Interview with lead singer of Istanbul based metal band SABHANKRA,
He formed his band in Istanbul in 2001...
Tell us more about your band?
Actually "Constantinopolis" was my personel project, including some help from friends. But then I had to move my music on stage and I wanted to show people what I do live. So we formed a band with friends who play good enough. We just played 2 shows under the name "Constantinopolis". The music, more than metal, was a bit ambient and it was hard to perform on stage as it is.
Same line-up of these shows, became SABHANKRA in the end. First years we also played some songs from Constantinopolis, just to make the setlist longer. I always hated to play cover songs so it was needed for that time. But then we slowly quit playing those songs. So it became and left something very different than Sabhankra.
When did you start making music and how did you start to make metal music?
I started to play guitar -as I remember- when I was 13, back in 1998. We had a guitar at home which was played by my mother years ago, so she showed me some tricks and I got into playing guitar. I was already listening to rock/metal music so I went to a local music store and bought a B.C. Warlock because I was so impressed of Max Cavalera what Sepultura had done in "Arise".
Turkish musicians who have inspired you in making metal music in Turkey and which foreign musicians inspired you?
Pentagram (Mezarkabul) was so famous in late 90's and I was seeing their videos on TV. I also had their VHS tape so I was watching their live show all the time (before internet and youtube era hehe). But what influenced me most, was finnish band Amorphis and german band Destruction and Iced Earth from USA. I was listening to these bands a lot and I was trying to play their albums entirely. Especially "tales from the thousand lakes" shaped me and made me what I am in writing music.
Nowadays, I listen to Nordjevel, Mithotyn and Istapp a lot. Good fast melodic metal !
Where did you play concerts in Turkey and abroad?
I played in many cities in Turkey and Germany and also went to Georgia once. Nice historical place to visit with unique alphabet
How do you work when you are making album, with groupe members , with your friends or with whom you exchange ideas?
Mostly we come up with a riff (thats me or Süha). Then we record a demo and start arranging the drums, then we arrange guitars once again according to our taste. In the end I write lyrics which is the hardest part for me. I dont like writing lyrics that much, it need some special skiils which I think that I dont have. Sometimes I get help from our ex-drummer Yağız, he used to read a lot so he is good with writing.
What kind of reactions do you get from your concerts and from listeners on other platforms, do you reflect them in your words and music in some way?
Different people, different reactions... But mostly we hear good things about what we are doing. We are doing what we are doing in the end, this is what we are... The only negative comments were about the sound we had in past albums but I think those who are not satisfied with it will be ok with the next one, "from the frozen mountains"
What are your plans in the future, do you have any ideas or projects you are working on specifically about music and concerts or albums?
We just released 2 live recordings, I always wanted our shows to be shot and released professionally, so we made it this year. Also we spent a lot of time with recording the upcoming album, which will be released on Jan 15. So what is ahead is to play more concerts and get prepared for new material.
Who are the idols of world metal?
This is a hard question. There are to many good musicians to be followed. I used to enjoy a lot what Esa and Tomi of Amorphis did on first 4 albums. So I could say that they were my idols when I was young. Then I noticed how Jari of Ensiferum was playing and singing but in the end he fucked up so bad. Now Its only Chuck Schuldiner I guess..
Which is the festival you want to play most?
Wacken of course
which are the danish and nordic bands you like?
Istapp, Lost Horizon, Amorphis, Nordjevel ...
What are the Turkish bands and places you suggest to the Nordic rock fans?
We have very good bands in extreme genres. Metalium, Carnophage, Cidesphere are some of them.. We used to have many places last decade but now only 2-3 in Istanbul. Dorock Heavy Metal Club is the best for listening and watching some good musicians; and BAR RASPUTIN to drink and enjoy metal.
Which metal sub category?
Actually we don't stuck to one specific genre. We listen to thrash and black metal mostly so the material we write are mostly between these two. The last album is much closer to melodic black metal
but also with folkish tunes.
Savaş SUNGUR - Vocals & Guitars
Süha KOZBEY - Guitars
Gürkan YÜCEL - Bass
Rıdvan BAŞOĞLU - Drums
video og new album "from the frozen mountains"
Following two live videos in 2017 (“Live at Roxy” and “Headbangers Weekend ‘17” both released also on Cassette format by Dead Generation Records) group again entered studio and completed recording their new album “From The Frozen Mountains” which will be released by Metalism Records on January 2018.
2002 - The Sudden Death
2003 - For The Empire
2006 - Powercraft
2008 - To die For A Lie
2010 - Our Kingdom Shall Rise
2011 - Swords Of The Night
2014 - Seers Memoir
2016 - Revenge
2017 - Live At Roxy
2017 - Live At Headbangers' Weekend '17
2018 - From The Frozen Mountains