WIZO was spawned in a dinky German village called Sindelfingen, which lies on the outskirts of Stuttgart. The lovable krauts played their first show way back in 1987 and released their first EP in 1990. They’ve went on to become Germany’s second biggest all-time punk band (second only to arena rockers Die Toten Hosen) and have played everywhere from squats to stadiums.
Although some of their lyrical content is lighthearted and even comical, WIZO is a band that has a very strong anti-racist/anti-fascist message. WIZO is definitely from the old-school of punk rock, as they have a strict DIY ethic and are very active in left-wing causes. Their outspoken liberal politics have caused plenty of scandals and captured national headlines as well as coverage from European TV networks. So much controversy surrounds this band that they’ve been investigated several times and censored by the German authorities. Ach du liebe! That’s German for ‘Holy shit!’
WIZO’s sound defies categorization by matching infectious punk anthems with dashes of folk, rock, and calypso, metal, and pop. Although they do consider themselves a punk rock band, unlike most punk bands, WIZO is very open to outside musical influences and embrace their eclectic sound. A fine example is their cover of Ace of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’, which became a chart-topping hit in numerous European countries.
After a string of self-released material, WIZO joined the Fat Wreck roster and released Uuaarrgh!, 13 tracks of uber-catchy punk rock. The story goes like this: It was in the early 90’s that WIZO played a show with the illustrious NOFX and first caught the attention of punk tycoon Fat Mike. After the NOFX frontman witnessed the unpredictable and entertaining live show that WIZO put on, he knew the German trio could be adored and appreciated outside their homeland’s borders. And boy was he right, WIZO have went on to become an international favorite and boast record sales of over 500,000! All independently and without the help of those slimy major labels.