Friday night was hell, Saturday was divine.
It was my birthday, I had about 1 hour of sleep, I looked alright, I felt good and I had a mission: blog-o-mania.
Ok, I also impatiently presented on the festival radio for three hours but what I really longed for was the fix of the perfect picture and the perfect text.
After one after the other of my friends had visited me to hand me cakes and soap bubbles for my birthday(yeah, my friends rock) I headed off to live the dream (well, not THE dream but my dream).
After a really nice The Kissaway Trail show with a bitter aftertaste – they were one of the bands I should have interviewed – I returned to our radio-base-tent and got the news that I could do the Efterklang interview – the one interview I really really really had wanted.
The darling of a friend who managed the interviews had apparently phoned around and annoyed everyone involved so much just to give me this interview as a birthday present after all.
The interview was great, although Rasmus (bass and other stuff) and I were attacked by numerous mosquitoes. I was really glad that it’s only radio, so no one could see our hectic slapping and waving. From afar we probably looked like two people with severe cold turkey hallucinations.
We talked about the Danish music scene, which has become so lively in the last couple of years, the (unfortunate?) necessity of big labels and the band’s working process for an album. Efterklang start out with musical pieces and then add them together like a puzzle. For their album “Parade” they took two years for it but with “Magic Chairs” they tried it remotely different in testing the songs on tour, so they came together more naturally (and faster). The new album is a little simpler and more urban and mixes melancholy with hope because – as Rasmus said – melancholy doesn’t always have to be something negative.
Something else he mentioned was that they are almost happy with the new album. When I asked what he meant by it and whether he thinks that they ever will be fully happy with a record, he replied that he doesn’t hope so, because it’s the one thing that drives you to record in the first place; to come as close to perfection as possible. If they ever where to put out a perfect album, they probably wouldn’t feel the need to continue music. It might be over-exaggerated but this is a great concept for art in general and could have come from any philosophical thesis about art. I remember that even some theoretical philosophers think that perfection (or the full truth) shouldn’t be achieved because it leaves humankind with nothing to continue existence. Oh yeah, interviews can be philosophical.
On this note, and with about 6 more mosquito bites, I went back to wait for the Efterklang concert.
By this time, I already had turned into a photo-monster, so I took heaps of them and I stayed in the front the whole time through, just as most other photographers because they all probably were very much in love with this band as well. The show was amazing, the lighting was perfect, their interaction with the audience was humble, charming and cheeky. The singer was obviously blown away by the audience who not only gave him a small (harmless) moshpit at the beginning (a premiere for any Efterklang concert as he told us) and later moved unisono to their music. It was one of the concerts that fill you with love and all the cheesy feelings you usually sneer about. I now and then took a peak at the other photographers to see whether they enjoyed it as much as I did or whether I was absolutely unprofessional by smiling like crazy but they were smitten as well.
By the time they played Modern Drift, my whole face probably lit like a floodlight.
After that – still dazed from the show – I went to FM Belfast who are a really weird band from Iceland. And with weird I am not even sure whether it’s the good weird, I usually use for descriptions because although their music was a fun mixture of the Scissor Sisters and Electric Six, there was something so surreal about them that I constantly thought that this might be an Icelandic comedy happening we are not aware of instead of an actual band. They rocked the house, don’t get me wrong, but when they sampled bits of RATM’s “Killing in the name of” and showed their middle finger, it just felt awkward just like the teacher of Glee whenever he’s rapping (and that’s REALLY awkward to watch).
Tokyo Police Club were the last band of the whole festival and they were one of the bands that allowed us only to take pictures for the first two songs, the security missed to tell me but fortunately the lighting and their positions were so good that it was enough time to take some decent pictures. I am a mad fan of “Nature of the Experiment” and I loved the Canadian humbleness (I think the singer thanked everyone at least a dozen times) but at that time (around 1:00/2:00am) I was already completely knackered and freezing.
When I went to bed, it was loud beyond reason and very cold, so I put on about 70% of all the clothes I had in my bags (those that weren’t soaked with shower gel) and then listened to Slipknot and Glamour for Better to drift into sleep. I don’t know whether I should thank them or my general lack of sleep but I kinda fell in a dreamless coma and when I woke up, it was Sunday – day of departure.
All in all, this was probably one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended. Admitted, I had festivals with a lot more favourite bands of mine, sleep and less mosquitoes but experiencing something new and doing what I like best (music journalism, that is) beats everything.
I also have to say that most of the other photographers were really polite. We took care that we didn’t run through the picture or bump into someone and we even waited when someone took a picture until we passed them to get a better position. Although I still was the odd one out because most of them knew each other, I was really surprised how nice it was in the press-front and I loved that some of them actually danced a couple of times. I’ve been to other festivals and watched the photographers there and most of them seemed so bored by even the most amazing shows that I really thought that most of them were too arrogant and/or bored to get excited about music anymore but I guess you find the ones who love every minute of it everywhere if you only look close enough (or smile amongst them). Most of them were also pretty hot but that just on a completely random and unprofessional side-note.
Well, now I have to save my money to get my cool camera as soon as possible. It shouldn’t be too difficult, though, I just have to cut back on the cocaine and the prostitutes for a couple of weeks…