Get to know NIHI­LS, the Aus­tri­an elec­tro-pop music band on the rise

Austria has undisputedly nurtured a first-rate environment for composers and musicians since the days of the Habsburg dynasty.

The works of lumi­na­ries like Haydn, Liszt, Mozart, and Mah­ler have immor­ta­li­zed the coun­try­’s musi­cal heri­ta­ge. And today, it remains unch­an­ged: Aus­tria still gives birth to a pletho­ra of artists who per­pe­tua­te its savoir-fai­re but with a more elec­tro-pop musi­cal approach. One of tho­se is Nihi­ls. Crea­ted by child­hood friends Ramon Rie­zouw (sin­ger and pia­nist) and Tho­mas Lack­ner (drum­mer) in 2005, the group wel­co­med gui­ta­rist Flo­ri­an Not­heg­ger a year later, when they final­ly kicked off to fill a gap in con­tem­pora­ry music. After gig­ging in Euro­pe and in the US, the trio unvei­led its new pro­ject last April, Per­spec­ti­ves. The album was co-pro­du­ced by Paul Kir­ski and Niko Stossl in Ber­lin, Nihi­ls’ new home. But that is just the very begin­ning of their sto­ry. In their new song, Breat­hing”, they sing that they will keep on, breat­hing in, breat­hing out,’ taking their time to make serious moves in the music scene.

How did you meet and why did you deci­de to make music?
We’ve prac­ti­cal­ly known each other sin­ce Kin­der­gar­ten. Gro­wing up in the same vil­la­ge we did a lot of acti­vi­ties tog­e­ther and a lot of sports. At fif­teen we deci­ded to focus more on music which was the start for NIHILS.

How would you descri­be your sound?
Our sound is a mix of elec­tro­nic and pop with ele­ments of 21st cen­tu­ry soul, deli­ca­te intro­spec­tion pai­red with a warm dance-insis­ting dynamic.

Why don’t you sing in Ger­man?
As sin­ger Ramon is half Aus­tra­li­an, his mother tongue is Eng­lish and we never con­si­de­red sin­ging in German.

What is the mes­sa­ge behind your last album Per­spec­ti­ves’?
Loo­king back at our musi­cal evo­lu­ti­on and the record­ing pro­cess of the last years, we found our­sel­ves shif­ting per­spec­ti­ves throughout the pro­cess and in doing so felt as though we unders­tood our­sel­ves and our music much bet­ter. In terms of mes­sa­ge we would encou­ra­ge peop­le not to get too fixed on a cer­tain view-point as our per­spec­ti­ves are always sub­jec­ti­ve and only show a small part of the whole.

What is the cra­zi­est thing that has ever hap­pen­ed to you on tour?
First day of our two week night liner tour and the bus breaks down on the high­way having to be towed away and repla­ced. Apart from that we’ve been qui­te lucky so far.

You only recent­ly moved to Ber­lin. What made you lea­ve your home­town?
We wan­ted to be in an envi­ron­ment that inspi­red us crea­tively and whe­re we could focus on our music. I mean we were lucky, we basi­cal­ly tra­ded one para­di­se for ano­t­her; An idyl­lic small alpi­ne vil­la­ge for the vibrant, ener­ge­tic crea­ti­ve hub of Europe.

In a music review you were com­pa­red to Depe­che Mode – honor or pres­su­re?
We were some­what sur­pri­sed by this but feel very hono­red to be com­pa­red to one of the big­gest bands in the last 40 years. As our pro­du­cer has worked in their sphe­re on pre­vious pro­jects his sound and expe­ri­ence defi­ni­te­ly influ­en­ced our record.

What advice would you give young peop­le who want to make it in music?
Keep on doing what you love and do it in your own way! Expe­ri­ment as much as pos­si­ble and try to find your own style. And also know your motivation.

In what situa­tions (apart from being out­side in the sun obvious­ly) do you feel most com­for­ta­ble wea­ring your neu­bau eye­we­ar frames?
From mee­ting friends for cof­fee in Fried­richs­hain, sit­ting in the park at Box­ha­ge­ner Platz to play­ing Out of the woods fes­ti­val in Wie­sen, our neu­bau shades have pro­ved to be gre­at com­pa­n­ions. Hap­py wea­ring the­se all day, every day.

Lis­ten to NIHI­LS’ new sound here. Find Nihi­ls’ neu­bau eye­we­ar frames here.

Pho­to­gra­phy by Mat­thi­as Heschl

28 Juli 2017 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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