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May 15th, 2005 · post by chris 12-o-5 · Make a comment



Rentokill are one of those bands that come suddenly from nowhere and kick ass all around. I received their CD by mail but hadn’t expected too much. Too bad! When I finally listened to it I was totally impressed. I hadn’t received such a great record for a very, very long time and it doesn’t happen very often to me to be impressed “just” by the album. Live is where it counts in the end and Rentokill are even more amazing playing gigs! Melodic punkrock played with a lot of energy and rage, like punch a into your face. And don’t forget the lyrics that are great and challenging too, talking about gender issues, animal rights etc. This interview was done early 2005. By: Pavel –

LH: Could you please shortly introduce yourself and your band?

Jack: My name is Jack, I’m guitarist and lead singer of Rentokill. The band was founded in 1996, and after long downtime periods we decided to do a restart in 2003. With two new members on 2nd guitar and bass we felt like a complete new band and started doing more gigs and wrote new songs for our current album.

LH: I’m starting with maybe a bit of a strange question – but it seems to me that the Austrian scene is very closed; we as a ‘zine [Move Your Ass zine in Czech Rep.] (and the whole scene in general) have a lot of contacts with Poland, Slovakia and Germany, but nearly no contacts with Austrian scene – why it is, in your opinion?

Jack: In a small country, it´s hard for a scene to get recognized by others, I guess. The scene can only be represented by bands mainly, as soon as there are interesting bands the whole scene gets interesting. As for the same language, Austria is maybe somewhat in the shadow of the German scene, as the country is much larger, therefore many more bands, labels, zines and stuff.

LH: You are one of the really few Austrian bands which managed to break internationally – what is behind, that according to your opinion?

Jack: The words “break“ and “internationally“ depend heavily on the point of view, in my opinion. From 2003 on we tried to get our music heard in a widest possible area, play as many shows possible and send our album to any zines and promoters who were possibly interested. This is something anyone can do! It costs a lot of time and energy, but it’s definitely worth it if you want your music to be heard by people – it’s perhaps the only chance. We’re not into sitting at home waiting for somebody to come and say “I want to feature this band“, because nobody will recognize you.

LH: You have a lot of lyrics about animal rights – are you vegetarians/vegans, guys? It seems to me that this topic is more and more on the table in all punk/hc/oi! subculture, which is just great, right?

Jack: Yeah, we’re all vegetarians, and you’re right, this topic is getting more popular within the scene. This is great. Bands are providing information and are trying to make people think about what is going on within the whole industry. I’m not trying to force anyone to stop eating meat overnight, but every chance to change people’s minds is a step forward. I think it is time for everyone to think about the whole process of consumption, as long as we have the chance to make this planet a nicer place to live on, for all creatures on it.

LH: I’ve noticed you don’t have any mandatory “fuck-the-nazis“ of “smash-the-state“ punk song. Who wrote the lyrics? And what are you generally trying to achieve with them? Do you want to make people think, expose your opinion or whatever?

Jack: Most of the lyrics were written by me. I always considered punk rock as a channel for “political“ content, but I was never into the mandatory “sing-along“ stuff you mentioned. I was a huge fan of Bad Religion-style of lyrics, ’cause the messages are not so obviously presented, but leave more space for the listener to interpret and therefore think, which is again one of the most important aspects.

LH: You choose English as the language of your lyrics – why? Do you have some kind of, ‘why-don´t-you-sing-in-your-own-language’ debate as we sometimes have here in the Czech Republic?

Jack: Yeah, we sometimes have that too. I was never really into writing German lyrics, at least when I’m writing them myself. I´m not thinking too much about that. We even had discussions with German labels about German lyrics, because those would be easier to promote in Germany, but we never considered that as an alternative for a whole album. On the other hand, we’d like to write a Spanish song for the next album, and perhaps we will also do a German song, you never know! But most of our songs will be in English, for the fact of releasing them in English speaking countries alone.

LH: Currently you are on an English label, right? How did it happened?

Jack: Yes, we released ‘Back to Convenience’ on Engineer records from Kent, who have also a branch in the USA. When we had the CD finished we sent it to 40 labels all over Europe, and David from Engineer was the only one who replied, “We want to do it and we can do it”. Times are tough for labels right now, people aren’t buying CDs anymore like they did 5 years ago. The album is also released by Vitaminepillen records from Germany this February, this provides distribution in the middle of Europe. They have great bands like Bambix, Travoltas, Wohlstandskinder and many more, and we are really proud to step into their family!

LH: Could you tell us something about the Austrian scene? Could you recommend good bands, labels, places…

Jack: Red Lights Flash currently released one of the best punkrock albums on this planet, on Anti-flag´s AF-records! Antimaniax and Jan.feat.UdSSR are touring Europe nearly all the time if you are into ska/punk/hc, and if you´re more into emo you should definitely check out Ephen Rian. Visit for a lot of great punk bands from our hometown (Astpai for example) and also look out for Bounz the Ball, Worlds Between Us (HC). Labels to be mentioned are Rise or Rust records (run by Bounz the Ball), Brokenheart, Capeetrecords (good promotion and very good concert list!), and Masturbation records. If you’re in Vienna don’t miss the arena, of course, EKH (Austria’s only squat!), Explosiv (graz), Triebwerk (that’s in our hometown, our drummer is working there) and many more! Visit for a very extensive link-list.

Rentokill’s album – ‘Back to Convenience’ – is out now on Engineer Records.

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