The Turkish black metal entity Zifir’s most recent title is called Kingdom of Nothingness, an album that showcases the veteran team’s experience in the path of the dark arts. Not knowing much about Zifir, here are some questions as a form of introduction to the music.
Greetings, Zifir! Is it correct that your band began in 2006? Who is answering this interview?
Zifir: Greetings! Yes, that is correct. Zifir was founded in 2006 by Onur Onok and Onur Sülen. Nursuz joined the band in 2008 as drummer and now line-up is Onur Onok and Nursuz. So you have the replies from duo; Onur Onok and Nursuz.
What does the word Zifir mean?
Zifir: Zifir means “tar” in Turkish. This is mostly about the definition of the word. It describes a physical property which fits to band’s conception very well. That is why it was chosen as a band name. And for the correct pronunciation, you can hear it in the intro of our latest album.
Is it true that you live in İzmir in Turkey? Where in Izmir do you live and work? İzmir is a big city. is there a good scene for metal bands there?
Zifir: Band has origins in İzmir as founders (both Onurs) were from İzmir but currently Onur Onok lives in İstanbul and Nursuz lives in Czechia. Well, İzmir is the third biggest city in Turkey and we have pretty good metal scene over there. Most of the bands include İzmir to their schedule if they have a mini Turkey tour.
Having started in 2006, was Zifir black metal with the album You Must Come with Us (2007)? Did you already have experience in bands? What excited you about metal music when you were younger?
Zifir: Yes, the first album came out very quickly as both members left their former bands and formed Zifir.
There were many different types of music but mostly rock/metal and to be more specific black metal. Onur was 14 years old when he seen Mayhem live in İzmir, which is one of the few live concerts with the original line-up!
Did you have any problems with your family for supporting metal music?
Zifir: We did not have any issues. Actually, I have heard many bands from my mother when I was younger. Bands like KISS, Smokie, Scorpions, Alice Cooper, etc.
In 2011 there was another album called Protest Against Humanity. Did you receive support from fans?
Zifir: Yes, we had several reviews and interview in Turkey and across Europe.
Why did it take a long time for a new album? Were there reasons of economics for the delay?
Zifir: Yes, we agree that it is a little big long time, due to several issues regarding timing issue and lack of focus for completion of songs. I understand your comment about economics and it sometimes happen but that was not the case with Zifir between 2012-2016.
Recently, Turkey has had political instability due to the actions of the president. Also, the situation in Syria has motivated the Turkish government to get more involved in Syria and Iraq. In addition, the Kurdish people in the region, including in Turkey, have been wanting more self-determination. Have all these problems made it more difficult for metal musicians like Zifir to continue?
Zifir: This is only one of the issues happening in Turkey and we have this issue since the last 30-40 years before Syrian or even Gulf War. Our geography is a center of demographic instabilities and this is not something new. This affects not only music and art but the whole life in general. The reply to your question in a simple way; yes, it affects. Here, the biggest problem is that with all this bullshit happening, the country is becoming much more religious and people are having more conservative mind which leads to raising of religion, Islam. This is our biggest problem.
After all these years of Zifir, do you have experience in recording your own music at home with your own equipment?
Zifir: Yes, since our first album we record guitars and bass in home studio and drums and vox in studio as usual.
The album Kingdom of Nothingness seems like you have spent lots of time working on the songs. I hope that black metal fans are more interested in Zifir!
Zifir: Yes, it seems so far we have received maybe the biggest feedback since the foundation of the band. A lot of reviews from Europe and USA, songs were played in radios, mostly in USA, album distribution in several prominent labels in Europe and USA. One of the most important event for us was that Fenriz of Darkthrone have played our song “769” in his radio and mentioned he finds the album solid. We have received a lot of feedback from fans.
Does Zifir ever play live?
Zifir: As the band was trio and duo since the beginning, there was not a chance to play any live shows so far. But for the future, we are working on line-up.
What are your plans after the album Kingdom of Nothingness?
Zifir: Plan after Kingdom of Nothingness is to make new songs for the upcoming album and yes, we are currently working on line-up for live performance. Plan is to play live in Europe, Turkey and USA included. For this, we need a lot of work to do so not easy to achieve by 2018.
Do you have any other news?
Zifir: We just would like to thank you for this interview!
What can black metal fanatics do to support Zifir?
Zifir: You can have our album via labels (physical copies) or via Bandcamp (digital). The album is also available in all digital platforms like Youtube, Spotify, iTunes and so on. Listen and spread the malady!
“Zifir is a confession, about who we are and who you are”