NTV Gece Gunduz / 31 Jan 2013
MaNga was on NTV's prestigious art program "Gece Gunduz" (Night&Day) on Jan 31st. The location was İş Sanat Cultural Center, where will be the venue of Feb 7th maNga concert. In fact, this interview is mostly about the Feb 7th concert. The host was charismatic Yekta Kopan who is also a close friend of the band. Efe was not there with the rest of the band.
İş Sanat acoustic concert series is very prestigious for the artists. Before maNga, Sila, Şevval Sam, Candan Erçetin, Duman and Aşkın Nur Yengi took the stage of İş Sanat. Now it's maNga's turn to take the stage here on Feb 7th.
The whole concert will not be in acoustic form. The half of it will be acoustic and the rest will be the usual regular electronic set up of maNga.
First of all, the host Yekta Kopan asks about the feedback of the 2012 album "e-akustik".
Ferman: The feedback on it was very good. We always put great emphasis on "e-akustik" being just a project, not the new style of maNga. Some people didn't understand what we were trying to do with "e-akustik". But in general, we got rave reviews about it.
Yekta: You have originally an eclectic sound and you like to go to extremes with your music. You didn't feel stranger to acoustic sound, right? Your fans liked your acoustic form, didn't they? I liked it a lot!
Ferman: When we play acoustic for that album...um, how can I put this? When we say acoustic, people think of one acoustic guitar and drums with brushes...
Yekta: There is a saying of Paul Simon... If a song sounds beautifully with an acoustic instrument and gives the audience a good impression, that song is beautiful at all times!
Ferman: We had to add an "e" at the beginning of "akustik", because it was not a complete acoustic album. In fact, we had started with that in mind, but along the way we decided that we had an eclectic infrastructure all along and a lot of things in our minds, so it should not be only maNga acoustic, but something else and we came up with the idea of "e-akustik".
Yekta: I wish Efe would be here, too! We're having a very nice chat, aren't we?
And let's talk about this Feb 7th concert. How will the acoustic part of this concert be?
Ferman: We're gonna start with acoustic songs. It won't be a complete acoustic concert. After the intermission, we'll go back to our usual electronic set up. What we dream about is that everybody sit all together in the acoustic part and then everyone stands up with the usual maNga!
Yekta: (to the viewers) You remember that, OK? Everybody sits and everybody stands up, including me!
I have a question for Yagmur first: In this kind of acoustic concerts, it's normally very hard to set up the sound. There will be an acoustic part and then some electronic instruments will be added to the set up. Will you have a hard time with this, especially with your guitar?
Yagmur: Actually I won't have a hard time, but this is something that will give a tough time to our stage crew. This is an extra burden for them, for our tonmeister. Because they have to set up 2 different sounds in a single concert, monitors and in-ears, etc... All the levels are different. In acoustic sound, the levels are low but in electronica everything will have to be louder.
Yekta: I was gonna ask Ozgur if he will have a hard time with changing brushes to bagets.
Ozgur: (jokingly) Yes, I'll have really a hard time with those. :)
Yekta: I understand that everybody will have a tough time, but Ozgur!! He'll just put the brushes aside and take up the bagets!
Ferman: And he sits all the time!
Yekta: Yes, he sits all the time. :) Joking apart, the moods are different, right?
Ozgur: Of course. Playing electronica, you have to be louder and more brutal...The cymbals are louder...I don't use brush much. There is another baget we call "root". I use them.
Yekta: So you don't even use brush bagets!
Ozgur: No, I also use brush, but...
Yekta: So you use acoustic bass guitar (to Cem)?
Yekta: So we can say the same thing for you, right?
Cem: Exactly, but as Yagmur said, it's not a big deal for us. It's a bigger problem for the technical crew.
Ferman: And I put on a different thing here. :)
Yekta: There is a question I have to ask inevitably: What does maNga think about Turkey not participating in ESC this year?
Ferman: maNga thinks that we wish we would participate.
Yagmur: At least ESC would bring up some action in terms of music. The competition itself might be arguable. Some people don't take it seriously. But some action is good for music.
Ozgur: I understand TRT's concerns. The countries called "Big Five" have an unfair advantages because of the automatic qualification for the final. These countries take this contest very seriously so much that they send famous singers in the recent years. Turkey hasn't taken the first place since 2003 Sertab Erener due to the current voting system of 50% televoting and 50% national juries.
Yekta: Another question I had to ask is about Ankara-originated rock bands.
The dynamics of Ankara-based rock bands, the success of Ankara-based musicians in the music industry of Turkey... This success determined the dynamics of the last 20 years, including yours. What is the secret of Ankara? And is there a new rock band from Ankara you can suggest that I should follow?
Ferman: I can tell you the band right away: PLAN. They are really good and I had a chance to work with them for a song. They were the guests on my TV program. And about Ankara... You start, guys...
Cem: I think the color gray of Ankara might be one of the reasons. There is not a colorful night life in Ankara in short. It's a gloomy city.
Yekta: Can we say this, Cem? I'm not sure if you agree with me, but you have to be good at what you do because there is not much to do.
Cem: Yes, that may be.
Ferman: That's why the art is so important there. It's the only thing that you can cling on to, if you are a musician. There is not really much to do.
Yekta: But the friendly chat is something else in Ankara of course. It's a pity that I can't name here one or two place to go in Ankara. Let's go together some time.
Ferman: In İstanbul when we go to some bar to drink and come across some people from Ankara, we generally spend the whole night in a circle of constant chatting and the other friends from İstanbul say "you're like a gang, you know that? What is the thing about Ankara?". We don't know what it is, but if we come across someone from Ankara, the chat will follow.
Yekta: "You're like a gang", huh? That's good!
Ferman: One more thing... When someone from İstanbul or İzmir go to Ankara and say "we went to some place at night, it was bad and boring!". And we say "Because you don't know. If you go with us, it's something else".
Yekta: Maybe we should make a program only about Ankara some day! :) OK, I admit, I'm a chatty person, because I'm also from Ankara. We have to chat! What can I do?
The last program we made with maNga was one of the most interesting programs of Gece Gunduz history, because there was also Athena. It was right before the Soundclash. I know it went very well and it was really a distinctive concert. And you had some very special surprises at that concert. I won't reveal them now. The people who went to Soundclash know about them. Some of those surprises will be here on Feb 7th concert. Will there be other surprises on Feb 7th?
Ferman: We talked about one or two things, should we do or call for someone? But it's not certain yet, really. But the one we told you is certain.
Yekta: You didn't tell me about the other ones, huh?
Ferman: No, we couldn't tell about it even to ourselves.
Yekta: A bunch of crazy people are making a program here. So you have some matters you don't even talk about. I'll ask you something. Do you always improvise on doing things? If you talked over there and did not tell me, that means you haven't told about it to your manager yet.
Ferman: Maybe. :) We had to improvise some things about Iş Sanat concert, so this shows how much we are excited about this concert.
Yekta: (to the manager) I wish you good luck with them! On the other hand, in spite of all the progress in maNga's career, this shows your natural, spontaneous, friendly "let's!" way of doing things is still there. So, will this also reflect on the new album?
Ferman: The new album excites us very much!
Yekta: Is Yagmur the producer again?
Ferman: Yes, Yagmur has started to work.
Yekta: Is everything all right? Are the boys working hard, Yagmur?
Yagmur: I'm always trying to raise the bar, so that we can create something close to the bar. In my opinion, maNga is making the best album of its career right now. Maybe this sounds a little ambitious, but...I feel that way. Because we are attempting to go beyond the ordinary on this album.
Yekta: Did the producer cause stress on you raising the bar?
Ferman: In the meantime, we have to add the name of Iskender Paydaş.
Yekta: Oh, really?
Ferman: Because we are flirting with İskender now.
Yekta: I wish you happiness!
Ferman: Yagmur has just started. And İskender has started visiting us. We'll see!
Yekta: I really wish you happiness! Is there stress on you?
Ozgur: We feel the heaviness of the producer, yes. :)
Cem: Like pressure?
Yekta: Everything new creates a pressure on people, right?
Cem: Yagmur said that we go beyond the ordinary. He meant this: For the first time, we get into the recording room without planning anything and start improvising and pouring what we feel into the music.
Yekta: So you're recording simultaneously, huh?
Yekta: Simultaneous recording is very challenging for maNga's musical structure. So you're right, you have raised the bar very much.
Yagmur: We came up with very interesting things.
Ferman: Interesting. We're very excited!
Yagmur: It's going to be a little shocking for the people who're looking forward to the typical music from us. But we've been thinking about changing our formula for a long time. With "e-akustik", we had started experimenting on something new...
Yekta: Longer songs than the usual ones...
Ozgur: Other than that, this was the most enjoyable: 4-5 hours of rehearsing, and then we listen to it and say "this part is good, let's use it!". We always wanted to do that. We're like "let's put the drums here", or "that guitar riff is beautiful, let's use it!", or "that vocal line is good, let's keep it!".
Ferman: Our new studio was very effective on that. We have to say that. We'd been trying to complete our own studio for a year. We've spent most of our earnings on this studio. Finally it's been done and this was very encouraging for us. Our studio have become our Limon Bar in Ankara, and our coffee house,...
Yekta: You're trying to make me jealous? Ozgur invited me many times, thank you, Ozgur. I feel ashamed now.
Ozgur: I'm not saying anything, you see?
Yekta: My last question: An estimated release time for the album?
Ferman: We hope it'll be out before the summer.
Yekta: maNga came a long way climbing up step by step, but they never lost their amateur "let's make real music!" excitement on their first day. Good to have you, guys! Say hi to Efe from me! Take care. MaNga will take stage at İş Sanat on Feb 7th.
INCI'S NOTE: Luckily, I'll be at this concert. And of course again, I'll try to share my impressions live from the concert with my friends. Stay tuned, guys!
You can watch the full program in 2 parts on the You Tube link below: