In recent years, Austrian rockers have become all the rage outside of their native country. But long before the likes of Bilderbuch, Wanda or Voodoo Jürgens, der Nino aus Wien was making quite the impact with his German music with a touch of his Viennese dialect (Wienerlied). With his knack for carefully crafting songs and his straightforward delivery, Nino’s music is the kind you turn on and put on repeat. At times it is somber, others it is fun and catchy. Part of his appeal is his casual, everyman approach. Half the time, he appears seemingly bored on stage while performing. But then he opens his mouth or strums his guitar. But it is always worth hearing. So this month, get to know der Nino aus Wien and learn German with music.
Get to Know Nino Mandl
Der Nino aus Wien is the stage name of Nino Mandl. He was born May 22, 1987, in — duh — Vienna, Austria. Specifically, he grew up in the outlying Hirschstettner area of the Austrian capital city.
In the late 2000s and under the “aus Wien” name, Mandl joined with bass player pauT, guitar player Raphael Sas, and drummer David Wukitsevits. While the band line-up changes from time to time and from release to release, it is generally this quartet that you can expect. But at its heart, der Nino aus Wien is Mandl and his acoustic guitar.
The Music of Der Nino aus Wien
In 2008, the first der Nino aus Wien record was released: The Ocelot Show. The title is in English, as are some of the song titles. However, do not let that fool you.
Mandl’s storytelling (and it really is storytelling and poetry) comes in the German language. Although it is often with that Austrian dialect twist. Take, for example, one of his first hits, “Du Oasch,” (or “You Ass”) from sophomore release Down in Albern. Elsewhere he tackles important personal interests, such as “Fuasboi schaun” (or “Watching Football,” in English), with a bit of humor and an infectious carnival-like melody. But more often than not, Mandl’s songs are thoughtful, heartfelt monologues that, unrushed, take their time. Such as the beautifully simple yet melodic “Es geht immer ums vollenden” (off The Ocelot Show).
Since the debut in 2008, seven albums as der Nino aus Wien have followed. They are a mixture of influences like the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Syd Barrett, and, of course, the Ramones (who he sings about on his upbeat poppy punk track “Johnny Ramone”). 2018’s self-titled release celebrates ten years since Mandl’s debut album.
In addition to these, there are collaborations with Ernst Molden (2015’s superb Unser Österreich with its darkly inviting cover of Falco‘s “Ganz Wien”) and Natalie Ofenböck (2016’s traditional and quirky Das grüne Album – Wiener Reise durch die Steiermark as well as 2011’s Die Gegenwart hängt uns schon lange zum Hals heraus, released by the duo as Krixi, Kraxi und die Kroxn).
He is clearly doing something right. While he may not be Austria’s biggest rock star, he is well regarded and respected. He has received multiple Amadeus Award nominations, the Austrian equivalent of the Grammys.
For music fans new to Nino, I recommend checking out Immer noch besser als Spinat, a 20-track Best Of album. It is definitely a personal favorite as well as being a great introduction to this talented Austrian musician.
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Photograph by Pamela Rußmann. This post contains affiliate links.