Jeanne Løyche interviewed by PSL
Quite a few metal festivals have popped up all over Denmark in recent years. What sets Sick Fest apart from other festivals such as Copenhell, Kill-Town Death Fest, Royal Metal Fest or AMF?
The most obvious difference is that Sick Fest is located on Fyn, in the middle of Denmark, where none of those festivals you mentioned are located. Sick Fest presents mainly brutal death metal, slam as well as grind bands, whereas Kill-Town Death Fest is more about old school death metal. Festivals such as Copenhell, AMF and Royal Metal Fest represent a wider mix of metal, but I support them all.
Is there a big enough fan segment for a festival like Sick Fest in Denmark? I mean a long-running festival like Royal Metal Fest had trouble getting enough tickets sold for the 2012 edition.
I can't say anything about that yet, but I hope that people are curious enough to visit Sick Fest. There are not a lot of death metal fans in Denmark, but I hope the few that are will support Sick Fest. There are already people from various European countries who have purchased tickets for the festival, so I hope for a big turnout.
What motivated you to start Sick Fest?
I have been to a lot of death metal festivals in Europe and USA during the years. Mountains of Death and Death Feast Open Air closed down last year and that motivated me to start something similar in my own country.
Who came up with the name Sick Fest?
The name came easy to me. The metalclub I run in Odense is called Club Sick so it was pretty obvious to name the festival Sick Fest.
How big an inspiration has Mountains of Death and Death Feast Open Air been for Sick Fest?
Both festivals have had a huge influence on me, as well as festivals like Las Vegas Death Fest and Obscene Extreme. I like festivals where you can go and hear upcoming bands, festivals where you may not know all the bands, but you'll probably like the music anyway.
You have bands like Cliteater, Rompeprop and Deranged on the bill, but also a lot lesser known bands as well. Has it been easy to get the right line-up for the festival?
It has taken some time to listen to all who wanted to be on Sick Fest 2012. There have been more than 300 applications to play on the festival. I have of course also contacted some bands and managers myself. There have been some bands who I would love to have had on the bill, but these were too expensive or not available during that period.
Looking at the line-up there isn't many Danish bands on the bill. Is that on purpose?
Well, there are six Danish bands on the bill. That's still something. But yeah, it's on purpose. Most of the Danish bands we have a chance to experience all year, but a band like Rott from USA don't often play in Denmark. Actually the show at Sick Fest is their first European show.
You have growl karaoke, stripper show and beer slammin' among other things lined up. Is it your idea all of it?
The growl karaoke is inspired by an old Danish joke-karaoke-video with Iniquity where the lyrics weren't revealed. I thought it could be a fun contribution to the fest. The stripper show with the blood is my own idea, but beer slammin' is a classic, isn't it?
33,3 Euro / 250 DKK for a ticket isn't much. How are you able to keep the price that low?
The festival is run after the DIY concept and is driven by passionate volunteers. That of course makes it a lot cheaper to run. The most important positions such as sound-technicians, stage-managers, security are of course experienced/educated. If just 200 people show up we will not suffer financially.
Besides you, how many people are involved in Sick Fest? I mean it must be a lot of work to tie all the ends?
Right now it's actually just me, and it's a lot of work, but I'm in contact with some great people in order to get a team together. All Sick Fest volunteers are of course also involved, but not in the planning.
Besides organizing Sick Fest I know you also book concerts and represent bands. Could you say a bit about that and what else you're doing?
I represent the Danish death metal bands Castrensis, DIE and Dreadlord, and that I'm really proud of. I have in the past years been booking death metal concerts in Denmark and Europe. I use most of my time on music. Besides music I've been running PetPile since I was 15. PetPile is a webshop where I sell my own products for pets. Right now I have quite a few gigs lined up here in Denmark. On April 27th Prostitute Disfigurement, Disintegrated and Castrensis at Club Sick, Odense. On May 24th Begging For Incest, DIE and Castrensis at V58, Aarhus and the day after Begging For Incest, Spectral Mortuary, Ferocity and ErrorGod at Club Sick. On July 24th Suffocation and Origin at V58 and the day after Suffocation and Origin at Pumpehuset, Copenhagen.
What's your view on the Danish death metal / grindcore scene?
The scene is small, but it's here, and that's what's most important to me. There's not so much focus on grindcore in Denmark, but it seems like the interest for death metal and metal in general is getting bigger. We have many great upcoming bands, as well as established bands here and I'm proud of that.
Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
Not really. I must say that you came pretty well around everything. Thank you very much for the support by bringing the interview and putting focus on Sick Fest. And to the fans, I still have a few bands waiting to be announced so keep checking the Sick Fest website.