(Description: interview of Suzi Sabotage about Wave Gotik Treffen 2017, where her bands Masquerade and Virgin in Veil played. The magazine itself contains the interview translated to German, but this page presents the original, English version.)
My name is Suzi Sabotage, and I performed twice at this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen, with my bands Masquerade (post-punk, my role being the frontwoman/singer) and Virgin in Veil (deathrock, in which I play the synth and provide backing vocals).
Our journey started from Helsinki, Finland where the band is from at early morning hours, with a ferry ride to Estonia and then crossing three countries with our van on the way to Poland. There we had two stops overnight (since the country is enormous) until reaching Leipzig on the third day of the road trip. On the way, we had an accident involving another van behaving strangely while trying to pass us on the motorway, and in result, we hit the rail on the side of the road, which was startling but only left our vehicle with some battle scars. Then we had (yet again) some scrutiny by the German police who wanted to stop us for no reason in particular, but this we are getting very used to.
The festival had us accommodated in a prestigious hotel where the majority of other residents were either going to or playing at Wave Gotik Treffen as well. On the day of our first show with Masquerade, we enjoyed a good breakfast and headed to Täubchenthal, the venue. The setup was really professional, the stage big and staff knew exactly what they were doing. Although we opened the event at that particular venue, the audience waiting for us extended throughout the whole place, and the performance couldn’t have gone better. To be honest, at home I had a couple of sleepless nights due to agitation before this show, mixture of excitement and stress. It was going to be the most significant of our gigs so far, and the biggest. At the rehearsals the set felt pretty long, but on the stage, though it was sweaty and intense, it felt way shorter. Neither I experienced the nervousness I was anticipating to come across, only exhilaration. In the audience, I spotted my friends from around the Europe but mostly unfamiliar faces. Majority were dressed in black which I had wished, too, to make a contrast with my nearly full-white clothes.
Sometime after exiting the stage we went out to have cigarettes, drinks and a chat with the crowd and it was very pleasant, though the weather decided to turn rainy before long.
The next day we were set to play at Moritzbastei with Virgin in Veil, which was a smaller and more intimate place with a cavernous outlook. Outside there were bunch of Victorian-style goths hanging out – inside we had a minor confrontation with the band following us on the bill, since they had brought animal parts (horns) with them on the stage and we asked them to remove all of it for our soundcheck and show for ethical reasons (most of us are vegetarians/vegans and feel strongly about animal rights, so we didn’t want to be associated with such decorations).
The gig itself was intense, exquisite to play, and straight afterwards we were besieged with the spectators, wanting to buy both bands’ albums, take photos together and get autographs. There were many people from the Masquerade gig there. The majority were deathrockers. Almost as soon as we were done, I and Jacques (Saph, my husband and bandmate from the both groups) went via our hotel to Täubchenthal where there was a party held called When We Were Young. On the following day’s morning we already had to embark on our drive back to Finland.
All in all, as my first Wave Gotik Treffen experience, I had a good time. Most of my time there was spent on preparing for and doing the shows, but I also got to hang out a bit at the both venues we had been playing at. It’s a very well orchestrated festival, with organizers genuinely putting effort into the comfort of the contributing performers. The only thing that I would suggest for improvement, is to have more official festival photographers at the gigs themselves, to capture the performances and the atmosphere. In conclusion, I would love an opportunity to play there again soon. I’m very grateful to the people who came to see us, our crew, and the organizers. Hats off!