MaNga's three members, Ferman, Yagmur and Özgür appeared live as guests on TRT Haber's morning program "Haber Tadında" on Dec.23, 2012. The host was TRT veteran İnci Ertuğrul.
İnci Ertugrul: We have you early in the morning at our studio. What can we want more? It's a little early for you, isn't it? You're working late at the studio, so...
Ferman: Yes, it's a little early. But it's sometimes good to start the day early.
İE: They say it makes the day productive to start early.
Ferman: We're going to go to the studio from here. Maybe it will be a productive day for us.
İE: Welcome, again! We have synopsis of maNga today. Can we call you that? You have been working on your new album for some time, right? We heard that you would release it in March 2013.
Ferman: We plan to release it in March, yes.
İE: How do you cope with that tough process of working on a new album? Do you have inner conflicts among you? You all have different musical points of view. How do you decide on what should be better?
Ferman: There is a modern hierarchy and a fair disribution of tasks among us. For instance, Yagmur is responsible for the big part of the producing music, so in terms of music production, Yagmur guides us through. Yet, everybody has different tasks to do. We manage to distribute them very well.
İE: If you can't distribute the tasks, the bands can't last long, can they?
Ferman: I guess so. I'm not sure.
Yagmur: We reached that point after a certain period of time has passed. We're still in the process of maturing. We don't have a written contract among us. It becomes a reflex in time. We say, you do that, you do this...Some things develop by instinct in time.
Ferman: It's not very different from marriage actually.
İE: Yagmur Sarigul, maNga was formed after you were expelled from your former band, right? The sources say that you were expelled. Is "expelled" the right word?
Yagmur: (laughing) "fired" or "discarded"!
Ferman: (laughing) "dismissed"...
Yagmur: Of course "fired" is a little harsh. We separated our ways due to compromising of interests and expectations. This happens a lot in the music world. We all have experiences with other bands before maNga. We can say that incident conduced to the formation of maNga. I was after a band making its own music and in Turkish, not cover songs of others.
İE: Whatever you call it...At the end, in a group activity if you can't come to an understanding with the other members, disbandment is inevitable. So it was time for you to break up with that band and to found maNga.
Yagmur: Yes, yes...
İE: Ozgur Can Oney, you are the drummer, but today you're going to perform your part more quietly. We want to know more about what is going on at the background of the band. Because we know that maNga...OK, we know the songs, we memorized all of them like school songs. But other than that, maNga is not a band that we know everything about.
Ferman: Do you want us to disclose our secrets?
İE: Yes, you have secrets! MaNga is well-known but not so popular. How do you protect this? Maybe you don't have written rules about it, but maybe you have some unwritten principles.
Ozgur: It's going to be a common phrase, but we're trying to be friendly in a way. As you keep this friendly demeanor, yes, it doesn't last long to be popular in that sense you mean.
İE: But it's like as if you don't want it to be that way...
Ozgur: Well, since the first album was released, we have always wanted only our music to be at the forefront and still want that. We have used all our savings to create our own studio, because we knew that this would give us more freedom in terms of making music. When we were busy making this happen, it was normal that people didn't see us here and there publicly so much. Just TV programs, or albums...
Ferman: Art, art, art...
Ozgur: Art is our life...We took photos on the way here. :)
İE: This means that it's still possible to get recognized by being productive without being "popular" in that sense. This is not a "must". There is a wrong perception about that.
Ferman: But in fact it's also got to do with the personality. We don't like to share everything about us. We're happier if we can keep some things to ourselves. And we can go out more freely. We're more comfortable on the street and in the concerts. We can communicate with the audience more sincerely and closely.
İE: Your concerts are a bit different than the other rock concerts. I saw you in a concert this summer with my daughter.
Ferman: Where did you see us?
İE: At İstanbul Aydin University concert. It was great fun. You're very relaxed and natural on stage, not being arrogant. I know every singer or band has a individually unique posture on stage, but still...It's like some music genres have some cliched view of how the singers should stand on the stage.
İE: What? Am I definitely wrong?
Ozgur: You're definitely...definitely...definitely right. In case of live performance, you're right. It's the stage that we feel ourselves most comfortable. If we reflect this to the audience as much as we can , they can know how we feel.
Ferman: In fact, we barely contain ourselves until we are on the stage. We have something inside us that maybe we can't share with one another, but once we're on the stage, it explodes completely. The stage belongs to us.
İE: In yesterday's newspaper there was an article about a rock band (It was about Mor ve Ötesi). They say that the rock music in Turkey is still searching for itself.
Ferman: Every genre searches for itself. It's not easy to make music in Turkey.
Ozgur: In fact, you asked a very basic question. Actually we are still searching for ourselves or we are being forced to search. At the end, the music is a reflection of society. There have to be a search in all kinds of arts. It's not wrong to search for something.
Yagmur: In fact we are not happy about the general course of the rock music in recent years, either. There is a prototyping. Generally speaking, one of the reasons is that TV and radio channels don't play younger singers or bands much. Of course there are channels that play, but it's very hard now to distinguish oneself among others. It was hard when we've first come out, too. But it got harder and harder.
And there are other things in life besides love, separation, pain and we must tell about them, too. But unfortunately the program makers at the channels prefer to play the songs about these painful subjects, otherwise the ratings are not good. We have to expect the executives in the media world to start thinking idealistically. There is nothing else to do.
İE: The cliches pressure you, huh?
Yagmur: We always did what hasn't been done before. We tried to domesticate ourselves as little as possible so far.
İE: It must be utterly different feeling to be on stage, right? Do you see the audience? (to Ozgur)
Ozgur: Since I'm the drummer, I don't see the audience. Yagmur, Cem and Ferman see them the most.
Ferman: I see the most of them.
İE: Some TV hosts say that they see each one of the audience during a program. Some say that they don't see any body and present the program without seeing anyone in the audience. So you don't see them, huh? You're at the back, so...(to Ozgur).
Ozgur: Since I'm on the drums at the back, they don't show me much.
İE: You don't stand up and say "hey, I'm here!"?
Ozgur: No, I'm not a drummer who stands up.
Ferman: Eye contact is important. Because they come to see you live; it's unlike the albums. I try to make eye contact with the audience as much as I can. Of course it's not possible to do it with everyone.
İE: How about you? (to Yagmur)
Yagmur: I don't communicate with the audience much, because you know I try to communicate with my guitar.
İE: Is it the lead singer's task to do it?
Yagmur: Generally, yes. There might be exceptional cases but...in case of us, Ferman carries this responsibility.
Ferman: It was not that easy to get there.
İE: In Turkey, we are getting the chance to see live world famous foreign rock bands or singers in the recent years more and more. Do you follow them?
Ferman: But they come after the prime of their careers. Not all of them, but I wish we could see them here just when they swept the world with their music. We could have a different musical point of view then.
İE: I guess it's proportional to Turkey's recent economic upswing. Now it's easier to organize concerts than before. It's not only a demand in terms of music. If Scorpions would come to Turkey ten years ago, you would definitely go.
Yagmur: I was just thinking about Scorpions...
Ferman: Me, too.
Yagmur: It was great! In fact, I went to their concert at the last moment. Some friends said "come on, let's go!" and we went. Glad that we could go.
Ferman: I still can't believe they are German.
Ferman: It isn't like German music; they are unlike other German rock bands.
Yagmur: It's incredible to be at their age and to have that kind of energy on stage! It seems that they looked after themselves very well. Because they should have looked after themselves very well in order to perform like that on stage.
İE: To get the same sound...
Yagmur: It's not easy at all.
Ferman: Our biggest wish is to still be on the stage performing and be on tour at that age.
İE: We also went to that concert with my daughter and she said excitedly that it was just as in the albums with the same sound.
Yagmur: It was a great concert.
İE: This has got to do with the respect to what you do and good care of yourselves, right?
İE: Let's talk a bit about Eurovision now. You brought Turkey a second place, but you deserved the first place in my opinion. I'd like to say this first of all. TRT has announced that Turkey doesn't participate in 2013 due to some irrelevancies. How was it to represent the country? Some singers and bands try to stay away from Eurovision, but you participated and brought back a succesful result. What did ESC bring to you or take away from you?
Ferman: We don't make a lot of calculations about participating in this sort of competitions. Of course we talked about what we gain from this... Will we be able to play our music out there? Yes. Will TRT let us do this? Yes. Will we have fun? Yes. And above all we'll represent our country. There were a lot of merits and positive feedback we would get. We were sure about it so much no matter what the result was. We accepted the offer in this mentality and had great fun.
Yagmur: But Ferman had the big part of the responsibility in this process. He was the one who went to the preliminary negotiations with TRT and we had an urgent meeting. We were in Ankara by chance and we gathered in a hotel lobby urgently.
Ferman: (laughing) Secretly...
Yagmur: We can say that it was Ferman who convinced us to participate. We were a little...I mean our new album was just released then and there were some things uncertain yet. Ferman was thinking positively. We had a more cautious approach. We had talked about it that day and I remember I went home and examined my song drafts. We have a good habit. We can take action right away. We like that about us. We can become one flesh and brainstorm like "what can we do about this? The first thing we thought was what kind of song we should make, how we look and do on the stage.
İE: And you got a beautiful result. (to Ferman) Now you're making a program on TRT. It's a different format. What is it like to make a TV program?
Ferman: (laughing) It's hard. I realized it was hard. I admire all of you now.
İE: What part of that is hard for you?
Ferman: Generally speaking...There are a lot of things on the way that don't match with what you think.
İE: There are too many variables involved...
Ferman: Yes and they aren't things that I can predict beforehand, so.. Fortunately, I have a very good producer and he helps me a lot. It is hard, but at the same time it's fun.
İE: It's an interesting format.
Ferman: I'm having fun making it and I think I convey beautiful messages and music, so it's going well.
İE: I wish you good luck and keep up the good work. You're working on your new album that's to be released in March. Do you have other concert plans in winter?
Ferman: We don't have so many concerts in the near future. A few. They're going to be fixed soon. We're going to concentrate on the album from now on. Because we don't have much time. And we have a project for abroad which is an English album. We're going to work on that one, too. We're taking it more seriously now. This new year will be interesting. In fact, we say the same thing every year, and it passes interestingly.
İE: So you're saying we'll get 2 albums from maNga in 2013. Wow! And you have TV program going on.
Ferman: (laughing) If the world doesn't end...we plan to do all of them...
Yagmur: It passed now.
Ferman: You never know. Maybe we get more calendars.
İE: How did you think about that predictions?
Ferman: It was fun. It was good for Şirince at least.
Ozgur: If you recalculate it according to the Mayan calendar, two months have passed from that date.
Ferman: Ozgur studied astronomy, so...
Ozgur: According to the Mayan calendar, December 21 was two months before. And the predictions about the Planet called Marduk enters our solar system and NASA didn't see that are a bit utopian. Mayan mathematical calculations are generally very accurate but this is like some joke.
İE: Thanks very much, guys, for joining us in our studio this morning.
Ferman: We thank you.
MaNga members performed three acoustic songs in the studio during this interview: Yaranmaz Aşık, Cevapsız Sorular and Ben Bir Palyaçoyum. You can watch these songs on the YouTube links below:
Ben Bir Palyaçoyum
And you can watch the full interview in two parts below link:
TRT Haber interview, Part 1
TRT Haber interview, Part 2