Pink Turns Blue needs no introduction for many, but for those who do, they are a post-punk band from Berlin, Germany. Formed in 1985, they were part of the first generation of gothic rock in Germany, and released their first LP, “If Two Worlds Kiss” with a sound reminiscent of new wave with very dark undertones and use of synthesizers, and went to become part of the developing subgenre of darkwave.
Pink Turns Blue will perform in Romania for the first time this spring, in Cluj and Bucharest, and we had the opportunity to ask Mic Jogwer, the songwriter and guitarist some questions about Romania and many more.
Hello! When you released “If two worlds kiss” have you thought this was going to be an icon album? What solid memories do you have from that time, since its creation?
Well, obviously we weren’t. Just imagine the 80s with New Wave and us doing this pretty dark and somber stuff. We were freaks, the difficult ones. Many people were shouting at us because we get them into such a bad mood. They wanted to have fun. Be entertained.
Then, some radio stations and even TV stations started to like us and give us some support. Slowly we were getting more and more support and we were „special”.
Many generations have listened to your music, and many of the songs were famous over the years, although the music, in general, has changed. What is it that gives this persistence in time?
I guess as a singer/songwriter you are driven by using songs as a diary of your soul. And only the songs that represent your deepest inner feelings will be liked and released after all. Often our fans we open-minded and followed our way through the 90s (techno/hip-hop/rave/grunge). But at the same time, we lost many early followers who stuck with the late 80s doom. The good thing: when my soul was reaching a doom phase again (like the early 2000s) many of our old followers and many young people discovering melancholic dark music were loving us also.
What song “costs” you emotionally so much that it’s difficult to perform it nowadays? Speaking of, which of your songs has the most interesting backstory to it?
Well, there are a few, but in our current live set: „If Two Worlds Kiss”, „Tomorrow Never Comes”, sometimes „Michelle”.
If it wasn’t for Pink Turns Blue to create and release such songs, what other bands would be able to do it instead of you?
Oh, so many! Really, the scene has become so much better in the last 10 years. My personal taste has quite a range: From the „young ones” I can enjoy Drab Majesty, She Past Away, Lebanon Hanover, Soviet Soviet and also a few old heroes like Sad Lovers, ChameleonsVox, Clan Of Xymox. I guess I like melancholic singing combined with at least one atmospheric guitar.
To change the world for the better you need real evolution. This world is not made of this.
Have you ever thought about what would have happened to your lives if there wasn’t for music? Do you ever wonder about this?
I really don’t want to think about it. Hopefully, I would have found something that made the world just a bit better. But I doubt it. Songwriting and singing are as much as I can offer really.
Despite the events throughout history, it seems that mankind hasn’t learned much about behaving for their own good. To what extent can art actually improve the world as long as it seems it’s losing its authenticity?
It hasn’t and isn’t supposed to be. Art is more on the spiritual side. So it is connecting to your soul and gives you a place in the universe. It is soothing and/or uplifting strengthening. I always compare it to a smile or a hug. To change the world for the better you need real evolution. This world is not made of this. We have to create beauty and authenticity despite this. You need to be happy preaching and doing good without expecting anything.
I am sure I will find people in Romania who are fighting or at least striving for a better world also.
To what important historical event would you see yourself playing and why?
Donald J. Trumps’ recall and the election of Bernie Sanders. It really makes me sick to experience this racist madman and his criminals killing the future of coming generations. I would pay for the ticket and play for free.
One says art is the creator’s child. What does “If two worlds kiss” would look like as a person?
Well for me it is not. At best a good song is a universal form of communication. A deep down tale of your soul that can be understood by another soul. A song that speaks to your soul gives it a feeling of not being alone in the universe. And for me as the author, it is the same. When I am lucky to come up with a story and a moving tune that touches my soul it is comforting sometimes healing. So for me, it is a gift of quality and craft. Like storytelling. Understanding, abstraction, and catching the moment of truth. Giving birth to a soul that wasn’t in this universe before is a miracle far beyond.
The Westerners have a poor impression of Romania and Eastern Europe. What do you expect to find here?
Oh really? I guess that doesn’t account for artists. We’ve been traveling the world from east to west, north to south, and found very nice friends and assholes just everywhere. Right now I am much more concerned about bad people in Germany who just can’t give a flying one about world climate, wars, starving children all over the world, pollution, you name it. I am sure I will find people in Romania who are fighting or at least striving for a better world also. I would also expect Romania not yet to be as wealthy as Germany with all its advantages and disadvantages.
Do you happen to know of any Romanian musical projects?
Unfortunately, we don’t know of any yet. But we are always happy to meet new talent and help where we can. I am sure there must be a great talent in Romania.
In your long journey, you must have visited so many places, I’m sure. Is there a particular place you feel bound to in any way? Where did you have the most unusual happenings?
I guess everybody likes New York. But in the end, the clubs and festivals are the places where we really experience things. I do like the vibe of clubs where people meet regularly to enjoy underground music. Or festivals that are open to underground music. The only other places I am very much attracted to are art exhibitions, ideally with special architecture like the Guggenheims in New York or Venice.
I’ve recently read an article that said Iceland declared all the world religions as forms of severe mental illnesses; a kind of protest of religious extremism, if you will. If there was no such thing as religion, would there be no spirituality at all?
I have no idea. I would already have difficulties defining religion. I guess one only experiences the positive side of religion locally and the bad side in the news.
I want to ask you about the bands that have been continuous influences for you, but also about new bands and new records that you think are exciting in the post-punk scene. What do you look at and say “that’s the future of this scene”?
Gosh, there are so many good bands around that I like: Black Marble, Motorama, Xymox, New Model Army, Lebanon Hanover, Drab Majesty, Human Tetris, The KVB, Soviet Soviet, Sad Lovers, She Past Away, Soft Kill, Tempers … many. What I like: the young ones found their own sound and approach. Good for the dancefloor but also with depth and meaning. Would hope to see more and more bands with real drums with dark but original music. In the past, there were so many copies of basic goth rock/metal or industrial techno / EBM. Everyone looked and sounded the same. No authenticity, no soul. I think that has changed for the better and more and more often we are sharing a stage and backstage with original artists of our genre.
If your music would be proposed as a movie soundtrack for the world’s current situation, what song would you pick and why?
“Tomorrow Never Comes” because it really is an anthem to get a grip on life and change it for the better NOW. Stop talking and postponing. The solution for a better world and future is to action today.
What actors would play the Pink Turns Blue movie and what genre it will be?
Ryan Gosling (Drive) and Carey Mulligan.
Today but in a parallel world.
Nietzsche spoke of eternal return, therefore, if you would restart, rebuild, and be reborn, would your music sound the same? Would you write the same history?
Yes, I guess so. As stated above, my music and my songs are just utterings of my soul trying to connect to other souls. If souls are eternal my uttering shape to be also.
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Cover photo: Alexandre Minard