Episode 211: Wizo w/ Axel Kurth
WIZO played their first show way back in 1987 and released their first EP in 1990. They’ve went on to become Germany’s second biggest all-time punk band (second only to arena rockers Die Toten Hosen) and have played everywhere from squats to stadiums. Although some of their lyrical content is lighthearted and even comical, WIZO is a band that has a very strong anti-racist/anti-fascist message. Their outspoken liberal politics have caused plenty of scandals and captured national headlines as well as coverage from European TV networks. So much controversy surrounds this band that they’ve been investigated several times and censored by the German authorities. Unlike most punk bands, WIZO is very open to outside musical influences and embrace their eclectic sound. A fine example is their cover of Ace of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’, which became a chart-topping hit in numerous European countries. In the early 90’s WIZO played a show with the illustrious NOFX and first caught the attention of Fat Mike. After the NOFX frontman witnessed the unpredictable and entertaining live show that WIZO put on, he knew the German trio could be adored and appreciated outside their homeland’s borders. And boy was he right, WIZO have went on to become an international favorite and boast record sales of over 500,000! All independently and without the help of those slimy major labels.
I was picking my brain of some obscure Fat bands to interview and Wizo popped into my head. So I message Axel, asked him to come on the show, he said “Sure, thanks for asking”. I got him on the Skype and this is what we chat about.
- Wizo being his full-time gig
- How they got on Fat
- High Standard
- Tom from Goober Patrol
- The Ace of Bass cover
- Playing in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
- Nerf Herder
- No Use For A Name
- Not using amps for their live show
- And a ton more
This week’s episode is sponsored by Mint 400 Records.
Albany NY based indie-rock band E.R.I.E. releases their sophomore album Suburban Mayhem on April 7th via Mint 400 Records. Citing diverse influences such as Blink 182, Tom Petty, and The Menzingers; E.R.I.E. has traded in the internalized existential struggle of debut Don’t Wanna Live, Don’t Wanna Die, to take on the myriad forces that permeate a modern existence. Single “Bad Man’s World” presents a tongue-in-cheek evaluation of fitting into a stereotypical idea of “manhood,” without turning into chauvinistic asshole.
In addition to their album release show in Albany on April 7th, E.R.I.E. has upcoming shows in Metro NY, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and more! For more information, visit their website, abandcallederie.com
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