Artist Spotlight: Astpai
Coming across the pond, from Vienna to be exact, is the next addition to our FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION on June 10th: ASTPAI.
Astpai have just under a decade-long history of releasing EPs and LPs with Jump Start Records, owned by Neshaminy Creek’s Jeremy Myers. Not to mention, the 10 year anniversary of their first U.S. tour is also soon approaching, to which Zock of Astpai recollected:
“In April 2008 we came to the states for the first time to make some first impressions. Jermo was kind enough to get behind the wheel and drove us four dummies up and down the east coast. I remember how he’d never stop for piss breaks or would let any of us take over driving – I think he just didn’t trust our adolescent European judgement.However, we finished our little journey back to our home from home that is Philadelphia. We we’re invited to jam at an amazing DIY art space called ‘Disgraceland’ together with Jena Berlin and One Win Choice (if I remember correctly). It’s hard to describe what that trip meant to us back then and still does now – if it wasn’t for Jeremy, the trust he had us four randos from Eastern Austria and the brotherly love he’d always send our way, we would have possibly never made the friendships we made, or seen the places we’d seen – not in 2008 or the many years after.”
And although Astpai never made it south of Baltimore without being confronted by the legendary “chicken heart” (which will not be described here), they have made some amazing friends and shared some unbelievable memories in their 15+ years as a band.
Their history is one deep in the tradition of most bands: starting a project with your friends that may borrow from some of your idols, but then progressing way beyond that original sound and concept throughout the years. This process, of course, is never an easy one. For Astpai, there is no denying that it has taken around 10 album releases, long tours on several continents, health issues and more to help them to grow and learn to craft “their sound.” As a result of these years of blood, sweat (lots of it), tears, and beers- these Austrians certainly have found a sweet spot. Merging the confrontation and rough edges that hardcore-punk is founded on, and blending it with melodic progressions, sing-a-longs, and healthy dosages of social consciousness is just a piece of what makes Astpai who they are today. These components have lead critics to compare Astpai, not unfairly, to acts such as None More Black, Strike Anywhere, and more over the years.
To say that these guys work hard is an understatement. But the work, which they love putting in, has certainly paid off in their decade and a half existence. They have opened for influential bands such as NOFX, Kid Dynamite, Anti-Flag, Good Riddance and many more of the best names in the punk world today, and June 10th– they come to Croydon, PA.
For what is shaping up to be a semi-Jump Start reunion at the Five Year Anniversary (see: Divide by Zero), it just wouldn’t feel right unless we brought these boys over to do their thing. We know their infectious brand of rock-n-punk-n-roll will win you over, if they haven’t already.
For more information on Astpai: