Turkish metal guitarist Demir Demirkan on how writing in English shaped his latest album, Elysium in Ashes

Demir Demirkan in action (Image credit: Serkan Danube)

Demir Demirkan has metal in his blood - and in his name. The Turkish native, who was raised on a steady diet of Deep Purple, Rainbow, Judas Priest and Yngwie Malmsteen before relocating to the U.S. some years ago, was born with a name that literally translates into English as iron iron blood (Demir meaning iron and Demirkan meaning iron blood). 

With a moniker like that, how could he not embrace his destiny as a rising heavy metal talent? “I didn’t really have to think about what career I was going to pursue,” he says with a laugh.

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Jeff Kitts

As a teenager, Jeff Kitts began his career in the mid ’80s as editor of an underground heavy metal fanzine in the bedroom of his parents’ house. From there he went on to write for countless rock and metal magazines around the world – including Circus, Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs, Rock Power and others – and in 1992 began working as an assistant editor at Guitar World. During his 27 years at Guitar World, Jeff served in multiple editorial capacities, including managing editor and executive editor before finally departing as editorial director in 2018. Jeff has authored several books and continues to write for Guitar World and other publications and teaches English full time in New Jersey. His first (and still favorite) guitar was a black Ibanez RG550.