1. What do you know about Australia in general?
It’s big, it’s got a lot of beach. The people are generally laid back.
2. What do you know about the music scene there?
I’m old enough to remember Australian bands from the like Crowded House, Men at Work, INXS. Feels like everything just flowed down through the decades into acts like the Presets, Architecture in Helsinki, and I like the label Modular, which has some cool acts like Cut Copy. And Bang Gang Records where our producer and sometimes band member who’s not here with us even released a single I think awhile back. We’re heading to Melbourne in a few days, and just looking at the gig listings make our head spin. It seems like half the city is in a band.
The feeling I got here is that it’s kind of got a vibrant music scene like New York, or a Berlin, but more laid back, lIke everything here comes with a bit of a slap, a wink, and a beer at the end of the day. That’s why we’re taking a few days off in Melbourne, to just go around and be a music fan and hang out. Oh yeah, you also have ACDC of course.
3. How are you managing the pressure of being Chinese cultural ambassadors in Australia?
We have a routine when we bring on the culture! We eat a lot of instant noodles. We do some ti chi before we get on stage, and afterwards we go for a foot massage and stare at pictures of Mao for 3 hours or more depending on our state of supreme love. Our mission is to go beyond our borders and bring them the full force of our soft power. Make them feel it, feel it down to their quivering souls. Feel it like the can’t make love anymore before screaming out, ”I want it, I want it so bad, I want to be Chinese!” It’s a hard mission, we take it very seriously. Sometimes we curl up at night and cry for hours thinking about the motherland missing the wonderful -2 degree weather back home, but we know we have to do this for her. We have to eat BBQ, sit in the sun, and take surfing classes for the sake of our country, our culture, our state!
4. What Aussie slang are you learning to interact with your audiences?
Footie! The thing is I don’t even watch it, but our sound guy in Beijing is a Kiwi and lived in Aus most his life, and he loves him some footie! He always says, I’m going to the bar to get me some footie! Sounds like he’s going to go hire a fetish hooker if you say that in China. We &%@ love it. But then again, I come from a city who’s initials are BJ, so we can’t really make fun of him for that.
5. What are you hoping to see and do in your free time in Australia? Watch other people’s gigs, (I think I mentioned the surfing classes before), and drinking. We’re also going to go up to Adelaide maybe to check out the Laneway festival.
6. Australians coming to China worry about the smog and lack of freedom - what are you worried about in Australia?
The prices, sunburn, driving on the left side of the street. I mostly afraid of being run over because I looked on the wrong side or something and get plowed down to a stain in the pavement. And maybe Mel Gibson.
There’s also this feeling that when you go anywhere as a “Chinese” artists, they think that you should start your set with some Kungfu, and end it with a rendition of Jasmine flower on a flute. We’re not that, and you never know if the audience has already pigeoned holed us before we even started our set. It feels like many people around the world have a very narrow view of China these days, and if you don’t fit into their stereotype you’re just trying to be western or westernized. If that’s the case, than Rock N Roll is still just trying to be black. Mostly I’m afraid of press interviews that start with “so do you feel like you’re not free to express yourself in China?” as they eagerly wait for that one quote that will give them the headline they’ve already written in their heads, “Repressed youth escape through rock n roll, while battling the government to keep alive budding underground scene.” Makes me want to scream, “did you like the music Asshole!” But yeah what am I afraid of, pre-judice and narrow-mindedness but that happens everywhere in the world I guess! But to tell you the truth, as a band, the only real fear is doing a sucky performance and having an audience hate you. So we work hard to put on a good show, write good music, and not suck.