For the first time ever, the classics of the genre Pink Turns Blue, who were founded in 1985, will perform in the Czech Republic. We talked to frontman Mic Jogwer about how we had to wait so long for their concert, the scene then and now, and the band's past and future...
Sanctuary.cz: Hi Mic. The first question suggests itself - This year, as a part of the Prague Gothic Treffen, you will play in the Czech Republic for the very first time. How is this even possible after so many years of the band's existence? Were you ever in touch with someone whom you discussed the possibility of organizing a concert in our country in the past.
Mic Jogwer: Well, there are quite a few places where we haven’t been yet. Most of the times it all comes down to timing and routing. Do we actually plan to do shows around a time where events are happening and are we anywhere near? We really like to combine shows to areas and plan around that. Like, we plan to do America and see that we can do as many shows as possible in that period of time. So I guess, it just wasn’t meant to happen before.
Sanctuary.cz: Have you been on a trip to Prague or other places in the Czech Republic?
Mic Jogwer: I have been in Prague privately once. But just for an afternoon, sitting at the riverside and having a coffee. Very expensive, I seem to remember.
Sanctuary.cz: How much of a different experience will the Czech fans get when they see Pink Turns Blue for the first time in 2023 and not thirty years ago? Do you still remember your old concerts? How much have you changed on stage?
Mic Jogwer: For sure the band has become so much better. More intense, more deep, more of an experience. I guess, we were pretty charming in our youth but often were not able to reproduce our hits on stage. With many shows all over the world that definitely has improved a lot.
Pink Turns Blue - Not Even Trying
Sanctuary.cz: How hard is it to put together a setlist for your first ever concert in a country? You have quite a lot of material and hits to choose from...
Mic Jogwer: We have a developing set that cover the most popular songs from our latest release and all the classics. That way we can serve both new fans that have discovered us on YouTube and all those who follow us since If Two Worlds Kiss and Meta.
Sanctuary.cz: As I mentioned your concerts at the beginning of the band's journey... How does it feel to be part of the goth subculture for such a long time? Following all the trends that come and go? Could you tell me if you felt that at some point the scene stagnated and didn't know where to develop further and at the other hand when it was on the rise? What do you think about the current state of the dark scene?
Mic Jogwer: the 80s there was no Goth Scene as such. It was wave with some bands being a bit darker and more melancholic. In we were just part of this soul searching, guitar based wave scene with some hits that co-defined the dark wave scene end of the 80s.
But we never felt restricted to any scene and recorded songs that had something to say – whatever genre you would like to refer it to. The goth scene became really stuck in dark voices and dramatic shows serving clichés for quite a while. So we really got bored and stopped doing music.
Then, around 2010, a lot of young, fresh and very talented young acts started to appear and introduce their own, fresh and exciting version of dark tones. Some call it cold wave or post-punk revival. Whatever. Acts like Lebanon Hanover, She Past Away, Soviet Soviet and Drab Majesty were conveying the same message and soul searching as we did in the 80s and 90s. So we met more and more creative and inspirational young acts both on festivals and club tours. That got us back into the recording studio and present a new and fresh version of our core messages.
Sanctuary.cz: In 1987, with the album "If Two World Kiss", you literally had a skyrocket start. How difficult was keeping the quality of the recordings that set the bar so high? Weren't you under a lot of pressure right from the start due to the expectations of the fans and your critics?
Mic Jogwer: No, there was never any pressure. We just tried to add something fresh and new on every recording. Some of these songs and sounds survived the test of time, others didn’t. We always tried to stay experimental and inventive and if it made our followers happy, great. Luckily, our latest releases are very popular both with old and new fans.
Sanctuary.cz: Over the years of your existence, the themes of the lyrics of your songs have logically changed. How much has the world changed since songwriting your debut songs? Can your discography be taken as a "kind of imprint of the timeline of the society", considering that you have always been devoted to contemporary social issues?
Mic Jogwer: Well, the 80s were a lot about how to survive in world that is defined by cold war, a wall between East and West and how find your way as a weirdo. In the 90s, everything was about self-definition in a world of possibilities. Today, the world seems doomed and some kids like to fight for a better futures and others are just sad and depressed. As Pink Turns Blue, we are always both. Sad and angry. And never giving up. I guess, as a creative person you are not able to give up.
Sanctuary.cz: On the other hand, is there any topic that still bothers you today as it did in the eighties? Can you think of anything?
Mic Jogwer: Complacency.
Sanctuary.cz: In 1991 you moved from Berlin to London, right? Was it a big change? Whether in personal life or musicianship...
Mic Jogwer: Well, of course. In Germany, the music scene was pretty much very conservative. In London, many thing were happening simultaneously. Techno, HipHop, Shoegaze, Indie on a large scale. So we had to find our place in all of this. Not very successful but very educational. I guess it made us to a band on a higher, more professional level.
Sanctuary.cz: In England, the band was very productive, but in the end its temporary end was also caused by this move. Or at least I read it somewhere... Looking back after some time, what do you think?
Mic Jogwer: See above. We learned more than we achieved. On the positive side, we learned to know David M. Allen, who also produced The Cure and The Sisters Of Mercy and The Damned. We became friends and that changed everything.
Pink Turns Blue - Your Master is Calling
Sanctuary.cz: Do you still remember your very first thought about getting band back together? Under what circumstances that happened?
Mic Jogwer: That was just pot luck and out of the fun of it – nothing serious. More like having fun with old friends. So yes, we played our old hits and even a few new songs. But not in a serious way. That all changed around 2010 when I started to go to shows of young acts that brought a fresh and dedicated impulse to the scene. That got me excited again and I started writing new songs in a much more relevant way.
Sanctuary.cz: Was it difficult to get back into this music madness?
Mic Jogwer: It was easy, since many of the new dark wave bands appearing around 2010 were huge fans of me and felt very much influenced by my early stuff. So I felt very much invited, found a bass player and a drummer and got going again. Have been doing more shows since then than ever before. And it great fun to meet all this kids who do that new music I love so much.
Sanctuary.cz: Pink Turns Blue is currently under your label Orden. Was this choice based on getting the best service possible for the band? How demanding is the work around your own label?
Mic Jogwer: It is a necessity. We do have a label in the US, Dais Records and cover Europe ourselves. That might change as soon as we have found new partners to take care of that. But there are not many great labels around. Many are too small for us, others are too big. In the past we were with Rough Trade which perfectly in the middle, like “big indie”. The good thing about having your own label is that you can release whenever you want.
Sanctuary.cz: How did you progress with building the studio house? What are your current plans? Are you going to use it mainly for Pink Turns Blue, or will other bands get some space as well?
Mic Jogwer: It is done, only for myself and we are now recording new stuff to be released late 2024.
Sanctuary.cz: How is the new album Pink Turns Blue coming along? Any updates? And also are there any other news about the band that readers should know about?
Mic Jogwer: As stated above, we plan to finish songwriting and recording end of 2024. And then we plan to present these to the world again. Always, great to meet new people and to present something fresh.
Looking forward to our show in Prague. Both for the playing and for the meeting of new friends.