This week, we are going to present to our Rock, Hardrock, and Alternative Rock music fans such a fresh, a great band from San Francisco; KANDUR. Let’s hear the story of the band from Ilker Kandur’s own words and learn more about him, the band and their future plans.
Kandur Exclusive Band Interview
1 – Who is KANDUR? Tell us about the band.
KANDUR is a rock n roll band hailing from San Francisco, CA, formed by me – Ilker Kandur. I had the idea for Kandur but it started to take it’s shape when I moved to San Francisco. I was trying to find other like minded musicians to form a band, make a record and tour but soon I understood that it was hard to connect with other people when you have nothing to show – so I decided to take 4 songs that I’ve written over the past years, that are very different from each other and record them in a badass studio with a great drummer and an amazing engineer. That connected me with lots of people and helped me form the band, we had just a couple months to rehearse and put a show but everything worked out fine and since we released our first single in August 2016, we’ve been touring around Bay Area.
2 – How do you feel since your first album; “Fantasy” release? How is the feedback from your fans so far?
I waited exactly 1 year and 9 days after the production was done to release “Fantasy” because I wanted to do it right, and as a result the feedback has been great. I’m really grateful to all the College Radio stations who played our music and all the media outlets that covered the release and the shows – without their love and support we wouldn’t be able to reach out to fans.
3 – What does the album title; “Fantasy” stands for? Tell us about the story behind it.
Fantasy is the name of the recording studio where I recorded the album. When I learned that of all those great records that have been made in that place, none of them took the name, I decided to claim it – like Beatles’ Abbey Road or Van Halen’s 5150.
4 – Every band has their own way of writing music, what can you tell about yours?
I usually come up with riffs, melodies or chord progressions first, usually when I’m practicing guitar or walking around. I usually record them in my phone, there’s a huge library in my phone of me making guitar sounds with my mouth. I lay them to rest for a while and revisit them later on and if something rings a bell, I develop that idea into a song. Lyrics and guitar solos usually come last.
Kandur Exclusive Band Interview
5 – Tell us about your recording process, what was the most challenging factor about it? Where did you record your album? Are you satisfied with the performance?
I recorded the album in Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. For me most challenging factor was scheduling, just because I was doing this for the first time on my own. Other than that everything went very smooth just because I was working with a very experienced team. I made sure that preproduction was solid and I was prepared for everything – so that there were no surprises in the studio. I recorded every part at home and when I was in the studio I exactly knew what I had to do. Engineer Jesse Nichols knew what type of sound was on my mind and he made me achieve it very easy.
6 – How do you guys pick the subject for lyrics and songs? What Kandur is, and will be talking about, through its music?
The good thing about “Fantasy” EP is that it has 4 very different songs in different genres. But it is a good summary of what Kandur is about. If I’d do a track by track analysis: “Did You Ever” is about going to a better place and hoping others join you in that journey. “Save Me” is a song about rebelling against people who try to control your life. “Go” is an emotional song about jealousy and “Sail Away” is about having a carefree spirit.
7 – What motivates you the most in writing? Tell us about the right atmosphere.
Pressure. I can never work when I am too comfortable so pressure and deadlines are my greatest friends when it comes to writing. I like to be kept on my toes at all times when it comes to music.
8 – Who are Kandur’s influences, Which artists, bands and albums?
Well, there are a lot of influences. We are classic rock, classic metal and 90s alternative and brit rock junkies. “Fantasy” EP is very much influenced by early Foo Fighters,Queens of the Stone Age and Oasis records, as well as late 60s – early 70s rock. When you come to our shows you might get more 70s influences of ours such as Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. We have lot’s of classic influences but we also keep up with current rock scene. We blend all those influences and make them our own, and you get a real hand made rock n roll that pushes the music forward.
9 – Do you have any plans for the next Kandur record? Any information about When?
We’ve been writing new material for some time, it’s taking shape and I am very excited to share it as soon as possible but there is no clear schedule yet. Next record will be a full band record rather than just me writing and playing almost everything.
Kandur Exclusive Band Interview
10 – Why Rock Music? How did you start listening to Rock music? And what did you like about it?
I think because of my mom. She used to sing me Anatolian-rock tunes as lullabies. When I was a little kid they took me to concerts in Istanbul and I was very impressed by a concert of MFO. After that moment all my drawings were MFO shows, I was singing Baris Manco songs, making my parents turn off the lights and hold a flashlight as a stagelight for me and my little plastic pink guitar. I grew up in a great time for Turkish rock music, there were bands like Athena, Kargo, Teoman that we all listened to in my school years. Then a friend of mine gave me videos of Queen at Wembley and Iron Maiden Rock in Rio which changed my life. Me and my friends were listening to Scandinavian metal bands or palm desert rock while we were playing Dungeons & Dragons. When I started to play guitar I was blown away by the power of rock playing as well, I could take all my teenage anger and rock it. So I guess it came very natural. It always occurred to me that Rock n Roll was the culture of intelligent, cool people.
11 – What makes a music band “Great” besides music, in your opinions?
The attitude and what they bring to the culture. I always loved a complete band – with their looks, attitude and their unique view of things happening around them. This doesn’t necessarily mean politically active – in fact I don’t really like bands that are too politic. Artists should be above politics.
12 – Who are the biggest supporters in your musical career? Do you have anybody who can understand what you are doing?
My wife is my biggest support, I don’t think I would’ve had the strength and will to continue making music if it wasn’t for her. Having such a support in life is priceless. My sister and the rest of my family also supports, understands and loves what I do.
13 – Do you listen to underground rock bands? Which bands/musicians? How do you find them?
I try to support my local rock scene in Bay Area as much as possible by going to shows, I guess that’s how I mainly discover new music. Other than that if I see someone who has a good taste in music shares a band on social media, I listen to them.
Kandur Exclusive Band Interview
14 – Which bands would you like to tour the world with, if you were asked to choose? And why?
I’d love to tour with Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Alt-J, Liam Gallagher. They all release new music this year, I’m looking forward to their albums, I love their music and I think I’d learn so much from that kind of experience.
15 – Tell us about your non-rock interests, What do you do besides music? and do you also listen to other genres?
I love movies, photography and all kinds of visual arts, always try to keep my eyes open for cool stuff whenever I go to concerts, festivals or art events. California is an incredibly beautiful state and I try to find new places to go and explore.
16 – What are your Top 5 most favorite rock albums? and why?
I have more than 5 probably, but currently:
Black Sabbath “Paranoid” – Great album to listen to in every occasion.
Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” – They should teach it in schools.
Nirvana “Nevermind” – I mean.. Come on.
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Californication” – Best Chili Peppers album, it reminds me of being 12 again.
Foo Fighters “Wasting Light” – I think they perfected their sound and songwriting with this album, I love every song from this album.
17 – What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended that you did not play?
There was this Metallica show in Istanbul where the audience made that concert a memorable one, 40,000 people in a stadium singing along and performing “the wave”, it was amazing. And Metallica always puts on a great show. The first Lenny Kravitz show I went to in Kiev was really moving, he referred to Ukrainians as “my people” and it was a touching moment – even for me. And seeing him playing solos on all the instruments was really cool and inspiring. First time I saw Foo Fighters live was great, it was a moment I waited for such a long time. Same goes for Queens of the Stone Age. Also there was this free show in Kiev: Elton John opened for Queen and Adam Lambert. It was an amazing show, we sang along to all those tunes, and when they projected Freddie Mercury’s images to the screens, everybody was in tears.
18 – Tell us about the band`s future plans, any concert, or side projects?
We are starting to tour in late August and continue till we start recording again. We will have a pre tour show in Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco on July 16th. We might squeeze in a couple music videos along the way.
19 – Lastly, what would you like to say to our readers?
Thanks a lot to everyone who made it to the end of this interview. You guys rock! I hope we can come to your town someday soon to play in your favorite music venue. Until that day, listen to our music, and don’t forget to go and support your local music scene. Rock n Roll is alive and well – remember the headlines saying Rock’n’Roll is dead in the 70s. It is here and it’s happening, maybe somewhere, maybe everywhere, just go and be a part of it!