Astronuts from Germany sings in english and I usually thinks that german punkgroups is better in german but Astronuts convince me that it is okay to sing in english. April-2022


Please tell me a little bit about the history of the group?  You have been in Barbecuties too (how can I get those two records?)

Sid: We’ve known each other for almost 2 and a half decades now, and I feel honored to be surrounded by such lovely, creative and passionate guys that I do not just call my bandmates, but my friends. After sharing the stage with each other’s bands so often, we decided to start something new together in 2018. And that was the best decision ever! 

Albums by the BBQTs can still be purchased directly from us -so if anyone needs some old school Pop Punk, just drop us a line!

Leo: I have never been a member of Barbecuties, but I know all members quite well I would say ;-) ! I'm so grateful that Sid once wrote me an Email to ask if I wanted to join a Punkrock band as a drummer. Thank you for that, Sid, and everything else, from the bottom of my heart!


Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now, age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone? Earlier bands? Other bands on the side?

Leo: 42, married, 3 children. Former member of a punk rock band named Spyhole. Music is my main interest. If you wanna know something bad about me ask my band members or even better, my wife.

Chris: guitars/vocals, 36, married, 2 children, main profession: English/Geography teacher, interested in vinyl records, retro games, lego, but mainly music. I also play in a Ska Punk band called Tequila Terminators that I founded almost 20 years ago. 

Coli: Guitar, 38, not married, no kids. I’m a freelance full stack web developer with passion for music, software engineering, tech stuff and video games.

Sid: vocals/bass, science manager, hobby writer, gardener and chef and total music aficionado. Without music, I wouldn’t be around any more I guess. Writing songs, playing live, practicing with my dudes - all that keeps me sane. I played in THE WHISPER COLLECTIVE, which I consider kind of a precursor to ASTRONUTS (stylistically), BBQTs, founded a new Pop Punk Band called LOOKIT, MARTIANS! that also dropped a new album recently, and -  since I write way too many songs and seem to annoy my friends with shitloads of new ideas - I started my own solo project called THE RIESLINGER (Pop Punk that thematically only focuses on wine and my love for Rock n Roll and Oldies). Bad habits? Sheesh, I have too many to tell. Glad the others didn’t mention any of ‘em, ha! 


I can hear many different influences but mostly punk and some USHC? Favorites from the past?  

Leo: There are too many, so I will let the other’s tell …

Coli: Okay, So I will start with Nofx, Good Riddance, Strike Anywhere, Millencolin, Propagandhi…

Sid: Indeed, we all love Melodic Hardcore and Punkrock, so the above-mentioned are defo among all of our favorites. Still, when listening to our new album DARK MATTERS, you might notice that there is a wide spectrum of influences and not just upbeat ones. As to favorites from the past, I must name ANOTHER BREATH, JAWBREAKER, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, JIMMY EAT WORLD and so on, that have a major impact on our songwriting, too. 

Astronuts, marvelous name….  are you satisfied with the name?  How did it come up?  What does it mean? You weren’t afraid that some other band would be named like this? Which is the best bandname you know?

Sid: We love puns and also find astronomical stuff very thrilling, so one thing simply led to another… However, we did some research on the name after we had chosen it and I must explicitly warn everyone not to look it up via urban dictionary, haha. It’s kinda gross… Best bandname ever? RAMONES f.t.w.!

Leo: I knew that we weren't the only ones, but I love it! Coli: There are only four true Astronuts on this planet :D


What's the best thing about playing live? Have you done any since the covid came?

Leo: We only played one big festival during the pandemic, which of course sucks as a musician. Playing live is the best thing about making music. When you play in front of an audience that likes your music, you can feel that magical connection.

And where is best to play? And the worst place? Or aren’t there any bad places?

Sid: I’d even play the shittiest squat on earth, because nothing competes with playing live. How could spending time with your friends and doing the thing you love suck anyway?! Only thing we’d never do: Play venues with odd political or societal views or share the stage with any racist or sexist artists!

Chris: One of my favorite venues is Colos-Saal in Aschaffenburg. Great location and a lot of nice dudes!

Leo: For me, Café Central in Weinheim and Alter stattbahnhof in Schweinfurt are two of the best places. Both clubs are known for their legendary Punkrock and Hardcore shows over the last 30 years. But of course there are many more awesome places all over Germany.


How is it to play this sort of music in Germany right now?  Which types of bands do you have concerts together with?  

Sid: Well, I guess the situation is not any different from other places, for Punkrock was and still is an underground thing. There are still some brilliant bands around, but in my opinion the last bigger wave of Punkrock over here was a couple of years ago, with all these anthemic, mid-tempo bands, that you sang along while standing arm in arm in the pit with all your friends. You know, those Fest-style bands.

How would you describe your music in three words?

Chris: Melodic, progressive, emotional.

Sid: Word!

What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?  Has it changed through the times?

Leo: The music and the lyrics of so many punk rock bands and artists have influenced me since decades. I absolutely love punk rock drumming. And back in the days I did a lot of things people would probably define as living the punk rock lifestyle. Today, I would just say that a big part of my heart is beating for my band and the music itself.

Chris: I totally agree!

Sid: Punk equals responsibility. And the older I get, the more I dive into the political sphere and the very keystones that make our scene so great: The will to help, the need to stand up and speak up - even if it is unpopular at times, the raw energy paired with a message. I consider punk as a mindset and a positive mental attitude. That’s also one thing I learned from listening to hardcore: Don’t just destroy, but create! And that’s also what I try to teach my kids.

Which song/album or group was it who took you into punk/hardcore? And to be playing music yourself?

Leo: The first contact with punk rock was “No Control” from Bad Religion and that was very consistent.

Chris: I started with a lot of stuff by Bad Religion and The Offspring and then dove into more underground punk bands, added by loads of ska flavoured punk rock. Coli: My parents gave me 2 records on my 11th Birthday together with my first stereo: The first was from a band called “East 17” and the second was “Smash” by the Offspring. You can imagine how this played out ^^

Sid: Let me be the odd one out and pick a song instead: “We’re only gonna die” by Bad Religion. It’s melody, pace, and lyrics melted into the best f*****g rager ever. From the moment I first heard it back in 1993, I was baptized and found what I had sought after.

What shall a young guy do today to shock their parents the way we did when we were young? They have already seen everything ;-)?

Sid: The most shocking thing to do would be to show some love to your parents! Plus help them understand why you do things differently and why you love what you do. That’s Punkrock, because it’s smart!

How is it to live in Germany right now? Politically? Fascists?  

Leo: I´m grateful, cause I can live my life quite peacefully. Politically I look at the so-called populist parties in Germany and across Europe and realize how many people are influenced by them, which makes me scared in a way. Fuck fascism!  

Sid: Still the best place to live in my opinion. I feel very privileged to grow up here in a democratic state with a well-working health and welfare system, good education and free expression. And I can still point my finger openly at things that don’t work out nicely, by standing on stage with my friends. That’s why I am very thankful.


Is there any good bands from Germany right now?  Is the punkscene/metalscene/hardcorescene big? How is it in your hometown?

Sid: As already mentioned above, the scene is vibrant and there are always new acts coming up. However, and this is not very different from other places, Punk and Hardcore are still underground. In our hometown Mannheim, we have lots of bands from all kinds of genres, there is a youth centre that hosts lots of cool Punk and Hardcore shows and also some small clubs and bars that promote live music. So, no need to complain.

What do you know about Sweden?  Have you been here sometime? What is typical Swedish?

Leo: Not much I have to admit, I only was there once and only for one day in Stockholm. 

Chris: I’ve been to Sweden once and stayed in Uppsala and Stockholm for one week. I really enjoyed it and stayed on a hostel ship. I love Kanelbullar, yum!

Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?

Leo: Satanic Surfers, Randy and Adhesive are my all time favorites from sweden so far! And there are many more. The swedish punkrock/hardcore/melodycore scene was essential and important since the mid nineties.

Chris: I like Millencolin quite a lot, especially ‘Pennybridge Pioneers’, and some of the metal stuff, like In Flames.

Coli: Millencolin and Adhesive!

Sid: In my opinion, Sweden has one of the greatest music scenes ever. Apart from those 90s Skatepunk artists that all of us adore, I have to name e.g.  FINAL EXIT, AC4, THE SENSITIVES, YUM YUMS, MANDO DIAO, AT THE GATES, ENTOMBED, WOLFPACK, ISOLATION YEARS. Holy guacamole, I could ramble on for hours, but I’ll better stop here.

Your lyrics, who writes them and what influences you?  Never in german?

Sid: I usually write all the lyrics and I feel more comfortable singing in English than in German, since the German language is very harsh-sounding at times, plus I can address a wider audience that way. To me personally, it makes more sense to write in English and I have done so for more than 25 years by now. It just feels pretty natural. As for inspiration, I try to keep a wary eye on what is going on in the world and in my personal life. 

Please tell me a little about the following songs

-Elegy for Tony, the Hockey Mascot

A song about a boy who tries so hard to become a better person and find some love in this cold world, but gets bullied permanently and ultimately dies of a broken heart without anyone noticing. He simply fades away and disappears. It is supposed to be a reminder to watch out for your social environment and offer help, whenever it is desperately needed. Looking away from the helpless can kill.


Funny you picked this one, too! It is also about being an outcast within our society, but this time the protagonist, who is transgender, finally manages to come out and raise his middlefinger towards the ignorant. It’s a metaphor for each one of us to stop suffering for others’ beliefs and just start doing what is good for ourselves. Be kind to each other and try to accept people’s individuality.

-Hello Trouble

A friend of mine suddenly died last year and it totally crushed me. He was more punk than anyone else and he was the nicest, most kind-hearted and altruistic dude ever. Even though he had no interest in music at all, his attitude was very inspiring and he always did what he believed in. Even though it was quite obvious that he would fail from time to time. So I wrote this song about deliberately taking a risk in life, a song about knowing the odds of making mistakes.

Is there any subject that you will never write anything about? Or isn't anything sacred?

Sid: There will never be a stupid/funny ASTRONUTS song, because we consider the band as a vehicle to show what’s wrong with this world - both personally and politically. But this doesn’t mean we are unfunny grouches. We simply use the other bands we play in for such issues. Plus, ASTRONUTS’ music wouldn’t match very well with lyrics about partying I suppose.

Politics and music, does it go hand in hand?  Which is your most political song?  Is it important to get out your opinions in music? Or is it OK to play music and not sing about politics?

Leo: We have several political songs that make absolutely clear where we stand. And I think that is a big and important part of punk rock music and the whole concept of its art. It has to be controversial and hurt at times, because that is the reality we face each and every single day.

Sid: Of course, it is legitimate to play unpolitical songs and we also do listen to such bands and we do love them. However, it was quite clear from the day we started, that we’d rather focus on some dark matters ;). I think that heavy music is simply the best way to rub salt into the wounds of society. Our most political song “Leviathan” is on our latest album and deals with rabble-rousers that agitate and try to gaslight the people by telling lies. We actually wrote it as to the current situation in Germany with all those stupid right-wing morons that just complain and poison people’s minds, but in turn have nothing to offer and just think about their own grip on power. And this song became even more relevant in February 2022 with the Russian attack on Ukraine. It is a dark prediction of what happens when psychopaths try to propagate their own reality. We wanted to offer an insight into those bad people’s minds and show their real motivation.

Best political band/artist?

Leo: Propagandhi

Chris: Yes, Propagandhi 

Coli: Propagandhi

Sid: I totally agree.

Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyone's life, I mean people who listen to music?  Do you have any examples?

Chris: Definitely yes in an emotional way. I think that there have been some records that help you going through hard times. One record that immediately comes to my mind is ‘The Black Parade’ by My Chemical Romance. 

Your favorite record cover all time?  Who does your record covers?  And do you have any good record stores in your hometown?

Sid: I am into graphic design and I only consider an album as completed, when artwork, music and lyrics form a whole. I can’t stand records with shitty covers. When listening to an album, I’d like to look at the artwork and get a further level of imagination that the musician has of his/her own piece of art. It is an integral part. That’s why aesthetics are iomportant to us as a band.

Good record stores? Hell yes, there is COMEBACK in Mannheim, HEAVEN RECORDS in Worms and ECHOBEAT in Aschaffenburg that sell the coolest vinyl etc. You can even buy our music there. So drop by if you are around!

Is it important to get out physical records of your stuff? Why or why not? Vinyl, CD, cassette, what do you prefer if you could choose whatever ?

Sid: I love all of them. Besides spending most of my money on Viny, I still love and purchase CDs and Cassettes. With regard to the recent vinyl crisis, one can even observe a rise in CD sales and within the underground scene, this medium will never go out of style. At least I hope so.

Please rank your five favorite records, five favorite concerts and five most important things in life?

Leo: Five is too much, just one, I try, so… record (only punk rock genre) (hardest question ever): I go for “How to clean everything” . Is this my “Decline”? or just my “Suburban teenage wasteland blues” or do I just swing “From left to right” ? (oh Sid, thanks a bunch for that vinyl!!)´s: “Longest line EP” I could continue with so many… Best Concert: No use for a name, Making friends tour 1997. Best things in life: …just two…my family and this band…

Sid: Adding anything to Leo’s answer would be mere blasphemy! We all agree!

First, last and most expensive record ever bought?

Sid: First was Guns n’ Roses (Appetite for destruction), cheapest was Badtown Boys (Epidemic) for 50cts at a flea market, and expensive were all of the rest. Vinyl is so stupidly overpriced right now. That sucks!

Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews?

Sid: Nope. It’s a privilege!

Do you care about reviews? Which is the most peculiar you ever had, with this band or any other band you have been to? Have you ever changed anything after a bad review?

Sid: Being a reviewer for a German fanzine myself, I can’t but stress how important this is for a band to acquire renown. The weirdest one I have gotten for one of my former bands was from an American Zine, which claimed to refuse to review our record due to our quirky sense of humor. But then they ended up writing a lengthy one anyway instead of just throwing the record straight into the trash. I consider this as a total success ;)


If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which would you chose?

Sid: I want to see the RAMONES, GREEN DAY, THE WEAKERTHANS, NOFX and SICK OF IT ALL open up for us, do a common cover of  “I can’t help falling in love with you”  by ELVIS and then get seriously wasted with us backstage. As I am a bona-fide, positive-minded believer, I know this is gonna happen someday. And once it does, I will band it on tape and have it played at my funeral. This is gonna rock!

Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music??

Chris: I am pretty sure that for all of us music is a way of fleeing from everyday life into a brotherly, comforting and mighty project that often helps to overcome certain struggles and to deal with those. It definitely helps to lighten up and feel better, pretty much like a shrink appointment.

Leo: music is the way, it helped so many people to overcome frustration, stay strong or even live a better life!

Future Plans for the band?

Leo: Playing live as much as possible and also record another album! We already have some hot tunes in the making!

For yourself?

Leo: Become a better drummer.


Leo: it´s never too late to become a better drummer!

Something to add?

Leo: Thanks a lot for the interview!

Beer Favorite sort? If you did a beer which sort would it be and what have it been called?

Coli: Eichbaum Export 

Leo: Faust Pils from our hometown and Pfungstädter Pils

Chris: I likeFaust beer as well. I prefer the dark one called ‘Schwarzviertler’. There is also a dark one from Schwind Brewery in Aschaffenburg that I dig.

Sid: Free beer is the best, I can’t believe you guys didn't mention it! You barbarians!