OTZI by Kevin Brown

Top 10 Cities for Post-Punk Music, by Akiko Sampson and Gina Marie of Oakland’s ÖTZI

4 mins read

Here we are in 2020, the year of cancelled tours! Oakland based atmospheric post punk act ÖTZI, has already cancelled two tours to SXSW and to Spain and Greece, and they are crossing their fingers to be able to tour the UK by October. In the meantime, we caught up with them for a special feature, in which they are remembering their favorite places and setting intentions on getting back to them as soon as they can! Here’s ÖTZI’s roundup of Top 10 Cities For Post Punk Music!

ÖTZI‘s sophomore album, Storm, is set for a May 22nd release via Artoffact Records.


Barcelona is dope. Even though you’ll hear a lot about how it’s become overrun by tourism which is destroying the small businesses, it’s still beautiful, inspiring, and full of all kinds of punk luxury from anarchist squats with actual movie theaters, libraries and fitness gyms to spacious youth centers and lots of delicious vegetarian and vegan food. We got an intriguing nighttime anarchist walking tour of the gothic quarter from Laura of Mentira (formerly of RAKTA), who showed us all the historic and current anarchist sites since the Spanish Civil War. When we walked the same streets in the daytime they were full of tapas and shoppers, a way different feel!

Wroclaw / Warsaw

Wroclaw is a deathrock mecca, where the three-day Return To The Batcave festival is held every October. The beautiful city is host to a number of metal gnomes (really) and has super goth churches all over the place. It’s also a half day’s drive from Warsaw, which is awesome for many reasons. One reason is the enthusiasm from the audiences, a second is the plush ass hostel that makes you feel rich as fuck. There’s an extra cool record store and lots of good food.

Ötzi live at Return to the Batcave 2018, Wroclaw, Poland. Photo by Cyril Vale.
Ötzi live at Return to the Batcave 2018, Wroclaw, Poland. Photo by Cyril Vale.

Mexico City

We’ve toured here twice, in 2016 and 2017. It’s a city that we all fell in love with immediately. Both tours were super fun experiences at the shows and when we got to explore the beautiful city. One of the great things about playing CDMX is there are so many awesome bands to share the night with, the goth and punk scenes are very strong and have a lot of crossover, and we made friends with many people that we remain in touch with. There are a lots of cool underground venues, awesome street tacos, and don’t forget the punk market on Saturdays!

New York

We love New York! Gina, Akiko and Dylan all lived in Brooklyn for 10-14 years before moving back to Oakland. It’s changed so much that we often find ourselves searching for the scant few landmarks that remain, but one thing that hasn’t changed is we rarely leave Brooklyn when we’re there. The last time we were in New York, we played at Brooklyn Bazaar (RIP) with Kaelan Mikla, Twin Tribes, Ash Code and more at the fantastic Murder of Crows Festival, checked out the regular Synthicide party at St. Vitus, and saw some punk bands play at The Glove (also RIP). We can’t wait to see the new and creative DIY venues that will surely open up by the time we go there next.


House party town! We were lucky enough to play with The Ire, one of our favorite newer post-punk bands, at their first show! Then we chilled at an anarchist coffee house before hitting the road to NYC. Everyone was super friendly and down to earth. We can’t wait to go back!


About an hour away from Mexico City, Toluca is an industrial city that’s the home of Toluca Mosh – which automatically makes it one of the world’s best cities for punk, hardcore, and post-punk. There, inside a large welding warehouse is the Toluca Mosh collective, which hosts shows that have such a radical, positive energy that it can hardly be described. Rafa Millan, original founder of Toluca Mosh and guitarist/vocalist of the punk band Rein, passed away last year, but Toluca Mosh remains in operation and is as strong as ever.


On our first European tour we played at an amazing squat in Zurich. It spanned whole blocks and housed hundreds of people. The promoters for the night were 2 queer women who brought the FUN. They ran the sound, DJ’d the best tunes and made us one of the best meals of that tour. We might have been tired AF but we couldn’t sit out this queer dance party!


Tijuana is a special place, full of fun and supportive people. We played a large venue upstairs on the hip strip of town with She Past Away. The energy was so intense! It was a night we’ll never forget. We were also lucky to have had a free night before our show and met with friends at Lycanthro Pub, the punkest bar in town. While it’s very small (and also upstairs) the vibe is genuine and not to be missed, and you can catch a lot of new, exciting bands here.


An amazing city to visit and especially play, a must for any tour. On our second European tour we played at the long-standing & historic punk squat Köpi. Our show was in the room Koma-F, a dark and creepy basement that is perfect for goth show vibes. Don’t forget the mint schnapps!

Ötzi members Winter, Akiko, and Gina Marie at Near Dark Festival 2019, Oakland, California
Ötzi members Winter, Akiko, and Gina Marie at Near Dark Festival 2019, Oakland, California


And of course, there’s no place like home. We’re constantly wowed by our musical
peers. Love of California deathrock runs deep here, and the punk and hardcore scenes
remain strong. A large portion of the scene is as involved in activism as they are in
music, lending a thoughtfulness to the culture that we don’t see everywhere. We have
lots of killer music festivals, from Gina’s own Near Dark Fest to Manic Relapse to Stasis
to Universe is Lit, so people come from all over the world to soak up Oakland vibes – and
we welcome every one of them!

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