The Unattender’s Guide To Roadburn Festival 2018
So, around a week ago I got floored yet again, by those nice people at Roadburn HQ.
And as so often before, it was the simple announcement of a few bands for that small gathering they have each year during the final parts of April. The quality, the wide spread across so many genres, and the depth or scope of the announced bands – in all its succinctness the announcement was around 150 words (including links, thanks etc.), but what it sets off inside the imaginative brain can fill books. Heck, even my own initial reaction was in the vicinity of 300 words, just to sound off a bit about what I decided I needed to do, right in that moment of reading that first announcement of what will be happening at Roadburn 2018.
And here I am again, wagging my tongue at length to further clarify (probably more for my own inner understanding’s sake than for anything else).
Now, one important caveat, before I get into the meat (or seitan, or whatever) of the matter:
I WILL NOT BE ATTENDING ROADBURN 2018
Finances will simply not allow it – and instead of raging against this, I’ll simply embrace it and accept it… and be a hell of an “unhappy camper” during that fateful week in April 2018. (A little less so with the announcement of Goodspeed You! Black Emperor, headlining the A Colossal Weekend festival in Copenhagen the weekend before Roadburn, but still – it will NEVER be the same…)
Nonetheless, when I look back at say, the last 3-4 years, and look at the bands I’ve become attached to in this period – a great many of those have been introduced to me by way of Roadburn (i.e. keeping an eye out for their anouncements, and dilligently checking everything out). Just to name a few – Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Botanist, Wardruna, Goblin, SubRosa, MPH, Chaos Echoes, Yodok III, Dead To A Dying World, Terzij De Horde, Sinistro, Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand, Dead Neanderthals, Emma Ruth Rundle, Valborg, Radar Men From The Moon, Mysticum, Carpenter Brut, Perturbator, Zeal And Ardor, The Devil And The Almighty Blues, Crippled Black Phoenix – and a boatload more…
Would I have learned about these bands eventually otherwise? Probably, at least some of them, but the pivotal point here is – all these incredibly diverse artists – from the underground, the middleground, the overground – from black metal, dark/neo-folk, psychedelica, neo-darkwave or the corners of new improvisational jazz are being gathered together in a musical mecca for afficionadoes of weird, wonderful, emotional music – and even those of us not able to go down there and be part of this unique community can get better lives by simply paying attention.
Which is why, upon seeing that initial announcement for 2018, I boldly announced to the world (or at least those few followers who indulge me on the interweb 😉) that this page would bring you “unparallelled coverage of the line-up for Roadburn 2018” and “I *will* cover each and every band on the bill – if nothing else, because this is a perfect view into the state of heavy, emotional, alternative music of 2017-18“. But of course also because with all that Roadburn does for music – whatever little someone like me can do to help them or celebrate them seems like simply the right thing to do.
In 2015-2016, I tried this out – basically as part of my own preparations for attending the 2016 edition. I fell somewhat short (lots of reasons why, none of them pertinent, all of them will only sound like excuses, and when I look backwards it’s only ever to celebrate great music of the past). This time I will get there, and I will use more or less the same “formula” this time around.
Which means, for every band I’ll write up a short, descriptive (and wildly subjective) text and blend this with a few choice quotes, a video-clip, video live-performance, video interview, and an online discography (each of these things of course dependent on availability) – one small change in how I’ve done this earlier though, with regards to online discographies – I’ve more and more come to regard YouTube as a place where golddiggers gather to profit from others’ hard work (and I know this is a generalization that will be unfair towards people who actually do great things on that platform – my sincerest apologies in advance). So I will only include YouTube links to releases I can *only* find on that platform.
These presentations will of course be my take on what each band is about and whatnot – but will hopefully be an appetizer for some to check out bands and artists they did not know in advance – whether you’re among the lucky crowd going to Roadburn 2018 or not. If this was to happen only once for each 10 posts I do, I would proclaim “mission accomplished” (if not, well, I’ll just have to work harder)
I’ve also decided to try and dig a little deeper into different ways to interpret Roadburn, and the development the festival has had over the last few years – expect such posts at irregular intervals during the coverage… content and format to be decided ;-)
In closing, let me just quickly clarify a few things. I am in no way affiliated with Roadburn or it’s organizers. Also, I’m in no way trying to co-opt the festival for my own gain – in fact, the only gain I have from doing this page is purely mental (and the odd promotional download from time to time), and of course some nice words from denizens around the web, bands and fans alike (which is – of course – truly appreciated). This is – and should purely be seen as – a labour of love, and a tribute to the people who provided me with 5 days of a nearly religious musical and spiritual experience back in 2016. (And – in a way, it allows me to relax in one aspect of running this site – choosing exactly what to cover – in order to probably (hopefully) produce more and better content).
So Roadburn-crew – bring it on. I’m damned excited to see what else you have in store for us!