Source: Emo Night RSA Facebook page.
If you were an angsty teen in the 2000’s and you considered bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco to just like, understand you, man, then Emo Night is the kind of party that will make you feel right at home. And the party is now no longer limited to the US, so you can rock out (locally) with kindred spirits who cherish the era of emo just as much as you do. We spoke to one of the organisers of Emo Night South Africa, Craig Roxburgh, about this event’s second installment which will take place on 3 September at the Manila Bar in Cape Town.
The first Emo Night RSA event took place on 2 July. How did it go?
That went really well. We were actually incredibly overwhelmed by how many people came out on an incredibly cold winter’s evening to watch a couple of university students spin some incredibly nostalgic rock and pop punk songs. We may have only just covered the venue hire, but the response we got to the entire notion of Emo Night throughout the evening was phenomenal. People seem really excited to just be able to go to a club-like event that caters to their kind of music.
The next Emo Night RSA event will be taking place on 3 September. What can those who are planning to attend expect from the event?
We’re pretty much going with the same format as the previous event: DJs spinning songs steeped in nostalgia. We are planning to perhaps do a bit more with the decor, but I think the most exciting thing is the fact that we are going to be playing My Chemical Romance’s “The Black Parade”. It is a perfect time to commemorate the album and, in some ways, celebrate its existance considering that it is being reissued for its 10th anniversary in September.
Your theme this time around is Taking Back Saturday. What was the inspiration behind it?
Part of the inspiration was the based off the fact that Taking Back Sunday is one of my favourite bands and were one of the few bands linked to the emo subculture to which I listened alongside Brand New. Another reason came from what Emo Nite LA was formerly known as which was “Taking Back Tuesday” – which changed after Adam Lazzara [lead singer of Taking Back Sunday] publicly complained about it. However, the biggest reason for the name is two-fold. One, it ties into the emo subculture and two, it links to our entire ethos which is to create an alternative clubbing experience for all those in the alternative subculture who don’t feel comfortable going to Fiction or Vice as their music tastes are not represented there.
Emo Night is a very prominent event in the US. What made you decide to start running Emo Night events locally?
You know, it was born from an incredibly selfish desire to be able to attend an Emo Night. I’ve been fascinated by the concept since last year and I think something clicked inside of me this year to say: “Hey, if I start a Cape Town Emo Night – I can attend Emo Night”. That notion dwelt in the back of my head for a few months until my co-founder (Dominique Lea) and I joked about playing a DJ set for a Made For Broadway show and went on this lengthy tangent about one day playing Rocking the Daisies. What was ultimately a between-lecture joke has become a fully-fledged event and we’re still kind of figuring things out. I don’t think I was really thinking about the whole thing because there is a huge difference between DJing and attending, but the whole experience so far has been utterly amazing.
How do you decide which tracks and which bands will be played at the event?
It is really down to the discretion of the DJ. The theme of Emo Night sets basic guidelines but the fact that we are playing off the subculture as opposed to genre allows for a broad range of songs from a variety of different genres. The great thing is that each set is usually incredibly different because we all come from very different musical backgrounds.
I know Emo Night is still fairly new in Cape Town itself, but would you guys consider spreading the event to other areas in SA, if it were at all possible?
We are actually trying to set up a DJ residency in Stellenbosch which is proving to be slightly difficult as venues don’t seem too keen on replying to emails. I know there have been a few people in Johannesburg asking for us to bring Emo Night there, which I would love to do but currently that seems a bit difficult as we are all students operating off a student budget, but if they get their Cape Town friends to come support us – we can definitely get up there a lot sooner.
If you’re keen to attend Emo Night, check out the event link here.