Moğollar celebrates 53rd year with new album
Moğollar, which is one of the pioneering and most famous Turkish rock music bands that has never left the limelight since the 1970s, is bringing together their works once again in a special project called Anatolian Sun,” which will be released both digitally and in two separate albums in vinyl format after 11 years.
What makes the album stand out is the fact that it was recorded live in one time without any editing and directly on vinyl. “Anatolian Sun” will be released by Gülbaba Records and Night Dreamer Records.
The album was produced by Murat Ertel from the group BaBa ZuLa and will be introduced to the audience around the world via the British Night Dreamer Records. The album is also the first studio album, which the band recorded with drummer Kemal Küçükbakkal after former drummer Engin Yörükoğlu’s death in 2011.
In an exclusive interview with Burak Abatay of BBC Turkish, Moğollar spoke about the history of the band, how it is progressing today and what lies ahead in the future.
How did the idea of the “Anatolian Sun” come up?
Taner Öngür: The idea for this album came up upon the proposal of the British production company Night Dreamer Records through Murat Ertel from BaBa ZuLa group.
Serhat Ersöz: We selected the songs in line with Ertel’s recommendations. We tried to produce songs of the band’s with its own genre.
Cahit Berkay: Since this album will be released abroad, we wanted it to offer different sections from our 53-year-old history to someone who has no idea about the Moğollar. For example, a music lover from New Zealand, who has never heard of Moğollar’s music in his life, will successfully pass the “introduction to Moğollar class” after listening to these two albums.
Kemal Küçükbakkal: Our priority in choosing the songs was to reflect the history of Moğollar in the best possible way, but some technical reasons were also decisive. For example, for the sound quality to be of the highest quality, one side of the record had to be between 15 and 18 minutes. Keeping this in mind, we determined the length of the songs and their order in the album.
Is it possible to describe this as just “nostalgia?”
Öngür: Of course, it’s not just nostalgia. I think it is also a confirmation of the motto “from local to universal.”
Ersöz: Personally speaking, I would not describe it as nostalgia. Because even if there is nostalgia, it is our nostalgia. Because of repetition, the search to produce something new is made in almost all music genres in the world, including the popular music. This has caused listeners and musicians to turn to sources other than their geography and genre.
Berkay: This is a process that begins with the introduction of the Internet into our lives. Thanks to the digitalized music, it was very easy to reach any album and song.
Did this repopularization have a positive or negative effect on Moğollar?
Öngür: I can say that it has a positive effect. We observe that the interest in concerts has increased in recent years.
Ersöz: We continue to do what we have been doing for years; more precisely, until the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hard to say that it has a negative or positive effect on us, but we are away from events such as concerts and festivals due to the pandemic.
Berkay: Frankly, it is not something I feel a lot in my daily life. However, it is obvious that it has an effect on us that we made such an album. Maybe after the world gets rid of this virus, we will tour the world and see its impact. We can take revenge for staying at home for such a long time only by going on a world tour.
There are opinions that you already deserve to be world famous. What do you think about this?
Emrah Karaca: I think the Moğollar should already be world famous.
Öngür: Being famous should not be an important priority, the important thing is to make the world listen to our work. That makes me happy, not fame.
Berkay: We are willing to be denied what we deserve but just don’t give us something that we don’t deserve.
How did the deaths of Cem Karaca, Barış Manço and Engin Yörükoğlu affect the group?
Öngür: All three of them were our dear friends. Their death is a great loss not only for us but also for the country. But life goes on. Our duty is to keep them alive with their songs.
Küçükbakkal: Unfortunately, as I joined the group in 2012, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet any of them. But they are with us on our every journey, every concert and every conversation.
Karaca: Engin was a very important part of this team. To have known him and to have shared the stage with him was very precious.
Berkay: We gave our first concert on Dec. 6, 1967. Let’s also mention our vocalist Aziz Azmet, who died two years ago. Engin kept the ticket for that concert. Losing Engin was of course very devastating for me. We were not only groupmates with Engin but we shared life with him. Engin took a piece of me when he died. Likewise, so is Cem. We worked together with him for a very long time. We worked with Barış for a short time. But in the end, it would not be wrong to say that we are the children of the same neighborhood with all the musicians of that period. As much as we can, we try to remember these four names with the songs we made together.