You mighy have seen a number of upcoming shows as well as past shows promoted underneath the DIYMCA presents brand. They primarily book punk rock and hardcore shows, but they bring a ton of cool bands around, among them site-favorites in Red City Radio in the coming months, so we agreed to have a chat with two of the people behind the booking group, Jakob Pries and Leo Wallin.
RF.net: Hi and thanks for doing this interview. Could you start off by introducing the concept of DIYMCA to the readers? How many people are involved with the concept?
We're a DIY punkrock/hardcore club doing shows in Copenhagen at the basement venue UnderWerket. Our 'concept' is pretty much what UnderWerket has to offer - a cool, dirty and 100% voluntary driven basement venue. We're 9 people involved: Me, Leo, Lasse, Troels, Linn, Anders, Brian, Christian and Carsten.
Leo: Everyone of us play in different punk bands or have something to do with the scene – which is very small in Copenhagen and in Denmark in general – and we really wanted to do something to support local scene as well as be part of the great international DIY network which have helped our own bands on tour so many times.
RF.net: What criteria do you use to book bands? Is there a specific style you go after? Do you only book bands you like, or do you take up others as well?
Jakob: When we started out I think we just wanted to book every punkrock band we could - to get our name "out there". I think we still try to work around that to a certain point. Our logo says that we're a punk/rock and hardcore club, so I guess that's the closest we get to have a specific set our rules when booking bands. But we're all about breaking our own rules, so next month we're having Terrafraid, an indie/emo band from Scotland over hahaha. They're really awesome, though!
RF.net: Can you walk us through the process that happens from “ok I want to book this band” all the way to announcing the show to the public?
Well, it's all about "being out there". Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with what bands are doing tours and such. Sometimes all it takes is a message on Facebook and you're good to go. That being said we've been very lucky getting show offers from many cool European Agencies.
For example I've known Kasper from The 20belows for many years now - he's doing Panther Booking, and from time to time he emails me saying "this band is looking for a show in Copenhagen, this is what they need moneywise - can you book them?"
After that you've gained contact, set the date and all that it's all about waiting... Many times bands book their tours many months in advance - for example the show we're doing with Red City Radio in May has been in the works since November last year. When it comes to announcing the show it's important to note that no band or agency work the same way. Some bands just want the news to be announced immediately, sometimes you have to wait if the band or agency awaits confirmation from other venues.
RF.net: What happens during the day of the concert?
Normally I tend to be at the venue an hour before the band to check up if everything's set to go. The shows we do at UnderWerket are great because it's pretty much a team effort thing. From the people cooking dinner for the band(s), the bartenders making sure that there's enough beverages for the people attending the show, to the sound guy and the person sitting in the door.
What I do is to make sure that the band is happy, which can everything from providing them with the password for the wifi to making sure they're paid at the end of the night.
RF.net: Many of your shows have been at UnderWerket. Are there other venues you are considering?
We're having a show at Huset with a guy called Zeki who used to play in a band called F-THREE, Terrafraid from Scotland and Boys of Terror from Sweden - you should come out.
But recently we talked about throwing some of the bigger shows with foreign bands at other, more central located venues.
Leo: The easy mentality of Underwerket makes it an ideal place for us though, as we can pretty much do whatever the hell we want. And because it's a non-profit venue, we don't have to fight with venue managers about deals and stuff. The remote location is pretty much the only down side to it as it can be hard getting lazy people to move their ass to Valby every now and then. But it seems like we have build up a pretty decent crowd of regulars, who are also all into supporting the scene and show their kindred love to punk rock which is fucking great.
RF.net: What are some of the bands scheduled to play at the DIYMCA later this year?
Jakob: We have a band from Singapore called The Caulfield Cult coming over in June together with Godard from England. We haven't really started planning the last half of 2014 yet, but I can say that we considering a Cheap 'n Loud Fest vol. 2 in the fall sometime.
RF.net: Which of these are you most excited about and why?
Jakob: I'm really excited for Red City Radio. I played with them with my old band last time they were here, and they're the best and most down to earth kind of dudes. Other than that Accelerators will hopefully be fun too - they're probably one of the tightest live bands I've seen in many years. Did I say that you should really come out for that show too? Well, you should!
RF.net: What is the best DIYMCA show you remember setting up / being a part of?
Probably The Menzingers show last July, which I also missed. Nothington was a fucking crazy and fun show too.
But one of the weirdest and most hectic DIYMCA shows I've been a part of setting up definitely has to be the Direct Hit! show. One hour before the doors was set to open my girlfriend called me telling me to drop everything I was doing and come home. She had apparently had a close encounter with a frying pan and had burned her hand. So I dropped everything and drove from Valby to Nordvest in about 20 minutes time. After she came home again from the emergency room I ran down to the bus stop as fast as I could, caught the first bus and headed back to UnderWerket just in time to see Direct Hit hit the stage.
Leo: Definitely The Menzingers (with Arteries and Trevolt.. holy shit that lineup was ace!). That was really a once in a life time experience. They have already gotten way too big to play such basement shows since then. And when I think about it they were probably a bit too big back then as well. The door was sold out in 15 minutes and we had to turn down at least 50 people from all over the country and abroad. Shit happens.
Cheap 'n Loud fest last november was also memorable!
RF.net: Does DIYMCA make any money, or is it a non-profit venture?
Jakob: No money has been made so far. We talked about doing our own DIYMCA t-shirts and selling them at our shows. That way maybe we could afford doing things like 'free beers the first hour' at one of our shows, or buy a lot of bacon. But no, so far we're 100% non-profit.
RF.net: What are some of the future plans for the DIYMCA concept? Where would you ideally want to have it in a 3-5 year period?
Jakob: Set up a shit load of great shows with bands from all over. Future plans for me personally would probably be to set up an annual mini festival - kind of like what they got in Belgium with Crossbone Fest or Summer In October. It's a lot of work to set up, but I think it's a possible task.
RF.net: Thanks for the interview. Do you have anything to add?
Come out to our shows! We know that UnderWerket isn't right around the corner, but we make up for that with our cheap beers and fun after parties! So yeah, we hope to see you all at our upcoming shows.
Leo: And thanks loads to Rockfreaks.net for covering so many of our shows with reviews, pictures and now this interview! We need all the exposure we can get. Every person showing up at concerts and paying the small entrance fee, helps putting gasoline into the cars of the touring punkrock bands. And of course gets a unique experience in return.