YAYLA might not be to everybody’s taste but if you like your black metal primitive and emotional then you’re in the right place. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
What is the concept behind YAYLA? What is it in black metal that you find enticing?
-Yayla is a name under which I make heavy hearted and powerful music. Take it as an alias I use to make certain kinds of films. I like to call it a paradigm wherein the reflections of my thoughts take the shape of its qualities. My vision of Yayla is way beyond the style of music I play, but so in any other work of art I experience. So far the formality of Yayla has been in the vein of music that is considered to be black metal and ambient, but who knows what the future might hold. Interconnected they may be, I feel all Yayla albums are journeys on their own, thus different concepts. I like certain formal qualities of black metal which take it further away from rock music and make it closer to ambient and use them.
What kind of freedom do you experience in your creative process? Do you put limitations on what works and don’t work for YAYLA?
-Since I am the only member, I am as free as one can be. I constantly compose music. Whenever I feel a composition is closer to Yayla I gather it under the name, and explore it further into the paradigm. I have certain ideas about how I’d like to present certain works, which one can also call limitations I guess. But most of it is very hard to explain because they are abstract limitations not formal ones to which I can put names to. And their images are like birds on a fence; when I think too much about an image it flies away. When it comes to formality, I can only say I go for a more ambient approach than a rock approach when shaping songs into Yayla. Other than that, I do not put any sort of formal limitations or deviate from anything within or without.
What kind of creative process do you go through? What comes first, the music or the lyrics/themes?
-I believe that my creative processes are what one can call to be very unconscious. The order of physical occurrences depends, but everything comes together as an album. Usually some form of music comes first. But when I say first, think of it as coming from a few years back. Then some sort of concept. After that the music and concept start developing each other until they grow enough to come together as an album. The seeds play themselves in my mind until I can virtually visualize them. I currently have many compositions and concepts lined up for Yayla and my upcoming band Viranesir, but I take my time in developing and producing them. Until they are completely recorded, they keep developing in my mind, until an album is finished, they keep evolving in the physical realm.
How much does the society you live in play a part in the creation of songs? What is it like to live where you live?
-As far as I can see, which is not very far, my interpretation of the concept I see as society has not been playing a dominating role per-se. I am not very socially interested as a person, but am interested in the whole I see as society. And being a part of the vision of a cosmos I represent with my music, it certainly does play its part. I have lived in different parts of Turkey, Canada and America. I can say that everywhere feels quite the same to me. Everywhere is full of people that I feel are trying to justify their ephemeral existence through everything they say and do, and however anyone does whatever comes from and goes to the same thing for me. Unless the basic contemporary human needs are compromised, which in my case they currently aren’t, the value of where I live comes down to a matter of physical relevance.
How tough is it to do everything yourself? How much of input from the outside do you get so that you know that it works and isn’t just crap?
-Doing most of everything is not tough at all, it is more a blessing, I wish I was able to do everything myself. It’s important to me that my music is open for the hearer’s interpretation. Whether people like it and what they get out of the music is for them to say with no prompting from me. If they do like it then great, it’s always nice to hear that others appreciate my art. However, its not the focus of my work. I know if my final piece has achieved how I want it to sound. If its crap to someone else is for them to deal with. To me it fits, and I certainly don’t need someone else to tell me otherwise. In other words, I do not get any input from the outside to be convinced that my art works. I do not do it because its good for others, I do it because I feel good doing it.
If I say that YAYLA follows in the tradition of bands like Burzum and Xasthur would I be totally off?
-If one feels that way about Yayla, than it probably is for them. But if you are asking what I feel about this interpretation against my point of view, then I think it would be more shallow than off. I do not have a concept of the tradition in question here, in other words I do not get the impression that those bands have traditions. For all I know they aren’t similar, moreover I find the albums that they release vary greatly from one to the other. I listen to both those bands and really like their music, however I do not consciously try to mimic what they did (whatever it is) if that is the question. I do not want to elaborate on my views on this way of thinking, but I feel if one associates a piece of art to another for better or worse, then it creates a drawback that only they will have to endure.
What would you say has been the greatest inspiration? Where does the spirit of YAYLA come from?
-There is not one single thing that I can pinpoint as the greatest. The initial pulse does not come from easy and enjoyable things, I would say that the main inspiration is the interpretations I get from whatever I am subjected to. I can only justify the negativity that I feel through a work of art. Either through experiencing someone else’s art, or making my own. Having said that, I do not feel that the art I choose to experience or make is further torture. Rather, it is a liberation through expression, and I use it as a way of meditation out of darkness. In short, things that I cannot deal with in life become burdens, and not to carry those burdens I’ve learnt to recycle them into art. But this is the case with all my art. When it comes to Yayla, I believe it is a project in which I work with these interpretations in a relatively more out-worldly, internal and dreamy way.
Is black metal a big thing in your area? What kind of reactions do you get from the metalheads around you to YAYLA?
-I wouldn’t know because I do not hang around metal people and have never been in places where one interacts with them frequently, nor met any metal musicians. I know only a handful of people who listen to metal among other things and they are not what one may consider to be metalheads. Nobody I know seems to listen to Yayla enough to give me an opinion. I find this to be kind of bad in some but good in many ways. The idea I have on how people react to it comes from reviews and fan stuff that my label manager sends me, I think there are many varied opinions on it which is a quality I find to be positive.
What is black metal to you? What does it represent to you?
-Black metal or ambient are just words that have simple meanings to each his own. To me, it is a name, nothing more than a certain tool, like an electric guitar, or a certain style of playing, like tremolo picking. It is only a couple of words put together to vaguely try and specify a style of formal direction, it does not represent anything further. In relation to Yayla, although I might be using certain qualities of this presumed genre, it is not something that I think about my work, in other words, I do not feel bad nor good about making black metal, so much as making powerful work.
What future do you see for YAYLA?
-I see a future in which I will keep making at least an album every year. To hint further, I can say that I feel that I have completed a trilogy with Ruhizolasyon, Sathimasal and Nihaihayat and in my opinion Yayla is going to enter one of the relatively new phases in its long and slow evolution with the next album. Thank you very much for your interest in my art.