Rain To Rust is a solo project out of Turkey that can easily blend into various genres. With one album and a single released thus far, this project exudes post-punk, new wave, rock, dream pop–and even goth elements–that are sure to delight the listener. Because it feels so well put together, so clean, one can become very easily drawn in to this dark, well-constructed sound.
From the album release, Flowers of Doubt, favorites of mine include tracks “Burnt To Light”–which has an atmospheric, entrancing feel as guitar and vocals seem to glide effortlessly, and “Drinking The Ghosts”–which reminds me of a more upbeat new wave tune reminiscent of the 80s. This album is well put together with each song giving just enough variety in it’s sound to keep the listener interested, and to prompt them into listening again and again.
Since I’m the type of writer who likes to learn from the source more than presenting my personal take on things, I asked Mert (the force behind Rain To Rust) a few questions:
1. What were your artistic influences as a child? And how early did you realize music was your passion?
Mert: I’ve had the advantage of having a brother who is 11 years older than me. He was my role model so I would obsess about everything that he would be into. One of these things was music, so he would play me all these bands, Duran Duran, Queen, Spandau Ballet, later on metal bands, Maiden, Priest, Twisted Sister and so on, and I would obsess about every one of them. He was such a strong presence on me though, almost like a music-police, and he would boss around and tell me what to listen to and what not to listen to. When he finally left home for his college studies, I was free and I started to discover music on my own.
That being said, I didn’t fall in love with art through music, but cinema. I saw a movie by Turkish director Ömer Kavur (with script written by world renowned writer Orhan Pamuk) called “The Secret Face”. Up until then, I didn’t know anybody could create such mysterious and strong emotions through any kind of art. The movie also had great ambient soundtrack. So that was the experience that taught me to look deeper into all kinds of art, including music, and made me want to create my own.
2. Do you have any other artistic interests or other types of projects you like to work on besides music?
Mert: I do analog film photography – mainly black and white. I use battered old cameras, usually with DIY filters. The photos on the cover are all mine and I’ve shot them specifically for these songs. I also do a bit of painting and illustration but I’m never a pro. I write short stories here and there but the main thing I’ve done besides music is music journalism. I wrote for a lot Turkish music magazines, made a lot of interviews with artists, bands etc… but a couple of years ago I decided that I would concentrate more on music so I write less frequently nowadays. Besides Rain To Rust, I play in Dahakara, The Hollow Dolly and I had another solo project called Rhythm 0 which I terminated last week.
3. About how long does it take for you to compose and record a song until completion? Is there a special process in that effort that you would like to share with us?
Mert: I grew up listening to full-length albums, in fact I “lived in” them and my obsession is to create my own full-length albums. To me, it is much much more interesting to work in the context of an album instead of a song, a much bigger canvas if you like. An album can still be a collection of songs / smaller pieces but you can tell a deeper story when you tie those smaller pieces back to back, like a movie or a novel.
Some of the musical ideas in “Flowers Of Doubt” are new, whereas some go way way way back: I’d written the music for the song “My Demons Drive” when I was 15 years old, never used it. Years later, I felt this album needed such a song with such a lyric, so I brought those melodies back from their grave, came up with a couple of lines and 15 minutes later, I’ve had the song.
To me it was more important to make an album that went through certain moods, followed certain themes, had a specific climax and ended on a specific note. Although it is not a traditional concept album with a storyline, the album is about fear and dependence and that links the songs together. I knew the first track was going to be “Flowers Of Doubt” and the last track was going to be “For When It Hurts”, I just needed to find the in between pieces so the listener would drift the correct way from the beginning to the end.
It is a shame that the album format is dying at the moment though.
Article by Veronica Campbell (copyright 2019).
Interview published October 26, 2019. Not for use by other publications without permission.