LOCKDOWN Q&A WITH OUR GUESTS
Published February 16, 2021
Lockdown. How to get through this period without live music, parties and the life we used to know? Not to mention how to improve for a better electronic music scene once this is all over? We reached out to some of our regular guests to get their thoughts on the situation now and before a reopening. Below are some of their replies.
What do you spend time on while not being able to go out and enjoy the usual night life?
Sarah: “I’ve been able to focus on my creative side. Art and my writing of poetry/stories. And working on song lyrics”.
Aslak: “Just trying to pass time. On the weekends I normally watch livesets on YouTube from different DJs with some friends”.
Menno: “I have been reading books, binge watching good series on Netflix, HBO and Viaplay. Followed DJs I love and their online sets. Sometimes with friends, sometimes with a bottle of bourbon”.
Mia: “Working a lot. Walking. Riding my bike. Exercising at home. Listening to a lot of audiobooks. Trying to make the best of the situation and to learn new things”.
The best and worst things of the last year?
Olivia: “Best: time to reflect on life and arrange personal stuff/situation.
Worst: not being able to go out and travel”.
Sarah: “Best thing: making new friends and expanded my network Summer 2020. Worst thing: after my divorce I was alone for the first time in 10 years. 2020 was the year where I wanted to find myself and grow strong on my own. Been difficult with the lockdown”.
Constantin: “The best thing is that I started to create rave events and a beautiful community around me. The worst thing is that I could not expose myself exactly as I want”.
Emil: “For me, not having the night/social life I used to, has been the worst part of 2020. I normally use my nights out to release energy and of course as a way to socialise. On the other hand, Corona has made me appreciate the smaller things in life to a greater extend and has most certainly made me realize that I wasn’t thankful enough for the possibilities I had before. I think it’s a great lesson to bring along when everything re-opens”.
Menno: “The best thing has been being able to work from home. This has given me an enormous freedom that I can use in the future. I have family abroad and when the tough gets going I know I can be with my family in the Netherlands and still do my work here. The worst thing is that my clubbing biorhythm is totally off. Around midnight during weekends I’m getting heavy eyelids. Normally this is the time when I get my ass in gear to dance all night”.
Monika: “My first gig in February was the best thing about 2020! It lead me to play several amazing gigs in Denmark and also to two international gigs in Spain and Sweden during the first six months. The worst thing was the new way of being around family, friends and people in general. The scary thought that you could be infected with the virus without knowing which could lead to others got sick because of you. That’s such a weird and sad thing that we have had to experience”.
Does Covid-19 bring you anything good to also take with you in life when the cities open up again and night life is returning?
Sarah: “I’ve learned don’t take life and what makes you happy for granted. The music and night life is not only for partying. But a community and a social lifestyle. It is important to protect and support in a time where social media dominate our world and our life. To meet new people and create friendships without Facebook, Instagram and Tinder”.
Emil: “As mentioned above, I think I’ll be able to appreciate a night out more. Before Corona, we didn’t even consider the possibility that the privilege of going out could be taken away. Now we know that this possibility is in fact very real, which we can hopefully remind ourselves of, when the night life is up and running again”.
Did you listen more or less to electronic music in the past year?
Olivia: “A little bit less (a lot of listening was done while commuting to work which disappeared, but now I listen more while at home as a relaxing activity)”.
Aslak: “More! Spotify statistics show that I listen to music over 6 hours in average every day, and that do not include Soundcloud and YouTube, so music is an extremely important part of my everyday life”.
Emil: “A lot more! Music has definitely been the answer, when it comes to the things that made 2020 bearable. Also having time to develop my music taste and broaden my horizons, especially when it comes to electronic music and the constant changes within different sub-genres”.
Menno: “I listen to electronic music just as much when not working. When I work from home I listen 24-7 to new tracks on Soundcloud and add them to playlists for others to enjoy. A playlist a month is my goal for now. So all in all more”.
Monika: “Due to the switch I took from just being a passionate listener to actually working with music last year, I spend less time in total to listen to full-length tracks. Before 2020 I was jumping in between tracks and discovery options for tracks and could listen to the same track many times. Now I “listen” more to sets, actually I shortcut, which means I can come through much more music in less time. But I have been spending a huge amount of time listening to tools such as vocals and other sound tools you can use for mixing. It takes a lot of time to find something I vibe with and which work perfectly with deep and dark electronic music. There is so much commercial stuff out there so it takes a big effort and much time to find something that goes well with the style I play and the taste I have”.
What’s your hope for the electronic music scene in the future?
Sarah: “Continue to grow, make room for new talent. And people working together to develop the music industry into a safe space for those who love the music behind the scenes, in front and those that support it on the dance floor”.
Aslak: “For Copenhagen, to have even more clubs that play great music. I love Culture Box and go there every weekend, but a club that plays trance, progressive, and psytrance and another one that plays house music would be amazing”.
Constantin: “In the future, I want to participate again and again in the magical evenings at Culture Box and to progress more and more. I hope Tim comes back strong after these hard times”.
Emil: “That it will develop more rapidly in Denmark/Copenhagen than we saw before Corona. A lot of people including myself are more than ready to start partying and experiencing music live again. When the time is right I think there lies a great opportunity for the electronic music scene to grab a larger share of the market, as we (hopefully) move towards a culture within electronic music in Denmark, which to a higher degree resembles what we see in Holland and Germany”.
Menno: “I hope Copenhagen comes up to a level like Berlin and Amsterdam. A few more spacy clubs, more exclusiveness for some of them. A festival feeling every weekend. And off course a DJ course in Denmark’s efterskole system! (before my son gets there)”.
Monika: “I hope it will grow, that electronic music will be more accepted and that the places where we play “underground” music will be more diverse, especially in Denmark. We have an extremely small scene and I hope we can expand the music to other places than just niche events with the same people, no diversity and to other locations than just black and dark clubs”.
Mia: “After the pandemic, I think it’s likely that high-earning DJs will survive, and upcomings will have a hard time, which might reduce competition. I really hope that new DJs will keep pushing. Diversity is important to continue developing the scene”.
If you were able to change one thing in the music industry what would that be?
Olivia: “I am sure there are many things that can be improved for the artists, venues and all people working in the industry. From a party point of view: it makes such a huge difference to have the proper crowd around you in the club (i.e. not random people that don’t care on the music and what happens around them and end up disturbing)”.
Mia: “The negative tone on social media. In December, a guy made a Facebook post where he trash-talked Peggy Gou, and I read that the post got high reach. Whether or not it was true, I don’t see the point in trash-talking people like that. Also, we often see a negative tone between different electronic audiences. E.g. I’m not into EDM, but I respect it. It’s so easy to sit at home and hide behind your computer writing these things. Why don’t we spread some good vibes instead?”
Benjamin: “At times there are a bit of trash-talk between artists of different sub genres. Some also say vinyl DJing is the only thing real. In my opinion that talk could very well come to an end. New artists use whatever technology is available. I would do so myself. Please also stop hating on other genres. Som like hardstyle while others like tech house. What’s the point in showing disrespect? I don’t get it”.
Describe the perfect post-Corona party for us?
Olivia: “Option 1: One night with CB residents and the regular guests/CB friends (and given corona not too crowded). Option 2: Tim + One of the invited DJs from 01 March 2018 – 03 March 2019 (i.e. John Digweed, Guy J, Sasha, Nick Warren, James Zabiela)”.
Sarah: “Out in the sun in a bikini with an ice cold drink in my hand on the beach listening to awesome house music with all my friends”.
Aslak: “Tim Andresen with his 2018 Distortion set and Katz-K with her african tones. And lazers, more lazers!”
Constantin: “Me in line up!!!”
Menno:” The perfect post-Corona party would be arranging an entire plane with the “inner circle” and just go off-radar for a long weekend close to a beach, sun, drinks and of course a power outlet for speakers, controllers and whatever other gear you need. It should be warm enough for little clothing and bare feet”.
Mia: “Throw a weekend party just like you do for Culture Box’ birthdays. Open Box 54 in the afternoon, so that we can meet early for drinks.”
Benjamin: “A night featuring lots of different artists so they can get back to work. Such a pity they haven’t been able to do what they love. A packed venue. Lots of beers, drinks etc. and dancing all night”.
Finish the sentence “2020 was…”
Emil: “…a year of some unpleasant surprises but also a year of self-realization, from which we can hopefully extract some lifelong lessons when it comes to the appreciation of being able to socialize”.
Mia: “…the year that forced everybody to think differently. A lot of people say it was the worst year ever, but I would rather say it was the year where we learned new sides about ourselves and found new ways to manage”.
Benjamin: “…challenging, difficult, instructive, different”.
What three things are you looking forward to the most that you haven’t been able to do because of the current situation?
Aslak: “This is 100% honest and what I tell everyone: I just want to dance again. Lots of sweaty people and good music really makes my week. I have asked people this exact question the last couple of weeks and they all respond the same as I do”.
Constantin: “Go to the stadium to support my national team. Visit my family, we have not seen each other for 1 year now. Make a lot of raves”.
Monika: “1. Playing on club gear and club sound system. 2. Travel without quarantine rules and restrictions. 3. Restaurants and club nights”.
A good advice for Culture Box ahead of the reopening?
Olivia: “I am sure if the current Corona-rules are followed all will be fine. Maybe less people in the club, no smoke machine and higher ventilation will make it even safer. Take care of yourselves! Thanks for the many efforts and dedication to keep the club going during the difficult times. I am really looking forward to be back for a dance! All the best and hugs to the whole team!”
Aslak: “I love Culture Box so there is not much to say. If anything, maybe refurbish or paint or something? It is really important though that you keep the “Berlin bunker-feeling””.
Constantin: “No advice. Culture Box is a standard for electronic music in Denmark. Already showed they had a good team there and all the time provide quality time. Big hugs, big love, tons of respect and see you soon Culture Box”.
Emil: “No doubt that Culture Box is going to be sought after, when everything opens again. Don’t let too many people in! I’ve had my best nights out at Culture Box, but when it’s too crowded, there’s unfortunately not enough space for dancing and it can ruin the experience a bit”.
Monika: “1. More niche nights e.g. progressive house or deep/trippy techno events. 2. Book more international underground talent. It would be good with a variation between the big names and undiscovered talent. 3. If possible longer opening hours. 4. Do pop-up events for example like you do for Distortion; find other locations where you do some special events, once in a while, beside of the club nights too”.
Mia: “Keep posting on social media to remain top of mind with non-regulars”.
Benjamin: “Keep doing what you do best. Give us happy party people in the best surroundings (like you did before Corona). Continue the mix of well known artists and those you don’t necessarily find on Spotify. That’s what makes Culture Box the best club”.