Punkrock from China we´re not ashamed with but Brain Failure is a band which really gives us Chinese punkrock and that in a very good way.This interview was done in October 2005
-Brainfailure started in 1997,2000 members changed.2005 they just got their new bassist Mr.Ma Jiliang.So till today only the lead singer Xiao Rong is the real original member from 1997.We are going real good these years. Toured Japan and USA many times.The great record "American Dreamer "produced by Ken Casey from DKM is on sell.
Please tell me a little about every member, age, work, family, interests and something bad about every one?
-Xiao Rong singer and guitar/26 I have wife and a son.Easy to be nervous when fixing guest toilet.
Wang jian guitar and singer/27 Love pc game and hate not getting food while the people around him are eating food.
Ma Jiliang BASS and singer/29 Love to be an expensive fashion bug for American work dressing.such like DICKIES.
Xu Lin Drummer/29 First thing Drum, second thing Drum, third thing Drum!
How is to play punkrock in China?
-The Chinese punk scene started in 1996 with crapy guitar and drums. I went to my first punk rock show in 1997 in Here and Now Bar. There were a couple of alternative rock bands playing. There were Underground Baby, Catch in the Rye and New pants. I was very impressed and I started Brain Failure the next day after the show. Then we started writing songs, finding a place to practice and places to play shows in Beijing. In 1998 we finally got a place called Scream Club. This club was like CBGB's in New York or Gilman 1924 in San Francisco for the Beijing punk scene. Punk Rock shows in the weekends and many different styles of alternative rock music were played live everyday in that club. In 1999 the Scream Club was shut down by the city planning for a construction site so the owner found a job working for a record label. Then Brain Failure and the three other best bands that played in the Scream Club put out China's first punk rock record, Wu Liao Contigent, under his label, Scream Records. And then punk rock in China became a very important part of the youth culture. I don’t know about Asian punk much, but I've heard about many countries in South Asia, like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand there is a lot of punk bands and the scene is going well in the underground. I think in China there was no underground culture so it is hard to let most people believe that you are doing something not major. But we never stop improving our own scene> so up until today we can tour all over China and there’s well done live houses in each city and we have a couple of huge music festivals going on each year that naturally improves the Chinese music market. But at the same time Rock n Roll music is hard to join major media here in China and major distributors are not organized well. That’s why there is tons or bootleg and copyright problems. But we are looking forward to a bright future in the Chinese rock scene.
The difference between like/play punk now and for fifteen years ago?
-Now, China is a very modern and open country. Stop thinking about it´s communist past. Chinese punk rock scene its a scene which has not been started by a punk rock movement like in 1977, it started from music and extremely hard culture and traditional pressures. Open your mind and listen to those Chinese rock music its a way to help you discover a new China.
Is it any famous punkgroups who have been in China and played?
-The most famous band that has come to China is the International Noise Conspiricy.
What do you know about Sweden?
-I heard about that entertainment is one of the biggest industries for Sweden in the world.
Have you heard any swedish bands?
-Of course, Millencollin, the Refused, the Hives and the great record label Burning Heart Records.
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand?
-Politics influences the daily lives of people and the music is always talking about the situation of people's life. So what I believe is one great rock show can change the world.
Best political band?
-The Clash or Rage Against the Machine.
Is there any good bands in China right now?
-There are tons of good bands in China right now, too many to describe in one sentence! But I can tell you the Midi Music Festival is the best music festival for the Chinese rock scene.
Have you been in Europe and played?
-We have not played in Europe yet, but hopefully sometime next year.
How did you came in touch with I used to fuck......?
-Our record label Thorp Records got in touch with them and our new bass player he studied 3 years in Germany. He told me the people like you is the best punk rock record label in Germany, so I'm pretty happy to put out our record with I used to fuck...
Have you done anything else than American dreamer, if you have, how can I get it?
-We did our first record in 2002, its called Turn on the Distortion. We use to sell it when we were on tour in America and it´s in most record shops in Japan. Also you can go online to get it at www.badnews.co.jp
Why the name American Dreamer?
-We recorded this album in Boston so I think I would like the people very straight to know that this album has an important relationship with America. In China, everybody is always saying they don't know what they want, actually most of the young people want to go out of China and study abroad and discover some new worlds so I think this title gives an answer to most Chinese people and straight conversation to their lives. It´ also because America is the biggest image for the youth when thinking about the world outside China. And to myself I am not a Bush Dreamer, but I am very proud to say that I am an American Dreamer. And for the American people today there is a lot of damned things that are going on in the countries political situation so I would like to use this title, "American Dreamer" to remind American people what there American Dream is.
I think you have many influences from 77-punk, what do you think yourself?
Our music ideas come from The Clash, Rancid, Ramones and Social Distortion.
How would you describe your own music in three words?
-Simple ,Straight,and REAL
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
It is definitely a lifestyle and its an easy way to let express yourself and let young people discover the world.
How is it to live in China nowadays? How is the political climat?
I know China is far behind Europe but I have been to Europe, toured in America and Japan and so i have found out that the whole world is really the same. To be a big part of the world China needs a more open international image to be accepted.
Is it any chance to get foreign records in the store or how do you get new punkmusic?
-Through out the years up until recently we have only been able to get bootleg foreign records and some foreign records shipped to China as plastic garbage some people have a business buying plastic garbage by the Kilo then selling each CD.
What do you think about mp3 and downloading?
-I like mp3, that’s the best way to promote your music to audiences outside of China. I agree with paying to download.
Please rank your five best records, five best concerts and five most important things in life?
-1.The Clash, London Calling
2.The Very Best of Frank Sinatra
3.Rancid, ...And Out Come the the Wolves
4.Drop Kick Murphy’s, Black Out
5.Social Distortion, Sex, Love and Rock and Roll
1.Dropkick Murphy’s concert in Boston, Mass
2.Transplants concert in North Hapmton
3.The Street Dogs concert Washington, DC
4.Cui Jian's concert in Live VCD recorded in 1993
5.1997 The Punk Rock Concert in Here and Now Bar
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-First record I bought was Metallica, the last one I bought was Social Distortion’s Sex, Love and Rock and Roll. The most expensive was the Frank Sinatra. It was a double CD for USD$28.
Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-I'm not sure maybe some Chinese/ Hong Kong pop I got when I was in Middle School.
How is a good concert with Brain Failure?
-A good opening band and a good sound system, good sized stage and selling out the ticket at the door as well as having the audience sing along with us while we play, every good band wants it like this, wouldn't you?
How does the average BF fan look like?
-Coming from all kinds of corners of society, different jobs and different ages.
Which are your future plans as a band?
-We are planning to go on another tour with the American band, Street Dogs in October and end around November 20th. Next spring we will go back to the studio in Boston to produce our new record with Ken Casey again. And hopefully we are going to tour in Europe next year some time.
And for yourself as a human being?
-I just want to be a dreamer, but not only making daydreams.
-Brainfailure's better than that.
Is it many interviews? Is it boring?
-Too much interviews, talking in the air, fuck you!
Something to add?
-Can I have a beer?
Pictures is coming from Brain Failures webste.