Markus Acher – Alien Disko is back to build a new city!

Alien Disko is a very special music festival for all tastes. A meeting place to discover stimulating music of all kind of genres curated this time by the band The Tenniscoats and The Notwist, who has been curating this festival since its first edition two years ago.

We have been attending the festival since its first edition, and we totally recommend it. On the occasion of the 3rd edition of Alien Disko the next 14 and 15 of December, we talked with Markus Acher, one of the organizers and the voice of The Notwist. See you in outer space!

You are a member of The Notwist, Hochzeitskapelle and Spirit Fest, among other bands, you form part of the label Alien Transistor and you create also music for soundtracks. Is it possible to make a living exclusively with music? 

It is possible. It means you’re never really safe, though. And living in Munich makes it really hard, as the costs for rents etc… are so high and there is nearly no open space for art and creativity. But nonetheless, there is such a great scene of people here at the moment, who create and organize and hold something against the conservative and the rich, who dominate more and more (and silence) the center of the city.

How do you organize a festival like Alien Disko? I guess should be not easy to put together all these amazing bands from all over the world…

It’s with the great help of the Kammerspiele around Mathias Lilienthal, who liked the idea and made this possible. We are happy about this because it is very special and rare to have such an opportunity. We put together a list of bands and Christoph Gurk from the Theater and Christian Kiesler help us with the booking and organizing. We always try to make it a colorful and unpredictable mixture of many musical styles, experiments, songs, instruments, etc… And we prefer many lesser known bands to one ‚big’ headliner.

What are the highlights of the third Alien Disko edition so far?

The original cast of Palais Schaumburg will play an exclusive concert after a break of 7 years. Their song ‚Wir Bauen Eine Neue Stadt’, covered by the great G-Rag became a sort of hymn for a change in politics in Munich when they played it on the ‚ausgehetzt’– Demonstration…. at least to me. So, I’m happy they play… and I think, we will hear a few versions of this song maybe, as it’s sort of motto for the whole festival.

Our dear friends from the Tokyo-based band The Tenniscoats will curate a part of the festival this time and invite friends from Japan and Glasgow. There will be 13 people coming from Japan, most of them for the very first time. The acts are the free-improvisation-legend and soundtrack-composer Otomoyo Yoshihide, the sound-Artist Umeda Tetsuya, indie-folk-band Eddie Marcon and the brass-collective Zayaendo.

And many other bands we are fans of, are coming, too. The legendary Pastels, the wonderful Ben La Mar Gay, Tirzah, etc…

Alien Disko is a place to discover music out of this planet. I find it really stimulating, but I think sometimes is difficult to reach more public because usually, people don’t like to take risks and see bands they don’t know. What you will say to somebody that doesn’t know any of the bands to convince him/her to go to Alien Disko? 

You have the chance to see many unique and interesting bands, that maybe wouldn’t come to Munich…. on two different evenings and in 4 different rooms. If you don’t like one, you can still see so many others. And it’s not one certain style… the chance, there is something for your taste and you find a new favourite artist is quite big.

As this is a website about cultural events in Munich, what is your favorite place in Munich?

I really like the Import Export as an alternative venue with a great program and also a political commitment. I like the Lothringer 13- Gallery, who always bring challenging and interesting exhibitions and evenings. Or the Favorit bar, who apart from being a great bar with always good music do series with great discussions, films or lectures. I’m also very happy about the Bellevue de Monaco- House and projects, something that changed Munich to the better.

What interest you the most about the cultural life in Munich? What has Munich to offer that you can’t find in another place?

There is a feeling of family and friendship instead of competition, maybe because it’s a small big city, and that makes it very unique.

Tell us one band (or more) to watch from Munich.

Puh…. so many! On the festival, we are very happy to have the incredible Friends of Gas perform new songs, and also the great Moon not war around artist Anna McCarthy. The whole gutfeeling / G-Rag-scene is always expanding and surprising with new projects and evenings, and there are many great, more electronic and experimental musicians like LeRoy, rumpeln, Daniel Door, 1115, joasihno, Protein, belp. And the whole fascinating universe around Beisspony. And ‚das weiße Pferd’…. and Sasebo ! Etc… etc…

Alien Disko is a music festival taking place on 14th and 15th of December at Kammerspiele. More information on the Kammerspiele website

*Header image: photography of Markus Acher courtesy of Flow. 


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