Festivals

That feeling of unity: an interview with BOO KING

LESSENER BOO KING
Photo: LESSENER by Hayden Lee
In the wake of the upcoming storm of riffs, shrieks and blasts due to hit Warsaw this Sunday at the Ultimate Screamo fest, we have teamed up with organizers from the BOO KING collective to ask about the recent cancellations including Atlanta’s screamo act I CREATE, their booking process, best punk shows, and their local DIY scene.

Ultimate Screamo Fest is happening this Sunday in Warsaw at Chmury! Tickets are only 30 PLN and the jsut refreshed line-up is hot as the weather in town: LESSENER (US), THE ULTIMATE SCREAMO BAND (CAN), WE WATCH CLOUDS (PL), NO VALUES (PL), and MARJORY STEWART-BAXTER (PL).

ULTIMATE SCREAMO FEST!

Hey guys! Thanks so much for joining us! Wer’re fresh off the sad news about the concelation of I CREATE and DEATH HAS GONE European tour and it seems that the line-up of your upcoming Ultimate Screamo Fest has been depleted. Bummer, huh? Tell us what happened.

Hi Karol! First of all – thank you very much for the invitation and the effort you’ve already put in promoting both our booking duo and the scene in general! That’s absolutely amazing!

Answering question – we got the information about both bands cancelling their tour from a guy on our facebook page. I was a bit skeptic about it at the beginning, but then Sypek (our friend who actually booked I Create and joined our Ultimate Screamo Band show) got an e-mail from their agency with just a few words of explanation. It looks like Alex from Miss the Stars Fest received an anonymous information about one of I Create members actually beying abuser, but didn’t give any detail beyond that. He (Alex) immediately banned the band from playing fest which resulted in both bands cancelling their tour in general. We still have less information about anything on that matter and look forward for the explanations. From what we’ve heard Miss the Stars crew is really sensitive about any signals of physical and mental violence towards anyone, so we don’t think it’s just a “caprice” or missinterpretation. We respect the decision – there was no time for hesitation that could compromise the values Miss the Stars is promoting.

Oh shit! Have you faced a lot of similar obstacles while putting shows? Are tour cancellations the worst thing that can happen? Please take us through your biggest struggles with the process.

So far we had no problems with anything actually. Bands members are always cool about most of things, they don’t complain about anything. Maybe we’re lucky but it’s probably just the way hardcore/punk bands roll – no high-expectations, no 10 page riders nonsense. The only struggle we find repetetive is to make people go to your show. We do are best, though we grow bigger and the audience is still widening from show to show.

What prompted you to start this undertaking in the first place? Tell us about your background in punk and hardcore, as well as the inception of BOO KING.

Both me and Artur (as well as Paweł our beloved helping-hand) we attend punk shows since we were teenagers, 17-18 years old. We remember Hard to Breathe debut, who calls so loud playing on squat for 20-something people, I remember the dissapointment of not going to Cracow for Off Minor show, Zann in Studio Fonia as well as Graf Orlock and many many more. We could probably spend whole day talking about amazing shows. All three of us were and are involved in numerous bands – screamo, emo, noise, hardcore – you name it. We love it, we love people involved, bands and venues. Its one of the best things that happend to our social life so far. :)

You are the very heart of BOO KING, but there are surely people, venues, and promoters that help you out with your shows, aren’t there? Can you elaborate on your partners in crime a bit?

Ohh man – the BOO KING is all about other people rather than just three of us. It’s about band that accepts door-deals and fart-forcing vegan curry we make, audience willing to spend the night with us and people running venues – especially Michał from Studio Wieloślad – the amazing, warm and cozy space in Warsaw where most of our shows are going on. Also Ania and Sypek – former vocalist of hardcore legends hard to breath – who asked us about I Create and Ultimate Screamo Band shows merge. There is Paweł we mantioned earlier, our friends from fanpages like Dobre Emo, Undertone and theres IDIOTEQ obviously! Thank you mate sooo much!!!

Ha! Thanks so much! What was your personal highlight from your booking experience?

Tough question but probably the gratitude we received after putting out benefit for refugees on ADA squat. Around 170 people came – punks, metals, random people. Amazing Polish bands (TORPUR, PROTEIN, GLAMOUR, FALSE ACT). Fantastic atmosphere at the venue I havent seen since last time I was on legendary Elba squat. The mob went crazy during few songs and the bands were glad to come as well. One of the best things we achived I think during our lifetime to be honest ;)

How about DIY gigs in general? Give us your top 5 live shows you’ve witnessed so far.

DIY gigs are the only type of shows that I attend in. I prefer those with band playing on the floor than those with tall barriers between the band and the audience. It just don’t feel right to me when there is that strange, fake distance built without any purpose. You don’t get that feeling of unity with band playing. DIY in my opinion is the only way to put up a show for a hardcore band, period. As a “promoter” everything I can say about DIY gigs that is one of the best and pleasant ways to spend my spare money and free time. Those moments with bands in our flat chatting till 3 a.m. upon a vegan pizza, or listening to first Neil Perry albums while having breakfast in the morning are priceless to me.

Top 5 shows? Well…

1. Furnace, Perun 2009
2. Birds in Row, Warsaw 2018
3. What of Us, Warsaw 2018 (done by BOO KING!)
4. Violent Breakfast/The Bold And The Beautiful, Warsaw 20xx
5. Who Calls So Loud, Warsaw 20xx

Oh man! I was at that FURANCE gig, too! I recently recalled another great show at Perun, feat. SINGLE STATE OF MEN and MEN AS TREES (GO HERE to see a video, the flyer, and my full interview with LOCKTENDER).
Ok, so what are your favorite releases so far this year?

To be honest I am one of those guys stuck in early/late 00’s bands and releases, but I am really digging the new album released by that awesome band Smile To The Wind from St. Petersburg.

Ok, and finally, how do you see BOO KING developing over the coming years?

I would be very cautious calling it “developing”. I think our goal is just to stay the same as we are now. We will stay focused on putting up shows for cool emo(ish) and screamo(ish) bands from all over the world not forgetting about our local scene. We do it for fun, totally profit-free, sometimes involving our own pennies. We would like to see more people attending our shows as we put our hearts and a lot of effort into those shows. We are fully booked till august, so stay tuned for infos about upcoming shows.

Awesome, thanks! Is there anything else you’d like to add or mention?

I think that’s it. I’m really glad that even though we’re kind of self-limited to that one or two hardcore punk subgenres we’re still getting so much of positive feedback from whole hcpunk scene. We’re so grateful to everyone involved into any of our shows. Ania, Tomek, Paweł, Michał, the highest of fives!

Thanks so much for your time guys. It means a lot! Good luck with the fest and your future shows. Feel free to drop your final words and take care!

Thank You for the opportunity of getting featured on IDIOTEQ! Support your local skramz scene people!

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