Die Nerven












Recorded & engineered by: Ingo Krauss & Moses Schneider at Candy Bomber Studio Berlin.

Ich sterbe jeden Tag in Deutschland
keine Bewegung
Alles Reguliert sich selbst
Ganz egal
Ein Influencer weint sich in den Schlaf
Der Erde gleich
15 Sekunden
Ein Tag



How do you actually decide to title an album with your own band name in the course of a career? And why is this fifth (official) studio album by DIE NERVEN then also their declared black album? Because it will stand like a monolith, in the tradition of the black albums by Metallica, Jay-Z and Prince? Only time will tell. But the title and colour mark quite unmistakably: DIE NERVEN’s DIE NERVEN is their most important album to date for Kevin Kuhn (drums), Julian Knoth (bass and vocals) and Max Rieger (guitar and vocals), who exploded onto the Stuttgart noise scene in 2010 and have developed into one of the most distinguished rock bands in Germany over the past twelve years…

The band’s long-gained richness of contrasts has found a form on DIE NERVEN that no longer feeds on a relationship of tension. Rather, the result of one of the most fruitful symbioses in recent rock history manifests itself here. DIE NERVEN is a ten-song, sweaty celebration of the creative power of Rieger, Knoth and Kuhn. They have found a new dialogue. Whereas in previous songwriting extremely pronounced egos sometimes worked against each other, Rieger, Knoth and Kuhn now virtually demanded from each other to contribute in their extreme idiosyncrasies. There is no more competition. Three egos have become one common ego. In this way, the unpolished, which is still driven by punk in its tremendous brute force, does not oppose pop, but connects with it: the opposing poles in DIE NERVEN have found their own form of fusion. They play together on a new level, serving only the song. At times, you even have to listen carefully to see who is singing.

For 1 ½ years there was for the first time in the history of DIE NERVEN, who as is well known never rehearse, a room where the three musicians met regularly to develop their songs. Whereas in the past the motto was: ten sketches for the studio and the hope that an eleventh piece would emerge there, here the motto was: 20 fully developed songs, ten of which would have to prove themselves. Perhaps this was also the compensation for the live situation, which broke away in the pandemic and thus could not become the origin of an album. Perhaps the forced break from the stages has done the band good, led to a rejuvenation, which at the same time allowed to gain maturity. So ten out of 20 tracks were finally left when the three then went into Berlin’s Candy Bomber studios to record their songs – somewhere between the winking reference points Rammstein, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and, yes: (Max Rieger:) “Wagner!” live. Without click, together, simultaneously: DIE NERVEN, feeling and organism. The vocal recordings were provided by Moses Schneider, and Max Rieger, by now one of the most sought-after producers in the country, mixed his fingers sore for four months, because he had meanwhile developed a demand for this monster that he could no longer impose on anyone else.

So a black album, self-titled. No wolf adorns the cover, no: a black Shepherd Dog in front of a black background. DIE NERVEN is also a mood picture. And in the consistent vocabulary reduction of their lyrics, which remain vague enough to set impulses in the chaotic complexity of the present, the music has also become a mouthpiece for a discomfort with which one can identify in each of their pieces: DIE NERVEN, which are ten in form and content accomplished contemplations of the present with foam at the mouth, which are finally written as simplified narratives with sharpie on a white T-shirt, so that the color presses through and perpetuates itself on the chest pumping upset between anger and fear: EUROPA and ICH STERBE JEDEN TAG IN DEUTSCHLAND – like all lyrics 2018/19 originated and thus irritatingly visionary – reveal DIE NERVEN as part of a sheltered generation that begins to suspect that quite different times are ahead of them, and that the experienced suffering of others is inextricably linked to their own privileges. Therefore: NO MOVEMENT; rather: passivity and powerlessness because of the worsening conditions, counteracted by the force of the song! ALLES REGULIERT SICH SELBST exposes the slogan as a lie, makes the tipping moment into the inevitable chaos perceptible. GANZ EGAL tells sardonically about the satiety of a generation and sets to music the energy of a revolt against this state. Then, in the change of perspective, we experience – told with a certain cynicism – how the insights gained up to this point overwhelm the social media and reveal in them a malodorous, narcissistic decadence: EIN INFLUENCER WEINT SICH IN DEN SCHLAF. At the other end we become quite inevitably DER ERDE GLEICH – and the existentialism that has always driven DIE NERVEN finds a tremendous song power. If eight years ago it was called Nur für eine Minute schweben (Floating for a Minute: FUN, Fin Du Monde/TCM 2014), the world has been spinning a lot faster since then: 15 SEKUNDEN are not EIN TAG, and yet these two pieces together tell of the absurdity and cruelty of late capitalism, complement each other in anger and melancholy. 180° then, in the end, also seems to turn on its own axis, looking back at what has gone before in the last 40 minutes and manifesting the themes of this painful, honest and fierce record: a present-day description – of the beginning of the end! Baby, put the car against the wall …

Also, THE NERVES love Mark Hollis (and so do I). – Hendrik Otremba


Posted on

10. August 2023