“Our music is dancing and crying”

Talk with the Dresden Band Ätna

Band Ätna Dresden
ÄTNA is Inéz Schaefer and Demian Kappenstein, an electronica / independent duo from Dresden. Photo: Josefine Schulz

The Semperoper and Dresden’s classical music heritage have shaped the image of the city. But the Dresden sound is more diverse. In our series "The sound of Dresden", dresdner musicians chat about why saxony's capital is more. In conversation today: Ätna.

The Dresden band ÄTNA stands like no other in the Saxon capital for extremely danceable electro-pop. Inéz Schaefer and Demian Kappenstein are behind the four letters. The duo got to know each other at the local music college. Since 2016 they have been producing Independent-Beats that get the masses moving. In February 2020, the debut album “Made By Desire” came out, which was shortly thereafter rewarded with the Anchor Award, a music prize from the Reeperbahn Festival, which is considered Europe’s largest club festival. Since then, the two have been moved by a longing that pervades the entire industry: to finally be able to get back on stage.

If you had to describe your style in one sentence, what would it be?

One audience member once said: Ätna is dancing and crying. We like that.

What is important to you when you make music?

We enjoy being fully immersed, then it’s like meditation in a trance.


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Dresden is a good place for music because…

… there’s a great network of artists of all kinds there and so many places where you can develop ideas.

Which area in Dresden has had the strongest influence on you?

First there’s Neustadt because of its high cultural and intercultural density. Then Pieschen and Plauenscher Grund.

Can you hear Dresden in your music?

We often use recordings of Dresden’s original sounds in our concerts. They can be controversial demonstrations or animal sounds, for example.


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Where do you like to perform most in Dresden?

All the concerts we have given in Dresden have been at great venues: Festspielort Hellerau, Jazzclub Tonne, Societaetstheater, Scheune, Schauburg, objekt klein a and Beatpol.

What do you hope for in 2021?

We hope to make up for all the cancelled concerts and festivals for our new album “Made By Desire”. During the Corona lockdown, we started working on new material for the next album. However, it is still written in the stars as to when it’ll be ready. There will also be a remix album curated by the Dresden label Uncanny Valley.