Dutch Doom Days – The Dutch Doom Connection … ( Post # 1000 )   Leave a comment

Here is a interview with Pim (Officium Triste) about the Dutch Doom Days festival. It is unedited but I think it is still worth the read to find out more about one of best doom festivals on the planet. Thanks to Aleks and Pim from Officium Triste for putting this together.

Q: Salute Pim! Sorry for epic delay but finally I’ve composed few questions for you and the main theme of our interview is Dutch Doom Days Festival of course. Though I must ask you as vocalist of Officium Triste – what is a band’s current state?

-The current state is that we are still writing material for a new full-length, we’ve got some songs finished and others need some more work but it is getting along fine. Some other things in the pipeline too but nothing that we can announce yet. ;o)

Q: There’s no way and I have to ask you about any news about next Officium Triste’s album – do you have enough of “shit-happenings” or just deep poetical impressions during last year to transform them all in a bunch of good and hard doom songs?

-As I’m not too involved with the writing of the music I’m not sure whether things that happen in live are an influence on the music. Lyrically I draw inspiration from all kinds of things so it doesn’t have to be anything that happened to me personally.

Q: Who are in DDD command now besides you? How do you split the trust between each other?

-Well, I organized the first 4 editions and am still involved as an advisor so to speak. After the first 4 editions Felix took over and it is all done under supervision of Leon who is working at Baroeg as the main booker. Felix has worked at Baroeg to till the start of this year and I think he wants to keep involved too for the next edition which will be the 10th Dutch Doom Days.

We just work together talking about what bands we would like to see and what bands are on tour in the period when DDD happens. In the end Leon dioes the bookings as he actually works for a living at Baroeg.

Q: Does DDD fest takes place always in Baroeg Club? It’s not too spacious venue as I saw on photos, so maybe there’s a sense to change the place? Though I visited 3 Moscow Doom Fests and I guess that there’s no too much folk even in Europe who’re ready to visit doom gigs. What is your record with attendance?

-There’s no need to change venues, Baroeg can hold up to 400 people and the doom crowd isn’t that big. We have never sold out so far, I think the biggest attendance must have been 250-300 visitors. So Baroeg is perfect and Baroeg pays for everything in the end, there’s non personal money involved like other doom fests, so we don’t want to change anything.

Q: First issue of DDD took part in 2002, there were only 6 bands: Antimatter, Jack Frost, Officium Triste, Pantheist, Thee Plague Of Gentlemen and Whispering Forest. Can you remember which mistakes did you commit during organization of the festival? Or were you enough experienced due to organization of previous Officium Triste gigs?

-The idea came to mind when organizing a gig for Officium and with adding 5 other bands we just named it Dutch Doom Day and we went along from there. We didn’t make any mistakes, perhaps our time-schedule could have been a bit stricter so to speak but other than that no mistakes at all. You know, Baroeg is a professiobnal venue that has a lot of experience putting up shows, so almost everything always happens in a smooth way.

Q: You had Evoken on DDD II and as I understand you try to coordinate participants of some bands with their tour schedule, does this principle work good for you? Do you have any other principles consider organization of the festival?

– We often get offers of bands that are on tour and thety try to fit DDD into their schedule. Other bands we simply ask for a one off show and those bands travel on their own.

In the case of Evoken we set up a small tour for them around DDD with Officium Triste and Desire from Portugal. In general a lot is possible but we don’t organize complete tours anymore for bands like we did with Evoken. That’s a bit too much time consuming.

Q: Gentlemen of Doom Shall Rise said that they’re going to take a break in 2011 therefore there will be not festival in Germany. Officium Triste played twice into Doom Shall Rise – in 2003 and in 2007 if I’m not mistaken. Did you invite Mirror of Deception and Well of Souls to take part in DDD after your first gig in DSR? For Mirror of Deception played here in 2003 too and Well of Souls was – a year after it – in DDD III.

-I know Jochen and Frank of DSR really well and since they are both in doom metal bands too it is kind of logical to ask them to play on DDD just like they asked us, Officium Triste, to play on DSR. It’s the way things work you know. Next to that I really wanted to introduce those bands, like many other bands that played DDD, to the audience.

One of the important things for me is to introduce new bands or bands that are not that well-known but that are really good to the audience that attends DDD. That’s why we always have a young Dutch band playing. It’s not about having a bigger band on the bill, it’s about quality and there are lots of great bands out there that I would like to introduce to the audience.

Q: There was also Reverend Bizarre in DDD III and later they were performed in DDD V, all of us must admit that RB was one of most significant doom bands during a long period, what is a reason for it, how do you think?

-I don’t know. They came, saw and conquered. I guess that’s what happens to certain bands, they are just there in the right time and get picked up by a larger audience.

Too bad they’re gone as a band, but their music will live on.

Q: DDD IV continued for 2 days – was it difficult or natural reason for you to increase duration of festival?

-Since there are so many bands that are cool to see and so many bands touring around that time we thought it was logical to make it a 2 days event. It worked out fine. Just natural progress.

Q: Do you remember which conclusions did you do after 4th festival? Which experience do you take into account after each gig? And how do you survive such long fest? I saw few photos of you with members of other bands, so I have a questions about drinks which Baroeg Club can offer to it’s audience – which sorts of beer do they have?

-I know my conclusion after every single DDD was that it was once again a great festival. It’s so much fun having a great weekend with like-minded people and killer music. And those ingredients make you survive weekends like this. ;o)

Baroeg basically sells draft lager beer and some other Belgian beers on bottle as well as soft drinks and some mix-drinks like Jack Daniels and Coke. Just the basics I guess but enough to survive on.

Q: DDD V was 2 days long too, and there were 14 good doom bands with such doom stars as Ataraxie, Reverend Bizarre, Saturnus, The Gates of Slumber and The Prophecy. How many people did visit these gigs? And is a number of visitors equal onto first and second day?

-I don’t recall the exact amount of visitors but this one was really good. Usually we sell combi-tickets for both days and the true fans of doom metal buy those and are present on both days. Some people just come one day. In general it’s around the same amount of visitors both days.

Q: I look the band list of DDD VI and see that you invited a lot of new or not very famous bands – Mael Mordha, The River, Eria d’Or, Serpentcult, Malasangre, Helevorn and Akelei. So as we see you aimed to let people know about some bands which were not too popular at that time at least… Is it another of your principles, right?

-Exactly, we really want to introduce newer bands. That’s what keeps the scene alive, new blood. DDD have been a stepping stone for quite a few bands. People can see them on our festival for the first time and if they like it they will keep following a band and buy their albums and so on. I think that’s really important to the fest. Of course we also need bands that already have a name otherwise people might not show up. ;o)

Q: Do you have a prejudice against “gothic doom metal”? I would not like to start a discussion about question of very existence of that sub genre, but surely there are bands which play soft form of doom using sometimes violins or too much of keyboards or there’re girls who sing with mournful voices…

-Nope, no prejudice and we have had bands in this style on DDD. We try to have all subgenres of doom on DDD and one year it might be more extreme compared to another year, but it all depends on availability of bands and so on. But if we could book a really good gothic doom band we won’t refrain from doing so.

Q: We came to DDD VII and there were too many of good bands once again! But I still wonder do the profit of DDD festivals ever compensated?

-Like I said Baroeg pays for it and sometimes we lose some money, sometimes it is even and sometimes we make money. With DDD it is the same as every other gig Baroeg does. Baroeg makes a living of booking shows and trying to make a profit. It is Leon’s job to make sure this works out great.

Next to that I also have to tell you that in Holland culture gets subsidized by the government, although our current government is cutting down the amount of money that goes to cultural activities. The national government has a cultural policy, out of which the 4 big cities get an amount of money. Baroeg being located in Rotterdam is part of the local cultural policy and gets subsidized for the activities. So in a way we are secured even when we lose money on a show like DDD. I tried to explain this short and logical but that’s how it works and I know it is different to other doom fests where promoters put in money of their own.

Q: Which e-zines do help you to promote DDD festivals and how long did you prepare DDD VIII? 14 great doom bands from different parts of Europe played during festival, I guess that their merchandise was in abundance, so do bands sell enough of merch during gigs?

-Numerous e-zines help out as well as various internet metal forums and so on. Too much to mention them all.

Basically you could say it takes around 8/9 months to get it all together. Most bands who bring merch usually sell quite a bit yeah, as well as the other vendors like Doom-dealer, Grau, Millennium Records who have had stalls at DDD.

Q: I see that you not too often invited funeral doom bands, there was none in DDD VIII for example, is it difficult to find good funeral project nowadays or is it just boring personally for you?

-It’s just what you say, often funeral doom acts are projects or they don’t play live. It’s not that we don’t want funeral doom bands, it’s difficult to get a band to play.

Q: Okay, there was 9th Dutch Doom Days Festival in 2010. How did you catch up Eternal Elysium and Place of Skulls from their tour for the gig?! Do you collaborate with other metal tour-agencies?

-Yeah, since Leon is the booker of Baroeg he is in touch with many agencies and these particular bands were offered to us as they were touring by Bidi-Bookings from Holland. That’s one way of getting bands to play on DDD.

Q: If you have any energy after all of these questions can you do a brief review of the last fest? Were there any negative moments or all was alright? Happiness and joy!

-Nope, no negative moments. Perhaps I wanted a bit more visitors. The usual visitors that you see every year were there but I guess we perhaps had too many obscure bands for the ‘regular’ fans that decide not to show up. I don’t know. We always do our utmost best to bring quality. I missed out on the first day almost completely as I had a gig with Officium on another festival elsewhere in Holland. But I did see Hooded Menace that I think is a great band. Their show was okay. Revelation headlining the first night was super! One of my favorite bands.

He second day was cool too. I really like Grimpen Mire and Ocean Chief and I thought Place of Skulls once again was a real good headliner.

Q: What do you feel after each DDD? I can not imagine how many energy it gets to organize 2 days long festival and be alright after such doom celebration. Is there any time to relax for you during such days? What is DDD for you after all?

-Baroeg is a professional venue so we have people working there at every gig, so I don’t have to do that much during the festival itself besides enjoying myself and DJ’ing a bit in between the bands, haha. It’s just fun for me. I don’t have to work that hard at all. Before the actual festival I don’t have to do that much either, that always has been Leon and Felix’s job, who both work(ed) at Baroeg.

Q: Do you have a special chamber where all bands gather after the fest and spend some time siping tea or consuming barrels of beer? I’m sure that such information is quite confidential but gentlemen from which band hold the first place in a drinking competition?

-Nope, there is a small backstage room but most bands just mingle with the crowd. There are no real secrets are crazy drinking competitions or whatever. Usually everyone is well behaved just having a great time.

Q: What is your opinion about Doom Shall Rise and Dublin Doom Day festival? Do you watch for such events trying to do something greater with each fest, trying to surpass them? This question is about experience and about good, healthy competition between organizers.

-There’s no competition. DSR usually books the more traditional styled bands and Dublin Doom Day just did 2 editions and it’s Dublin, so it is great someone is doing a similar thing in Ireland. There are other fests too. There used to be a Belgium Doom Night, there’s the Moscow fest, Italy has a few I think, Madrid is the Dark. Hammer Of Doom in Germany. Some guys from Vienna do small doom festivals. There are some fests in the USA. I think it is all great. It’s good for the music you know.

We just do what we can do and we don’t look at the other fests. Of course we look at the bands they book and see if any of those bands might be suitable for us too, but there’s no competition or jealousy whatsoever. I support all those fests as it is great for doom metal.

Q: Did you ever offer participation in DDD to any Russian band? Which band do you want to see there? (Scald doesn’t count!)

-From Russia not yet as it probably is too expensive. Closest we got was Whispering Forest from Estonia. There are lots of great bands from Russia that could be on our bill. Maybe Autumnia or Raventale. If there are bands from Russia that would like to play they should get in touch to see if we can work something out. ;o)

Q: Which bands would you like to see in next DDD? Did you ever think to invite someone from old monsters – My Dying Bride or maybe Paradise Lost?

-Those bands are beyond our budget. I know what My Dying Bride costs and that won’t happen. Bands like that play their own shows and can be seen on big festivals too so we rather stick to the smaller bands that are equally good and sometimes even better.

As the next one is the 10th edition we might ask some bands we had in the past to come back. I have some ideas on bands I’d love to see but nothing is sorted yet, so you all have to wait and see.

Q: Don’t you think to release DVD-version of DDD? Look, man, I have a very little chance to ride from Saint-Petersburg to Rotterdam just for 2 nights and I bet that a lot of people would like to get such amazing document!

-Of course a great idea but it takes a lot of arranging to have it properly filmed and recorded. We had a French crew called Camisole who did film the 5th edition. There is a DVD called ‘Chronicles of Doom’ with videos of bands that played then.

These days a lot of people record from the audience and clips turn up on YouTube, so that’s as good as it gets I’m afraid.

Q: Pim, you also write for two metal web-zines doing the best to promote the most pleasant and sonorous underground genre – doom metal. How can you resume your work in 2010?

-I like most styles of metal so I write about other genres too and 2010 was a good year fro metal I think. I just love the music and love being involved so I keep doing all these things as long as I like it. I think 2011 has a lot of cool things coming up too like a new While Heaven Wept album, the first 40 Watt Sun album, Orchid’s first full-length. I think doom is getting noticed more and more, just look at the bigger labels who sign doom metal bands these days like Hour Of 13 on Earache and While Heaven Wept on Nuclear Blast. I do think that doom metal isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so it won’t turn into a new hype. It will stay underground with lots of enthusiastic people putting on shows like DDD.

Q: Look, you sing in doom band, you write about doom bands and you organize one of the best doom festivals in the world! You’re one of the most zealous Doom Cult priests! What is your aim? What else can you do for the genre?

-You’re too kind. I just love the music and it needs to be heard so that’s why I do this. I don’t know what else I could do. In the end I’m still a fan like anybody else.

Q: I bet that you’re tired after that long interview therefore I have to thank you for your patience comrade! Thank you for such great festival, I hope that it will be only grow with years! Best regards! But let us end the interview with your words about DDD X. Will it be?

-Aleks, thanks to you for doing this interview. I answered it while I was at work, haha.

Concerning DDD X I can’t tell much yet but it will be great once again. It will be at the same venue with the same nice and laidback atmosphere. If you have the opportunity come visit us as you will learn about the greatest doom bands out there!!
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov

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Posted January 29, 2011 by doommantia in Dutch Doom Days

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