On Focus: DIE NERVEN @ Waves Vienna 2014

German music magazines and the papers culture sections got their satisfaction over the last year. After the disappearance of 1000 Robota, they can refer again to a wave of new and talented domestic bands like Trümmer, Messer or Die Nerven. In this sense, Spiegel Online yet named Nerven’s latest album “FUN” as “one of the most important German-speaking records of the decade”. So, whether one seeks for the semi-annual Zeitgeist in music, or just likes loud guitars with the pathos of german language, Die Nerven got their hype, and – more important – fully crowded shows in every mid-sized town. For this year’s Waves Festival they showed up in Vienna for the third time, after Venster99 last year and the Rhiz gig in March. During the show at Flex they seemed a bit pissed off, and because of bad stage-sound and two broken foot machines they were about to stop the gig. However, while standing in the crowd you didn’t notice these problems: it was a high energetic show with a definite highlight moment, when the band was turning their upcoming single “Hörst du mir zu?” into a 12 minute jam (for this, watch our video below). After the concert, we had a couple of minutes talk with them.

I heard you guys like Vienna. Why?

Kevin: I like that things don’t feel so 2014 here. Everything is a bit more old-fashioned and homely. For example there are a lot of little bars and shops and I think it’s good that they can exist. But that’s just one aspect. I also enjoy swimming in the Donau.
Julian: When I was sixteen I was in Vienna with my parents and we were just like sightseeing and visiting the castle and I really hated it. But on our recent stays I got to know the “dirtier” sights of the town. And in fact I really like this contrast, these posh buildings and fancy castles on the one side, and on the other hand these dirty corners. Like we’re standing here right now at the Donaukanal and everything is full of Graffiti and very filtihy and when you go up to the street there are these nice looking buildings.

What about the music scene here?

Kevin: It’s great. We like Kreisky a lot, and of course all the Wolfgang Möstl Bands and labels like Siluh, Totally Wired or Fettkakao. The Eternal Laser shows…
Julian: Yes, it seems that Vienna has probably the biggest Noise Rock scene in whole German-speaking area.

I didn’t know a lot about your hometown Stuttgart so I was googling , and on the fifth page there was a super-serious study that says that Stuttgart has the most optimistic people of Germany.

Julian: (laughing) So it seems that we deliver the contrary evidence for this.
Kevin: I think we are quite optimistic despite the fact that we know how it is to live in Stuttgart…
Max: If you like shopping then Stuttgart might be heaven on earth for you. The city is like a huge artificial shopping mall. You just have to put a big glass dome over it, and you can call it Stuttgart Mall.

Why did Tocotronic took part in your music video?

Max: Cause we thought it’s funny.
Kevin: Yes and because they were totally in to it and really nice. And members of Die Nerven once were chilling with Rick McPhail, so we got already in contact.

Is he still in the band?

Kevin: Yes, but he had no time on the day the video was shot.
Max: And in fact we’re just three people so it actually was good that way.
Julian: We are also getting more compared with the earlier Tocotronic and so we somehow liked the idea of turning it around. Like saying ‘Die Nerven are the new Tocotronic’ or ‘Tocotronic are the early Nerven’. Or the new? Or Tocotronic have always been Die Nerven? Or othersides. Who cares. Talk to Tom Cruise!
Max: Is Tom Cruise still in town?
Kevin: Yes I think he is shooting Mission Impossible 10.
Julian: What is that relationship between Scientology and Vienna??

Don’t know, those guys just sometimes talk to you on the street and ask you how you’re doing. Change of subject: As a german-singing band, are you afraid that someday you might get stuck between Flensburg and Klagenfurt?

Max: Yes I’m afraid somehow.
Julian: No, I think that we are also well received in other countries. We were playing in Denmark, Netherlands or Israel and I think the people there even more go straight with the music. I don’t know if it is the mentality but yeah, they just don’t care about the lyrics or questioning it and this is somehow an advantage. Sure it’s possible that we someday will get stuck, but at the moment I’m confident that we might see Tel Aviv again.

Humm..last question. Your favorite color and pet?

Julian: Man are we talking to Bravo!?
Kevin: Orange and hippo.
Julian: Bordeaux-red and kestrel.
Max: Beer-yellow and maggot.


Text & Interview: Thomas Hoisl
Pictures & Video: Svetlomir Slavchev