A Fresh Breeze: WVS5 YEAR(S) AGO
Hello! In this interview, I will introduce you WVS, one of the popular bands of our university. Despite having been founded only a year ago, WVS has already made it to be featured on popular music channels. I believe it would be appropriate to get to now the band members more closely before passing to my questions.
The band line-up is comprised of one lead-singer/guitarist, one bass guitarists and a drummer. Ege Balkız on vocals and electro-guitar is joined by Yağız Baytaş on bass guitar and Can Kaya on drums.
Ege, who has taken the first step for the founding of the band, in fact, studies at the Department of English Language and Literature, and he has been involved in music for 9 years, writing his own songs and recording them. Even though he has tried to start bands for many times so far, he has never been able to maintain a lasting project on account of various reasons. WVS, which he founded in summer 2016 with his childhood friend Yağız, is now the apple of his eye.
Yağız Baytaş, a senior year student of the Department of Materials Science and Nanotechnology Engineering, is a childhood friend of Ege, and in fact, they have been performing music together for some 7-8 years. He did not turn down the last offer from Ege, and he happened to be a co-founder of WVS with him. He currently continues playing the bass guitar in the band.
Can studies at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and, even though it is only his second year at TOBB ETÜ, he seems to have rapidly accommodated himself to both the university and the band. He has been involved in music for 8 years, and his stage experience has helped him to easily adapt to WVS, which he, in a figure of speech, got included belatedly.
- Hello! Thank you, first of all, for making time for this interview in your busy schedule. Now that we have made ourselves familiar with each of you, could you tell us the details about the your course of banding together? And also, could you tell us about the story of your band name, WVS?
Ege: As I mentioned, we had attempts to start bands with Yağız and several other friends, but none of those attempts ended up becoming long-lasting projects for a variety of reasons. I was feeling the urge to somehow express my fondness for music and to share it with other people. Therefore, even though my previous attempts had failed, I made an offer to Yağız with a view to give it one more try in order to accomplish the goal that I had set for myself, and Yağız did not turn down that offer. I was already writing songs constantly, so we had no trouble with materials; all we needed to do was to come together with our band-mates and to create good works. Even though 2 other people had joined me and Yağız in the first place, we, later, had to go on our separate ways due to various reasons. Last June, Can joined the band.
Yağız: Our intention was to create such music that would comfort and refresh and give peace to the audience, and the first notion that occurred to our minds, which reflects such sense of freshness and peace, was the sea; and thus, WVS was derived from the word "waves". Maybe the fact that we spent the whole summer in Cyprus also had a share in it. (laughters)
- Even though your presence on the social media is rather new, your music receives interest from all over the world. Were you expecting this?
Yağız: We aimed really high when we started this band, and it makes us happy to get so much credit in such a short period of time. Moreover, the fact that this achievement has not been contributed by any advertisement or social media PR effort gives us confidence since people display their appreciation only by listening to our music and sharing it their social circles.
Ege: I, personally, have great dreams and high aims for myself, I like what I do, and I want to move ahead and continue doing it professionally. No matter how big I achieve, it will never satisfy me but looking back and given for how long we have been playing together, I can say that where we are pleases me.
- Our university has a busy schedule curriculum-wise in terms of both the cooperative education and the regular semester courses. How do you make time for music?
Can: For me, it is not a rare incident that I go to class with only 1 or 2 hours of sleep, which is really not so cool; but looking at what we have accomplished, I just forget about all that fatigue and hard times.
Yağız: I currently do cooperative education. It is particularly exhausting to work between 08:00 and 18:00 and to head to the studio for a practice session of 5-6 hours after that for 5 days a week. It is really hard to keep up. During the times we record a material, it can really mess with your psychology to go to the studio after work, do recording until 1 am, and then to head home to go back to work by 08:00 the next morning. Even though the first couple of hours we spend at the studio helps us to let off the steam, the re-takes, which have to do afterwards, inevitably lead to headaches and what we call studio-fatigue.
Ege: It requires a lot of sacrifice to maintain the balance between the school and the music. You can easily get lost on the way. At that point; meeting the basic requirements on both sides, focusing on what you like doing and moving ahead bring satisfaction and happiness also personally.
- Where do you foresee your band in a 5 year’s time?
Ege: I hope that we will have signed for an album with a big label company, and the obstacles before us, financial or otherwise, on our way to deliver our music to masses will have been removed. We are currently making and will continue making our best efforts to that end.
- Recording your material, releasing an album, public relations... All of these require a certain social circle as well as funding. Do you see any support from the people around you in that aspect?
Ege: Financially, the only supporters we have are our families and ourselves. Though, we would certainly like to find some financial support in order for us to be able to continue making our music and for expanding our audience, which would certainly motivate us in a further extent to carry on doing what we do about our music.
Yağız: I spend almost all of my earnings from my cooperative education work to cover the financial needs of the band. Even though there are times that Ege and I have to feed only on pasta and bulgur pilaf the whole week (laughters), we are and will be prepared to make any sacrifice that it takes to move our music to a better point.
Can: We were very happy to receive the support of our friends and the university council when we recorded and released our initial materials. Thanks to them, we attained a certain level of recognition among our friends at the university. Though, as Ege said, the more we get support from our university and our social circle, the further we get motivated.
- How does your creative process progress?
Yağız: The skeletons of a vast majority of the songs are created by Ege, and he, then, shares them with us, and we try bring in our input to improve them. It could be challenging to focus on the same song alone; one can miss certain points or might not even notice them in the first place. Therefore, we all contribute to the creation of the final versions. When Ege gets stuck, we step in and try to complement the missing parts.
Can: It would be fair to suggest that our songs are the products of a collective effort. Each of us approaches a track through a different perspective, we can, thus, contribute in many different ways, which enables us the create the final perfect version.
- Are there musical periods or artists you consider to be influential on or inspiring for you?
Ege: Good music is good music. Mostly, we try to keep our ears open for good music without discrimination. Each genre has its own values. Besides that, of course each of us has his own style. I think we reflect those styles to our music, instinctively.
Yağız: The range of genres and artists that we listen to is fairly broad. We can derive inspiration, even unexpectedly, from anything. The music we create is somewhat the distillation of what we have accumulated in our minds and souls throughout the years. No matter we mean for it or not, the traces of the music we have so far listened to surfaces on the music we create.
- Lastly, what are "THE MOST"s of the band?
Yağız: THE HASTIEST of the band is Ege. He gets carried away quickly about the events, and he has a low tolerance for mistakes. (laughters)
Ege: And when I get carried away or fail in crisis management, Yağız steps in. The MOST mediator of the band, I think, is Yağız.
Can, on the other hand, is the MOST worrywart; he is always worried about things to be done. (laughters)Can says that it is a part of his personality, and that he can hardly understand how Yağız can remain so MOST calm about the events.
Interview Credit: İpek Aksel - Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design
Photo Credit: Şule Demir – Department of Psychology