Salon:Pissoir – En platform for expression og explosion (interview)

Feature November 29 2013 TLDSUPER80

Af Simon Christensen. På billedet TL-D SUPER80 fra et Salon:Pissoir arrangement.

Et musikmiljø kræver sine spillesteder og arrangører, og én af de mest ideologiske i København er Salon:Pissoir, der står stærkt på at give plads til nye bands og nye steder. De fremhæver en lokal kultur gennem et oplevelsesfilter, der også formidler og udfordrer musikken omkring dem. Vi bringer et mailinterview med initiativtagerne. (Og undskyld. Jeg aner virkeligt ikke, hvordan det her interview pludselig blev på engelsk, red.)

P/A: What is the background for starting Salon:Pissoir – and if any relevance to the subject, who are you?
Madeleine Kate, Salon:Pissoir: “Back in 2010, somewhere in the Copenhagen Meatpacking District, Salon:Pissoir revealed itself as a new monthly club. Established by Madeleine Kate McGowan (Henrys Dream, Club de la Faye) and Daniel Frank Christensen (Radio Saigon), at a time where all the nightclub venues and music scene hangouts we take for granted today, were only just opening up their doors, or didn’t even exist yet. Back in 2010, the Copenhagen scene was ruled by small groups of people and established venues. There was no powerful circulation of expression and live music experiences, the scene was fragmented and kind of boring. Yet there was a sense of something more powerful stirring. It was in the midst of this, that we wanted to start Salon:Pissoir. Something to activate movements, expressions, exchanges, explosions. A place that wasn’t a closed selective inbred community, but a generous space for high quality expression. A place where we could all meet up freely, not dictated by opening hours, noise levels or smoking rules.

We created some dogmas back then, which we still uphold: *strive to have a debut act each time. *shift locations to avoid stagnation. *Love for music not for fashion. *Poetic Revolution!

The Felines, Sink Ships, b r o k e n, The Monoliths and Gutten & Gutten are among some of our debut acts. Since we started, Salon:Pissoir has grown into a beautiful vessel, always carrying a varied set of musical experiences, late night extravaganza and new friendships. We are now joined by the forces of Matthew Møller (Less Win, Sink Ships) and Bjørn Hemmeth Manniche (Red Tape), which has added to the universe a new sense of power and exquisiteness.”

P/A: What are you trying to do, and what is the prime setup at your shows?
S:P: “We have a strong intention behind the whole Salon:Pissoir universe – visual identity, bookings etc. Yet we work very freely and intuitive. It’s a serious playground. The genres we present vary from evening to evening, yet we always have a line-up with three or four acts. We have also ‘commissioned’ musicians by activating new formations cross bands, or inviting artists to do solo acts. Lately Bjørn has initiated a cooperation with the small cinema, Vester Vov Vov, on Vesterbro. This has opened up a new form of concerts, the cinema gigs. Further, we have added poetry readings and performance acts to our arrangements. Some of the poetry presented at Salon:Pissoir, is exhibited on our tumblr:

P/A: What does your club try to add to the music scene in CPH, and what do you think is the good/bads things about live scene in Copenhagen right now?
S:P: “The Copenhagen music scene is very vibrant, and there is a confidence in expression and an ability to establish strong music communities. There are so many live concerts, that we get dizzy trying to get to all of them. New bands emerge all the time. The shadow to this though, could be a ‘fashion mentality’. With ‘fashion mentality’ the people of the scene, promoters and clubs, become vampires, metaphorically speaking, feeding on and scouting for the freshest and hippest blood. The competition is high, which is healthy and creates dynamics and circulation, but it can also turn its flip side, and become a cultivator of fragmentations and create a mentality where people who are not ready to ‘loose their cool’ if things get rough.

Salon:Pissoir presents variation and diversity of expression and sound. We focus on quality, but at the same time our stage is also a place for new artists who have never played a live gig before. So the Salon:Pissoir arrangements should be a good mix of established underground bands and at the same time we force people out of their rehearsal spaces.”


P/A: What would be the ultimate goal for S:P? And what would make you stop? (no pun intended)
“A global transformation of consciousness, a Poetic Revolution. We will never stop.”

P/A: What are the main ideas of your bookings and way of making shows, and what makes a S:P show special?
S:P: “We would like to think that our bookings and concert arrangements reflect on the fact that we are involved in local music culture, as musicians, promoters, small record-label work etc. We know a lot of the locals, which makes it often quite easy and unofficial for us to arrange a gig. This familiarity might seem conducive of an easy environment. We also insist on keeping terms good for bands. We have never asked a band to play for free. Bands take the door, fair and simple. I would describe that which makes Salon:Pissoir work well is that it is quite simple and unpretentious. We are not trying to create a club-forum for slick kids with some inflated concept, just running a venue once a month booking bands that we think sound cool.”

P/A: How would you consider S:P in regards of the following terms: Open/Closed Community, Experience/Expence, Surprise/Music Tradtion, Mediation/Raw?
S:P: “Salon:Pissoir is open in the sense that we aren’t highly focused on any specific genre or grouping of people/bands. As for the other antinomies (experience/expense, mediation/raw), we don’t have any opinions or thoughts, being that we don’t wish to control or orchestrate. I think that people take in what they will, and have the time they have, and this will always be the case in spite of what planners might have in mind. We hope that people enjoy themselves and the music and possibly get inspired to make a project.”

P/A: You seem to do a lot of things to mediate underground music, through website, artwork, youtube and so on. What are your thoughts on this?
S:P: “The artwork, the films, the articles, the internet platforms are all a part of the Salon:Pissoir universe, and is created by all the different people who get involved. On our tumblr page we also present interviews with different artists, local and international. We have a voice and we want to hear the voices of artists and people who we fall in love with. With the documentation material available on the web, we kind of aim at creating a museum of the scene. We have been presenting short films from each night since we started, and some of them are already kind of legendary testimonies, like the one with Even Dwarfs, The City Kill, Melting Walkmen and Orphans. Two of those bands don’t exist anymore, but the documentation does. In general, we want to establish a strong window for the underground scene, the main media channels don’t, so we might as well do it, thereby contributing to a strengthening of the scene.”

Info: Næste Salon:Pissoir finder sted den 7. december på Christianias Børneteater med Lower, Skurv, Communions, Hand of Dust og Anders Jørgen Mogensen, hvilket også er releasefest for Dokument #1, entré er flad 50 kroner (RSVP).