INTERVIEW: Da Iawn Fest [August 2015]

By Conor Mackie

We have a chat with DIY Cardiff ahead of Da Iawn Fest this weekend!

This is the first Da Iawn Fest! What made you want to put on an all-dayer? Do you want to make this a yearly thing or will you see how this first one plays out before deciding?

I don’t really know what made us want to do it, but I guess it just seemed like the natural progression to take since starting DIY Cardiff and booking punk gigs in December last year. We’ve all been to fests all over the UK like Deadpunk in Bristol, Manchfester, Book Yer Ane up in Dundee, and really liked the idea of bringing those sort of vibes to Wales. Y’know? The type of fests where you see a bunch of friends you don’t see often enough, and don’t actually watch any bands because you’re too busy catching up with them in the smoking area, haha. But seriously, hopefully if it goes well we’ll do the same thing next year and expand on it. We already have some pretty neat ideas in mind on how we could better it if we were to do it next year, but we don’t want to jinx it just yet!

For those of not schooled in Welsh, can you tell us what Da Iawn translates to?

Da iawn translates to “Very Good”. It’s a pretty terrible name, but there’s definitely worse-named festivals about. I originally really wanted it to be called “Live Fest Da Iawn” but the other two guys involved in DIY Cardiff (Mike and Charlie) thought there were too many puns in it. I completely disagree, because I fucking LOVE puns, but what can you do?

Do you think shows in Wales differ from those in England? Obviously you’ve played a lot in both countries with Dividers, so is there any notable differences? Every show I’ve been to in Cardiff has just been an absolute party.

I think you summed it up the differences between Wales and England pretty perfectly with the word “party”, haha. Seriously though, I don’t think there’s that much difference really, but what I will say is people are awfully friendly here and our accents are pretty neat as well! But like anywhere in England, it depends on who’s playing, where the gig is, what day of the week it is, and if there are any other gigs going on at the same time. But 9 times out of 10, Wales is fucking great for shows. We have a lot of great bands, venues and people who work really hard into making it great. I would give shout outs to everyone involved in punk in Wales, but I’d probably be here all day!

You’ve got Bangers, Above Them, Personal Best, Doe and Twisted playing, with all of these bands coming from the Specialist Subject roster. It’s basically a half alldayer/half Specialist Subject showcase! Did you work with Andrew and Kay with sorting this out or is just that those two run a crazy good label with amazing bands?!

We really hoped nobody would notice that! It was just a massive coincidence that the majority of the bands we asked are on the label. Andrew and Kay are doing a great thing with Specialist Subject, and definitely know the type of bands that three functioning alcoholics from the Valleys and France love.

You’ve also got some Welsh bands like the aforementioned Twisted, your very own Dividers, Masts, Deadlines and Life Under Bombs playing. Was it important for you to make sure that Welsh bands were represented on the bill? How do you cope with organising everything whilst also playing?!

Yeah it was pretty important to have us Welshies represented. There’s a lot of great bands here, so why shouldn’t they be showed off? In regards to being able to organise everything AND play, that’s the best thing about there being three people behind this thing! We can all put our feet up, play some songs and enjoy ourselves at separate intervals. I think the biggest struggle will be staying sober through the whole thing though…

No Weather Talks, hailing from Hamburg and recently signed to No Idea, are the only non-UK band on the line up. How will you make them feel at home? What’s typical Welsh hospitality like? Just a whole load of booze?

Yeah, we are totally stoked to have them play! We will probably make them feel at home the usual way with houmous, beers, and potentially after-show karaoke. If anybody knows anywhere in Cardiff that does Karaoke post-midnight on a Bank Holiday Sunday please drop us a line. I am deadly serious. Otherwise we’ll just take them to Fuel and scare them to death by singing “Mother” by Danzig at the top of our lungs!

You’re also including a free zine with every ticket ordered. That’s pretty cool, man. What made you decide to do this? You’ll also have distros at Undertone on the day. Are zines and distros important to you in terms of promoting the punk & DIY ethic?

We just thought it would be cool to do something a little different. Not everyone coming to the fest will have heard of all the bands, so the idea of them reading about them and potentially checking them out before the gig seems pretty neat. Plus, besides Artcore and a few others there are very few punk zines around in Wales at the moment, so hopefully somebody will read it, think that it’s shit, and have a go at doing one themselves and do a much better job! In regards to distros, in a day and age where you can access pretty much any record by any band with just the click of a mouse, I honestly think that distros are very important. At risk of sounding “anti-piracy” (which I am far from being, believe me), although the internet is a great outlet for discovering new music, I do sometimes feel that it can be too much of a good thing. There is something much more therapeutic and more meaningful to flipping through a distro, and picking something up on recommendation or on impulse or whatever. MP3s will eventually get lost on old hard drives, the worst thing that’ll happen to records is they’ll pick up a bit of dust or get damaged in one way or another, but regardless you’ll still have a physical reminder and memory of the day when you picked it up. And memories are pretty sick, right?

For more on the all dayer head over to the Facebook Event Page</em>

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]