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March 05, 2007


Azchael (Max-Leonhard von Schaper)


Thanks a lot for the interview, those are quite some interesting points! I agree with you on the lyrics topic. For most (esp. metal bands) lyrics are always second to music in China acc. to my impression. Those gore/death/black metal bands "sing" in a way it's definitely indistinguisable what they actually say, so the song writing, i.e. lyrics writing comes as a last point on their "to do" list.

Sorry, actually I wanted to post a few working links with more info on the bands you mentioned, but I always came across a spam message. If anyone wants some more info on them, please check out: http://wiki.rockinchina.com

There you can enter the following band names in the search box:
Cold Fairyland (aka Frozen Fairyland)
Cloth (aka Buyi)
Crystal Butterfly

for some bands from Chengdu:
Proximity Butterfly
Dim Nova

for some bands from Tianjin:

It's good to see you blogging again!

Rock on!!!
Max-Leonhard von Schaper (aka Azchael)
Rock in China

Tony Reno

Nice to see you are blogging! Please give a listen to my podcast. We play the latest and greatest rock from around Asia, among other things :-)


Shanghai has some hip-hop crews with released albums. A lot of their web exposure happens on Shanghaining:


Most of the rock scene in Shanghai concentrates around promoters/club Yuyintang:


In my impression, the band with the best lyrics in Shanghai (besides Cold Fairyland) is Top-Floor Circus 顶楼马戏团, because they have a good sense of humor and mix Shanghainese into songs. Also the band 三黄鸡 has strong local flavor.

But of course it's true that Beijing still dominates... first-mover advantage.


Beijing's advantage over Shanghai is infrastructural: government support, media coverage and record labels. We have the bands, we have the audiences, we have the venues and we have the shows, but Shanghai's up against a wall in terms of bigger or more permenent options. Bands here have mostly given up on cutting "real" records, after the Crystal Butterfly/New Bees debacle. Some of the guys have launched what they hope will grow into a Shanghai version of the Midi festival, but the Shanghai municipal government is very hostile to all independent cultural events. And not just in music: the Fringe Theater Festival last year encountered similar problems.

We've got about a hundred active bands here, with Crystal Butterfly (now largely inactive), Cold Fairyland and the Honeys the main veterans. Top Floor Circus is Shanghai's version of Second Hand Roses: I consider them more performance artists than musicians, and consider their live great and their music meh. But that's just my opinion.

Low-profile veterans Bird on a Wire have evolved into the popular I-GO. There are lots of "new" (I have a liberal interpretation of that word...) groups that are really promising, more than I can keep track of, Micah probably can say better than I. Sonnet is really promising, as is Happy String. Sanhuangji is interesting because they have a more folky, peastanty sound which they tightened admirably after making their demo CD. Lanse Huayuan is probably too poppy for your tastes, Lao Kai, but they're the stylistic successors to Crystal Butterfly (doesn't hurt that they share a bass player). Lanting, the other contendor to that title, are currently disbanded, but knowing their frontman Wang Yihou, I doubt we've seen the last of them. Zhang Haisheng of Yuyintang lists 疯狂蘑菇团,残酷音律, and 大傻帽 as other promising new kids to watch, but I admit I haven't seen any of them yet.

Seriously, there are now more bands and concerts than even a geek like me can keep track of. It's great, but it's not enough.

Azchael (Max-Leonhard von Schaper)

Hi Micah and Lisa,

What about the Shanghai metal scene? I remember there had been a few basic bands:
Deadly Sins
Blood Funk
Sky Funeral
Ling Chi
are they still active?

Rock on!!!


Has anybody here seen this crazy Chinese rock stuff yet? It's in reflection of the Geffen Records/GnR "Chinese Democracy" promo, and avenges the anti-China/China-hater opportunists smear campaign, which includes avenging for the utterly cold-hearted Sharon Stone "karma" remark, the Jack Cafferty goon-thing, and this latest derision with westerner's "care and concern" about China and it's democracy. Check it out, it's just invigoratingly SHOCKING: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGLChQED9I8

here an alternate version with more complete subtitles of those Chinese metalcore-thrash lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyt8aHxAm0g

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