Brickleberry, a strange kind of berry

First of all, can you introduce yourself as a musician ? 请你自我介绍 。

我们是来自北京的乐队,脆莓(brickleberry),大家因为热爱相聚一起做音乐,玩乐队。成立两年。主唱弹吉他,张赫林是贝斯,合成器是潘沛生,鼓手是暴暴。目前是这样的配置。

We are Brickleberry from Beijing, we love doing music together as a band. We’ve been together for two years. The singer is the guitar player, we Zhang Helin on bass, we have Pan Peisheng on keyboard, Bao Bao on drums. This is the way it is these days.

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music scene ? 你觉得北京地下音乐现在怎么样?

北京现在地下乐队更多了,现在做音乐更方便了,一台电脑加上简单的录音设备就可以玩自己的音乐,简单来说门槛更低了。是好事也是坏事,就像电影工业取消胶片改为数码设备拍摄的一次革命,使得更多人可以进入这个行业。但比起之前作品的质量参差不齐,加上又是个快节奏的时代,好音乐反而更少了,不止是地下摇滚乐的问题,也是整个音乐圈普遍要解决的问题。我们能做的就是更加专注更加积极。

The Beijing Underground has more bands than before, it is more convenient to make music in Beijing than in the past, the threshold to enter the scene is lower than it used to be, it is a good and and a bad thing. I compare that to the change from using film to having everything being digital in the movie industry, it made it easier for people to make films, but the quality of cinema has become lower than it used to be. Also we live in a time period where everything goes fast, there is less good music than before, it is not only the problem of underground music, it is also the problem of music in general, this problem has to be solved. What we do is just being more concentrated and positive.

What’s your favorite music to listen to ? 你最喜欢听什么音乐和乐队?

我们一般听的音乐都是在Dance-Punk / Indie Rock /DISCO 之间徘徊,有时候也会看心情,音乐就是给人情绪的,不局限于风格

We in general listen to Dance-Punk/Indie Rock/DISCO, but it depends on our feelings, music is a thing giving moods, id doesn’t matter to limit those moods with styles.

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start playing music ? 你做了音乐做了多长时间 ?你是怎么开始做音乐的?

大家好像都是从少年叛逆期就想做音乐了,那时候的年龄就是有一些想做的事和自己要成为什么样子的人阶段。少年心气

It seems like all of us wanted to do music from a very age. At a young age there are the things one wants to do and the steps to become the person one wishes to become. The mind of a young heart….

What are your other musical projects ? 你有别的乐队吗?你的其他音乐项目是什么?

鼓手暴暴还有一支乐队叫温莎森林,做的时间比较长,其他人工作也比较忙,用一些精力拿出来做脆莓。

Our drummer Baobao also has a band called Wensha Forest, the band has a long history, for others in the band work gets us pretty busy, we use our energy to create crisp berries.

Any music you want to share ? 有没有你想分享或者推荐的音乐?

Shitdisco, they are a band from Scotland, there are 4 members in the band. The band was formed in 2003, really good band.

Shitdisco,他们是来自苏格兰格拉斯哥的乐队,乐队由 4 个成员组成。03年的乐队,玩的很好.

The Beauty

First of all, can you introduce yourself as a musician ? 请你自我介绍 。

我叫卫怡然,是The Beauty乐队的主唱。性别男,平时喜欢弹弹琴看看电影什么的,其他也没什么好介绍的.

My name is Dawei Yiran, I’m the singer in The Beauty, I’m a boy, I usually like to play guitar and watch movies, there’s nothing much more to say about me.    

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music scene ? 你觉得北京地下音乐现在怎么样?

我认为现如今所谓的地下摇滚乐越来越少了,除了少数人以外,大多数乐手平时还是得上班才能养活自己。北京这边的音乐氛围很好,包容性很强而且非常多元化。可能在大街上随便拽个人,十个人里有八个是玩金属的。观众的消费水平越来越好,对于音乐的质量越来越挑剔,而且如今互联网那么发达,想听什么网上一搜都有,有一次我去愚公移山看演出,旁边有个刚刚放学还穿着校服的学生,他一边听一边跟同伴讨论台上乐队的风格,很专业。这是个好现象,一方面越来越多的人开始接受摇滚乐了,另一方面也给了音乐人很大压力,我觉得现在不是靠死磕的年代了,在认真做音乐的时候要多花一点儿时间去思考,才是最明智的选择。

I think there are less and less rock bands in Beijing that can call themselves “underground” these days.
Apart from a few people most musicians in the underground have to work to feed themselves. The Beijing music scene environment for music is great though, it’s very inclusive, very strong and very diverse. Maybe on any street in Beijing if there are 10 people, 8 of them will be in a metal band.

The level of life of the audience is getting higher and higher and there taste in music is more and more demanding. Moreover now with internet anybody can listen to anything at any given time. One night I was at Yugong Yishan and I saw someone in the audience who was still wearing his school uniform and had probably come directly from school looking at the concert and commenting on it directly on internet at the same time, very professional, this is a good phenomenon I think.

On one side people are starting more and more to listen to rock music, but on the other end it gives more and more pressure to musicians.

We don’t live in the age of doing without thinking anymore, when you do music you have to spend more time to think about what you are doing, this is the wiser choice to make.

What’s your favorite music to listen to ? 你最喜欢听什么音乐和乐队?

我平时听得比较杂;ZZ Top、Gotthard、The Killers…有时候还会听电子和民谣。最喜欢朗朗上口而且编配巧妙的音乐。

I usually like listening to very diverse music: ZZ Top, Gotthard, The Killers…sometimes even electronic and folk music. I love catchy clever music the most.

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start playing music ? 你做了音乐做了多长时间 ?你是怎么开始做音乐的?

我玩乐队的时间不长,到今年夏天就整整4年了.刚上大学那会儿学的吉他,当时和弦还没完全学会呢就开始瞎写歌了,都是特别简单的和弦。后来就完全沦陷了,一发不可收拾地喜欢上音乐了。  

I have been playing music for quite a short time, about 4 years. I started playing guitar in university, I still hadn’t really studied how to play chords very well when I wrote my first songs, so I was using very simple chords. Later I got completely drowned into it, my love of music became got out of hand.

What are your other musical projects ? 你有别的乐队吗?你的音乐计划

是什么?

现在只有The Beauty一个,我们的风格算是英式加朋克加车库,但其实我们也说不好算什么风格,风格这东西是别人给你的定义,我们的定义就是好听就行。目前乐队还是照常排练和演出,最近写了点新东西。马上会发我们的第一张EP,发完之后继续排练和演出。我们希望有一天能够站上更大的舞台,写出点能让人记住的旋律。但这事不急于求成,踏踏实实做音乐是我们目前最主要的工作。

For the moment it’s only The Beauty. Our style is like English Indie Rock + Punk + Garage but in fact we can’t really say clearly what our style is, I think a music style name is more something other people give you, our moto is “if it sounds good it’s good”.


Our band has been practicing and writing new songs recently, so we will soon issue our first EP and after will continue practice and playing. We hope one day to stand on a bigger stage and write melodies people can actually remember, but everything takes time and for the moment we concentrate on doing music as our most important thing to do.

Any music you want to share ? 有没有你想分享或者推荐的音乐?

I really like Blondie’s album “Blondie”, there mix of Punk and New Wave is great. After that maybe The Strokes, generally speaking when people ask me to recommend a band to talk about I always talk about them. 

If you’ve never heard of them just start with the first album “Is this it”, you won’t be disappointed.

推荐Blondie的第一张专辑《Blondie》,朋克加新浪潮太好听了。然后就是The Strokes,基本上别人让我推荐的时候我都会说他们,没听过的朋友从第一张《Is this it》开始听吧,绝对不会让你失望的

A. Borealis

First of all, can you introduce yourself as an artist?

My artist name is A.Borealis (aka Shannon Lethbridge).  I paint, draw, sing, write and play music. 

What do you think about art in China? Do you know any other artist like you?

I enjoy the simplicity and elegance of traditional Chinese paintings. 

So far I haven’t come across other similar artist. 

What do you take inspiration from for your paintings and videos?


My paintings are inspired by nature and what is happening in my environment. I then create still-shot animations using my paintings. 

Who’s your favourite painter?

Vincent Van Gogh. Since I was young I’ve always been inspired by his abstract work and texture. 

And Gustav Klimt. I love how he relates and connects people to nature in an abstract form. 

You also play in a band and as a solo artist, what are you trying to express through all these different ways?

Yes, I play in a band called The Plum Trees that started off in Australia with my brother. We currently both live in China. I also perform solo as A.Borealis. 

I use music to communicate honestly with people. In my band I like to do improv singing, which is how we make songs now. It’s very empowering to have a band support improvised lyrics especially at live shows. Here, my lyrics are more mental than emotional. If I’m mad it’s a good way to release those emotions with the help of my band. On a whole it’s just my way of describing mental hurdles and releasing frustrations. 

My solo music is more emotional than mental. In my solo performances its really about what is going on in my heart and it’s a safe place for me to be vulnerable as well as be very direct with my words.  My solo performances are about me being honest with myself. 

Tell me more about your musical projects?

Recently my band released an original album.

Solo, I’ve been combining my art/animations with my music/writing. I organise “An Art Show” events where I showcase my music and art performances. It’s also a platform for other artist, writers and musicians to experiment and collaborate. 

Any art websites or music you want to share?

The Plum Trees music

https://theplumtrees.bandcamp.com/releases

An Art Show

https://www.facebook.com/AnArtShow

Disaster Chat

First of all, can you introduce yourself as a musician  ?

Disaster Chat is a group of friends that likes to play music. Our talents our found in our ability to write music that speaks to us and our enjoyment in playing live. We are not complicated, and our musical tones can be discovered through our energy. 

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music 

scene ?

We think the Beijing underground music scene is an incredibly unique and diverse group of musical melody.  Any kind of genera from any kind of musician can be found and often playing together in the same night. We love being a part of the scene and we also enjoy hanging out with all of the other great musicians.

What’s your favorite music to listen to ?

We all listen to very different music but most of our tastes focus around rock. We all have our favorite mainstream rock artists such as Rage Against the Machine, Saosin, Foster the People, Death Cab for Cutie, and Radio Head, but we also listen to our own favorite fringe artists. 

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start playing music ?



Disaster Chat has been together for 4 years but all of us except for Joe H has been in bands since we were teens. Justin and Jesse were in a High school band that performed in Oklahoma, USA and Joe B was in band that was based in Birmingham UK.

We started playing music for similar reasons but mostly because we liked the friendship that comes with playing music with other people. 

What are your other musical projects ?

We are currently working on finishing our album that has been in the works for years. By this July we will have released our full album and most of it can be found on our website at www.disasterchat.band. 

Any CD’s or music and video links you want to share ?

We don’t have much time for other musical projects as we are incredibly busy with life but we would like to do more in the near future if possible. 

RHONDA

First of all, can you introduce yourself as a musician  ?

We are Rhonda – Tommy (Guitar), Nico (Bass) and Alex (Drums). 

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music 
scene ?

We think Beijing deserves its reputation as the hub for China’s underground scene. Over the past thirty years, there have been little pockets of exciting scenes in cities all over China – from Wuhan to Chengdu and Shanghai – but Beijing has consistently been the place musicians have deliberately moved to in order to gain some wider exposure.

We don’t see that going away anytime soon.



What’s your favorite music to listen to ?

In general, our tastes are all over the rock/metal spectrum – from Tool and Slayer to Mogwai and Parquet Courts – but in terms of local bands, we love sharing the stage with our friends Macondo and Pacalolo. We try to regularly play shows together under the faux-festival “PacaMacRhonda-Palooza” – the next one is actually going to be May 5th at Temple Bar.

Recently, Tommy has been listening to “Fucked With a Knife” by Cannibal Corpse.

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start playing music ?

We’ve been playing music for a long time – Tommy’s first show was actually back in 1953. 

Any albums or music and video links you want to share to talk about your music ?

Here’s a link to one of our favorite live shows – The Liquid Lights concert in January 2017. It features two of our songs – “Don T (Diego’s Eyes)”, and “Vow of Silence”:

http://m.youku.com/video/id_XMjQ4Njc5NjkyMA==.html?from=s7.8-1.2&spm=a2h0k.8191393.bodydiv.5!3~5!12~A

What are your other musical projects ?

Alex also plays drums for a garage-punk band The Swinging Barbarellas. 

Sino Hearts, a punk heart


First of all,can you introduce yourself as a musician?

My name is Zhong,lead singer and guitarist of The Sino Hearts,used to live in europe for a decade,played with several punk bands like Deecracks,Frankenstyle,ect and moved back to beijing in 2016.

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music scene ?

With my former viennese punk band Frankenstyle, Deecracks and my current Band the Sino Hearts I toured through over china (hk,taiwan) previously 3 times and I found the beijing underground scene devoloped quite fast and the venues are getting professional, new generation of audience fully accept alternative rock music.but it’s very unique if you compare it to europe or western world.

What’s your favourite music to listen to ?

I love 60s Beat music and 70s Glam rock, Power Pop


How long have you been doing music? What was your first instrument and why did you starting playing music ?

I’ve been doing music for almost 10 years and I learned piano when I was a kid and love music

Any albums or music and video links you want to share ?

Undertones,the Boys,Flamin Groovies,the Real Kids and other classic powerpop bands.

What are your other musical projects ?

not anymore. I’m only with the Sino Hearts

Any CD’s or music and video links you want to share ?

Never Young Beach ! japanese pop rock band which reminds me of the Growlers.

Carlo, the magic drummer

First of all, can you introduce yourself as a musician  ?

 

I’m Carlo , I play drums, keyboard, vocals , and I’m from California . 

 

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music
scene ?

 

I feel there are 2 distinct scenes that occasionally overlap each other but usually stay in their own camps. The foreigner expat musicians are only here temporarily , usually work part time, and have a lot of freedom for experimentation and interesting mashups of music styles and international members. The local Chinese bands are usually pretty young college kids who have a brief window of opportunity to make something happen before societal pressures force them into marriage, career, and so on. The bands that do survive definitely thrive creatively on that stress and general resistance in mainstream China to any live music that isn’t CCTV friendly ktv pop shit.

What’s your favorite music to listen to ?

 

Classic 60’s-70’s psychedelic rock, late 80’s early 90’s hard rock and alternative , metal, blues…. And The Bee Gees.

 

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start playing rock music ?

 

I started taking piano lessons when I was 4 and would listen to albums and try to play along with them. I stopped taking lessons around 14 and picked up drums because I was an angry teenager that wanted to hit things. My friends agreed and we just started a band not really knowing how to play, just being noisy and obnoxious. It was just an escape from the tedium of suburbia. 

 

Any albums or music and video links you want to share to talk about your music ? 

 

Since moving to Beijing 6 years ago, I’ve been a part of many projects; Xinjiang folk rock band Bilaye, stoner punk rock trio The Death Narcissist, prog party band The Harridans, and my longest running project as the drummer of Djang San + Band.

No particular link to any, just search around .

How was it in Japan and Korea touring with Djang San ?

 

It was great getting out of Beijing and meeting other international bands, and sort of taking a more objective look at our project and see how it compares to others, not just locally in China. Really good, positive experience.

 

What about the next Djang San + Band album ?

 

The next album is in many ways the first one written entirely from scratch as a whole group. We’ve played together so long it was a really relaxed and natural process coming up with the new material, and the songs have a lot of power and energy behind them. I’m excited for the new materials actually and they’re really fun to play

Clancy, space bass with a cool attitude

First of all, can you introduce yourself as a musician ?

 

I’m clancy from Australia and I play bass. 

 

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music scene?

 

I think the BUMS is great because there there are so many different opportunities for bands of any genre to sing any language and find great people who come to their shows who really appreciate the diversity of original music from around the world. 

 

What’s your favorite music to listen to ?

 

I’ll like any style if the song is good but a few artists that have really inspired me are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt and Jimi Hendrix, just to name a few. 

 

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start a rock band to begin with ?

 

I’ve been playing bass for 17years. My father tried to teach me piano when I was young but I wasn’t interested. Years later my best friend was learning guitar and I followed him to a guitar shop where I saw a bass and thought it looked cool, so eventually I got one and we made a band together. I love playing music together with a good bunch of friends, best feeling in the world. 

 

How was it in Japan and Korea touring with Djang San ?

 

I didn’t get to play with The band in Korea but I was on holiday at the same time they were there. I was already friends with carlo and when I heard he was going I wanted to see them perform. I was just good timing that I was there and Steno the current bass player at the time was planning to return home. I was basically accepted into the band before I got to audition properly because we got along so well. 

I’m in love with Japan so to be there and play music was an amazing experience for me. I miss the food and I hope we can go again soon!

 

What about the next Djang San + Band album ?

 

I’m really looking forward to the new songs we’ve been working on. It’s been almost two years in the band for me now and I think we’ve all bonded really well. I think that will show in the new album because we’re all sharing ideas together to create something like we haven’t done before. It feels fresh and exciting. 

 

What are your other musical projects ?

 

At the moment I really only have one active band. Most people who come to Beijing from outside normal return home after a few years. But I have a band with my sister the Plum Trees and another band called the Sleepwalkers which I got the opportunity to scream out loud as co-singer. I’m slowly working on an experimental bass solo album but I much prefer performing with others than I do alone. 

Oldy Baby, not that old.

Oldy Baby, first of all, where does that name come from? What does it mean?


Oldy Baby is about new times for old ideas, basically, it comes from me.

 

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music scene?

 

I love the Beijing music scene because the people and venues and bands inspire me and I like to be part of that feeling. I like to interact.

 

What’s your favorite music to listen to?

 

I listen to rock and punky stuff.

 

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start a rock band to begin with ?

 

First instrument was a piano around 6 years old but I didn’t like being taught how to play by the music teacher. It was boring to play a song exactly as written, I mean for me I felt bored. I found guitar more open and stronger and cooler and funnier, and my teacher taught me the blues, which lead me to punk and rock and that.

Start a band for chicks and to be loud enough so other people would listen to me. “I got something to sayyy!”

 

Any CD’s or music and video links you want to share to talk about your music?

 

I have Oldy Baby, which is a punk duo with Willy, and Sardine is Back and the Wheel is Broken, which is an improv-psycho punky band, and then I got a folk duo called Coupla Cup with Reese. Those are my currents.

Nick Parson, experimental but human

Nick Parsons, first of all, where does that name come from? What does it mean ?


This name is from two of my favourite musicians,Nick Drake and Gram Parsons.

 

What do you think of the Beijing Underground music scene ?

Beijing Underground music is hopeful,in fact, many musicians are world class but not famous,people can see they’re shining.

What’s your favorite music to listen to ?


My favorite music, it’s hard to choose…great musicians like Bob Dylan,Neil Young, David Bowie, Syd Barrett, Hendrix, Kraftwerk an so on, of course Nick Drake and Gram Parsons, they’re my teachers and my favourite.

 

How long have you been doing music ? What was your first instrument and why did you start a rock band to begin with ?

I’ve been doing music solo for just one year since the first solo show. Before that I had a Led Zeppelin cover band in college and I was lead guitar. I love classic rock, that is where I started.

 

Any CD’s or music and video links you want to share to talk about your music ?

NI have three music projects. 

1. My solo projects, about every possibility of music.  2. A Folk duet with my female partner.    3, I’m going to start a new band soon, psychedelic style