Hi all, I want to begin with a question which has been keeping on saying for a long time. To be included in the middle of the conversation and journey: When did the train leave?
You’ve asked nicely. Now everyone has their own spiritual train. Considering the western understanding, the lie is a journey as a result. The Westerners think so; The Eastern- ers consider the event a bit more cyclical. Their train moves a little bit more cyclical. Since everybody has their own train, they tend to feel train has been missed. Especially in our country, you feel this more. You go to Haydarpaşa, the train is no longer there. Then an invention, high-speed train, arises. Acceleration; destruction. It also emerges as a romantic idea. There is an idea of train. There are wagons. The dreams of the wagons is full. We have signed this in a song. This is not such a pessimistic question. “When did the train leave?” There is an irony inside. There is something like that inside it; Behold, if the train left, it has left. What can we do? Don’t worry, the new trains always come. What contained in life is related to keeping pace with the new train. The trains are always available. They were meant to go. It is up to you; you can catch or you can’t. The theme of journey is employed in our songs a lot. We have a song named “Journey is over”. Actually, there is an understand- ing of that one journey is and the other begins inside it. The planet is also the same. Seeing that people think that the planet is restricted with themselves, this would not happen. If you ask when the train has left, I say, if there is no train, there is a ferry. As long as you won’t get into car, we are in favour of public transportation, the more people you know, the better.
When playing the songs through which the trains are passing, also mentioning the trains; I want to ask what the real train journeys means for you.
Train, of course, is a very different vehicle from the others. It has a romantic side once. As you know, according to me, it used to be more enjoyable in the past, because the restaurant and bar were available. It was good at that time; you could go and drink beer. The kith and kin gets on and fills the compartment, or the like. There was a romantic environment. No car individualism. The railway has always been special. It has a special place for us as well. I went between Izmit and Istanbul for long years. Sometimes it gets very crowded; you complain a lot, but the train is populist. It is an instrument where you stand close to the people. I see it as an instrument as well. Actually, there is no car individuality in it, no taxi individuality. When compared to the ferry, it has a brotherhood with the ferry. For example, the plane is not like that. Ferry and train are in a different place for me. The world is like that. I love Japanese, the Asian culture rather than japan. The train is also important there. Therefore everything which is popular resounds warm. There is no elitist attitude. Of course, I differentiate the high-speed trains.
Have you ever gotten on the train?
No, we refused. They wanted us to get on and ride for a concert. We said no. There should not be high-speed train, which would be contrary to its nature. If you wouldn’t watch around and enjoy, there is no difference either getting on a train or getting on a plain. The cultural heritage of the train lies there. You eat, drink, talk, sleep, read a book, watch around, and write something there. Trains already present these. I did not understand high-speed train. We have no right to make this. The Japanese have done this, it’s ok, but no high-speed train concept remains as foreign in Anatolia. Recently, everything has been based on alienation, irrational, with Mr.Spock’s word “illogical”.
The name of the first album is “Dipten ve Derinden” (From the Deep and the Bottom). The first song therein is “İstanbul, İstanbul”. In the songs of Kesmeşeker is always a narrative of İstanbul. The city is inside this narrative. Do you also believe that the cities have voices?
Of course. The name of the first album was “Dipten ve Derinden”, which then became the faith of Kesmeşeker. We have been a group going from the deep and the bottom. The ones of us who know much have known much, the ones of us who do not know have not known much. Nothing has been available atween. Istanbul was based on the place where we live, and became the album-opening track. It also became the faith of th group. The cities are so important for the group, you can see on two books I have. Because I believe that the cities have a magic-resonance. That is to say, you can love a city just for its name without seeing there. It happens to me a lot. There is a city called San Jose, I’ve never gone and seen. In the south of America. The name so creates associations with respect to how the city might be. Every name has a connotation intertwined. My name is Cenk and yours is Asya, that’s it. And human has connotation as well, the names give the preliminary ideas, so are the cities. It is about giving the meaning. Kadıköy is a district, but when we say Kadıköy, what comes to your mind? What comes to my mind is a freer and more comfortable, more democratic; a place where the young people are. The cities are also the same, the name is very important. Mankind gives a name to everything. This planet has also name. You call it “dünya”, they call it “earth”. The name is closely related to the sound. Music is a kind of magic. Frequency, when you transmit that frequency, you open another door; and also opening the door in your mind. Music has been doing this for thousands of years. This can be applied to sound, words and magic stemming from the combination of those letters.
When we look at the last period of Kadıköy, we see many immigrants coming over. There is a new appearance in question with respect to the reviving and mobilization of the streets. When you have to compare the old and the new Kadıköy, what kind of influence of this situation is on the city and, moreover, on you?
Here is a metropolis, and Kadiköy is part of it. When we look from this point, the formation of a chaos as well as the order is inevitable. Like ying-yang, black-white. If there is an order, the chaos is right opposite. I can say Kadiköy used to be more well-ordered and tranquil in the days of old. Now it is not so tranquil but, I am not a man so fan of this tranquillity about some issues. There is no nostalgic situation. When our generation comes together, saying “Those were the days of Kadıköy?” Let’s not get into this, because I disagree on this at all. Actually, it seems to me that the current youth is better. They are freer and more robust. E production is still underway in the first place. I follow the young writers, poets and musicians of Kadıköy. Thanks for their works, they do and bring. When talking about the landscape, the green became a thing rarely found, this is a bad thing however; Kadıköy is on a later point with respect to other ways. Now it has more social structure. The unknown features have emerged after Occupy Gezi. Because the real resistance occurred here. The people left here. The youth, to whom everybody is making fun and not paying much attention, showed themselves. I was quite sure that it was not exist. In fact, the centre of the resistance was here. Of course, this added more value to Kadiköy. Here is fertile area. This arises from water and weather, from that liberty structure. Here is tranquil not by its structure but by its weather. This weather feed people a lot. For instance, when you go to Taksim, you encounter a commotion. And when you come back here, you say an “Ohh...”. That’s why, when we play in Taksim, we deem it away game. Every generation has their own memories, there is no need for nostalgia here. There is expression from Tanpınar in this regard: “İstanbul districts undergoes a change every ten years, and the life goes on so.” This a very valid determination. The environ- ment changes in every ten years. A music group should leave its job every ten years. A painter passes from the red era to the blue era. The innovations should be kept up with. As long as the essence do not experience a change, then we start to complain. There is no need to be so conservative, there is enough conservatism in these soils. This an uncompromised region. I hope it won’t reconcile, this is good like this, being opposite.