Austrian hardcore quartet will be heading to the UK in a couple of weeks, so we thought it was high time you were introduced. Vocalist/guitarist Zock has everything you need to know...
Q. You’re a new name to the website: can you tell us how ASTPAI came together and what was your original vision for the group?
We started taking things more seriously as a band in 2004, after a few years of getting on our feet, plowing through a quite big repertoire of cover songs and slowly learning how to play our instruments properly. In 2007, ASTPAI started touring Central Europe and the UK, followed by trips to both the West (US, Canada) and the East (Ukraine, Russia). In a total of ten years we put out five full length albums, a handful of 7”s and a couple of split releases. Our vision for the band was always to play as many shows as possible and trying to break out of just being a hobby band.
Q. Who are the bands/writers/artists who’ve most informed your sound?
The North American east and west coast Punk Rock and Hardcore music of the 90s and early 2000s has been a major influence on us. However, in the past five years, we moved on to a more Rock ’n’ Roll range of influences, which you can definitely hear on the newer songs. Personally, I’m a sucker for conceptual Bands such as Fucked Up or The Hold Steady, which – both musically and lyrically – blow my mind with every single one of their releases.
Q. Please forgive our ignorance, but we know little about the Austrian hardcore scene: what should TeamRock readers know about the punk community in your country?
Austria has always had a very active and busy Punk and Hardcore scene. Back in the days, bands like Antimaniax, Rentokill or Redlightsflash animated us to work hard on our songs, get out of our practice room and eventually tour outside of Austria. We owe them a lot! But even nowadays, the alternative music scene over here is as vital as always. With bands like The Liberation Service, Ants!, Deadends, Sex Jams, Mile Me Deaf, Boredom, Small Hours, 7Yearsbadluck, The Forum Walters and many more, you can find a wide range of musical styles within the DIY parameters of Austrian music.
** Q. We’re previewing Death Everywhere on the site: what can you tell us about the song?**
The song is taken from our new album Burden Calls, which tells a whole story about a fictional character. In Death Everywhere, our character is having some sort of a monologue about being surrounded by a social void enforced by the people surrounding him during his everyday work environment. He’s sick of feeling discouraged, patronised and generally stuck in routine and he’s desperate to break out and find positivity and new places.
** Q. What will define success for Burden Calls to you?**
We’ve put a lot of work into promoting Burden Calls and making it accessible to our crowd and – hopefully – beyond. To see people come out to our shows and feel as passionate about the new songs as we do on stage would mean the world to us. I don’t really care about crowd numbers – as long as the people that visit our shows feel a connection between them, our songs and us as both a band and individuals, we succeeded!
** Q. Describe your current mind-set in just five words.**
Restless, sleepless, wired, passionate and thankful.
ASTPAI’s Burden Calls album is out now on Ass Card Records. The quartet play the following UK dates in September/October:
Sep 29 London, The Windmill
Sep 30 Norwich, The Owl Sanctuary
Oct 01 Huddersfield, The Parish
Oct 02 Newcastle, The Black Bull
Oct 03 Newport, Le Pub
Oct 04 Plymouth, The Underground
Oct 05 Southampton, WTF Fest