Tomorrow (Saturday 4/5), the Dillinger Escape Plan are playing a Baltimore show with Retox, Trash Talk, and Norway's black-jazzers Shining. I plan to show up and receive a megadose of awesome, and I'm betting the Turkish hardcore oddballs in Chopstick Suicide might feel a little jealous about it. A couple years ago, Chopstick Suicide exploded - sonically, not in popularity - with the violent but strongly musical Lost Fathers and Sons album. Those eight tracks revealed the trio's dedication to crafting songs and breaking shit in equal measure, and it's a treat for anyone in that particular mood.
Now the Eurasians have brought back their game with a new EP, called Captain's Poolside Stories. At 3 songs in less than 14 minutes, Chopstick Suicide lay out a clear plan for avant-garde hardcore greatness, with saxophone. No, don't run away! Their sound is familiar but filled with idiosyncratic details (vocals, riff transitions, and that saxophone) that elevate the music past interesting into straight-up enjoyable territory.
Chopstick Suicide guitarist Yagiz got in touch with us to rap about the new recording and to bitch about Turkey's heavy music scene. Enjoy Captain's Poolside Stories and read up on a band that refuses to stay beaten down.
What personalities make up Chopstick Suicide right now?
[Alican] our drummer [and I] have a long past. We’ve known each other like 10 years. But it’s not high-school days anymore. We can't hang out much. He's studying "sound engineering" right now and I have to work most of the time, because we can't make money or tour (even though we want to). Our vocalist is also studying fine arts. Besides that we are all nerds for comic books, fucked up music, alcohol, musical gear, console games, sci-fi.. etc
What have the past couple of years (since your Lost Fathers and Sons album) been like for Chopstick Suicide?
We sacrificed so much for LFaS. I remember selling my laptop in order to pay [for recording]. If you are a musician in Turkey there's always blood, sweat and tears at its best. Our friends supported us so much (and they still do). This recording was a milestone for us because we got an album deal with the Turkey's most respected indie label, Peyote Müzik. But musically I prefer our latest EP [Captain's Poolside Stories]. We played many crazy local gigs. People like our stage presence, I guess. We don't have big extreme festivals here. If we do, most of the time promoters usually ignore the band's CV and choose his/her friend's shitty band. So we always stick to the local shows. It's definitely better.
When and how were these new songs written? Why did you make the choice to release just these songs as an EP?
[We chose the EP format] because we can't afford to release this as an album nor do we have the time. EPs are smarter. We can concentrate more. Usually we can't afford a studio long enough to work on an album. Also we all have school and jobs.
I started to write those songs last year. I usually finish a song's structure then I jam with my drummer. When he comes in we usually change the structure to a better one. He and I write together. Then we add some vocal parts. Finally we record some demos. If it's ok then we are good to go.
Where did that cover photo come from? On a related note, where did the EP's title come from?
The photographer who took that photo is a close friend of our drummer. He's living in the [United] States. I guess it's from a "Burning Man" [kind of] festival somewhere in States. We loved it and he was kind enough to give permission. He's talented fella. You can check out his stuff from here: http://johnkilar.com/
The EP's title [came] from a very dim time of our band. One-and-a-half years ago, while we were all demoing this EP at our drummer's house, everytime we finished demoing we’d go to a public pool near his house [to] chill. Back then our drummer was trying to pass some exams for his sound engineering degree. He was broke. Our vocalist was trying to finish school and he was broke and I had to fullfill my mandatory army [requirement] for 6 months and was broke too. Our band was [going nowhere] and every day we discussed our lives at that pool like for a week. We are better now – I guess, like about 1 mm [better], ha ha.
Have you noticed any changes in your local music scene in the past couple years?
It's getting worse. We all know each other and we always try to support each other. There aren't many places to have gigs for extreme bands anymore. Turkish promoters usually ignore your CV and put his/her buddie's shitty bands as opening acts or festival slots. Also most of us now work now. That means more capitalism, less music.
Have you been playing shows outside of Turkey?
Only in Ukraine with Dying Fetus,Morgoth and Artillery. I tried to book some outside shows but nobody writes back. I don't know why, but I don't care because I'm gonna try anyway.
Have you gotten any feedback from people online that really shocked you?
Most of the people's feedbacks are sincere. They really want to help us, like a mother who has an autistic kid. We change our sound with every record. Those feedbacks helped me a lot.
What are your plans for CS in the coming months?
Well there is gonna be more music, more gigs I guess and we will try to survive.