Fourth months after the first edition of its 25th Anniversary Festival in Berlin that we covered in our insightful interview with Robert at this location, we’re pleased to give you a follow up feature in conjuction with the upcoming Warsaw edition of the fest, coming this Saturday, October 13th! We caught up with Robert to ask him about his relationship with both cities and the upcoming event on Saturday.
Legendary Polish record label Refuse Records is turning 25 this year, and it’s inviting everyone to come celebrate. On October 13th at Pogłos, Warsaw, Robert is throwing a party from 4 p.m. Acts will span the history of the influential label, from punk veterans REGRES and BEYOND PINK to some of the most exciting fresh blood packs like WALL BREAKER and PROTEIN. It’s wonderful to see the label thrive in a challenging and ever-changing marketplace that has seen the demise of many labels and even more bands, support charitable causes, and put up great events all around Europe, mostly in Germany and Poland. The upcoming gig is no exception.
Refuse Records’ 25 Anniversary Warsaw is happening this Saturday, October 13th in Pogłos, Warsaw. The festival will feature Malmö’s BEYOND PINK, Warsaw’s GOVERNMENT FLU, HEATSEEKER, NJ’s WALL BREAKER (members of Coke Bust, WarXGames, Bloodtype, Glory Fades, and Chainsaw To The Face), REGRES and VICIOUSxREALITY (both from Czestochowa), WASTE (Göteborg), THE FOG from Berlin, and PROTEIN from Cracow.
How come you decided for another edition of the 25th Anniversary?
It was all clear that there will be event for 25th anniversary in Warsaw from the beginning. I did the same 5 years ago with 20th anniversary. This label started in Warsaw, I started booking shows there and I´m coming from there so I can´t forget all friends and supporters in Warsaw and Poland so this is something I do for them.
How do you balance both Berlin and Warsaw these days?
Most of my time I spent in Berlin but I´m in Warsaw quite often like every 2-3 months more or less. Usually just for a week or so. It´s always intense period with tons of stuff to do. I wish to have more time to hangout when I´m there.
Gig and scene wise, what are some of your best recalls and associations with Warsaw? Which were your golden years?
It might be late 80s – mid 90s era as it was all fresh and romantic for me haha. There was certain feel that what we do is important, valuable. Music and message seemes more influential than it´s now. There was special sense of feeling to be part of this thing called punk rock or hard core. Anyway there was many difficulties to book shows, release tapes and records was even out of the question for 95% of the bands.
There was more „golden eras“ in a history of local scene. Of course I missed 1st and 2nd generation punk of late 70´s to mid 80´s . In the late 80´s it was like explosion of new bands in Warsaw. Bands like Post Regiment and Tragiedia were part of this wave. I think late 90s were good times again. Hardcore and Straight edge gets finally more visible in Warsaw. After 2000´s there was more show promoters and more shows – also at squats like Fabryka and later Elba. Until very late 90´s there was no really DIY venues for the shows. Only clubs, youth centers or schools.
I think what´s going on right now is great period too. There´s many really good Punk and HC bands in town, tons of shows, many touring bigger and smaller acts being booked. Maybe in a few years people will appreciate more what they have now and current might be golden era for some of them.
Can you give us some more details on the upcoming edition in Warsaw?
It´s gonna be 9 bands including some foreign guests like BEYOND PINK and WASTE from Sweden, WALL BREAKER from US and my old mates from Berlin with their new brilliant band THE FOG. Of course Polish bands on Refuse Records will be represented in full force – GOVERNMENT FLU, REGRES, HEATSEEKER, VICIOUSxREALITY and PROTEIN. There will be distros, info tables, vegan food etc. Three new releases coming out for this event: WALL BREAKER 12“, GOVERNMENT FLU 7“ flexi and PROTEIN 7“. There might be some special ltd versions available. I´ll try to print some Refuse t-shirts, bags and buttons for this special day..
Btw, it´s not just Refuse 25 year event, but also my own birthday party as I have actual one day before so make sure to be there and party hard haha!
NEW REFUSE RECORDS ARRIVALS:
REFUSE 145 – WALL BREAKER „Democracy dies“ 12“ OUT NOW!
Wall Breaker returns this fall with a 12“ release on Refuse Records. “Democracy Dies” picks up where 2017’s Demo left off – fast, no bullshit hardcore punk with some mosh crunch thrown in for good measure. Here’s twelve pissed-off tracks recalling east coast bands from Agnostic Front to SSD to Life’s Blood, as well as a healthy nod to the speed and urgency of early 00s thrashcore. The lyrics delve into current issues plaguing the western world from racism to xenophobia to violence and war, as well as depression, mental health and self-loathing. Kicking-off this release, Wall Breaker will hit Europe in October punctuated by Refuse Record’s 25th Anniversary Fest in Warsaw on October 13th! Dates below!