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Last ever Slink Rat post.

Time to go do something else.
Thanks to everyone who read it!

xxoo


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Strawberry Music Festival: A glitch in the matrix.

(Was originally planning on posting this just before Strawberry Festival this year, but was told to hold off until Rat On Swamp Dog was over just to be safe.)

Told this story before somewhere, but when I first came to China a friend of mine would catch the bus every day to work listening to her mp3 player. I asked her what she was listening to and she only had four songs on there. Two Chinese songs, one James Blunt song and a Savage Garden song. I asked her a good ten months later what she was listening to and it was the exact same four songs. This was with commuting forty five minutes to work and back six days a week. Pretty impressive when you think about it. But I feel like she must be the key demographic when festival bookers are picking their line up.

Well aware that doing anything always trumps doing sweet fuck all, and it sucks when all your hard work is cut down by some piece of fuck dickshit with a blog who knows absolutely nothing about anything.
But still, is Modern Sky’s Strawberry Festival fucking with us?

Here’s line up to the 2013 October holiday festival in Beijing:
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Xie Tian Xiao, New Pants, Second Hand Rose, Re-Tros, Da Bang all feature as they have done for many years now.

2009’s line up had (amongst many others) Second Hand Rose, New Pants, Re-Tros, Hedgehog and Queen Sea Big Shark.
2010 had Blonde Redhead, Xie Tian Xiao, Second Hand Rose, New Pants, Re-Tros, Queen Sea Big Shark and Hedgehog.
2011’s line up featured Xie Tian Xiao, Da  Bang and Re-Tros,
2012’s line up featured Da Bang, Queen Sea Big Shark,  Hedgehog, Re-Tros, New Pants and Blonde Redhead.

Of course there were a heap more bands, some amazing international ones too such as The Go! Team, Camera Obscura, that old guy from Suede who got creepy on stage and Pitchtuner who I’ve never heard but throwing in something from the electronic world in a weak attempt to pretend this is a well rounded piece of writing.

But some questions:
Why is it always the same bands?
Is it because of a crack down by the powers that be and it’s hard to get new artist permits for festivals?
Have there been no new bigger bands in China since 2009?
Why do people still go if they know they are going to see the same bands?
Has all this shit been said before and do Modern Sky acknowledge that it seems to always be the same bands?
Don’t the performers get super bored?
Are these bands writing new sets every year for the festival?
What would happen if festivals in America or Europe or anywhere else had the same bands every year?
How is this happening? Is there a glitch in the matrix?

I’m honestly curious as to how this happens so if anyone knows or can shed any light, please get in touch. Again, I don’t totally want to piss on the parade and I’ve had enough trouble trying to organise an electrician to come to my house let alone organise a festival here, it must do your head in, but can someone maybe tell XTX to take a break for a year to let Battle Cattle reform and do a set?

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Dead Farmers suggest you bring earplugs or don’t.

Meet David from Sydney band, Dead Farmers. He looks a little bit like Fred Savage which is a good thing, he probably hates it though. 
They’ve done a tour of China before. Around 2010 from the memory remains. They were lucky enough to play a Trash A Go Go show in Shanghai! Remember Trash A Go Go? That shit was pretty ace. Now they are coming through again, but only making one stop on the mainland - on November 23rd at Rat On Swamp Dog. Poster at the ankles of this.
They put on a good time. Chuck an ear party over here.

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You’re coming back to China! Did you miss us? 
Oh yeah.

What did you learn last time you were here?
Pre-purchase imodium rather than buying it on arrival.

Where else are you going? It’s a pretty rough schedule, yeah? How you guys funding this? Is your boss cool with you taking a heap of time off?
The tour schedule is as follows: Singapore, KL, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo. We’re funding it ourselves, and I’m the only one with a real boss. Last time we went on tour I uit my job to go, but this time I’ve got leave. It can be a pain in the ass trying to organise a tour around everyone’s schedule, cause we’re all doing different things. We wanted to go to Europe as well but we couldn’t fit it in at the right time of year.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to book an Asian tour?
It’s the kind of thing you need to just do, you get in touch with the right people, jump in at the deep end and the next time you’ve made a bunch of friends and learned how to get around and it’s all easier after that.

What merch you guys bringing? I still wear my Dead Farmers shirt from your last tour!
I think we are bringing the same shirts in a different colour. Good to hear you’re still wearing it. 

It’s often bullshit trying to figure out how you are getting from town to town, who is getting train tickets, finding a hotel that is cheap and does online booking in English. How are you handling those logistics?
I have no idea actually, last time we had Tom with us tour managing, this time because of the amount of shows in different countries, we’re pretty much doing it ourselves with great people helping out in each country. Some friends we made last tour, mostly new ones though.

What’s been happening in Sydney as of late? How are things with Camperdown and Out?
Not a lot, there’s been a bit of a lull since around mid year. Things always get kinda slow in winter since it’s cold and nobody feels like doing anything. I think it’ll pick up with Sound Summit coming up, Tyvek and some other awesome bands are playing. I think you get these overseas bands that come and inspire people - not exclusive to Australia either, I’m sure bands come to China and rile people up there, and to Europe, the US etc. 
 
Camperdown and Out (another band I played guitar in) is dead for the moment, though Nathan recently expressed some interest in making another record at some point. If it happens it’s gonna be a slightly different lineup. This seems irrelevant though because it doesn’t seem like the kind of music that would translate to China. Or maybe it would?

It’s not irrelevant, I reckon it would go ok. I’d dig it.
Do any of you guys have partners? What are there thoughts of you guys going away for a long time?
 
We all have full-time partners. Three weeks isn’t so bad, my partner went away to the UK for 6 months. Anything is easier than that. Actually there’s a song about this very subject on our next record.

Is Rat On Swamp Dog the best thing you’ve ever been a part of? Way better than supporting Comets on Fire, seeing David Simon talk and playing Metallica pinball? Answer is yes. Have to be, right?
Yeah far better than anything we’ve ever done. How is this even a question?

I’m known for my probing questions. Anything else to add or any messages to the suckers reading this before you go?
Bring earplugs. Or don’t. The great thing is you get to make the choice.
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My Weekdayer with ivy Mei Wah Wong.

Let’s face it, often what we do on our weekdays is a bit more interesting that what we’re actually doing on the weekends (sleep in, watch Seinfeld re-runs, hassle Sherpas, get ripped off on drink prices and wake up sore) so welcome to the first and last, My Weekdayer.
This is by ivy Mei Wah Wong who you’ve no doubt seen at shows or at least seen her artwork on Friend or Foe posters and albums. 

My Weekdayer by ivy Mei Wah Wong.


Thursday, 14th November, the alarm went off at 5:50. Sad news was I had to miss Student A’s birthday party. I am really sorry Student A ☹. Good news was I got to lay in because I had a day off to go to the doctor. I was very sick yesterday. Luckily, my wonderful boyfriend spent an hour and a half on phone with my insurance company and booked me an appointment at Hua Shan Hospital today.

I discovered that people don’t know their geography very well. Even though my boyfriend clearly explained that we lived in Shanghai, the insurance company first offered us a hospital in Qingdao, then several hospitals in Beijing. I believed her words were, “How about Beijing, we are contracted to many hospitals in Beijing.”

“No thanks. Beijing is just a little too far away to go and see a doctor from Shanghai.”

I arrived at the hospital at 10:15. I was 15 minutes late, it turns out the hospital is a really big place. I got rather lost. I filled a form and waited for my turn.

A nice nurse came over, “Miss Wong. This way, please. Your insurance company is not covered at this hospital. Would you like to pay in cash and get a reimbursement from your insurance? The doctor is ready for you this way.”

Wait a minute. It turns out Hua Shan Hospital is a “special “ case. It is not covered by my insurance, thanks for sending me to the right place, insurance company! Nice Job!

Hua Shan Hospital waiting room decor is rather nice. I sat there made phone calls for next 2 hours. After 42 text messages and phone calls to my school, the insurance company and a few wrong hospital numbers given by the insurance company. At 12:30, I was ready to go to my new doctor appointment.

I know it is not very nice to laugh at other people, but I got to see the funny side of it after so many phone calls. Here are a few conversations with hospitals that recommended by my insurance company.

Ruijing Hospital

“Is this your hospital international branch? May I book an out patient appointment for today, please?” I said on the phone.

“Sorry our international branch is closed.”

Once again, well done insurance company! You scored!

No. 6 People Shanghai Hospital

“Is this your hospital international branch? May I book an out patient appointment for today, please?” I said on the phone.

“Sorry, the doctor is having a rest. Please call back at 1:30.” From No.6 People Shanghai Hospital.

“But it’s only 11 o’clock. The doctor rests for 2 and a half hours.” I said.

“Yes. The doctor is having a rest. Please call back at 1:30.” From No.6 People Shanghai Hospital.

Hua Ding Hospital

“Is this your hospital international branch? May I book an out patient appointment for today, please?” I said on the phone.

“You want to book an appointment. We have no doctors.” From Hua Ding Hospital.

“What? You don’t have doctors at your hospital.” I said.

“Yes. We have doctors on Wednesday.” From Hua Ding Hospital.

At 1 o’clock I arrived at Partway Clinic at the Portman. It was a smooth operation. Totally recommended. Doctor ordered to drink lukewarm water for a week.

On my way home, I picked up the Dr.Sketchy’s Anti-Art ticket at Bloc. I stopped by the bank to send my sister some money to buy flight tickets to go to the best wedding ever - my wedding in Thailand! And I was home safely, stayed out of the rain at 4 o’clock.

Still had time to upload my Masters homework onto youtube.

Had a little cry reading Farewell Roses article on Slink Rat.

Made tuna steak and couscous for dinner to thank my boyfriend for being awesome.

Started writing my 190 report card comments. Only got 30 done. Aya, a long weekend ahead.

Sneakily had a look at TaoBao, my newly discovered wonderland.

Tucked myself into bed at 10:30. The earliest time I‘ve been to bed for years. I need to rest and lukewarm water to get better!

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Interview with Shanghai band, Wheel of Fortune’s drummer, Zeng.

The Real Scottish Mike (please stand up, please stand up) has already blogged a bit about Shanghai band Wheel Of Fortune. I caught them the other week at a Sunday Live Show at 696 and really dug them. Super friendly with good songs that had everyone engaged. The bassist, HuanHuan does some mean metal growls and the first time she busted them out, everyone’s jaws dropped. 
They’re keen for shows so if you’re booking something and want some new(ish) faces to the bill, hit them up! 

Caught up with drummer, Zeng about double kicks, being ‘metal dogs’ and pizza. 

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Where did you all come from?! Is Wheel Of Fortune all of your first band?  
I stayed in WOF for about 2 years but our band has got a longer history than this. It’s a complicated story but I’ll make it simple. 

Our leader Jingjing(Guitar) is the only original member left. Shizuka(Solo Guitar), who was invited by Jingjing before I joined, stayed for about four years until now. After that, one by one, the original members left. First was drummer, so Shizuka found me, Zeng(Drum). Next was bassist, so I caught Huanhuan(Bassist). The last one was vocalist, then Juzhang(Vocal) was recommended by one of our friends. After she joined us this summer, everything was settled and we started our show again.

The WOF today is totally different from the WOF 3 and a half years ago when it was founded. So technically, this brand new Wheel of Fortune is a young band and has got a long way to go.

WOF is the first band for Jingjing and Juzhang. Huanhuan and I grouped some school bands when we were students. Shizuka is the most expierenced one among us. She had been coorperated with many splendid bands in Shanghai. We are lucky to have her backup. 

Where did your bassist, Huanhuan learn those death metal growls?
About Huanhuan’s growls, I guess you guys were shocked. She made it all by herself! No teacher. What a genius, isn’t she? Born to be a metallism ! \m/ 

Do you have plans to record some songs, release a CD and all that kind of stuff? 
We do plan to make some demo first and we just finished recording the guitar tracks. We hope that we can finish one or two songs mixing at the end of this years. If we finish, we’ll firstly release them on Douban Site. Surely we will release EP when we have more songs. It will be exciting!

What did you think of the Sunday Live Show at 696? Enjoy the pizza?
Last Sunday was really an amazing one. It was cold outside but really hot inside!! So nice to meet you guys and we’ve been having fun. Our bassist said she really loved that pizza! And so do I!

How long have you been playing the drums? How long have you been using a double kick?
I’ve been playing drums for five years, and double kick for almost four years. Obviously, I’m not diligent enough in practice. Otherwise, I would do much better.

Who are some of your favourite Chinese bands?
We five have got different appetite for music, but we’ve got something in common, we all admire the Falling (堕天)from Beijing, Forget and Forgive (FAF)from Shanghai, Kinglychee (荔枝王)from HongKong. And for me, I’d like to add up CHthonic ()from Taiwan, who won’t be happy to be included in China though. In fact, We listen to more foreign bands than local ones. Three of us, Huanhuan, Shizuka and I , are metal dogs haha! \m/

How can people learn more about your band? How can people get in touch to book you for shows?
People can follow us up mainly on Weibo, just searching for Wheel_Of_Fortune乐队. We also have Douban Site (site.douban.com/WOF), mentioned before. We will keep information for our shows updated on these pages.

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Martin from Spill Your Guts tells you the best way to get smacked at Inferno.

You probably know Martin as that super tall guy who co-runs Inferno. But you’ll soon know him as Martin - that super tall guy who co-runs Inferno and plays guitar in Spill Your Guts.  Fuck, what do you know? His first show with them is on the 22nd of November at Harley’s as part of Rat On Swamp Dog. What a coincidence! Go ask him about his favourite metal albums and then tell him yours. 
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Rat On Swamp Dog - Nov 22nd will be your first show with Spill Your Guts. How’d you get involved with those bad boyz? Have the songs been hard to learn? Looking forward to shredding on stage?
I’ve known Tyler for a while, and the other gents I know primarily through YYT & Inferno. I can’t remember exactly where or when I expressed interest, but Tyler asked if I would be up for a jam and of course I was. I basically spent a few days learning the songs on their Douban page. Still haven’t got them all down, but I’m confident it’ll be tight come ROSD. Super excited about the opportunity, always enjoyed their shows!

Actually, is it your first time playing on stage in Shanghai? If so, is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Yeah, it’ll be my first performance in SH. I’ve always enjoyed playing, but haven’t really pushed for performing, not in many years.

How’s Inferno been going? What happened to been forced to close and starting the new place? Is that still happening?
Inferno is doing its thing. We are waiting on the final court order, so eviction is unfortunately inevitable, not sure when. The new place is still in the works. We found a kick ass location in Jing An, but it seems the landlord is having difficulties landing the commercial license needed. I’m still looking for alternatives.

How many people come in to Inferno and just stare at TingTing? 
Ting Ting is a very popular lady indeed! Guys often ask me for an introduction, but I’m not a pimp and it’s none of my business anyways.

What’s the best thing about hanging out with the rest of Spill Your Guts?
They have great attitudes, very positive and easy-going guys. It seems they all have their lives in check, taking care of business and getting shit done, which is motivating.

What’s the best story Dima has told you?
Well, he shared a recipe for killer pies the other night. Seems the secret is adding an entire can of condensed milk.

is it true you love it when people come in to Inferno and change the music without letting you know?
Oh man, it’s a great way to get smacked.

I was at Inferno the night before the first Metallica show in Shanghai. So many middle aged men in denim jackets with patches and beards. Did you push for Metallica to swing in for a drink? What other touring bands have you had come through in the past?
Haha, yeah, it was impressive. A lot of those dudes live in China and came to SH for the show. I didn’t push for Metallica to swing through, obviously would have been epic. I’m pretty sure Lars enforces a curfew, so I didn’t get my hopes up. We’ve had a lot of awesome bands in though; Lamb Of God, Unearth, As I Lay Dying, Soilwork etc etc.

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Slink Rat questionnaire with Mac DeMarco.

Apologies as I don’t know much about Mac DeMarco except Go Oilers! but I do know that Cuss likes him, that Carb on Carb are supporting in Singapore and that he is being brought over to China by Split Works. Yuyintang on November 30th sucker dogs.
These Slink Rat questionnaire questions were sent over to him from Mel at Other Sounds and then she threw them my way and now they are headed your way.
Answers aren’t great, but they are open for whoever takes them to write as much as they want. Some people don’t operate well like that, some people do interviews when they are tired of hearing themselves talk and some people don’t like Slipknot - but I hope I never met those people.

Supporting in Shanghai is a band I play guitar in called ‘Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’. This show will have Dan of So So Modern fame on drums to give us some block rockin’ beats.

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What’s the most amount of money you’ve been paid to do a show or a job? What was it?

8k. rock show.

What’s the deal with that person you hate? What happened there?
I don’t hate anybody, some people hate me though.

When did you first have sex? How often do you have sex now?
It was at joe mommas house. I used the back door. Great Vacation. I pump her on the reg.

Who is the one who got away?
Veronica Vanoza

What were you thinking when you did that thing that was really fucking stupid?
"The donkeys balls are always reddest right before dawn"

What is one thing you would change about yourself if you could?
I would like to be a woman

What are some of your proudest achievements so far?
Everest, Kilimanjaro, Sherpi Kangri.

What do you have coming up in the future?
We’re implementing a new regiment into our daily routine. New portfolios, investments, large sized penis paper.

What do you wish you were asked more often in interviews
Hee hee, Pee Pee Oral Mitchell? Tony’s Junkie Spit Smoothie… Y/N??

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For some reason, Augie knows a lot about old Australian TV shows.

What came first, the sticker or the knowledge? Meet Augie Cohlmia, an employee at Split Works who is from the hoodz of Kansas and seems to know a lot about old Australian shows and New Zealand bands so if you ever bump in to him, ask him about Mr. Kelly and Betty or The Mint Chicks. 

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What’s been happening? Split Works been keeping you busy? 
Insanity, but the good kind. Know what I mean? Lots of tours, lots of artists, lots of excitement. I guess the question is what HASN’T been happening BRO. 

Aren’t you the guy who has been putting those Hey Dad! stickers everywhere? Are you an Arthur McArthur man or a Nudge man? 
I wish! Those stickers are rad. Did you see that penguin? It’s out of sight. And that handwriting is br00tal. 
It’s a tough call, but I’m going to go with Arthur McArthur on this one. He held his own against the Grundy gang, and for a 10 year old he’s pretty punk. Also, has anyone ever said you are a bit like Nudge? (Ed note: Yes, someone has, but it was you) Shanghai needs it’s wacky neighbors, and you’ve got the wackiness we all need. You and BO may have to battle for this position…
How’d you get involved with Split? Has it been the dream job? 
I got involved with Split over a series of coincidences and emails. First time I visited China was back in 2006. My dad does a bit of business here so I had tagged along with him on some trips out to Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Nanjing, and Xintao. On my second trip here I was desperate to see some live music, and coincidentally it turned out to be Maximo Park which was Split Works’ first international band show. I started to feel more drawn to China, which led me to study Chinese in college during my studies to be a theatre director. The original idea was to come to China and direct plays and create some theatre revolution, whatever that meant. Over time though, my passion turned towards music and wanted to focus on it for my career.
Fast forward to 2011.  After college, I had relative success living in Chicago, putting on shows, promoting bands, working for various agencies and labels. While that was all well and good, it became increasingly harder to find a good job or do fun events as pretty much everyone had their “nights” at local venues. Essentially jobless, I went on a trip with my dad to Shanghai and Beijing. After seeing some great shows here, I decided it was time to get the hell of the States and move over here while I was still sane. 
I planned another trip in March of 2012, just in time for JUE. I was aware of Split years before moving, but figured it was time to say something. Through a mutual acquaintance, I had been given Archie’s email address and planned to meet up with him while I was in town. After our initial meeting at the Courtney Wing show, we exchanged a number of emails, mostly discussing the launch of our new agency known as Scorched. When I had moved here in July of 2012, I met with Archie. The rest is history. 
So far it’s been more than rad. Great people, great music, and a sense of accomplishment. Can’t say that about making shitty sandwiches for moms and over indulged dudes in backwards caps (which I did). 
 
What’s it like getting to tour around with the bands? What kind of shit have you learnt on da road of hard knocks? 
I haven’t toured with that many bands in Asia (planning to do more), but so far it’s been overall pretty good. Some hiccups along the way ie finding out bands didn’t get their visas, but nothing unsolvable. I have learned though that the key to touring Asia is to be on time and just be prepared for anything. Also if you are a band coming over here, be ready to not have EVERYTHING you want listed on your rider because 90% of the time, it ain’t gonna happen. 
 
When’s Ed Schrader’s Music Beat coming here? 
 Soon I hope. I still blast that record constantly, and I know Ed and Dev are still waiting to get over here. It’s a tough call. You gotta find the right promoters for the right bands, and it’s been a bit tough due to their set up. I believe in those guys and their music, and I will try to have them year in 2014. It’s gotta happen. 
 
Do you miss Momo? 
 How couldn’t you miss Momo? She makes marketing funnerific!
 
How long do you think you’ll be sticking around in Shanghai for? Reckon you’ll stick around in the music industry after you leave? Maybe you could start up the Kansas brach of Split Works. 
 Not sure man. I got a one way ticket here and haven’t looked back for the short time I’ve been here. I’ve had the desire to move to China since i was a teenager, and it’s been great so far. May move to Beijing, Wuhan, or even Vietnam at some point, but for now Shanghai is killin it BRO.
 
As long as the music industry doesn’t collapse, I think I’ll stay right here. 
I’ve actually spoken to friends of mine who play in bands in Kansas, and they are all convinced to come out here, So I guess the split office in Wichita makes sense. In fact, if I may plug a band, check out my good buddies called Jabberjosh. Harsh tunes, polite dudes.  They have a new album out which was mastered by Bob Weston of Shellac. It makes you want to kick the tires and light the fires like Captain Ron.

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Long lost interview with thruoutin

A friend recently sent me an interview he did with Beijing’s, thruoutin ages ago for his website, The Kolkhoz but he’s since shut the website down and I don’t think this interview ever got shown to anyone. So here it is if you want to learn a bit more about thruoutin and his take on pink light brothels.

Interview with thruoutin

Intercultural influence in China manifests itself in various forms when it comes to music. More often than not it’s a sad mixture of different elements that add up to a gimmicky stage performance and a sound that’s way too ambitious, but lacks real quality.

When I saw Brad Seippel aka Thruoutin at YYT in 2010 serenely strumming on a pipa with a MacBook in front of him, I immediately turned on my skepticism. I’d seen people incorporate Chinese traditional instruments into their music before and usually it’s a total failure. A few minutes into the show, however, I was completely sold on the idea that pipa and electronic music are more peanut butter and jelly than oil and water. Quirky pipa riffs over haunting techno, laced with detached vocals and the kind of lyrics your college roommate would come up with after a bong hit or two add up to a hell of a performance.

After the show Brad and I talked about defecating into boxes as futuristic approach to music creation and Brad’s fondness of Suzhou gardens.

A year later I saw Thruoutin at the last Dudettes show, again at YYT, which began a month long email correspondence, excerpts of which I’m proud to present as part of The Kolkhoz interview series.

KXZ: What’s your approach to experimentation?

Brad: I’m all for experimentation and especially if you get some fresh sounds out of it.  My approach to experimenting usually starts by listening to what other artists are doing.  Not ripping them off, but using a preexisting idea to make something new.  I then take some of those aspects and combine them with something that wouldn’t normally go together.  When I started playing pipa I didn’t have any plans to use it with my electronic stuff, but I began to experiment with the idea of playing it over some songs I had already written.  Eventually, I got to a point where I was comfortable enough with it to incorporate it into my live sets. 

K: Are you following the traditional pipa-playing techniques, or doing your own thing?

B: I very much do my own thing when it comes to playing pipa. It’s an unusual instrument to strum because it entails an outward roll or circular strumming technique that’s really beautiful if you can do it right.  Most traditional artists wear picks on their fingers to get a clearer sound.  However, as a bassist I started playing it like [a bass].  So I guess I play it somewhere in the middle. That might make some shudder but it’s just where I am at the moment with the pipa.

K: Do you think it’s possible for a foreigner to become a pipa master? I don’t want to put limits on human capabilities, but it’s just that Chinese traditional music in general is so alien to me. Not in a sense that I don’t enjoy it, I do, but as I listen to it, I realize that I have no clue what’s going on. What’s your take on that?

B: It might be a bit less likely for a foreigner to become a pipa master over a Chinese kid who has been pushed his whole life to study an instrument. That’s all up to the person, but it is still possible.  I’m sure there are some laowai’s out there who can totally shred on the pipa like Min Xiao-Fen; I just haven’t met many so far.  
Chinese traditional music has a super long history and covers a lot of ground.  My knowledge of it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Right now becoming a pipa master (or any type of master for that matter) isn’t my biggest concern. I just want to have fun and perhaps at some point I’ll understand more.

K: I’d love to hear more about your China experience? What has been your ultimate highlight of being in China?

B: Well, I’ve been in China since just after the 2008 olympics.  I spent my first year living in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province and would often take the bus to Shanghai on my days off.  One of the biggest highlights would have to be playing at Shelter in Shanghai for the first time.  It was in 2009 and my friend Michael who does the Antidote parties found my music on myspace of all places and brought me out to Shanghai to play.  It was a fun party. 
The China experience has been extremely rewarding in a lot of ways.  Traveling within China is easy, the food’s great (sometimes) and the people are generally nice to you.  I moved to Beijing a year and a half ago and I still absolutely love it. It’s dirty, dusty and gritty and that appeals to me for some reason.

K: For my next question, I’ll give you three laowai stereotypes:

One is the going native, Da Shan-type of guy, who is more Chinese than the Chinese themselves. Two is the socially awkward English teacher, who is perceived as strange in his native environment, but enjoys celebrit-ish status in China. Three is the Lonely Planet contributor guy, who’s been everywhere and tried monkey brains and has like three of those moleskine notebooks.

How would you describe yourself?    

B: First off Da Shan boils my blood.  The guy is too good.  Personally I see myself as the creepy businessman/sex-tourist in his late 50’s with a huge beer belly standing next to his 17 year old girlfriend.  That’ll always be the dream, but if I had to pick from the three foreigners you mentioned i’d have to go with Mr. Monkey Brains himself.  Mainly because as the old saying goes; “吃哪儿补哪儿“ or the part of the animal you eat is good for that part of your body.  Basically I want the added intelligence of a chimp and I want to write about it in my notebook.

K: Obviously China has a great influence on your music: the pipa, Chinglish in song titles, to name a couple of things. What are some of your other influences?

B: My other influences would come from some of the music I listen to.  Sappy emo bands from the early 2000’s like Cursive and Desaparacidos have influenced me when writing lyrics as well as Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg. Musically, I’ve always been influenced by Boards or Canada, The Books and more recently Mount Kimbie.  The song “Travels Above” would be the best example of combining all that.

K: What have you been working on lately?

B: Recently I’ve been working on recording, mixing and editing a new album.  My friend Michael Winkler, drummer of Yan Tiao has been helping me out loads with the whole process.  We spend a lot of time in his den staring at wave files and drinking tea.  I haven’t decided on a name yet, but it’s going to be around 6 songs.  Maybe I’ll call it "Can I Borrow a Feeling" and put a picture of me with a bushy mustache and thick glasses on the front cover.  Maybe and most likely I wont.  We’re shooting for a digital release sometime this winter.  When it’s all done I’ll send a pigeon over to Shanghai to deliver a copy to you.   

Besides that, I’ve been writing a couple new songs and focusing on my live sets.

[At some point in our correspondence, Brad mentioned that he had “dancing gigs” at a club in Beijing]

K: And, what do you mean, “dancing gigs”? Like do you DJ or actually dance?

B: The dancing gigs are simply that.  I put on some baggy pants, a sports jersey and a Yankee’s cap then dance up on the stage to Taio Cruz for a couple hours

K: Oh, wow, how do you feel about people watching you dance? Do they appreciate the aesthetics of it, or is it simply sufficient that you’re a laowai?

B: No one can stop me when the dance pop songs start. I’m a madman out there and I think the clientele feel that power I give off.  It just blows them away and doesn’t matter where I come from at that point. 

K: What do you know about Nigerian drug dealers in China?

B: I know next to nothing about them, but I find their choice to come here and work baffling.  Why China, you know?  I also wonder about how long they stay here for and where they live.  They almost always say hello to me so I can only assume they’re probably nice guys.  They seem to always want my number as well.  I have a buddy who always asks them for LSD; which I find comical every time.  Once I got a business card that read “24 Hour African Food”.  I never called the number.  I’d like to know more but at the moment I’m not going out of my way.

K: Thank you very much for doing this interview. I’ve got one last question for you:

What do you think girls in pink light brothels think about all day as they wait for customers?

B: Those pink light brothels are so blatant sometimes.  Even at ten in the morning you can see girls sitting on some musky sofa in front of a space heater rolling her index fingers at you as you walk by;  At that point it’s obvious what they’re thinking.  However, there has to be a time of the day where there aren’t too many customers.  I bet then they’re thinking about which flavour of instant noodle they’re want to eat that day or possibly how to improve Guinea-Bissau’s GDP per capita for the upcoming year.

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Interview with The Psyders.

Meet The Psyders. Or if you’ve already met them, meet the Fockers.Or if you’ve already met them, meet the press.
They are a relatively new band featuring Momo on bass (formally of Tinderbox before they played shows in department stores) and Rina and Misuzu (Beat Bandits). Misuzu still shreds in Shanghai band, Banana Monkey - pretty sure they are kicking around and doing things still. They kind of have a drummer, stand in style, so if you can hit beats and rock the block maybe get in touch with them and give it whirl. 
They’ll be playing this Friday at Harley’s as part of Rat On Swamp Dog. They’re playing third, after Psyclopus, Spill Your Guts and before Gui Gui Sui Sui bringing his waving cat down from Beijing. 

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Usually I hate this question because it’s been asked hundreds of times but I couldn’t find anything online. How did you guys all meet up? How’d The Psyders start?
The Psyders consists of keyboardist Rina, bassist Momo, guitarist Misuzu and drummer Shin (he soon will quit the band cause he s too busy to play with us anymore).  After The Beat Bandits split up in 2012,  Misuzu and Rina decided to keep doing another surf/garage band and that time they met Momo who was a big fan of Trash a gogo party and also a bassist that  just left the previous band. Then they started practicing together. 

How were the first few shows? Were the crowd loving it?
Our very first show was a 15 mins set for a residents culture event in a park. people in front of the stage were most grandpapas and mamas and kids who seemingly didn’t really know what we were doing due to our non-singer lineup , but we thought they liked us.  Actually Misuzu never did a lot on stage with other bands except playing his guitar, so does Rina and Momo. surf rock today easily makes people drowsy at any gigs in this town.  But things started changing since the psyders showed up.  Performance beyond music itself will be the key thing for teaching people how to Love it. haha!

Do you guys have plans to record soon? Any tour plans? 
Yeah we ve got 3 originals so far and prepared to get into studio for recording early next year. 

Cause we still do not have a proper drummer who can practice with us regularly, we ve been looking for him now. Tour isn’t a good idea for us right now.

I’m directing this question at bass player, Momo. Am I right in saying you’re kind of new to the whole surf rock thing? How have you found playing that kind of music?
Momo: Actually I don’t agree with you very much on saying I’m new to surf rock. Because I start to watch The Beat Bandits’ show in 2011-2012. I was a big fan of Trash a gogo party. But I was just a audience. Now I start to play these kind music and as a bass player I m totally new of it. These kind music is much different with other kinds I played before. 

Misuzu helps me a lot in how to play this kind of music. He gave me lots of albums about 60’s—90’s surf music and taught me some skills in my bass lines. Really thanks him.

What can people expect from your show at Rat On Swamp Dog on Nov. 22nd?
We have got a special guest to be instead of our former drummer Shin. He has a really different drum style with Shin. We think he takes more power into our songs. So, everybody, come to the show at Rat On Swamp Dog on Nov. 22nd and you will have a great time with the Psyders.

Where do you guys play shows now? Seems you guys would have been great for a packed night at old Logo!
We did a few gigs at YYT and somewhere outside just like Beer Festival and commercial spot. Misuzu s been playing at old Logo loads of times with Beat Bandits and Banana Monkey, he quite enjoyed those crazy nights but one thing really annoying that once the night his band played it was too difficult for him to cross the packed crowd and to reach the stage from the entrance with equipments some nights in old Logo or some other venue the same size with it just like Lune. :P

What bands are you hoping to play with in Shanghai? Do you guys have any favorites?
Roundeye , pairs , blue magpie , banana monkey and loads of young local poppy bands.

See you on the 22nd!