Up in Smoke 2018: Acid King, John Garcia, Naxatras & Sasquatch Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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It would seem that in the new social media algorithmic rich-white-people-claiming-to-reshape-paradigms-everyone-else-when-all-they’re-really-doing-is-ripping-everyone-off universe of social media, somewhere along the line I stopped getting updates from Sound of Liberation. As someone who actively enjoys keeping up with a host of European events throughout the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, that’s a shitter to be sure. Already the lauded booking agency has started announcing lineups for two fall festivals: Up in Smoke 2018, held in Pratteln, Switzerland, and Keep it Low 2018, held in Munich, both in October. Needless to say, I’ve chased down the code like Neo in The Matrix or like whatever more up-to-date reference would apply and fixed the fucking problem for myself, social media overlords be damned.

Here’s me getting caught up with Up in Smoke 2018’s first four bands: Acid King, Naxatras, Sasquatch and John Garcia. Hell of a starting four, frankly, and of course there’s more to come. I wouldn’t actually put much stock in my technical prowess, but hopefully I should be able to do a better job keeping up from here on out.

An amalgam of the first and second announcements follows:



Here we go, the 6th edition of UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7 is on its way! Our dear graphic designers from Elvisdead are bent over the desk and working like maniacs on our poster which we will be glad to introduce very soon!

But for now, as we know you want to hear fresh and crispy news, we are glad to lift the veil today of our first names:

– Acid King (USA). Bathed in distortion and baptized in a plume of smoke, the Bay Area trio fronted by talented Lori S. is rocking the heavy scene for more than 2 decades and we are just thrilled to host them for this edition of the festival.

– Naxatras (GR). Very much attached to the roots of psychedelia, paying tributes to masters like Pink Floyd & Hawkwind, while also praising Black Sabbath Doom lords, the trio is still forging very fresh tunes out of those influences and creating very sweet and fine music.

– John Garcia (USA). Yes, desert crooner and former Kyuss, Slo-Burn, Unida, Hermano, Vista Chino frontman John Garcia may rightfully be considered the ultimate incarnation of stoner rock! His first solo album and opus eponymous from 2014 was followed roughly three years later by “The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues”, a comparatively relaxed and purely acoustic affair! He is now about to release a new one, and will be presenting it at Up In Smoke this year! We’re so looking forward to hearing his new tunes!

– Sasquatch (USA). Next, if we say “All is fair in Love and Doom”, you say ? SASQUATCH, right?! The trio, whose music has been featured on numbers of movies, games soundtracks is FUZZ! Those Californian Dudes are riffrockers to the core: mixing elements of 70s rock, metal and psychelia…we’re all in for a hell of a party!

Heavy-Rock-Doom-Psych-Stoner Indoor Festival. 2 Days of Volume Worshipping in Switzerlands best Rock Venue Z-7 in Pratteln (Basel).
2 big stages, 20+ bands and the chance for fans to sleep over in the venue. The festival is sold out since 2016, the 6th edition takes part on Oct 5th and 6th 2018.

Line Up 2018:


Acid King, Live in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 19, 2017

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Up in Smoke 2017 Adds Troubled Horse; Lineup Complete

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

With the inclusion of Sweden’s Troubled Horse, the lineup for Up in Smoke 2017 is finished. A total of 21 bands will play the two-day festival in Pratteln, Switzerland, as part of a busy Fall festival season across Europe, and Troubled Horse join the likes of GraveyardSaint VitusBrant BjorkOrange GoblinLowrider, Church of Misery, Toner LowStoned JesusBeastmaker, Ufomammut and Radio Moscow — among others, obviously — as they step out to support their sophomore outing, Revolution on Repeat (review here), released earlier this year by the venerable Rise Above Records.

Info on how the lineup is split over the two days is due out any second now (will probably go live about two minutes after this post, which is my usual luck with such things), but here’s the announcement for Troubled Horse as posted by the fest:

up in smoke 2017 troubled horse

Happy summer to all of you “Up in Smokers” !!!

Before leaving the office for a small August break, we are happy to announce today one more great band for our event. Troubled Horse, the swedish Pioneers of Heavy-Garage-Rock are joining the UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7. With this last name, our line up is now complete.

The daily split of bands and the daytickets will be announced this Thursday at 6 pm /18 H.

Due to the fact that we plan improvements on the stages,the outdoor area, the line up and the general higher costs every year for staff, infrastructure, etc. we hope for your understanding that the ticket price for the 2 day pass will raise a bit from August 10 th on. So if you don´t have your 2 Days Pass yet, take your chance and grab it now for the still reduced price.

More information also for the much demanded “sleep over” situation is coming along with the posting of the day split of the bands/day tickets on thursday. Our outstanding line up will now feature 21 bands on 2 days. The bands are playing on 2 big stages ( indoor and outdoor) with no overlapping set times.

Presales for UP in SMOKE 2017 are very good, the last year edition was sold out, so don´t hesitate any longer to get your ticket and go Up In Smoke with us.
The 2 Days Passes are available here:



Troubled Horse, “Track 7”

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Up in Smoke 2016: YOB, John Garcia, Fatso Jetson and Giöbia Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

The European fall festival scene continues to develop with the news that Up in Smoke 2016 in Switzerland has brought YOBJohn GarciaFatso Jetson and Giöbia to its already-considerable lineup with Electric Wizard, PentagramTruckfightersGreenleaf and so on. Similar to watching the spring Desertfests in Berlin and London take shape, it continues to be fascinating to watch Up in Smoke 2016 and the several fests on weekends in close proximity — Desertfest in Athens and Belgium as well as Keep it Low in Munich — as they come together, which bands will be shared between them, whose tours are we waiting to see announced (looking at you, Fatso Jetson), and what ultimately will be the crux of each.

Interesting to have it work out like this, with fests on consecutive weekends in different areas throughout Europe. I think it only makes everybody’s product stronger, and I just hope that an indoor two-dayer like Up in Smoke 2016 can continue to distinguish itself as it has thus far.

From the PR wire:

up in smoke 2016 poster

UP IN SMOKE 2016! Sept. 30th / Oct. 1st … John Garcia, Yob, Fatso Jetson & Giöbia added to the line-up!

Here we go, the next 4 bands added to the most outstanding Heavy Rock Line-up Switzerland have ever seen before!!!

Taking place on September 30th and October 1st 2016, in our dear Z7 Konzertfabrik (Pratteln / near Basel / Dreiländereck) this year’s edition will feature John Garcia (X Kyuss with full band show, new album and surely some Kuyss classics in the pocket), the crushing doom metal trio Yob, the legendary Desert Rock Godfather Mario Lalli with his Fatso Jetson and Italian acid/space rock outfit Giöbia, alongside previously announced Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Truckfighters, Elder, Cough, Greenleaf, Monkey3, 1000Mods, Yawning Man, Wucan, Desert Mountain Tribe, Noon and Ephedra.

Also not to forget: No overlapping set times, sleep over/breakfast possibiity in the venue + some more specials to be announced soon to sweeten you the “TWO NOT TO BE MISSED DAYS OF VOLUME WORSHIP” !!! Grab your ticket (2-day passes) right now on our website, on www.z-7.ch and on our Facebook (tab ‘Buy Tickets’). If you prefer to buy an original, real hard-ticket, our partner Woolheads is selling them!


John Garcia, “Pilot the Dune” live in Stockholm, 2014

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Up in Smoke 2016: Greenleaf, Wucan and Desert Mountain Tribe Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

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By my count, Up in Smoke 2016 currently has 13 bands slated for its lineup. According to the ticket page, the end goal is a total of 20 — listed as Electric Wizard and 19 others, which is fair enough — so they’re well on their way to unveiling the complete bill, still more than four months off from the fest itself. I’ll admit to having missed an announcement (if you admit to having missed that I missed it) before this latest one, which brings GreenleafWucan and Desert Mountain Tribe, but better late than never in including it here, especially since it adds TruckfightersElder1000mods, and Cough, as well as Swiss instrumentalists Ephedra, to the mix. That’s enough for a fest right there.

Of the latest bunch, Greenleaf easily steal the headline. The Swedish outfit will be out heralding their latest LP and Napalm Records debut, Rise Above the Meadow (review here), which continues to astonish. I’ll have an interview with guitarist Tommi Holappa up in the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out for that, but in the meantime, here’s the latest from Up in Smoke 2016:

up in smoke poster

We couldn’t post that before Desertfest as we planned, but those of you who were in Berlin last week-end got the news… for others, there you go! Swedish heavy-rockers Greenleaf, Germand kräuterrock quartet Wucan and English psych-noisenik three-piece Desert Mountain Tribe are confirmed for UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7 2016!

Alongside the previously announced bands, we are proud to add to this year’s line-up:

– Swedish high-voltage fuzz rockers Truckfighters,
– Massachusetts’ ultimate progressive stoner rock trio Elder,
– Virginia’s sludge/doom mongers COUGH,
– Hellenic grooviest psychedelic outfit 1000mods,
– and Switzerland’s instrumental heavy rockers Ephedra!

E-tickets can be purchased on www.upinsmoke.de, on www.z-7.ch and on our Facebook. If you prefer to buy a hard-ticket, our partner Woolheads is selling them!

20 Bands – 2 Stages
2 days of Volume Worship

No Overlapping Stage Times
Indoor Camping possible


Up in Smoke 2015 wrap-up video

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Up in Smoke 2016: Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Monkey3, Yawning Man and Noon Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

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Pretty courteous if you think about it for Up in Smoke 2016 to give you six months of advance notice that you should get your ass to Switzerland — which, yes, I phrased that way because it might as well be Mars. Still, if you think about starting lineups, Sound of Liberation isn’t screwing around in this first batch of announcements, bringing out big guns in Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Monkey3 and Yawning Man and showing further dedication to Europe’s booming underground with Noon.

I’m especially curious to see how Yawning Man shakes out. The Gary Arce-led desert rock progenitors recently unveiled a new four-piece lineup with Bill Stinson still on drums, Justine Summer Heaven presumably on bass and Malene Arce (LewdFlesh) on… vocals, maybe? They reportedly have a new EP in the works for the summer, so we’ll hear how it turns out, hopefully.

I got sidetracked. That release will hopefully be out by September, which is when Up in Smoke 2016 is set, at Z7 in Switzerland, with indoor camping and more, as the PR wire informs:

up in smoke poster

UP IN SMOKE 2016! Sept. 30th / Oct. 1st … Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Monkey3, Yawning Man, Noon confirmed!

We are proud to present our UP IN SMOKE INDOOR FEST IV, that will take place on September 30th and October 1st 2016, in our dear Z7 Konzertfabrik! Two days of stoner/heavy-psych/doom music in Basel-area (Switzerland) featuring 20 outstanding acts on two stages with no overlapping sets, and an indoor campsite!!

ELECTRIC WIZARD, which have been announced last fall, will headline one of the nights, and we are stoked to tell you today that Pentagram, Monkey3, Yawning Man and Noon are confirmed as well for this new edition! 2-day passes (e-tickets) are already on sale on our website, on www.z-7.ch and on our Facebook. If you prefer to buy a hard-ticket, our partner Woolheads is selling them!

Enjoy our new design made by Elvisdead, grab your ticket, and stay tuned! More names will come in March.


Electric Wizard, Live in Minneapolis, MN, April 8, 2015

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Fu Manchu Added to Up in Smoke Festival

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 8th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Supporting their 2014 album, Gigantoid (review here), SoCal fuzz progenitors Fu Manchu have been announced for a slot at this year’s Up in Smoke indoor fest, which runs Oct. 3 and 4 in Switzerland. It’s the first of what I expect will probably be more European tour dates to come for Fu Manchu, who also recently wrapped a successful US run alongside Electric Citizen.

They join an out and out killer lineup for Up in Smoke, which as you can see in the poster already includes the likes of Dozer, Mars Red Sky, Greenleaf, Conan, Naam, Ufomammut, Brant Bjork, Kadavar, and many others. The PR wire makes it official:

Up In Smoke Festival – October 3rd & 4th 2014 – Fu Manchu Confirmed !

We are stoked to tell you that the Southern California legendary quartet FU MANCHU is now confirmed to play at UP IN SMOKE INDOOR FEST, on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3RD 2014 !!

For 20 years, fuzz rock progenitors FU MANCHU deliver their delightfully heavy, crisp riffs, many tones, grooves, low ends, doubling of great vocals, and have consistently grown their style from album to album.

After a long five-year gap since their previous studio effort, FU MANCHU have rolled out a new album “Gigantoid” in April, treating the listener with 10 tracks of unadulterated stoner rock righteousness. An amazing example of the sheer impact that a group of musicians can achieve by just doing the simple things right, and having a good time doing it!

For that reason, and because their celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1994 debut, “No One Rides for Free”, we are especially proud to add them to this year’s line-up! It’s gonna be a blast!!

This news will be published at 13:00 on our websites. FU MANCHU join the 16 bands we’ve already announced, which you can discover here below if you missed our past news. Most of the line-up is now unveiled, the last bands will be announced in August / September, so get your TICKETS right now on www.z-7.ch and via Ticketmaster!

Check-out our Facebook page for constant updates.


Fu Manchu, “Anxiety Reducer” from Gigantoid (2014)

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Alunah Finish Recording New Album; Confirmed for Up in Smoke Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

According to my in-depth field research, and by that I mean seeing the post on the band’s Thee Facebooks page, the just-mentioned Tony Reed of Mos Generator/HeavyPink fame began mixing the new Alunah album yesterday. Alunah‘s third, which I feel at this point has been a while in the making though that may just be my own impatience, will serve as their Napalm Records debut, and was recorded by Esoteric frontman Greg Chandler. It will follow-up the stellar sophomore outing, White Hoarhound (review here), and is set to release in September. Needless to say, but I’m stoked at the prospect and it’s among my most anticipated records for the fall.

Alunah have also been confirmed to appear at the Up in Smoke fest early in October as part of a to-be-announced European run. They’ll join the likes of Kadavar, Dozer, Conan, Mars Red Sky and Brant Bjork at festival that, well, would be awfully nice to see. Info on the recording and the fest follow here:

Recording Complete…

We have just returned from a small English tour, and the week before we finished recording our upcoming third studio album with Greg Chandler at Priory Recording Studios (released September 2014 on Napalm Records). Photos can be viewed here and it is now with Tony Reed for mixing and mastering. Here’s what Soph had to say:

“After an intense and inspiring week spent at Priory Recording Studios in Canwell with Greg Chandler, we have now finished recording our third album. Having worked with us on our past albums as well as fronting the majestic Esoteric, Greg shares our vision and understands where we are coming from in terms of sound and songwriting. We have spent the last few months writing and reworking the songs over and over again until we were all happy, and have pushed ourselves in terms of playing/singing technique. To hear the songs sounding as we envisioned them is wonderful, and hugely rewarding. Tony Reed will begin the mixing and mastering process in the next few days, and we cannot wait for you all to hear the end result.”

2014 European Tour…

As mentioned above, our album will be released in late September, and we will be spending 2 weeks on tour in Europe throughout September and October. Sound of Liberation are putting the final touches to the dates, and we hope to announce them very soon. We will also be filming a music video in July, where we will also be filming a short video with illustrator Michael Cowell talking about the concept surrounding the album artwork, as well as announcing the album title and track-list.

Alunah confirmed for Up In Smoke Festival on Saturday, October 4th 2014!!

West Midlands based ALUNAH carve their own path merging elements of doom, psych and classic heavy rock with earthy hypnotic vocal melodies.

They have just finished recording their upcoming third studio album that will be released in September 2014 via Napalm Records. We are looking forward to hear it, and we will give you more details about it when we willl get some!

Tickets for UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7 vol. 02 :
(80 CHF, 65 € + taxes)
UP IN SMOKE FESTIVAL #2 / OCTOBER 3rd & 4th 2014
www.Z-7.ch / www.upinsmoke.de
Kadavar / Blues Pills / Brant Bjork Presents Low Desert Punk
Dozer / Conan / Mars Red Sky / Lonely Kamel / Greenleaf
Alunah / Interscotal / Wardhill & many more!


Alunah, White Hoarhound (2012)

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Brant Bjork Added to Second Up in Smoke Indoor Festival

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Joining the esteemed ranks of Greenleaf (who were also just announced so they’re not on the poster yet), Naam, Kadavar and the almighty Dozer, Brant Bjork has been added to the lineup for the second installment of the Up in Smoke indoor festival this October in Switzerland. The fest is presented by Sound of Liberation, and is set to take place Oct. 3 and 4 in Switzerland, which puts it the weekend before Desertfest in Belgium. The more the merrier. I can think of few things cooler than two fests on consecutive weekends.

Brant Bjork will play Up in Smoke with his new band, Low Desert Punk. Not sure if that’s the name they’re using — it’s billed as Brant Bjork presents “Low Desert Punk,” so if it’s that or Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk or Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punks, or some other variation, remains to be seen — but with Fatso Jetson‘s Tony Tornay on drums, Dave Dinsmore from Bl’ast on bass and Bubba Dupree (Void) on guitar alongside Bjork himself, they can call it whatever the hell they want and I won’t complain.

That same lineup heads to Australia this weekend for a run of dates that carries them into June. Info on that is on their Thee Facebooks, info on the Up in Smoke gig follows:

Up In Smoke Festival – October 3rd & 4th 2014

Hailing from Palm Desert where all the movement started, we are extremely pleased to welcome the desert rock icon BRANT BJORK, presenting LOW DESERT PUNK!

His influence within the stoner rock community dates back to his time as drummer for the legendary Kyuss, through his stint with fuzz-kings Fu Manchu. With his new outfit featuring Dave Dinsmore on bass (Che, Bl’ast), Bubba Dupree on guitar (Void, Hater) and Tony Tornay on drums (Fatso Jetson, Chuck Dukowski), BRANT BJORK will deliver a near-lethal dose of classic rock and heavy punk to UP IN SMOKE FESTIVAL on OCTOBER 4th 2014!

It grooves. It flows. It’s psychedelic. It’s tough. BRANT BJORK and his live band are guerrilla rock revolutionaries… taking back the rock and letting it roll. Don’t miss your chance at an audience with the legend this fall!

We are proud to present the second edition of our UP IN SMOKE INDOOR FEST!

As last year, it will set up in PRATTELN (Basel area) in one of the very best Swiss venue : Z7 KONZERTFABRIK! After the huge success of the festival last year, we took the decision to do a 2-day event in 2014 featuring around 20 bands on 2 stages with special light shows, after-show DJs, and art exhibition. On OCTOBER 3rd & 4th, Z7 will definitely be the place to be!

You’ll find below in this newsletter the first 7 bands already confirmed, including this afternoon’s announcement as special preview for you guys. Hope you’ll dig it!

TICKETS for UP IN SMOKE FEST #2 can be ordered on www.z-7.ch and soon via Ticketmaster.
Check-out our Facebook page for constant updates.


Brant Bjork, “Low Desert Punk”

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