The vibe is right!
With the Modern Sky Festival‘s U.S. debut coming up in a matter of weeks, we’ve decided to do some pre-festival coverage by getting up close and personal with the Chinese bands playing the festival. This is FarEastVibes’ first time interviewing bands from China, and as passionate fans of the scene these interviews are something we’re really proud to be able to give you guys. Queen Sea Big Shark‘s interview was loads of fun to read and translate! I really dig their energy and ethos.
DISCLAIMER: I translated this as best as I could from the original Mandarin, but I’m not a native speaker so forgive me if there are any mistakes! I included the original Mandarin below for anyone that can read it.
Congrats on playing Modern Sky! Please introduce yourselves.
Our band’s name is Queen Sea Big Shark, and the four of us are all from Beijing. We started the band somewhere between 2004-2005, performing what we called Dance Rock. We don’t pursue a particular genre of music, but like to re-mix musical elements into different kinds of interesting forms, such as African music, electronic music, hip hop, etc.
我们乐队的名字叫做后海大鲨鱼，我们四个人全部来自北京。我们大概从2004到2005年开始做乐队，一直要做可以跳舞的摇滚乐，所以也简称dance rock.我们不追求纯粹的某种音乐，而会把自己喜欢的音乐元素放进来再mix出一种有趣的形式，比如非洲音乐，电子音乐，hip hop，都有。
FarEastVibes.com enjoys providing insight into Chinese bands and the Chinese indie scene. Can the members each share something interesting about themselves so our readers can get to know you?
We‘re a group that‘s like a comic book, there being a lot of personality differences between us- for example the things we like aren’t the same. Still, like a comic, the story moves forward (despite our differences) because adventures are more fun when you have different types of people. We have our Singer, Fufu, who’s a Gemini and always level-headed, our jokster guitarist Cao Pu, the animal-like drummer Xiao Wu and our glasses wearing behind-the-scenes guy Wang Jing Han.
Where does the band get their musical inspiration?
From those things that are usually fast fleeting, the beauty of love, magazines, nature, science fiction, the internet, money and so on.
大多来自那些快速的稍纵即逝的东西，美好的爱情，杂志，大自然，科幻故事，internet, money, and so on.
I know it can be hard for Chinese bands to get the opportunity to perform in America. Do you plan on touring the States in the future? Do you have any shows planned after the festival?
The most difficult part of performing in America is the 12 hour flight hahahaha! Our new album will be out next year, so perhaps we’ll have the opportunity to tour the States then. In 2008 we did a road tour across the U.S. which was good and really interesting. I don’t think we should limit art by its cultural roots or geographical location- the world is connected and young people are all linked to each other.
What are your thoughts on China’s indie scene and making music in China? What are the pros and cons?
Currently thing’s aren’t too bad, as there’s more professional live houses, studios, and workers as well as music festivals. The amount of people listening to music is constantly increasing, too. All of this provides a better environment for independent music to grow. But anyway this is still just the beginning, and we’re just a part of the initial process.
What was it that made people start to notice Queen Sea Big Shark? When did you all begin to really get popular?
It was our first album that started it all- it was an English album. That year we received 3 music awards and felt kind of strange about it all. I think (we got the awards) because at the time there weren’t many bands like us in China. Now we’re doing more music festivals and performing on bigger stages, but we still think there’s a large gap between the buzz we have and real popularity. We’ll be finished with our third album soon.
Besides performing and making new fans, are there any other things you’re looking forward to doing while in New York? Any places you guys wanna see?
We’ve spent some time in New York before and have a lot of affection for the city. We hope we can meet more people there that do music and work with them. We want to go to MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art), take a run in Central Park, and then visit Brooklyn again to have a chill night.
What are some of the band’s future plans?
We want to make the greatest album we can, and express ourselves through it. Although we haven’t started yet we’re really looking forward to it- we’ll be in the studio this Fall and Winter (working on it). Then, next year, we’ll take our new album (the third album mentioned above, I believe) and embark on a new journey.
I hope you all have a sick time! Anything special you want to say to international fans and new listeners before the festival? Where can new fans learn more about you?
We come from the future, live in Beijing, play on Earth, and can be found on the Internet. We’re a group that’s about all kinds of fascinating things, not just music! www.queenseabigshark.com (Their website is super cool btw!!)