Zifir is the first Turkish extreme metal band that I have encountered. With the addition of drummer Nursuz, completing the band’s lineup in 2008, the band released their second full length album earlier in the year. We talk to the band to learn more about them and find out more about the metal scene in Turkey…
Zifir was founded in 2006 by Onur Önok and Onur Sülen. Debut album You Must Come With Us was released in 2007 and after the release of album band had started working for the second album and during this time Nursuz had joined the band on drums. With the new line up second album Protest Against Humanity was recorded in late 2008.
What does the band name, Zifir mean, and how was the name chosen?
Zifir means very dark, darkest or pitch black in Turkish. Onur Sülen and Onur Önok found the name when they have founded the band. It reflects the band’s extremity and point of view in general. The name Zifir stands for negativity and darkest emotions.
On the band’s Facebook page, it states that “Zifir is a confession, about what we are and what you are.” Would it be possible to explain the meaning behind this description?
This expression is a kind of confession. To understand more you have to take a look to the lyrics in the second album. Shortly we are enemies of the god and we are in the opposite side with majority of the people. It is very clear that what we are and also what the humanity are.
When the band first started in 2006, why did the band decide to record with a drum machine instead of finding a real drummer?
In the beginning the band was only 2 people. It was very hard to find a member that will reflect our point of view and also talented on his instrument. What we always wanted was not only a member playing drums but also a warrior who will have the same ideology with us. In this process the most important thing is to have same doctrine. In the first album recording process we did not have a time to find such a member and we were in a hurry to let our poison flow. That is why we had used drum machine in the first album recording.
The band recently released the second album, Protest Against Humanity in this year. How has response been to the album so far?
The response is really very good so far. We had several good reviews from webzines and people who are dedicated. We are proud of the result that our music and band conception has finally come to a point that we have planned before. We are planning to continue to promote new album and also to keep in touch with the underground people all around the world.
It was stated that the album was supposed to be released in October 2009, but was delayed until recently. What was it that caused the delay in the release of the album?
Second one was ready when it was end of 2008. Then we had started to look for a label that can lead us to the future. You know the world was all effected by global crisis and many labels were closed or stopped having new deals with the bands. We had some contacts and deals with a few labels but things were not ongoing with the foreseen schedule. That became a big time loss for us. When we came to 2010 we found our new label and it all went pretty well.
The album is also the first to feature drummer Nursuz. How did the current line up come about?
Firstly the sound became more realistic. Also the addition of the drummer let us to give more feeling on song writing and compositions and that made drums more effective. It made our feelings to become reality much more easier. This is only the thing about technical ways. On the other hand this made the band much more stronger in ideological ways. With the addition of Nursuz on drums the trinity had been completed and the band found its real identification.
The music on Protest Against Humanity is cold, bleak and depressing at the same time, with songs such as Most Bitter Enemy having moments of chaos on them, further emphasizing the mood of the music. What were some of the inspirations that were drawn when writing the music? What was the songwriting process like for Protest Against Humanity?
There are 9 tracks in the new album and we can explain the theme as follows; first 4 songs are about the conflicts of humanity and the struggle within.In another hand, more individual themes. So these 4 songs are more depressive and consists more chaotic sound. First song is about a hopeless vicious circle. 2. Song is about suicide and in islam suicide is forbidden and one of the biggest sins so we praise it. 3. Song tells that hope is our bitter most enemy and it rots our soul, it believes non existing things like god and weakens thy self. 4 song tells that our only salvation is dead to escape from meaningless beliefs. Songs between 5-9 are only aggressive attacks to religion and telling the religion is a big lie and all songs are showing disrespect to religion with powerful lyrics. In the last track it is time to see your end has come and finally time to hail Satan.
Being one of the first few bands that I have encountered out of Turkey, I am curious, what is the Turkey metal scene like? What are some bands that we should check out?
Turkish metal scene is more powerful in death metal genre. There are lots of death metal bands which are really good and capable to play in big festivals in all over Europe. You can google and find about 7-8 and I promise all are really kick ass! To mention a few, Cenotaph, Suicide, Decimation, Carnophage, Self Torture…When it comes to black metal genre, sadly the point is that the 99% of musicians are muslim so they even do not know what black metal is about.
Now, with the album already released after more than 1 years’ delay, what are the plans for Zifir? Will listeners be seeing another studio release by the band anytime soon?
If we easily find a label for the 3th album, I think we will be able to release it in 1 year or latest 1,5. We are in a process of working on new stuff and composing the tracks. In general the songs are ready but we have to proceed in details much more. I think the recording process will be completed this summer and we will look for a label late this year.
We have come to the end of the interview, thank you for taking the time off to answer our questions!
Thanks for your interest in Zifir. Keep an eye to our future works and spread the malady.
Album Review: Zifir – Protest Against Humanity