“It’s an Ordinary Day for Kirpi, a Beautiful Day for Music”I have watched ´Kirpi´ -the band´s name meaning ‘hedgehog’ in Turkish- live on stage at Monc Suadiye. It is a music band whose members write their own songs based on human nature and universalism. They make the audience feel their sincerity through their theatrical and energetic stance on stage. Two cousins, Jeff and Jeffrey Treves, started Kirpi in 2013. Let’s get to know the band better through these two interesting cousins who come from the 90’s rock music generation.
By Iþýl AMANOEL
How did you decide to start Kirpi?
Jeff: In 2011, I was in a band called “The Village of the Blinds (Körler Köyü)”. We composed 12 songs and performed at Peyote, but the group dismantled before recording any album. Before dismantling, I felt that things were going in that direction, so I proposed my cousin Jeffrey to start a music band together. We already had a couple of songs we made together. So, we decided to go for it.
Jeff Treves and Jeffrey Treves, can you both tell us about yourselves? How did you get together with other members of the band?
Jeff: My actual job is animation. I’ve been working in Istanbul since 2009 and throughout the years I watched my career getting too commercialized. When you can’t find an opportunity to generate your own ideas, you drift off a little from the career you once loved. In music there is a different feedback compared to fine arts. Normally in performance arts you get the audience’s feedback instantly, during the performance. Also, the production process is much more fun and more social than fine arts. Since animation was already my profession, I didn’t have any financial concerns. This provided me a creative space in which I could do whatever I want. Ugur Erden was the first to join the band as a drummer. Ugur has an unbelievable devotion when it comes to finishing something he has started. After recording the album, we met Emre Sen. Emre was the final link in the band. He was the perfect fit for Kirpi with his musicianship and his fondness.
Jeffrey: I’ve been actively engaged in music for almost 20 years now. Eversince my years of college, I worked with a variety of music bands, both as an amateur and a professional musician. For many years, I worked as a freelance translator, but I kept on doing music to maintain my bond with it. When Jeff was in USA, we used to make recordings and share them online. We recorded a couple of songs together. After he returned to Turkey, we continued doing music together and eventually started our own band Kirpi.
Creating something as a group and trying to develop a common expression method with different ideas is a process that improves a person. I think genuinely that’s what we are trying to do.
How do you describe your music style?
Jeff: I am not good at analyzing styles, but if I must describe our music, saying we are doing plain rock would be less wrong. Both Jeffrey and I come from 90’s rock music. Jeffrey is more inclined towards metal and progressive rock and acoustic guitar music. I am inclined towards chill out, EDM (electronic dance music), jazz and 60’s hippie music. Emre is like us, I presume. Ugur is more of an EDM and Nu metal listener. Kirpi’s music is basically grunge and alternative rock and consists of sounds coming out of people who are inspired by all the styles I’ve just listed above.
Do you write all the lyrics? What is your greatest inspiration?
All the compositions and lyrics belong to us. When I write the lyrics, my inspiration comes from human nature and human’s way of questioning life. In most of the lyrics which are written based on our real-life experiences, commonality and universalism reveal themselves. We try to develop these concepts. Since I am very much moved by timeless novels and poems, I try to make my lyrics as timeless as possible. Of course, this rule is not set in stone but, it definitely molds our style. On the other hand, there is a certain loony theatricality in some of the songs. That loony side balances the intense and inquisitive side and mocks both life and itself. In short, while that looney side is trying to say something meaningful, it is also trying to keep in mind the ridiculousness and futility of life. Keeping futility in mind makes people feel small against the universe. This is a feeling that relieves people and lightens the burden they carry on their shoulder.
How can we follow your concerts?
We are active on Instagram and Facebook. We share our concert schedules on Spotify. You can find our songs on Spotify, YouTube, and other music platforms.
What are your next projects?
There are new songs we’re still recording. They will be released, soon. We want to give concerts in outdoor venues, festivals and university events. We especially want to perform in cities other than Istanbul. Kirpi, makes music like an embroider. We take our time. I don’t think we have entirely reached our own audience base. That’s why we want to travel as much as possible and reach different audiences in different cities. When we have the time, we plan to make new music videos. Until today, Kirpi never had any problems regarding creativity and capability. The only thing we lack is time and opportunity....