Image: Simon Vogely
Berlin by way of Vienna punks, Needle Exchange release their debut album Is This My Program? this Friday
Full of snotty Killed By Death styled punk rock, it's a dirty and dusty affair of flying loogies and punchy beats.
The band claim to play “the English way of ’77 punk” which I assume involves questionable personal hygiene, ripped clothing and cider.
Forming in 2013 out of frustration at the banality of the local Vienna music scene, some of the young punks made their way to Berlin and hooked up with the Modern Pets whose Tobi Lill recorded Is This My Program? Alvar from Modern Pets now helps out on guitar duties.
We caught up with the band's Bob Benzo to find out more.
Noisey: You are now based in Berlin. Why the change from Vienna?
Bob Benzo: Our drum Alex Passed Out aka Alligator, is still living in Vienna and I'm still switching cities. Our other guitarist Koolshrank Al and I live in Berlin.
Let’s say Vienna is beautiful and dead. Living there is all about complaining. Literally.
There were several reasons to move also several musical projects like F.E, Sick Horse, Jynyt, Mongo Tigers, Me Not Wearing Beige. But actually we don’t really like Berlin either.
Are there needle exchanges in Berlin?
Alligator worked at a needle exchange in Vienna. The anti-drug community hates the misuse of the name. So do the junkies, like we’ve stolen their credibility or something. That’s why we kept the name. It’s all about rad clichés and cool and awesome addictions and experiencing amazing live lessons. Not!
Was 'Is This My Program?' first released on tape?
No we never actually released it on tape. We wanted to and pretended to but fucked it up. Then Peter from P. Trash records said he wanted to release it on 12” vinyl and Tobi Lill (Modern Pets, DIÄT, Fluffers) recorded the whole thing on a dusty cassette.
You cover Sunderland’s The Rebels “All Hate”. Do you do any other covers?
We don’t really do covers a lot but we played and recorded “Don’t Hide Your Hate” by Dutch 70s group Filth and put it on our demo tape as a hidden bonus track titled “Don’t’ Hide My H”. Once we covered GG Allin’s “Bite It You Scum” when playing in a fast food restaurant. Sometimes we play “Woman’s Got Me Drinking” by Shane McGowan because it’s only got three chords and we can yell whatever jibberish. Also of course I played “I Like Drugs” by the Simpletones with Berlin’s infamous murderer Mr. Lobotomy on vocals.
'Is This My Program?' is available May 15 through P.Trash records.