Article on from 10/01/2019: Lifting the Veil behind the Absolution Festival


Florida might be the last place you may think of for a Post-Punk/Darkwave festival to take place. Between the constant sunshine, heat, and tropical essence it may not seem like the ideal place for one, but beyond all of that is a thriving community and a hotbed of talented artists. 

On October 4th-5th the inaugural edition of the Absolution Festival will be taking place in Tampa, Florida. Absolution boasts an impressive lineup in its first outing. Headlining Absolution will be Post-Punk darlings Actors who have taken the world by storm in recent years as well as Synthpop/Futurepop icons Assemblage 23. Some of the best up and coming artists within the genre such as Texas Post-Punk duo Twin Tribes, Chicago’s Dreampop standouts Wingtips, crooner Panic Priest, and Post-Punk veterans Ritual Howls. Representing the sunshine state will be Goth Rock upstarts Astari Nite along with Push Button Press and many more.

Absolution is organized by Communion After Dark, the long established Goth/Industrial music weekly podcast. Communion After Dark has been broadcasting for over ten years and focuses on bringing new music to their listeners worldwide along with hosting events and shows throughout the state. We spoke with Mark Paradise (DJ Paradise) of Communion After Dark to learn a little more about Absolution and what to expect.

Communion After Dark is known as Goth and Industrial podcast that has been around for quite some time. What made you want to put together a music festival like Absolution?

For me Absolution is a live extension of all the music we have played on Communion After Dark over the past 11 years!

The inaugural edition of Absolution takes place in Tampa, Florida. Why was that chosen as the location for the festival?

Tampa is where I reside so it only made sense to do the show in my home city. Realistically though, Tampa is a central hub for most of the live shows in the Goth/Industrial scene in Florida, and has been home to multiple music venues and DJs.

How did you decide on which artists to play the festival?

My goal was to put together the best line up of new and established artists in the Post Punk/Darkwave scene. I expanded on those genres based on recommendations from parties involved with Absolution. In the end it was just about having a solid lineup from the first to the last band of the day.

Was it a goal to have a focus on artists local to the state play Absolution?

We have a large number of great bands native to Florida. So we definitely wanted to highlight some of the local talent along with the nationally known artists. There will be a few artists native to Florida playing the festival such as Push Button Press, Sleeping Pills, Astari Nite and FJSHWJFE.

Outside of the artists playing festival, what else can we expect from Absolution?

We have a pre-party planned for Thursday 10/3 at the SpookEasy Lounge. We will have DJs and it will be a great place for people to meet old friends and make new ones. We will also have a vending market at the SpookEasy Lounge on Saturday for people to attend.

All these events are included with the ticket prices. Then on Saturday there will be an official after-party at the legendary Castle Nightclub. Vincent from Wingtips will be Guest DJing. On top of these events there is Florida. Perfect place to vacation for a few days. Great weather for sightseeing or going to the local beaches.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Any parting words?

I want to thank a few people who have helped me make this amazing festival a reality... Pete Olen, Christian Bankes, DJ Maus, Mychael (Astari Nite), Melissa Winters, Jim Walker, Megan Azy plus many others who have contributed their time for the festival. I am ready for a Great Two days of Music!!

Altvenger Article

Read the Altvenger article here

The festival will feature some of the best Post-Punk and Darkwave artists throughout North America. Headlining the festival will be Vancouver based Post-Punk artists Actors and Seattle Electro/Synth pop artist Assemblage 23.

Absolution Spotlight: Wingtips

Interview and Album Review on

What we know about Wingtips’ sound is that it’s always been pretty firmly established\as steeped in a retro-aesthetic channeling “Disintegration” era The Cure and Thompson Twins. With their debut however, Vincent and Hannah immediately come out swinging with EBM/synth-pop colored “Deaf Pursuit”, showing exactly what they are capable of together.


Absolution Spotlight: Twin Tribes

Interview by Obscura Undead

Twin Tribes - if you don’t know the name, you’re missing out. This darkwave band is from Brownsville, Texas and their sound is… well it’s Texas big. They’re dark, dramatic, atmospheric, hypnotic, and, while 80s nostalgic, starkly unique. The moment I heard them I was hooked and needed to know more. So after a great performance in St. Louis, I got to know them a little in the following interview! - Chandler Crenladh/Obscura Undead


Absolution Spotlight: Push Button Press

Interview: Push Button Press

by DJ Azy of Obscura Undead

Push Button Press is the coolest local goth band you might not have heard of until today. Based in Tampa(ish), PBP released their self titled debut album in 2015 and just last year came back from a short hiatus on Cold Transmission Records with their sophomore release Spectacle 1.

I caught up with them last month to talk about their hopes and dreams. And of course their favorite food to eat together while they gaze lovingly at each other across the table. I know you do guys, don’t deny it. I mean, I would.

If I sound like I’m enthusiastic about this band, you’re not wrong! Full disclosure, we’re friends, but I can say without bias that their music is excellent. Their sound is best described as a goth 2nd into 3rd wave throwback with modern synths riffs. But don’t take my word for it. Hit play on Spectacle 1 on and read on.

Azy: Hey there Jim and Jet! Thanks for doing an interview with us. I can’t begin to express (complain?) how difficult it is to find out more about your project Push Button Press. Your men of mystery! Is this mystique part of the PBP experience?

Jim: That is a secret. =)

Jet: We have always flown a little under the radar, but we have actually been around for quite a long time. This project did start off under a different name, but that is for the future die-hard fans to discover.


Azy: We know you both live in different cities hours apart, so when you come together, what we really want to know is... what do you eat together that you both love?

Jim: Cuban sandwiches and pizza!

Jet: I concur, Jim used to be here in Tampa and we would always seek these foods out.

Azy: With the distance, can you tell us a bit about what your music writing and rehearsal process is like?

Jim: The process has changed over the years, but I normally start things off with a simple riff and some lyrics. We then all collaborate in musical software, through the cloud, finishing out the songs in demo form as a band. That way, when we rehearse in person, we already have a solid idea of how to play the songs.

Jet: We also tend to find that when we are together some things do not work out and tend to tweak and change once we can actually speak to each other face to face. This becomes rather interesting at times. Things are said and shouted like “Make me cry Jet, make me cry, I want to be sad” I will let you all think of whatever context you want.


Azy: What artists have had the greatest influence on you?

Jim: For me it has to be Ian Curtis, Rikk Agnew, Michael Gira, and Brendan Perry.

Jet: Oddly enough 80’s synth-pop star Howard Jones. He made me want the racks of synths all around me and helped shape my outlook on life with his lyrics. I took those to heart and realized that your dreams can come true, never stop, just set the wheels in motion.  Pretty much whatever came out on Wax Trax!, Front242 (HUGE influence), The Cure, Depeche Mode, Clan of Xymox, and Skinny Puppy. 


Azy: Coming of out of the very industrial and old school goth heavy scene of Tampa and The Castle nightclub, it seems unlikely that a band with your very modern post-punk sound would have come about at all. Yet you guys have been doing the post-punk thing long before it blew up in popularity. Why that sound? What motivated and inspired you to form Push Button Press?

Jim: This is a tough question. It may just be as simple as being more of a hardcore/punk guitarist than industrial/metal player. What we call Post-punk today luckily is the genre that the best music PBP has written falls into. So, for us, it is really as easy as just following the path of least resistance and doing what feels the most natural.

Jet: I agree. We would never fit a synth sound and we would never fit a goth sound. I gravitated to what Jim was writing and his punk stylings. We seemed to take all the elements of things and sounds we loved and mashed them up and bent them to our will.


Azy: You recently signed to Cold Transmission Records after self releasing your first album. How’s being on a label been treating you?

Jim: I cannot say enough good things. Without Andy and Suzy none of the success the music has had would have been possible. They are amazing people who work very hard to bring us all new music. Thank you CT!

Jet: There is not a whole lot I can add to that.  Andy and Suzy work their asses off for their groups. I have never seen this level of dedication and conviction to helping artists blossom and thrive.  I repeat, thank you CT.


Azy: Your latest album on Cold Transmission Records is called “Spectacle 1”. Does this mean there is a “Spectacle 2” in the works? Can you share anything about that? What was the reason to split it into multiple releases?

Jim: Oh yes, there will be a “Spectacle 2” and perhaps even a “Spectacle 3”. I am not 100% sure what the next release will be called right now. However, I want to delve deeper lyrically into the topic of Spectacle. Which one aspect is how our evolving social interactions through images and representation manufacture alienation.

Jet: Yes, the decline of our culture is a dire concept.  Life is just a spectacle to watch anymore. Things play out before our eyes on TV and social media. We seem to cling to tragedy and despair, but this has always been. There is no more mystery in the world, except for us, as you say Azy.  LOL.


Azy: Jim, “Spectacle 1” and your self titled debut album “Push Button Press” are like night and day in terms of mixing, the smoothness of your voice, and overall hazy brooding emotive quality. Who or what inspired that change in sound?

Jim: I think the idea for that sound was always there, but perhaps it was just better executed on Spectacle 1? Of course elements like equipment, technology, experience, and a self-imposed strict writing schedule may have also been a factor as to why Spectacle 1 turned out the way it did. I am happy with the up front vocal sound, which is something I like hearing in other Post-punk acts.


Azy: Jet, you’re well known in Tampa for your synth work in Ootz Ootz, and live keyboard support for Espermachine, Aeon Rings, and more. Does being well versed in the synth styles of multiple genres have any effect on how you perform in PBP?

Jet: Absolutely, it makes me set the newer sounds of modern synth styles aside for PBP. I love taking all the old synth sounds and re-using them in modern context.  This creates the element of memory triggers. Like if you listen to The Cure’s “Sinking” I use the same synth sound in that, this then will trigger the memories from that time and it is all fresh again. I love this concept.  It becomes very cerebral for me, and I love hearing the reviews about how it reminds them 80’s back in High School.


Azy: We're really excited about this wave of new post-punk revival artists - are there any that you two particularly love that you would recommend we keep an eye on?

 Jim: Oh lord, I cannot even start to keep up with all of the great acts. I think that the Zeitgeist compilations give a wonderful snapshot of the genre. I recommend everyone head to Bandcamp and buy them. Of course, Communion After Dark has also been very instrumental in the revival as well. Post-punk will continue to grow and mature and I expect that at least one of the bands to make it very big.

Jet: There really are so many great bands out there.  In this day and age of being a musician and putting your material out there is very easy to do. This allows this art form to flow and develop.  I do not think of a particular band to watch or keep your eye on, more than watching what this genre of music will develop into. These are very exciting times.


Azy: You’ll be playing at Absolution Fest in Tampa this coming October. Is there anyone you’re excited to see yourselves?

Jim: I am excited about finally seeing and hearing these great bands that I have been into for so long now. I expect to be surprised by which band ends up being my favourite live.

Jet: All of them! I love seeing what bands are like live as opposed to the studio recordings. I like seeing the raw element being played out on stage. No re-takes, no overdubs, just raw live music. Plus, in the recorded material you do not see how they project themselves as well.


Thanks again for taking the time with us! I look forward to seeing you two out and about Tampa soon! Can’t wait to see you guys play live at Absolution Fest!

Absolution Spotlight: Astari Nite

Interview: Mychael of Astari Nite on travel, loss, and upcoming releases 

By DJ Azy of Obscura Undead

Astari Nite is a local Florida band which has established themselves as a unique act within the indie/dark alternative scene, incorporating elements of classic post-punk and goth, and adding a twist of dark imagery, intrinsic lyrics dealing with love and loss which makes them stand out from the growing sea of new darkwave artists.

They will be performing at this year’s Absolution Fest presented by Communion After Dark, so we caught up with frontman Mychael to ask about his inspirations, personal philosophies, and upcoming projects.

So queue up their latest album “Midnight Conversations”, released on Cleopatra last July, and enjoy!

Astari Nite tends to play shows local to Florida and the East Coast, or play mini-tours or festivals overseas. Do you have any desire to tour more extensively? What draws you back home?

Our parents forbid us from playing shows on school nights. I’ve acquired a fear that our automobile will turn into a pumpkin once the clock strikes twelve. Honestly if I may, performing in foreign lands such as Scotland, Manchester, London, Leipzig, Hannover, Hamburg, France, my nightmares and the North Pole has been such a gift / experience and are farther from home than a map lets on.

This has helped with my anxiety a great deal, I feel a little bit braver at times. The places we travel to are the places we want to vacation at, so we do for a moment or two. Home is a strange word, mentally I try to never leave because it tears me apart deep inside.


What’s been your favorite thing you’ve eaten on your trips abroad?

 Crème brûlée in London and Pizza in New York City. For the record, I can’t adapt to the fascination of In-N-Out Burger. I felt used and cheap after my attempt to fall for it in LA.


On the surface, Miami is all fast cars and bright colors. It seems an unlikely place to find a darkwave band. But underneath, there is a long and sometimes tragic culture of magick. Your latest music video for Sunday Queen off your latest album “Midnight Conversations” deals with themes of ritual and witchcraft. Do you take inspiration in the history of magick and witchcraft in south Florida?

 Such a touchy subject some might say. I am heavily inspired by the people that I believe in. The subjects that they study have shed light on my curiosity. My friends are the witches, Santa Claus is a woman and Killstar clothing does not give you a Ph. D in witchcraft.  

We’ve seen you live numerous times in Florida and one thing we’re always struck by is how much compassionate energy you give to complete strangers. You are also a vocal supporter of random acts of kindness and suicide awareness. What motivates you to commit so much of yourself to the well being of your fans, the people who inevitably walk in and out of your life, and those who will never reciprocate?

 It is hard for me to think that Astari Nite has fans. Certain words do not make sense to me. We are all people that die in the end. While living, I think that it is important to be equal, to show one another support / kindness so we can all find courage and continue to do what it is that we love. Some may come and go, though we will always be the same.


Astari 300w.jpeg

In your personal image, you almost always appear “blinded”. We rarely see your eyes, but you always give a sense of seeing beyond just simple watching. Is this meant to be a visual representation of personal loss and isolation?

 I have been mourning as of recent, perhaps our catalog of photographs has not been too discreet. Pretty coincidental, I’m left to believe.

You’re in the process of recording your next music video. Can you give us any hints as to what it will be like or about?

 Reflections of one’s self come to mind. The video is for a track titled “As If you were Dead.” People tend to think that loneliness is so tragic and sad. It’s quite beautiful and silly to say the least. I can’t imagine a world of everyone holding hands, can you?


Is there anything you’re listening to at the moment that you absolutely love and want to share?

 A song titled "Hōkago Distraction" (Afterschool Distraction) is the ending theme for a television anime that I am obsessed with called Hi Score Girl, the track is written by Etsuko Yakushimaru.


Is there anyone you’ll be performing with at Absolution Fest that you’re especially excited to see or share the stage with?

 These types of festivals can be rather heart breaking since you might perform on a different date than the band you would like to see and or admire. Regarding the Saturday night line-up, we are very pleased and look forward to spectating and meeting the many in attendance. Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) produced our current catalog so to catch up with a few of his songs that have inspired me will be surreal. From what I understand, that evening we will also perform several new tracks that we anticipate the release of.


Fun Bonus Question because Maus and I kind of obsess over your hair. We know it’s inspired by Aimee Mann’s style in the 80s, but it has a will of its own. What will be your final form?

I like to think that my final form will be “Dead.” Perhaps then I can put my crimping iron to rest in peace as well.


Thank you Mychael, and see you soon!

You can keep up with Astari Nite on Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp.

Locally, you can catch Astari Nite in concert on July 19th opening for Turkish darkwave band She Past Away, presented by Communion After Dark and Endoxa Booking. Check out the event information here.

They will also be performing the second day at the very first Absolution Fest here in Tampa on October 5th, 2019. This event is also put on by Communion After Dark and Endoxa Booking! The line up includes many of the best modern post-punk and darkwave bands in North America. Check out the line up at on the Absolution Fest website and buy tickets! It’s going to be a good time.