1. Can you tell us a little bit about the project for those that have never heard of you before?
On the surface, Yayla is a musical project that makes heavy hearted and powerful music. It is a narrative, philosophical, depressive journey saturated with sound and feeling. Music to sanctify those who are in the deepest dark.
2.How would you describe your musical sound?
The dark form of dark content. Since I play completely different genres on and within albums, I would describe it simply as a very sorrowful and dense sounding trancelike metal alongside shooting dark ambient. Sometimes these two styles are fused together. In terms of sound, the future holds different horizons
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Various subjects. To tell outright my own interpretation of my work would maybe take away from the sort of experience that I want to create with Yayla. After all, the things I feel before, whilst and after the writing of lyrics are my personal interpretations of what I experience interacting with the work. This experience is only just as valid if not less than what other people might interpret. The lyrics for Nihaihayat are actually going to be released as a print within the CD packaging. It is only a matter of time before people post it online and make their own interpretations which I eagerly look forward to.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
The word has a literal meaning in Turkish, it is used to describe a certain geographical landscape. My humble opinion on what Yayla is, it is the reflection of my feelings within the paradigm that is Yayla. It is legit to call it a parallel universe or existence. But at the same time, this paradigm is way too vague in my head to be called that, or in other words, I do not feel adequately aware of its nature. It has its roots in the entirety of my mind, ergo the entirety of my thoughts. But as said before, it is but the reflections of my thoughts in the paradigm. The essence is, some of these reflections are able to grow in that paradigm, and try to become, whereas others, and the ones that reach out of its boundaries, they either stagnate or dissolve into oblivion. Those that feel the need to grow the most, grow until they become Yayla albums.
5. Currently the project is solo, have you thought of forming a full band or do you choose to remain solo?
Yayla actually started out as a two piece, and we have demos from that period. Nowadays I compose, conceptualize and play the music myself. The recording/mixing/mastering involves a friend called Cristobal Urbina without whom, Yayla would not be sounding like Yayla. As far as actual composition and performance ( a.k.a creative collaboration) goes, the only way I see it ever happening at this point is if I recruit that same person from the start again. Until then, I have no problem remaining solo. Yet, I never say never.
6. The new album is coming out on Merdumgiriz Records, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support that they have given you so far?
I co-own this label with a manager. I was looking for a label with my demo back in 2009, only sent the demos to the highest regarded metal labels. One of the labels told me there was no way anyone was going to release such music and that if I'd like to see it out so much, to release it myself. I have told this story to a friend of mine who said we should get together and start an art company. It started there, but then he decided to call it quits halfway and I found myself alone again. From there, I asked the previous Yayla member Merdumgiriz to help manage the label, he has been taking care of promotion and talking to people and all that stuff which leaves more room for me to make films, photography, music and art for the label.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Surprisingly very positive. Usually for my work in other areas of art, peoples’ feedback is of the "beauty hidden in unrelenting rawness" nature. Unsurprisingly for my music, people say it is very fascinating but very hard to listen to. Which at first glance does not make sense, but after a while it does... Reminding me of how I used to be ravished by rave music when I was 7 years old, yet had a hard time digesting the aggression. So far as reviews go, they have been very positive and entertaining. Few months ago Merdumgiriz sent me a batch of many reviews that have been made so far, it was like reading a psychoanalytic report of myself. I had a good time reading what people seemed to think to say the least.
8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
I am currently working on a rock album for a feature length narrative film that I have shot and been editing. This album is not going to be released as Yayla but under some other name, and I will probably be making more of it in the future. After that, first thing is to make another Yayla album. This time it is going to be a slower and a more pastoral sounding music. Afterwards, I will make two more Yayla albums one of which will most probably be acoustic and the other one will be a gnawing and extremely bleak black metal/ambient album. All these albums and more are composed, I just need to find the time and space to produce them.
9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
That question is wider than meets the eye. And if I do not filter this answer I am sure some metalheads will be alienated when they hear last night I listened to the album Guilty by Streisand two times. Moreover, I think as far as I can see, all the bands that I listened to and liked, even some that I did not like have influenced my music. The main six bands that I grew up on thanks to my mother and father are Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Scorpions, Gipsy Kings. When I was 8 I started listening to Metallica and they are pretty much the main influence on me choosing metal as an artistic medium. In my teens came death and black metal and I am still listening to and making it. The influences are pretty apparent there, take it from Bathory (include his rock albums and viking albums) sweep across the globe and bring it till today. Nowadays I am listening to a lot to Neverdays; another band that we have on Merdumgiriz. Not many knows them but this one man band makes one of the finest acoustic music ever made. Other than him, I found out about Nocturnal Poisoning few days ago and been listening to it, Depressive Silence is another recent find which I love.
10. Does Satanism or Occultism play any role in your music?
None whatsoever. I am not saying I will never directly use the schools of thought or philosophical cosmoses of the ones before me but I currently choose not to. I have spoken about Occultism to friends of mine who are deep into it. Very good people with whom I have the best time philosophizing and creative thinking. They have been telling me about their ways and how the way they live and think effects their work. The idea seems interesting, and I do not think submission and discipline is unfruitful, but what I have been faced with so far would not seem to float my boat. Moreover, I do not think I am currently able or willing to perform the loyalties such teachings require, simply because I am afraid of disappointment and having to deal with the hatred that comes with it. But I do have my own ever growing school of thought about existence and death, which plays a great role on all the art I make.
11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
I am more of a filmmaker than a musician, but we have not yet put out my films. Festivals are not showing any interest in them so far. I am guessing this is because I do not have friends in the film world and simply because my films are long and monotonous like my music. In any case, very soon a short film for Nihaihayat will be released online and my two long experimental films Fear Through Eternity and Adana; GOTCTIWKM will both be released on DVD. Other than that I am into photography and art in general. I do write a lot also, but it is long down the road before I find a proper way of releasing it. All my other work can be sampled through www.merdumgiriz.org
12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for the interest, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is supporting my work. More is to come, towards new horizons!