Good day, sir. I hope you're doing well today.
Semih Aksi > Hi! Working on a Saturday afternoon but could have been worse. I hope all is alright there too!
First off, how do you generally describe Sakatat's music to those who haven't heard of you? Raw grindcore, simple as that?
Semih Aksi > Yeah, well said, haha!
Are there some bands you'd feel comfortable comparing your sound and style with, and what bands were the most influential to you and Sakatat? I would assume that mincecore in general was of great importance to you.
Semih Aksi > I would say some of the bands that we were influenced, at least “musically”, by are early NAPALM DEATH, S.O.B., AGATHOCLES, WARSORE, EXCRUCIATING TERROR, ASSÜCK, ROT, DROPDEAD, PHOBIA just to name some; I don’t think we necessarily sound exactly like any of them, though.
I think we dropped the mincecore tag after the 2nd 7” simply because our style evolved into more straight-forward, tighter grindcore whereas early recording had a lot more punk vibe to them and were... well, sloppier. Although Jan AGx says that they tagged their style as “mincecore” so as to distance themselves from then more gore/porn imagery of grindcore, it is obvious that today mincecore refers to more punk-influenced type of grindcore that AGATHOCLES kind of invented. So, it doesn’t apply to our style anymore.
Just to get some history involved, when did you stumble upon (and became fond of) grindcore?
Semih Aksi > I was into metal ever since I was in 5th grade or so. When I was at around 7th grade, I would go to the copier during the lunch break to copy tape covers of demos so I would trade them with other metalheads around me or folks from abroad via mail. I think it was around when I was in high school, having been writing for a metal magazine and trading tapes, that I first got exposed to grindcore by tapes and CDs of underground grindcore bands like GROSSMEMBER, AGATHOCLES, ROT and UNHOLY GRAVE. I’d already had CARCASS’ “Symphonies...” and NAPALM DEATH’s “Harmony Corruption” for a while since they were circulating in the metal community around me but it wasn’t until I heard the aformentioned bands that I found out about the undergound grindcore scene.
Sakatat was founded in 2005. What were the intentions and thoughts that led to Sakatat's founding? Was it more about making noise or delivering a message, and did you imagine that the band would stick together for as long as until 2013?
Semih Aksi > What the intention was: after I graduated from high school I had too much free time in my hands and I had been listening to a lot of AGATHOCLES, NAPALM DEATH and whatnot, so I ended up having a couple of songs. I’d already bought a drum kit that I set up down in the basement but I wouldn’t really play it since it was too loud for the neighbors. So, I thought it wouldn’t hurt anyone if I hit those skins for half an hour, and that is what I happened. Onur, my friend from highschool came over. I taught him the songs very quickly, we played and recorded them downstairs with a really shitty microphone that I had purchased with a few Liras that I’d gotten from beer bottle deposits, and two of those songs ended up being our demo tape. But we weren’t a band or anything nor did we have any intention to form a band; we were basically just two youngsters who happened to record a few raw grindcore songs in half an hour. So, no, I had no idea that we would stick together this long!
Was leaving out the bass guitar intentional, too, or just more of a coincidence that happened to work out just right?
Semih Aksi > Well, when we recorded the demo and later the split 7” with AGATHOCLES, there were only two of us: me doing the vocals and playing the drums and Onur the guitar. So, when we realized that we were onto something, we thought we could as well play live; that is when we needed a third person. For some reason it was easier to have a drummer than a vocalist and honestly, I wouldn’t really play the drums good at all, so by the time we played our first local gigs, we were already a three-piece. Adding a bass player was also an option but we realized it was a lot easier to tour and record when we were only three, so we passed on that. So, it is no surprise that many grindcore bands do the same these days. I have to admit that you can’t sounds as kicking as you would with a bass guitar but our songs are written in a way that we can survive without one.
Was it decided right in the beginning that the band would do a lot of gigs? I've noticed that you've done single gigs and bigger tours all around (especially for a band this specific genre), so seems that you (and your audience) enjoyed the frequent gigs.
Semih Aksi > Oh no, not at all! But as soon as we played a couple of gigs in Istanbul, it was obvious we would go further. I guess it has a little to do with our personalities; if we would go any further, we would go all the way. At least that is what I’d thought. Having said that, I think we could've toured a lot more if it wasn’t for the other obligations we had and, more importantly, the legal restrictions we had being from Turkey and whatnot. 5 tours in 4 years is not much if you ask me.
How about the pace of having rehearsals - were you a very active band, in your eyes? To my ears, your latest releases sound so tightly played, chaotic and plain aggressive that I'm assuming you've rehearsed a lot to learn to play so well together and to make your brand of raw grindcore so effective.
Semih Aksi > Honestly, we weren’t really “active” in that sense. Due to residing in different cities, we were rarely able to rehearse. The way we made it work was, at least since 2008 or so, I and Onur would write the songs, we would meet up either in Istanbul or Ankara, work on those for a couple of days, rehearse them and eventually record them. The whole process wouldn’t take longer than a week with a lot of boozing and late night tea parties spread in between the rehearsals. But we never ever rehearsed longer than half an hour a day! So, I think how to we progressed from a rather sloppy band to a tighter and fiercer grindcore band is that we kind of got used to each other and I think our playing must have gotten tighter as we played live more often.
If the dictionary hasn't lied to me, the word "sakatat" stands for the waste parts of a butchered animal. Are you vegan/vegetarian, or where did this name come from?
Semih Aksi > When we recorded the demo, we needed a moniker to put on the cover, so SAKATAT kind of stood out from the other options we had. I think the sole criteria was that it had to be in Turkish language and SAKATAT kind of had a catchy vibe to it. That also proves that we weren’t really a serious band with serious intentions when we started.
Well, it actually means “offal”, kind of like the parts of a butchered animal that are not essentially “meat”, if you know what I mean. Stuff like giblets, feet, tongue, bowels etc... I don’t know about over there but those are highly consumed and popular in Turkey as far as the traditional cuisine goes.
I am the only one in the band that doesn’t eat animals but I kind of liked the irony of playing in a band called SAKATAT, haha! On the other hand, we would have definitely picked up another name if we knew we would stick to it (or it would stick to us, haha) this long.
One of the things that sets Sakatat apart from a lot of other bands is that all your lyrics are in Turkish. Was this an intentional choice right from the beginning, or just something that came naturally? One would assume that the decision has led into frequent questions about your lyrical content by your audience, hasn't that gotten annoying or are you rather just glad that the people have interest in your lyrics?
Semih Aksi > Oh yeah, totally intentional. It indeed led to curiosity about our lyrics which I am very happy about. Lyrics are like the 3rd thing that people ask about the band (first one being the meaning of the band name and the second one if we would get arrested for playing such evil music in Turkey :) ) and I am grateful every time someone cares enough to know about what we had to say.
Does it annoy you (or did it use to annoy you) when you discuss with people about Sakatat, and they either don't know or don't care what the lyrics are about - people who enjoy the band just for the noise and fast paces and don't care at all about your message?
Semih Aksi > Well, isn’t that the case about pretty much all grindcore bands out there, regardless of the language they use to write the lyrics? Honestly, when you deal with a grindcore band, you know that there is a gasmask on their album cover and their lyrics are about how fucked up the system is, so if you read one of them, you pretty much read all of them. Or did you?
Having mostly played at autonomous places or DIY gigs, we kind of were a part of a politically aware community that consisted of folks who are mostly a lot more conscious than we were, so I somehow knew people cared and appreciated.
I bet you saw this question coming. Could you tell us something about your lyrics? I've used a translator on some of your track titles and I've noticed that many of them have political themes (anti-capitalism) and spread a message of anti-media and anti-ignorance, am I correct with these interpretations?
Semih Aksi > Our lyrics dealt with issues such as capitalism, manipulation, ignorance and other issues that are in a way linked to each other. Some of the lyrics were a lot more general while the others were more specific, but what was common is that they were all very direct and to the point. They were never preachy but questioning instead, and somehow catchy.
We all have to make concessions at certain points: you need to buy gasoline from a multinational corporation, one might even have to work for one of them to survive, but just because “we have to” compromise in certain occasions doesn’t mean that is “how it goes” or supposed to go, if you catch my drift. And more importantly, the fact that we are trapped in certain areas, so to speak, and have to cope up with it doesn’t justify the cruelty and inhumanity of capitalism. That was the attitude we generally had with the lyrics.
On the other hand, unfortunately, we could go only so radical with the lyrics since otherwise they wouldn’t represent the attitude of every single person in the band but would be hypocritical.
As a follow-up, a lot of the bands have clear statements of the things they're against of. But, what are the things you're supportive of and rooting for?
Semih Aksi > First and foremost, we always believed that the underground scene is supposed to be as capitalism-free as possible. Anything beyond that is just details or personal preferences. I personally believe that there is no hope for a better future whatsoever but this small community that we have has proved to stay strong without having to be a part of the capitalist system, so why ruin it now?
I've understood that you're a very politically aware person. How are things in your home country, are there something you're hoping that get more attention or more questioning going on? What kind of an image do you have of Europe's future in general, are things going for the better or worse?
Semih Aksi > There is a radical change going on in and around this land. Basic human rights are long gone and nobody dares to oppose. To be more specific, demonstration is an illegal activity, anyone who is involved in any political opposition has no right to be defended on a legal ground, any political activity is considered a terrorist action therefore radical regulations apply (around 3000 students are now in jail and more of them are kicked out from school), the government and the media intentionally causes conflict between different communities, agriculture is being killed by EU, the entire land has turned into NATO’s arsenal, many and many ethnical and political pogroms are still a mystery, the new generation of kids are taught to be radically religious, even the “official” unemployment rate is above 10 percent, taxes applied to domestic firms make them impossible to survive in the free-market economy, being the #1 client of IMF with an external loan that has doubled in last few years etc... So, it is obvious that the collapse is just down the road.
The worst part is, since almost the entire media is owned by those who have bounds to the government either politically or financially and those who are not a part of this alliance are either assassinated or arrested (yes, it is THAT easy), they are able to justify their actions over a night and last couple of generations are so raised to be easily manipulated that people are almost literally blinded by the media and consumerism. Even the foreign media somehow manages to make these look like progressive changes, which clearly proves that they are in this game too.
These are just the facts off the top of my head to give you a general idea.
I know all these may sound similar to the situation in Europe or pretty much anywhere else in the world and it actually is, in a way. The difference is the intensity of the change towards the police state, i.e. while the right to squat is cut off in certain states in Europe, Turkish people are no longer allowed to demonstrate and around the same time thousand people in Syria or Iraq could be killed over a night and nobody would care. So, the bottom line is, the circle seems to be getting narrower all around the world, but in different proportions.
That being said, I wouldn’t say that I am a really politically active person or a real threat to the system at all. I wouldn’t be here and talk to you if I were. Every single person who is a potential threat to this dystopian counter-revolution is now being tremendously oppressed in Turkey if they are not already in jail for no official reason. In fact, even though I strive not to be, I would say I am rather a conformist; all three of us in the band were, to different degrees.
To my understanding, Sakatat is a fairly well known name in the grindcore-underground. Has the eventual "fame" surprised you? I'd assume it doesn't show a lot in the record sales, though, since a lot of people get their music as online downloads... which brings a question to my mind: what is your stance on music piracy and official digital-only releases?
Semih Aksi > It has become way too easy to record and release music so anyone with a couple hundred bucks and a computer can put out a couple hundred copies of records just for the sake of doing it. So, I think majority of records that are being released don’t deserve the pollution and waste of resources that they cause and that may include some of our records, too. So, I am glad that people are now able to listen to a record before they buy it so they can decide whether or not that particular record is worth 5 euros of their income and that, hopefully, will lead bands to think twice before they waste more natural resources solely because they can.
There is a new generation of fans out there who have never dubbed a tape nor photocopied a fanzine, so you wouldn’t expect those people to leave the comfort of their computer desks and go out to buy a record, which has no value in their world. It is a fact that illegal downloading is a burden for many bands that rely on record sales but in my opinion, this is just a transition process. People will eventually realize what their actions cause and a new era of music “industry” will start. And hopefully by that time, we will only have the bands that are in it for passion only left.
That being said, there is still a good deal of die-hard music fans out there who are willing to INVEST their hard earned cash on bands that they support. So, if a band’s “target market” is not those who value and understand good music, then they have no right to whine if they ended up with 450 of 500 records they pressed anyway.
So, the bottom line is, I am not against digital downloads in that sense, although I think listening to a “file” is rather absurd (even though I realize that it is the future of music, at least partially) and I personally do not download any music but still spend all my extra income buying records and going to shows.
As for the first part of your question, the underground grindcore scene is such a small community anyway so it shouldn’t take a long time for a half decent band to stand out anyway. We have put out a good deal of records and toured actively between 2008 and 2012; even though we were never on a big label or anything, we were quite active in the D.I.Y. community, so I could see that we would eventually be able to spread the name.
Your releases' visual side tends to be really dark, morbid and at times really filthy, like your logo is. A big part of your visual side is traditional-looking and hand-drawn, too. Was the releases' visual side of great importance to you? At least you don't seem to be a fan of computer-generated graphics, heheh.
Semih Aksi > I think it took us a while to find our “default” imagery, as far as record covers are concerned. So, we kind of experimented different things like using photos and drawings along the way. After all, first half of our existence was nothing but a learning/experimenting period anyway.
Ever since we figured out what we wanted, we aimed for the music and imagery (which coincides with the time we recorded the split 7” with MESRINE around 2009) that would make one feel kind of desperate, helpless or trapped, so that was what we needed the cover artworks to reflect. After all, we didn’t want SAKATAT to be a good times’ band or a party band but the sonic equivalent of our lyrics that were mainly about facts or events to worry about.
Although we had some really great artwork by really talented folks (namely Irwan, Didi, Putrid and Mert), personally I think photos fit our concept better, like that one on the split 7” with DISPEPSIAA. The thing is drawings usually have kind of a “comical” feel to them, you know (i.e. the cover artwork on the split 7” with S.O.T.I.) whilst photos of real incidents have the despair and inhumanity feel to them that we’d aimed to reflect in both the sound and the imagery; not because of the shock value but because they are REAL, you know?
You did cover songs from such bands as Rot, Agathocles, S.O.B and Sore Throat. Did you receive any comments from these artists about the cover-versions you made? Are there some other bands you, in retrospect, wish you had tributed with a cover song?
Semih Aksi > We must have sent copies of those records to ROT and AGATHOCLES members but I can’t remember if we ever got to talk to the other bands about us recording their songs. So, I can only hope that they are at least OK with it, haha!
I think we would have loved to record some WARSORE, EXCRUCIATING TERROR and PROPAGANDHI covers, just to name a few, if we were to put out more records. Actually we were supposed to record one by PROPAGANDHI but we never managed to agree on the song. I can’t remember what the others had suggested but my choice was “Fuck The Border”.
You did quite a few split-releases as well. Are there any you wish would've been left undone (be it split-releases or your EPs & demos in general), or some that were meant to happen but didn't? The Agathocles-split must've felt like a great accomplishment when it came out, I'd assume!
Semih Aksi > AGATHOCLES were partially responsible for the formation of SAKATAT, so it was indeed an honor. In fact, if Marc from Bringer Of Gore (who put out the record) hadn’t offered us to do that record, I doubt that we would have bothered recording anything at all after the demo!
I think we put out a good deal of records: we could have done worse than seven split 7”s from 2006 to 2011, I guess. I think we kind of rushed with a couple of them though; especially the material on the split with CUT YOUR THROAT was played way too slow and the sound turned out to be awful and the photo on the cover of the split with MATKA TERESA was simply random which I am not really happy about. I can’t say the sound on that record turned out as we’d wished, either.
On the other hand, we should have done a split with DEATH TOLL 80K that we’d been talking about ever since we toured together in 2008 but somehow it never materialized. Well, in a different life, hopefully.
I'm not sure if I'm correct with this one, but I read somewhere that the "Lo-Fi or Die Vol. 1"-compilation was arranged and released by you, is this true? If yes, should we be expecting a second part in the future, and is the first one still available from you? Do you buy compilation-releases often yourself, or was it more frequent when you were just getting to know the genre and the underground-scene?
Semih Aksi > Yeah, putting together low-key compilations is a fun little thing I do when I have a lot of free time in my hands. I figured we could put out splits with only so many bands so I thought a compilation tape would make it possible to share a release with bands we know and enjoy.
I had printed about 300 copies of the first edition and split those within the bands, so if anyone is interested in getting one should contact one of the bands that was on the tape. The 2nd edition has been in the works for a while now and hopefully I will put it out soon. The featured bands are ALCHEMY OF SICKNESS, ALEA IACTA EST, CAMPHORA MONOBROMATA, FRUSTRAZIONE, PARALYZED SOCIETY, SKRUTA, SCUMDOGS, SPOSA IN ALTE MARE and one more.
Of course, in the age of internet, nobody needs a cassette tape to reach 9 bands as anyone could do that in seconds with just a few clicks so stuff like this may seem kind of nostalgic or traditional and “Lo-fi or Die” actually IS a product of nostalgia, in a way. It is a humble tribute to the compilation tapes that were circulating within the underground community until around the new millennium, especially “Grind The Faces of Rockstars” series put out by Bloodbath Records.
Further, rehearsal-demos and live-tapes used to be quite frequently released by underground acts, but to me it's seemed that nowadays it's pretty rare for a band to make a pure rehearsal recording. Was the plan of this compilation to pay tribute to that aspect of the past? I myself am a big fan of rehearsal-tapes, and would like to see more of them in circulation.
Semih Aksi > Well, we release tapes mainly because we like listening to them in the first place. Other than that, as you said, it is also a tribute to the times we’ve discovered the underground scene, products of nostalgia, if you will.
I actually think there are quite many great grindcore bands out there that are putting out lo-fi recordings on tapes: I recently got to know newer bands like MALPRACTICE INSURANCE, DISEKSA, GRIPE, SORDO, CHULO and many others all on good old tapes and bands like ARCHAGATHUS, VIOLENT GORGE and SMG still put out a good deal of split tapes every once in a while.
If I’m not mistaken, you used to do a paper-zine as well, correct? Could you tell us something about that? Are you currently working for some zine, and what’ve been some great printed zines you’ve ran into most recently that would’ve made an impression on you? It seems that you’re not all against webzines either, though, as you’re giving us the chance to interview you heheh.
Semih Aksi > I was lucky enough to witness the “good old days” of underground scene as I got involved in metal scene when I was a teenager and back then any access I had to anything going on outside Bursa, the city where I grew up, was thanks to fanzines and a couple of local distros and of course, tape trading. I wouldn’t have heard of mail-ordering or grindcore if it wasn’t for the very few local magazines/fanzines we had, especially this one called “Enred”.
When I was in high-school, I would contribute to a couple of local metal magazines and eventually ended up making a fanzine on my own called “Darbeli Matkap”. It was a tiny xeroxed fanzine in Turkish mainly focusing on grindcore and related genres like crustpunk and death metal. I put out two issues of that. Then I edited another fanzine with pretty much the same focus called “Impact Drill”, this time in English language. As my capability to write in English was really limited, the first couple of issues I did really sucked. As soon as I improved my knowledge of the language at university, I gave it another shot and managed to put together a third issue which turned out quite decent. That was around 2006-2007. As soon as the band got active, I figured going out and doing things was a lot more fun than sitting home and writing things, if you know what I mean. But yeah, I could say that I did my share of stamp-licking at some point.
I have to confess that it took me a while to get to used to webzines and I gotta give credit to sites like Braindead and Nihilistic Holocaust for making that transition somehow possible. But this whole “blog” thing is still really new to me. I set up an “RSS reader” only a few months ago and started reading some webzines and mostly music-related blogs.
Even though I think that webzines seem to fit today’s standards better, I think print-zines are still relevant, if not as popular as they were until almost 10 years ago. I always have a fanzine or two in my backpack or back pocket so I enjoy reading them whenever I get the chance. Unfortunately I haven't been able to keep up with ‘zines since last year as I haven’t had a stable address to order them to, but among those I got I really enjoyed Convivitial Hermit; although 50 percent of the content didn’t appeal to me, the other half made up for it.
As a follow-up, what kind of bands have you been into recently? Have you ran into any superb grind-groups, or have you been listening to something else entirely?
Semih Aksi > It is always a goulash-like mix in my place as far as record spinning goes. Lately, I have been listening to MOURNING CONGREGATION, the new 7” by this dark hardcore band from Canada called CRUSADES, new THE KILL album, the new LYCANTHROPHY Split 10”, a female fronted crust/punk band from Brazil called NO REST, this really unique indie-rock band called HOP ALONG in addition to a lot of THE HELLACOPTERS and a long line of new grindcore 7”s that I always have a decent supply of to choose from.
We now approach the more or less sad part of the interview. As of early 2013, Sakatat is dead. I understand if this isn’t a public matter, but I’ve still got to ask: what were the reasons that led to you laying Sakatat to rest? Is this a final decision, as in that the band will never resurrect?
Semih Aksi > We had one of those rare band-meetings as we met in Ankara to record the new material for the split 7” with MATKA TERESA, so I guess that is when the idea to break up was brought up. That must be around Spring 2010. The plan was to release the album in Spring 2012, tour extensively and that would be it. The reason was simply because it somehow felt like the time has come.
I hate it when my favorite bands start sucking balls or just can not top their previous records and I respect it when they decide not to make new records unless they are satisfied with the result (i.e. BOLT THROWER) or call it quits as soon as they feel like it is time (i.e. THE HELLACOPTERS). What we did with SAKATAT was that we played the music we enjoyed ourselves and wrote the lyrics that appealed, first and foremost to ourselves. So, when we felt that the album was complete enough both musically (whatever that means) and lyrics-wise, there was no reason not to make it our last record. I don’t know if I am making this sound more complicated than it should be but this is the story.
The only thing that I regret about break up is that we couldn’t tour as much as we’d planned after the album was out. We’d almost booked a one-month Russia/Baltic tour and a Western European tour was in the works, too. Then there was Asia. But some of us decided that they would rather come back home and “settle down”, so we had to respect that.
Fuck, we should have toured more!
Are any of you going to stay active within the grindcore-scene, either as musicians or by releasing or promoting others’ works? Do you currently have some other active bands or projects going on?
Semih Aksi > Yes, definitely! We’ve been booking gigs in Turkey for a while now, so we are planning to keep doing that and hopefully host kind of an annual festival with as many bands and activities as possible. Last weekend we had WOJCZECH and ATTACK OF THE MAD AXEMAN to play in Istanbul and nearly 100 people showed up which made the future look even brighter. You can learn more about our booking collective and our activities at www.atomkule.org.
I would really like to start putting out and promoting grindcore records again as there are really great new bands out there that I think more people should find out about and I’m pretty sure at some point we will have new bands too but that seems unlikely in the near future as we are all busy with our jobs. Also, it is really nice to take a few years off recording/touring and just enjoy and take some inspiration from all the great new records anyway.
The first and last Sakatat-release you consider to be an album, the eight-minute "Bir Devrin Sonu," was released in 2012. What does the album's name (which translates to "end of an era") stand for, and what is the album's lyrical concept?
Semih Aksi > When we started the band, we’d never thought that we would go as far as releasing an album. As soon as it has become an option, we decided that our final live-set would be our album. So, if you check out the song titles, you will realize that some of those were also on our previous 7”s. So, that is the main concept: the album summarizes what we were all about as a band.
The album title refers to the fact that there is no hope for a better future. I believe there is no way back from the point we have come to as humanity to reclaim the earth and life as we know it. Sure that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should give up the struggle but it is a fact that I personally consider to be true. Also the album marks the end of the band and the title fits that way as well. Of course, nobody but us was aware of that when it was out.
"Bir Devrin Sonu" is, to my knowledge, the longest studio-recording you've ever done, but it seemed to annoy a lot of people that you called an eight-minute recording an album. How did this recording differ from the rest, making it an actual album and not an EP in your eyes?
Semih Aksi > I always thought most albums are a lot longer than they should be. I mean, there are shitloads of new records coming out every day and barely any of them are interesting enough to make one listen to it thoroughly. I would rather listen to a shorter record with no fillers than 70-minutes of your average, over produced yet uninspired music, know what I mean? So, that was the logic behind recording an eight-minute album.
As for what made it an album rather than an EP, well, when your material on split 7”s are usually around 4- minute long, it kind of make sense to consider an 8-minute long record to be an album. Also, it somehow felt complete enough to be considered so. Not that the “album” tag means anything though, we never charged a full-album price anyway.
Our 7”s were about 3-4 minutes, our album had 8 songs on it that last 8:08 in total and our live shows are rarely longer than 13 minutes. Running times and catalogue prices for different types of records are all set up the mainstream music industry. So, there is no reason we should obey them. Records shouldn’t be longer or shorter than whoever makes them feel like making them.
Looking back at everything you did and accomplished with Sakatat, how does it feel now that it's over? I hope you have more good than bad memories of the years.
Semih Aksi > Things I have experienced thanks to the band have made me a different person on so many levels. Well, it is basically the interactions with the other people and different cultures that had the biggest impact but none of that would have happened if it wasn’t for the band. Also, I got even deeper into the underground scene, got to know more about how people make things work on DIY level all over Europe, played with so many great bands and had so many good times that I wouldn’t even think of otherwise. Of course, there have been bad incidents too, but we learned from our mistakes and been prepared for the next time.
I am really happy that we split up when the time was right. I have seen enough bands that should have split up long ago, so I am glad that we didn’t end up being one of them.
If we’ve accomplished anything, it is that we made people (mainly the locals) aware of certain things like having lyrics in your native language is an option that could work very well and a DIY band can still tour abroad, release records and do all that. Other than that, I think there are shitloads of other bands out there that can kick our arses any day as far as the music goes.
What made playing in SAKATAT fun and interesting was that it was all about challenges, that was our (or at least my) main motivation. Being from a country like Turkey, it was a challenge to play abroad, make people pick up our 7”s with all-Turkish text on them, tour on DIY resources and so on. So, now that we are done with that, we kind of seek a new challenge: hopefully a new band with a more radical approach.
Are there still some new Sakatat-releases or re-presses on the way? Also, where can one buy your releases?
Semih Aksi > There is a plan to re-release some of the 7”s on CD with unreleased bonus material but I am not really sure if we should waste any more plastic, so we might put all the stuff online for free download instead or something. So, we will see about that soon. Other than that, there isn’t anything coming out besides a couple of compilations with exclusive material and some low-key DIY tapes.
I think our records are still available from many grindcore distros worldwide as is, but if anyone is having a problem finding them in their area, I would recommend contacting Bringer or Gore (Belgium), Grindfather (UK), Everydayhate (Poland) or us.
The interview is nearing its end. Is there something you'd like to add, advertise, ask..?
Semih Aksi > I would like to thank you for this interesting and fun interview! It has been really great to have done this and cover some of the issues that we hadn’t had the chance to talk about before. Also, I am really glad that there is still some interest in the band even though we are gone for good.
If anyone out there would like to hear our record, it is available for free download on our own web-site and physical copies are still available from Bringer Of Gore Productions and Everydayhate Records on single-sided 12” vinyl and CD, respectively.
Also, I would like to encourage other bands, ‘zines, distros, promoters and whoever to get in touch for record trading, booking help in Turkey and whatnot.
I humbly thank you for your time!
Semih Aksi > Thanks again! Fuck the borders; long live the international anti-capitalist DIY community!