For many of us, an overseas holiday at the moment is really out of the question, but the return of an enticingly local event may just have you venturing overseas (what, it still counts) to Hobart for the return of Dark Mofo from June 16-22nd. With the 2021 program revealed, it’s going to be the best time to take part in one of the country’s most talked about events and experience it all for yourself.
Taking into consideration the COVID regulations in Melbourne, event organisers are watching the situation closely and have issued the following statement on the event:
Dark Mofo organisers have announced that tickets for this year’s festival will go on sale today, Thursday June 3. At this stage Dark Mofo will go ahead as scheduled from 16–22 June, proceeding with caution and subject to change. Organisers continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and restrictions closely, particularly after the lockdown in Melbourne was extended for a further seven days.
Tickets to Dark Mofo events—including performances by Thurston Moore, Om, Circuit des Yeux and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra—will be made available for sale from www.darkmofo.net.au. The majority of this year’s Dark Mofo events are free to the public. From noon, patrons will also be able to register for tickets to free events, which will be allocated via a ballot system.
One of those events just so happens to feature Lo! and their triumphant return to the stage for what is going to be one hell of a night for fans and newcomers checking the lads out for the very first time. To gauge more insights into the show, we grabbed frontman Sam Dillon for a chat about their performance, the significance of the album they’re playing in full and recommendations for where to catch him when he’s not on stage…
Sam! It’s been a hot minute since we last caught you climbing over the railings at Crowbar Brisbane during your set at BIGSOUND 2019… How did Lo! tackle the pandemic in Melbourne?
Hi Paul, RIP Brisbane Crowbar btw, what an iconic venue and staff team! Lo! tackled the pandemic just fine as they are all Sydney residents apart from myself. I survive it the best I can, plenty of time to write music, but the toll on the mind when so much of your identity, purpose and touring is stripped from you… that certainly creates issues for artists.
No doubt in that, hopefully we see some sort of return to normal as soon as we can, I guess it’s going to be a little weird being back on stage again at Dark Mofo! What attracted you guys to the festival to headline the Thursday night show?
Lo! were actually invited for the very first Dark Mofo many moons ago, but finally the stars have aligned. The themes of our album “Vestigial” which we are playing in full at the Odeon Theatre seem just as poignant now as when we wrote it for such a caustic world. We love the atmosphere of Dark Mofo and the crowds it draws. Also, Hobart is such a hub for bleak and beautiful creatives.
Because of COVID restrictions, are you going to be able to travel to Hobart from Melbourne? What happens if you can’t?
Covid is an unpredictable beast and one I hope can be tamed. If I am unable to cross the strait and play, I know my band mates will deliver a blistering instrumental set of “Vestigial” with every bit of rage and passion for the Dark Mofo hoard.
Hell Yes. Lo!’s heaviness will be perfectly suited to the festivities – in terms of performance, can we expect some high energy antics and mayyybe new material?
This is a unique performance for us, as it is the first time we will be playing our most concise and vicious record “Vestigial” in full. The album took us across the globe and many local fests, but not till now have we played it start to finish in all its anthemic glory.
High energy antics? Mate…. this is going to be an exorcism.
hahaha I love the sound of that. For the passive viewer, Dark Mofo looks like a creepy alternate reality – is there anything in particular you can’t wait to check out in the flesh when you’re not rehearsing?
I tend to drift with no plan outside of the gigs, there’s so much going on and a mass migration of friends to Dark Mofo that you can discover something surprising or delicious down any lane. I always make a point of seeing Mona Gallery by boat and lurking along the harbour each sunset.
To add to the creepiness – have you got any horror band/tour stories to share that wouldn’t be too out of place with their own exhibit at mofo?
I feel our infamous music videos for “Locust Christ” and ‘Orca” deserve their own wing, purely on gross art value, haha. I was suspended in 800 litres of milk powder and dye, naked except for a “modesty sock” stinking like feet and sadness, while my bandmates sweated to death in hazmat suits and gas masks, playing sludge metal.
Following Tassie, what are the future plans for the band?
Recording sessions for the new album are booked and there is plenty to be excited about. We are playing at “Blacken Open Air Festival” in Alice Springs this winter which is another iconic celebration of the darker arts in a beautiful Australian setting.
That’s right! A road trip out that way would be ideal, especially as a way to see a side of the country you’re yet to witness yet, with a heavy music festival at the end of it all! For the non-heavy-music loving Mofo attendees – Why should they venture into the Odeon Theatre on Thursday, June 17th?
The visceral nature and theatre of performing goes beyond your music genre tastes when it’s done with passion and anger. We wrote anthems for a maddening world on this album and I feel there’s joyful malice in playing it to new crowds. Dark Mofo is about challenging views and expression… I can’t wait to contort and bellow inside that venue as our first gig back from iso.
Looking forward to watching the facial expressions of those in close proximity! Any famous last words ahead of the comeback?
See you at the Odeon Theatre on Thursday night for a reckoning.
Bring it on Mofos!
Interview by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul
Lo! play Vestigial in full at Dark Mofo – Tickets Here
Lo! – Playing Vestigial In Full @ Dark Mofo
with Injured Ninja, Threats and Drug Cult
Thursday June 17th @ Oden Theatre, Hobart
8pm–midnight (doors 7pm)