Tuesday, May 2, 2017
A Ripple Conversation With Aybike And Tolga Of Reptilians From Andromeda
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?
Aybike: In my childhood i was listening my parents records such as Elvis Prestley, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra. My sister loves to listen Nirvana so i was also affected with 90's rock. In 2003 i was 13 years old, unfortunately everything i found great in music was ended in that time. I got some places that record cassettes for me. I listened some turkish rock too. I was listening Tolga's band Rashit on school service. In time i went back and listened too many old things. I selected music from soundtracks that i love and try to find their albums. When i was teenage, i understood that i don't like todays music and internet spread in that time so i reach everything i want to listen. I was more into artists life styles, i don't like artists have no life stories too much. When i was teenage first thing i found was Joan Jett, and i was 17 listened Velvet Underground and things are changed...
Tolga: I was born in 1977, and my brother was a huge Rock fan, he had a great record collection when i was a child. First bands i loved Beatles, Rolling Stones, Monkees, Animals... When i get a bit older and began to spent my money on music, I bought The Clash's "Combat rock" album sure the main reason is the "should i stay or should i go" song. And than i get into more punk music with Sex Pistols's "Nevermind the bollocks..." and Ramones was an anthem for my early youth. It goes to Dead kennedys after that i guess, ı formed my punk band "Rashit" at 1993 summer. I play 20 years in that band. I am a fan of bands like The Cramps, Suicide, Vipers, Television and Chrome...
Talk to us about the underground scene in Turkey?
Aybike: Maybe our number are less than past but we still create cool things. We helped the record company to compile the tracks in Istanbul Street Trash Compilation so these are my favorite bands from Istanbul.
Tolga: In the 90s there's a huge underground scene in Istanbul and too many diy concerts were going on. Now there're millions of bands, but not enough live acts anymore.
Aybike: Enough is never enough. Center of underground music was Taksim in Istanbul. But now the people there is changed, there's a hard pressure on us in the streets, They know that we're not people from their culture so they treat us with their starry eyes and some of them attacks with words. And our government provoke them against us. So many places that we love is closing nowadays but its not just for Turkey, everywhere in the world is like that now.
Tolga: Not enough audience just band members and artists. It seems like we support each others so morely there's an artistic jealousy and ego around us. but i think there're too many record shops for a country where no record factory exists.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
Aybike: I was raised in Adana city (Southern Turkey) where Kebab comes :) Adana is a city which has palm trees and sunny weather most of the year. I makes me more warm-blooded. Adana has always a good Turkish rock scene. But thats not enough for me so time is so slow there. When i was 18 i moved up to ıstanbul where is so chaotic, fast and fun. It gives me more passion.
Tolga: I was raised in Istanbul. Always enjoy its feeling, it gave me energy to make my music. Now we're living sad times, always changing in a bad way. Old buildings are demolished to make new ones. ıstanbul is under an attack of money greedies. So we're loosing our memories, past and connection with city culture. Anyway things are changing and nobody is listening. I think it makes our music fast, noisy and angry.
Where'd the band name come from?
Aybike: From the B-movie The Reptile. Sometimes we are getting messages from people asking that we are alien or not. One of them told us he's a hybrid.
Tolga: We're a married couple who loves old horror movies, lofi music and a bit of conspiracy theories.
You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?
Aybike: John Waters' Cry Baby
Tolga: I am always a fan of Davie Allan & The Arrows. He did really great soundtracks for teensploitation and biker-a-go-go B-movies with his bands in early 60's. I wish to make a soundtrack for a Roger corman movie.
Who has influenced you the most? ?
Aybike: Bad characters are in the movies, strong woman characters both imaginary and real.I influenced by them both musically and lifestyle ; Debbie Harry, Nina Hagen, Iggy Pop, Nico, Lou Reed, Kim Gordon, David Bowie,Billy Idol,Johnny Thunders, Joan Jett, chris Stein, Siouxsie Sioux...
Tolga: In fact too many things, books, movies, rock stars...
Aybike: We have married in a strip club in Adana and it was like traditional Turkish wedding all family members and friends were so drunk and they were making pole dancing in the club.
Tolga: When we are trying to reach one of our concerts which we are a bit late due to traffic jam. We had to run out from taxi in a demonstration that police spraying tear gas and we played when we are crying on the stage.
Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?
Aybike: I'm feeling alive when i'm on stage. It's so good that you see people are lovin your what you make.
Tolga: Its always a pleasure for me, makes me high. I loved to give the drive on my guitar and watch their reactions. This's one of the things that i'm doing that...
What makes a great song?
Aybike: its not important a song which played as hard or good recorded. its more important what it makes you feel
Tolga: For me a good guitar riff and well written lyrics
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?
Aybike: We're so free and i love that we are doing everything in our music freely and by ourselves
Tolga: Everything is DIY in our music. Even we produce our recordings. ı'm proud of i can record our own stuff. It makes us fast and free!
Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?
Aybike: Tim Presley is doing great things that i loved. Specially his "Clue" song is great so it smells a bit foxy.
Tolga: Thee ooh sees is just great.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
Aybike: Of course the vinyl has a better sound but i love spotify in digital too.
Tolga: No matter for me, A good music can be listened on every mediums.
Aybike: Gin tonic :)
Tolga: Definitely Gin tonic is our favorite drink!
We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?
Aybike: We're buying records in secondhand shops mostly. Zihni Music and Deform Music is definitely is the best in Istanbul.
Tolga: Vinyl records are getting hip nowadays and there're too many new record shops are opening, but i love to go old ones and mostly for friendship and a good chitchat ??
What's next for the band?
Aybike. For now We have new band members. Mert Akgul (synth) and Orkun Bagatur (drums) so we're rehearsing old ones and we want to record some new ones to
release on this autumn. And we're planning an European tour.
Tolga: We've just released our new 7" Ep Doomsday from Prof Sny Records (czech) there'll be some concerts and festivals in April and June.
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
Aybike: Today people lost their interests on everything, i am so happy that you read this interview, hope none of you don't stop following your passions. Stay free!
Tolga: Support DIY bands! thanks