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  • Writer's pictureEryk The Strange

Interview with Jet from Dark Force Fest & Vampire Freaks!

Q: Tell the readers who you are and what you do.

Hi I'm Jet! I run VampireFreaks and Dark Force Fest. For Dark Force Fest I basically do the bookings, marketing and management.

Q: What gave you the idea to do DFF?

I've been promoting events for over 20 years so it's just been a journey of trying new things and trying to do bigger and better events. Dark Force Fest is like an ultimate culmination of the various events I've worked on in the past, to make it one awesome event! In the past I've promoted 'Triton Festival' and 'Dark Side of the Con', and Dark Force Fest has been a learning experience of taking the best parts of previous events.  

Q: What's the most difficult part of planning such an event?

Booking headliners can be a little bit difficult and sometimes frustrating. Sometimes it's hard to get ahold of bands or there's minimal response from the booking agents. It's also just hard to get a bunch of bands to come to the same place at the same time for a festival. Over the years I've been able to develop relationships with many bands and booking agents which does make things easier. Overall logistics and management is tough too, lots of unexpected things come up like dealing with the fire department and the venue and figuring out how to handle parking for an event of this size.

Q: Did you expect DFF to become so popular?

Well yeah we have an awesome lineup haha! I mean honestly I don't really have expectations, I just do the best I can and work hard on the event all year round. The way I look at DFF is I work on creating the event that I personally would want to go to. I actually wish I didn't have to work the event because I would love to be able to just party and see all of the bands. I do make it a point to watch at least a little of each band and I try to get as much of the experience as I can even though I wind up running all over the place managing things.

Q: If you could have any band you want play, what would be your top pick?

If I could have any band it would be The Cure. I know they're way too big for this festival but Robert Smith will always hold a special place in my heart! 

Q: How did you first get involved in the goth scene?

I was just a wee young teenager growing up in a sketchy area in Brooklyn and I've always been a bit of a geek / outcast. I discovered bands like NIN and Manson and Stabbing Westward back in the early 90s and then moved onto bands like Ministry and KMFDM and other wax trax / invisible records bands, then got into bands like VAC and Haujobb and more EBM stuff. I went to my first goth club with a fake ID when I was 15, it was the Bank in NYC, and then started going to clubs like The Pyramid and The Batcave. The goth scene gave me a sense of belonging as I was drawn to the music and the darker aesthetic. I also love how the goth scene is so accepting and inclusive, we're the outcasts so we accept everyone.

Q: What goals do you have for DFF and VF in the next couple years?

VampireFreaks has actually really grown as an online store in the past 3-4 years, we have a warehouse with a full-time staff and we've got a really large selection of exclusive products that we've designed ourselves. The goal is to just keep improving and growing the brand. As for Dark Force Fest, it's also been growing and it's been a real pleasure. We're at a point where we might outgrow our current venue in the near future so I'm not really sure what the future entails for Dark Force Fest but we're having fun as we do it!

Q: If you were an animal, what kind would you be and why?

I'd be a cat! I just love cats, they're so smart and majestic and I love my cat. I joke that I was a cat in a previous life.

Q: What's the first alternative band you remember listening to?

Alternative is such a broad term tbh. I had a phase when I was like 13 where I was really into grunge like Nirvana and stuff like that. Shortly after that the first 'industrial' band I discovered was NIN, I guess they were kind of the gateway drug in the 90's to discovering more industrial and goth bands. 

Q:Are there any new VF launches coming down the pipeline that you're excited about?

We have a new spooky Axolotl plush I'm excited about and some fun hoodies we're getting produced! We actually release new stuff on the website like every couple of days so there's always something new coming out!

Q: What message do you have for anyone who reads this?

Thanks for your interest in Dark Force Fest and VampireFreaks! We're so excited for our event this year, it's going to be our biggest event yet and it's gonna be epic!

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Aldo Garay
Aldo Garay
Mar 02
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Hey Jet, Cool Interview , see you at the Dark Force festival , keep doing this super cool party's don't forget monthly Goth and industrial old school as before , we still waiting , keep rocking buddy thanks a bunch , see you at the party

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