In the fall of 2006 I got a package in the mail from a band of young punks going by the name of ASTPAI who, for whatever reason that I’m not even totally sure of to this day, decided to send me their latest record, Corruption Concealed (Under Deceptive Slogans). I remember immediately thinking to myself, “Why the hell is a band from Austria sending me their record? Austria?” Yeah, Austria.
A documentary on the band featuring rare live footage from the past ten years and interviews during the recordings for “Efforts And Means” is available here:
Here’s the rest of the official word from the label:
As an American it’s hard to believe sometimes that music, especially punk, exists in the world outside of our own very selective world view; that probably has less to do about music as much as it does about anything really. To think that a band from a small town in eastern Austria would know about a small label like Jump Start not only astounded me, but forced me to think about punk in a world view more than I had ever before. Sure, I knew bands toured Europe and Asia all the time, but I never gave much thought to bands outside the US and Canada. Astpai changed all that.
I’ve been really lucky to call the guys from Astpai friends for nearly six years now. While some members have come and gone, the charm of the Internet has made it easy for me to still be a part of their lives, albeit from a distance and through a computer or occasional vacation visit. With new members a bond of friendship has come rather quickly, even those that were just temporary; something their European demeanor makes much easier than the rough, thick skin of Americans (especially those of us on the East Coast).
Through it all we’ve been lucky to help Astpai release two full-length records and one 7″ since 2007, and we’re really lucky to be able to help them again by releasing their latest full-length, Efforts & Means, here in the States on October 9th.
One of the qualities of the members of Astpai that has always struck a chord with me is their open minds, open hearts, and their sincere honesty. When we say they’re one of the hardest working bands on the planet, we mean it. Just because it didn’t happen here, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Oh, and it did happen here, you just weren’t paying attention. Maybe it’s because you were to concerned with what bands everyone else says you should like, or that you’re too concerend with looking cool at shows and trying to be on the pile on for the cool band pic? Maybe we’ve just done a horrible job as a label and didn’t let you know truly how awesome this band is or how great they are as friends? We don’t have a big budget for crazy advertisements and press campaigns, so we’re to blame, right? More than likely, it’s the latter more than the former, but whatever the reason, now is your time to change all that.
Earlier this year Astpai set out to record Efforts & Means with longtime friend, studio engineer/producer, and all around awesome human, Tom Zwanzger, at S.T.R.E.S.S. Studios just outside of Graz, Austria. Austrian documentarian Bernd Faszl decided to tag along to not only document the making of Efforts & Means, but the history of the band as well. All total, Efforts & Means is the band’s most mature, honest, and sincere work to date, and Faszl’s documentary should give you a better appreciation for punk in a bigger world view than you had before..
The band has posted the entire documentary on their website at http://t.ymlp293.net/usyuaiabeuuadauyeaaauyjs/click.php as well as their Bandcamp stream of the entire record! A few weeks back we also posted a full-album stream for Efforts & Means on our Bandcamp page and we’ll be posting a pre-order for the new LP and CD on September 9th.
Astpai will again be in Gainesville this year performing at Fest along with a handful of dates up and down the East Coast of the US. We can’t wait to smile and sing along. Hope to see you there!
PUBLISHED on September 4, 2012.
UPDATED on September 6, 2012 – documentary added.