Jason Brown to find out more about the new album and why the band decided after all these years to change their name. In the meantime check out their stunning new album titled ‘Unspoken’ I am sure you will not be disappointed with it.
OK, first of all I would like to ask you a couple of warm up questions with regards to the bands previous name ‘Pentagram', so when did the band form and has the line-up been the same?”
“Well I think we formed a year before your Fanzine, this was back in 87 and the band was formed by Hakan & Cenk and after the 3 of us formed the band our singer then joined the band. It has been 10 yrs since we have formed and I think the new album ‘Unspoken’ is our 5th release. We then played live and had some shows in Easterbul (Turkey) and we all listen to the same type of bands and music. Over the years the band has turned into a close friendship and soon we all became a close family throughout the years. The line-up is the same and the band has not broke up, we just changed our name because there was another band under the same name.
So why did you choose the name ‘Pentagram’ in the first place if you knew there was another band under the same name?
“To be honest we didn’t know about that band until a few years later on.”
As there was another band under the same name, didn’t people think that you may of been a Satanic band?
(Laughing) “Well I must tell you that the symbol ‘Pentagram’ is about 4000 yrs older than Christ and it is an ancient symbol and it means ‘The Elements Of Life’. We are not Satanic whatsoever, but we are into the mystical occult.”
So who were the band’s influences and how did they reflect in the bands music?
“We are influenced by the 70’s Progressive Rock era, and the 80’s Metal era. We are into such band’s as ‘Judas Priest’, ‘Iron Maiden’, and all the classic bands from the 80’s. I do think that they reflect in the bands music for sure!!”
How would you best describe the bands music? Is there any changes in ‘Pentagram’ and ‘Mezarkabul’?
“I would not categorize our music, I would just say that we are a Heavy Metal band. As for any changes with both band names, well there are no changes, the only thing we changed is the bands name.”
OK, now let’s talk about the deal with Century Media Records, how did that come about? Also how did the deal with Noise records come about?
“Well we were not signed to that label, we licensed the album to that label for Europe. We were signed to a label in Turkey and we were free to have a deal with a label outside of Turkey. We are now signed to ‘Noise’ Records, as we have now the label from the 80’s and we are taking things one day at a time.”
Did the ‘Anatonia’ album sell well for the band?
Yes it sold OK, and we had some phone interviews but after a while our connection with ‘Century Media’ was broken.
What does the title of the album mean? Also why did you choose that name for the album?
“It means ‘The country of our land’, the place where we live. There is a song on the album which is titled ‘Anatolia’ and I think we still have our roots of our country in our music, as well as the Metal influences.”
As the band have released 3 previous albums before this and I have not heard them, could you tell me how each one differs from one another?
"As we are from Turkey we try to play what is in our hearts and minds and so it all comes together both spiritually and emotionally. I would say that the music does change from time to time but as time goes on bands do progress. These 3 previous albums were written in English.”
Has the band ever toured outside of Turkey?”
“Well we only toured the once, and that was in 95 when we went to Denmark for a month and we played several gigs and it was the only experience that we had. All the shows were headlining shows and the crowd seemed to like us.”
Now let’s talk about the Metal scene in your own country, just how big is it compared to other countries?
“Well the scene is OK, but there are a lot of people over here that are not allowed to listen to Heavy Metal music, but still they wear the t.shirts and read the Magazines, but on the other hand there is no established industry for this style of music as it is very difficult for record companies to sign these type of bands. It is also very difficult for bands to continue without the support of the labels as well.”
Your last album under the name ‘Pentagram’ reminded me of another Century Media band called ‘Radakka’, do you agree?
“To be honest Jason, I have never heard them!! I will have to check them out if the singer sound’s similar to our singer.”
So what does ‘Mezarkabul’ mean?
“To be honest there is not such a word, we made it up and we found it difficult to make up a new name after having the name ‘Pentagram’. It is basically 2 words that came together, one is ‘Mezar’ which means ‘Grave’ and the ‘Kabul’ means ‘Expectance’ in English, so when they come together they mean ‘Been ready to die, no fear of death’.”
How do you see this new album as a progression from the ‘Pentagram’ material?
“I would say that it is in the same spirit as ‘Pentagram’, it’s just what we are a different project.”
So where was the new album recorded and are you happy with the end results?
“We are very happy with the way the album has turned out. Most of the trax were recorded live in the studio in Anthens (Greece) and then we came back to Turkey to do some dubbing’s on the guitars. There is a nice studio in Athens called ‘Sierra’ and our whole aim was to record as much as we could live, but technically it did not work out really that well.”
So who writes the material for the band? Is it all wrote by just one person or as a team?
“Well all the lyric’s are wrote as a team effort, as we all sit down and talked about a subject and we also have a structured way of working the lyrics out.”
Just how long did it take to record the whole album?
“Well it took a little while longer to record the album as we had a lot of breaks in between the album because of some problems, but I think it took about 2 months to record.”
So what are the songs about on this album?
“The lyric’s are about our inner experiences from within the band. I can tell you that there is no real message in the songs, and I think that is why the album is called ‘Unspoken’. We are into the mystical side of life, so all the topic’s are spiritual to us.”
Are there any songs from the new album that are your favourites and why?
“Well that is a difficult question to answer, as all the songs are new to us still. I think that they will grow in time.”
Besides ‘Sanctuary Music’, who else showed interest in signing the band?
“Well we had offer’s from ‘Nuclear Blast’ and ‘Century Media’, but we have not really spoke to too many companies.”
Do you hope to play some show’s or tour for this album outside of your own country?
Well we are going to disguise a tour with the label and maybe we may play some festivals, but no confirmed dates right now.
So what bands would you like to play or tour with?
"Well there are some really cool bands that we really like such as ‘Dickinson or maybe ‘Halford’, ‘Queensryche’, ‘WASP’, there are so many bands on that label that we would love to tour with.”
Well Tarkan I would like to thank you for your time, do you have anything to say to the fans and readers?
“Well first of all I must say that the pleasure is all mine for doing this interview, as this is our first English interview we have done, so thank you Jason. To our fans, keep on rockin!!!”