-Hi, could you talk about yourself?
Serkan Dinç: I am Serkan DİNÇ, a.k.a HatefulKing , founder of the WITNESS Band, not only the founder but also the bass guitarist and vocal of the band. First of all, I want to give my regards to all Metal enthusiasts.
-Your band has a deep-rooted history, could you share some details for the ones who heard WITNESS for the first time?
Serkan Dinç: At the second half of 1989, We founded WITNESS Band, under the leadership of me (Serkan DİNÇ), for making Heavy Metal Music with Hakan DİNÇ and Hakan BECERİK. Although band members adopted the Crossover Thrash under the influence of DRI (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles) at the beginning, they decided on the Thrash Metal afterwards; because of the influence of Thrash Metal Bands like Tankard, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, etc. WITNESS maintain their quality level among the Turkish Thrash Metal Bands even though they were under the influence of bands like Morbid Angel because of the changing band members within the time course. WITNESS took the stage over 400 times up to the present, they established a strong bond and score with their audience, thanks to their stage performance, harsh music, and their confidence.
-As I stated before, the WITNESS band has a deep-rooted history. You guys did not take the stage for some periods within years. Through these periods, there must be a lots of member change, is there any person from your first members, who left making music or took a different tack?
Serkan Dinç: It is almost impossible to make metal music or stay in Metal Music Audience’s mind forever in Turkey. As WITNESS, we had massive changes during this difficult and thorny way. Lots of our friends left the WITNESS Family for personal reasons or because they couldn’t endure difficult life conditions even though we never thought that they will leave us at some point. For example, my lovely friends Orçun Sünear(Sattas), Cumhur Avcil(Çilekeş) and Ahmet Can Küçük(Metaroth), who died because of an unfortunate disease, are among the succesful persons from our band. There are so many people I forget to talk about, I want to pay my respects to them via you. It is a fact that WITNESS isn’t a group for posers who want to gain favour through us. So, people who tried to manipulate and gain favour through relating our mutual interest, love and passion with our audience to their names and besotted with found another band, Those people have always lost. As a result, they have found themselves in the middle of nowhere. As WITNESS, we are always here. I think it is the only thing that matters and nothing else but this matters.
– Could you talk about your demo records? When is your first demo released? Which demos released after your first demo?
Serkan Dinç: Our first demo record as WITNESS is HATEFUL FACE OF THRASH, which is released in 1992. Demo’s recording quality was awful due to difficult conditions in that period, even though it was sold at a very good rate like 800 tapes. We released THE LAST RITE better recording quality. THE LAST
RITE demo was sold at a very good rate, too. So that, we motivated to do greater musical projects and compositions. Our first two demos hit the shelves at Akmar Passage, which is known for the fortress of the Turkish metal, therefore; WITNESS Band’s popularity increased among metal audiences.
After all of that, we dipped our toes in the water for two new demo recording named UNNAMED ROOTS and BEAST AND BEST but financial issues and a streak of bad luck tagged along with us. So, we couldn’t release these albums. We released our next album THRASH COMES BACK in 2009, this album was our comeback and albums name was our motto at that time.
-What is the theme of your songs? Are there any changes within the years?
Serkan Dinç: We are talking about the facts of life, the true face of the politics, injustice, discrimination and discussing about wars that starting because of an ambition to make money in our lyrics. We talk back as harsh as we can with our lyrics and musics to people who underestimate us with their corrupted minds. And we really enjoy it so much.
-Do you still play old songs of yours on the stage or do you have new songs?
Serkan Dinç: After all, we are a composition band and we want to disseminate our beliefs to people one way or another. We continue to play our songs from the THRASH COMES BACK album as long as we couldn’t disseminate the right beliefs and do any better than old ones. We are working on new songs and we are planning to add them to our setlist.
-Nowadays some bands bring forwards their old albums/demos. Do you have any kind of recording like that, you guys can come back with it?
Serkan Dinç: I dont know those bands you are talking about. Of course, we are respecting bands that advancing this way. But as WITNESS, We prefer to bring up with our new projects rather than the old ones that in the past. After all, yesterday is in the past, we are looking for tomorrow. We find it so meaningless when people couldnt find what they hope in today and trapped in the past.
-What kind of things are waiting for us in the future?
Serkan Dinç: We have our focus on making concerts outside of Bursa and even open to abroad in the new session. We will support our new song recordings with amazing big-budget video clips. We are planning to improve not only our music but also the visuality of our projects.
-You made your last concert on 25 September 2016, How was the ambiance when you took the stage after many years? What did you feel?
Serkan Dinç: I have so many great memories on that concert. I suppose I can say it is the best concert at Bursa after so many years. I want to give my regards to those metalheads who I didnt see their faces before and feel honored to met every one of them that dont left alone and venerated us with their supports. I guess this concert created a shock effect to people who considers themselves as a rock star and have gossiping about us like old biddies.
-While we are talking about concerts already, could you share one of your memories about them?
Serkan Dinç: I can assure you, all the concerts we made up till today have left us great memories on their own. But the most tragicomic one is the concert on April Fools Day. That day, people thought we made an April Fool of them and didnt come to our concert. Luckily, we had postponed the concert and gather the audience one by one and took up our first challenge succesfully against the crowd.
-What are your advices for young musicians and listeners?
Serkan Dinç: As Serkan Dinç, a.k.a Hatefulking I havent endeavor for only metal or thrash metal. I am combining my life philosophy, beliefs and totally internalized world-view of mine with my music and Im sharing it with bros who supporting WITNESS. Of course, this cant be true for everyone, young people should know the history of their music genre, no matters what genre they are playing. They should listen different bands and their ambitions should be always improve their self. They should practice so much. They shouldnt forget they will be the ones who shape the future and they should have each others back whatever happens.
-Thanks for your precious time and for answering our questions. Is there anything else you want to add?
Serkan Dinç: First of all, I want to thank you as a WITNESS for inviting us here. Then I want to thanks the Bursa Rock City Cultural Association, Bursa Rock City Cultural Association Youth Section and especially our families and people who support us and set their hearts on us. On the other hand; My final words are for people who abuse others rights, leech off of others, oppressing other people for higher positions and speak ill behind of us without knowing anything,
“I HATE YOU, MOTHER’ F*CKERS!”
Translated by : Cankat Karatas