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From challenges to prowess: NUFO’s punk rock journey

A lot has happened in the 25 years of their existence. To mark the release of their new album, Austrian punk rock band NUFO took the time to answer a few questions for Distrolution. Find out more about the band’s history below.

Picture by Werner Gasser

Hey NUFO! For those who might discover your band via this interview, would you mind introducing yourselves?

Hey folks! We are Nufo from the beautiful city of Graz in Austria. Nufo is Alex (Bass & Vox), Stefan (Git. & Vox), Matthias (Git. & Vox) and Gerwin (Drums) – and we make music together since 1995, when we started in the ages between 15 and 17. We love melodic and fast 90s Californian and Swedish punkrock like Bad Religion, NUFAN or No Fun At All and under that influence we have been writing our songs. Over the years we created our own style, distinctive with polyphonic choruses, catchy hook lines and some hardcore and hard rock passages in some songs.

Your band was founded in 1995. What’s the magic recipe to last this long?

Alex and Stefan went to school together since they were 10, so they are friends for a lifetime. Alex and Matthias are brothers, so we all have a close connection. The band is like a second family to us and band time – like rehearsals, shows and touring – is always special to us. It is a safe zone, with deep respect and mutual appreciation. During our brake as a band from 2001-2009 we kept in touch, but everyone did his own musical projects. Finally, we knew we did not want to miss the kick, joy and energy of playing our songs together and when you see us live, you will hardly miss the fun and joy we have performing together.

What has been the most complicated thing you’ve had to face as a band since its creation, and, conversely, your biggest (happiest) memory?

In 2001 we split up, maybe due to wrong expectations between each other. When you want too much, good thing can break. Once we asked ourselves, what had happened if we played and toured all the time since then? One of the happiest memories was touring Brazil 2018 (thank you Dalin!) with the best crowds and bands, that we still love so much. And to share the stage with our Swedish friends “Passage4” at the Erntepunkfest 2022, when they played their first show since more than 20 years after we invited them to come. They played all the hymns we listened to in our youth, and we felt like 17 again. Guys, get them to your venue, festival or show, they are really awesome!

You got the opportunity, over the years, to share the stage with really cool bands. What’s the best show you’ve ever played so far and why?

Most bands we shared the stage with were really cool. We have to mention more than one show. It was impressive to meet legendary Chi Pig from SNFU personally and share the stage with him. He was really wrecked at that time (one year later he died), but when they started the show, he went off like a rocket, that was unbelievable. We played with No Fun At All twice, and receiving a compliment from Ingemar was quite cool. Venerea let Alex sing Love is a Battlefield with them. In 2022 we played two shows with Authority Zero, they are so nice people, supportive and related to the scene. They just love what they do, as we do, but much bigger. Or when we heard that Swedish punk rockers Adhesive wanted to do a one-year-reunion-tour in 2018, we helped them with three shows in Austria and Germany and supported them with Nufo on their tour.

For us, a dream came true by joining our idols from the beginning years. Meeting Carlos Rodriguez from Boom Boom Kid and sharing the stage was also unforgettable. After the show he told us he loved the refrain from the song” Tales Never Fail”, he remembered the title and could still sing it – how cool.  As we also promote shows and two festivals in our hometown Graz, so we meet a lot of bands and some regularly and many friendships have been formed.

Speaking of live shows. What’s on your merch table and, as a band and music fans, what’s your favorite merch item?

On our merch table we have different shirts, mainly in black, but also some older ones in white. We like the new sujet with the skull-artwork, that is on the new shirts and hoodies. We now also got beanies with the new NUFO lettering. Caps are planned too. As music fans we like wearing shirts from bands we like and know personally when we play, a way to share love and show respect.

You’re back since April 2023 with a new record, “Stick Together”. How long have you worked on it?

We wrote the songs between 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic. We regularly met each other in that time to work on new songs, even during lockdowns. Kind of undergroundy and unlawful J! The album was recorded at Tom Zwansger´s S.T.R.E.S.S studio, Tom is the first address for punk productions in Graz and an old friend, who we know for almost 30 years now. After 10 days in the studio the 9 songs were recorded and mixed.

Please describe your writing process for this album.

As former lead singer Alex started playing bass 2019 on the prior album “Fight Your Thouths”, we decided to share lead vocals between Matthias, Alex and Stefan. This makes our set more complex and interesting, as each lead singer has his own style. Matthias was the main songwriter, but also Alex wrote two songs and Stefan one on this Album. This makes listening to the latest Nufo-album more diversified, we hope people out there like it and spread our music.

The last words are for you. If you have any other projects in the making or a message to convey, here’s your chance!

  1. We will tour Austria, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands from September 21st until 29th Looking forward to meet new friends and bands out there and we want invite everybody from Vienna (21.9.), Nürnberg (22.9.), Fürth (23.9.), Liege (24.9.), Antwerpen (27.9.) up to Naadwijk (28.9.) and Hengelo (29.9.) in NL to come to our shows, sweat with us and have some beers together afterwards. We also hope to tour the rest of Europe in the next years and to come back to Brazil soon.
  2. If bands plan to tour Austria, we will try to help you out with a show in Graz with our Punk Verein Austria, a small association of idealists, like everywhere, who want the scene to connect and thrive, with DIY shows.
  3. To all the people out there, 99 point something % of musicians do not get anything from all the streaming platforms. So please buy records, cds and merch stuff from bands, keep on supporting your local scenes!
  4. Though all the love we all have for punk rock and the huge effort we put into our bands, shows and stuff, it is always important to inspire young people, also more girls, to play in a punk rock band. Let’s tackle this mission together – everywhere!

Love and peace from NUFO – Alex, Stefan, Matthias and Gerwin!

About Valentine

I've been writing for various music websites since 2011 and joined Distrolution in 2017. Huge fan of pop punk and punk rock music.

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