Less than a month for the 9th Dark Spring Festival in Berlin, and this is a brief Q & A with its organizers, that we hope it’s a cool read. Ladies & Gents, there you go…
Feel free to tell us the story of Dark Spring Festival… How did it all start?
It all started 10 years ago from here and of course by accident, or better with a decision whose repercussions no one would have dared to guess back then. The legendary SO36 club in Berlin offered us by chance the usage of its facilities for a self-designed event. Some organizational circumstances made them offer us a quite comfortable deal and before we knew what’s happening we had a location ready for its purpose. And so we decided to invite some ‘companion-ed’ bands for celebrating a little festival, having a good time and fix the blemish that Berlin lacked this specific kind of dark wave-gothic-post punk event those days.
And although we didn’t have not even a month left for the whole organization and preparation March, the 19th 2010 faced the opening of the first Dark Spring Festival with performances of Whispers In The Shadows, Vendemmian, Golden Apes and Pretentious Moi.
The rest is history….
What about the 2018’s Dark Spring Festival Edition? Would you like to tell us how did you choose these participating bands?
Okay….let´s try to remember…. Sweet Ermengarde is a band we know and hold dear for a long time now and we wanted them to play for quite a while already, but somehow both sides missed the chance up to know and so we´re really glad that it finally happens. A Projection were on our radar since the release of their debut in 2015 and after their amazing follow-up ‘Framework‘ we knew we want them to stand on the festival´s stage. Whispering Sons is a band that it’s really, really difficult not to like their energetic, icy and dissecting sound. After their unstoppable rising during the last year we knew it was time to send them a polite invitation. And Motorama? The causa Motorama is really a matter of the heart, because I adore them since their ‘Calendar‘ album back in 2012 and the fact that we made it to have them on the billing feels amazingly unreal and splendidly well.
Why do you think that darkwave/post punk music has had such an uprising impact over the last few years? Dark era maybe?
If I shall be honest then I´d say that it´s not the music itself that shifted its emphasis but the perception of it and the generous definition of the post punk genre. I mean it is really exhausting nowadays to place yourself even one single step aside the beaten tracks of common, clearly outlined musical templates without crossing the open land they used to call post punk excessively. I mean take a look at the origins of this form of musical art: From PiL to Talking Heads, from Pere Ubu to Devo, from Throbbing Gristle to Joy Division – the variety of expression seemed borderless and therefore attractive for its multitude possibilities. In this light post punk was never out of fashion and its impact never waned, they just used to give it different names. New rock, art pop and even independent in the later days. And maybe it’s the complexity of modern times that leads to a yearning for simplification when now everything is post punk what’s not EBM or neofolk. And so it’s a matter of logic that post punk became so “hip” over the last years. We never stopped loving Joy Division, the early The Cure or Siouxsie but we called it goth then and now it’s post punk…so like the Editors then, Motorama here or even an act like Drab Majesty, whose music would have been (imho) a beautiful shape of new wave / new romantic then. So let´s name it music that denies musical boundaries, that wants to explore and progress without losing its atmospheric and sophisticated core and all will fall into place again….
How easy/difficult is it to organize such a Festival in Berlin nowadays?
On the one hand Berlin is a perfect place for a festival like this. Its history, its musical and subcultural background makes it predestined for a gathering celebrating this musical genre. (I think there´s no need to elucidate this statement!) Berlin is still hosting a very active scene and the glorious days even flare up again sometimes. So it´s still amazing to realize the excitement of bands coming from abroad to play in Berlin.
But you have to deal with dozens of events taking part simultaneously of course and the organizational and logistic aspects are quite tricky sometimes. It is almost impossible to mark a date without any competitive event around the corner. But that´s why it is Berlin and it’s its pulse that makes it work in the end.
Which are your future plans regarding Dark Spring Festival?
I can reveal that we are not those kind of guys who have a 5-year plan in the back of our mind while preparing the festival. We spend the year up to it with preparations, organization and sometimes improvisation, waiting feverishly for the day to come, spending a few weeks after with concentrated inhalation and exhalation and start to focus on the year ahead. That´s it. And we hope this cycle will still run for a while…
Next year is the tenth anniversary….so we will see….