Not long to go until this year’s Never Say Die! Tour kicks off… !
Marco, how did the Never Say Die! Tour start?
The intention is the same as it was back then: We want to give young and talented bands the chance to present and prove themselves in front of a bigger audience, to reach new fans. Also we set the ticket price on a very low level, even though it’s a festival tour. The audience appreciates this, which we thankfully see reflected in the high visitor numbers every year.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned throughout these years of tour planning?
That music was and probably still is the most important medium to express emotions and statements. That’s also the reason why we are so happy that Hope For The Day is joining us again on the Never Say Die! Tour. It’s important to us to also present substantial topics on the tour and the topic depression, burn out, suicide unfortunately is a very present topic among young people but also in the music business. Only if we talk about our psychological problems and learn how to deal with them, will we have the chance to live a healthy and better life. Therefore we need people that help us to take that first step of opening up. Jonny from Hope For The Day, who is accompanying the tour, is one of these great people.
I can imagine that plenty of unplanned small and bigger disasters happen on tour – Can you remember the biggest, worst one?
We’ve been handling the tour for long enough, so logistically there isn’t much that gives us a headache and no real “disaster” has thankfully happened over the years. The actual challenge is to find a common denominator for all the bands on our wish list. The talks and discussions about this sometimes spreads over several months and don’t always have a positive result.
Regarding the music genres of each tour, the focus seems to be very different year after year. In 2017 the lineup was called the “hardest to date” with, bands such as Emmure, Lorna Shore and Chelsea Grin, this year a lot of melodic hardcore is involved with Being As An Ocean & Co. – What’s the genre focus dependant on?
The key element of every planning is the coherence: Which bands go well together and which band combination will have the biggest possible synergistic effect? The lineups of the last 11 years were always very different which I think is a big advantage of the tour. There is a lot going on in the underground and there are always new great bands going through the roof. These are bands that we’d love to work with as an agency [Avocado Booking] and which we’d love to see on the Never Say Die! tour.
Do fan requests (of who should be on the lineup) play a role when it comes to planning the tour?
Yes and no. Most of the time we cannot fulfill these wishes, but with the Never Say Die! Tour we always try to get the best up and coming bands from the scene. So there is always an overlap with fan requests and our lineups.
How do you react to the negative reactions received about this years lineup?
Every year there are fans that show their disappointment. Unfortunately we can’t suit everybody – and we don’t want to. The real indicator of a tour’s success is shown on the tour itself and at each show.
So which year has been your favourite so far?
One of my personal highlights has to be 2008, when Parkway Drive headlined the tour for the first time. They had support of Unearth, Despised Icon, Protest The Hero, Architects, Carnifex and Whitechapel. The tour hit the scene like a bomb and made big venues full – Even though all these bands used to be a lot smaller then they are today. The idea of 2008’s tour works and I think the shows helped shaped the career and success of Parkway Drive.
Which band would you like to have on the Never Say Die! Tour?
Heaven Shall Burn, Terror, Hatebreed, Black Dahlia Murder, Nasty, As I Lay Dying, Periphery, etc. I could go on and on!
One question to end this interview: What’s it like to see your “tour baby” roll through Europe?
May I answer with a video?
Thank you Marco for this interview – Here’s to another successful Never Say Die! tour!