Deprecated: Function create_function() is deprecated in /home/experime/hartzine.com/wp-content/plugins/easy-social-share-buttons3/lib/modules/social-followers-counter/essb-social-followers-counter-widget.php on line 3
Deprecated: Function create_function() is deprecated in /home/experime/hartzine.com/wp-content/plugins/easy-social-share-buttons3/lib/modules/social-followers-counter/essb-social-followers-counter-widget.php on line 4 Who are you New Noise China? | HARTZINE
Seven years ago when I was still in Belgium I was promoting shows in our local youth centre. I studied Chinese studies in Belgium and got a scholarship to go to Chengdu and study for one year. When I arrived in Chengdu I was looking for good shows but soon found out not that many bands played in Chengdu. Some of my Chinese friends knew the band I was in that time (The Maple Room) and asked me if it was possible to get them over to China. When I went back to Belgium to finish university I started working on a tour for the Maple Room in China. I basically worked 6 months to pull that off, but the tour went great and while I was in Chengdu with a second scholarship I decided to stay and try to see whether or not I could make this into a living. Five years later we are still here promoting shows for foreign bands.
With New Noise we are involved in almost every step. We book all the shows in China, do the promotion, design the posters, do the tour management for bands,…
This means I almost spent 7 months a year on the road touring with bands. The good thing is that I can oversee the whole process from promoting to actually see the bands that we bring on stage. When we sell out shows here itâ€™s such a rewarding feeling.
A lot has changed since I first came to China in 2007. Around that time there were only two festivals, the Modern Sky Festival and the Midi Festival. Nowadays there are festivals all over China, with Modern Sky and Midi still being the central figures. For touring a lot has changed as well, the infrastructure of the venues improved a lot over the last few years. You can also see venues popping up in the smaller cities as well. We also see more and more bands playing, probably because right now there are more places to play. Before Beijing was the only place where things did happen, but right now all the other cities are stepping up as well and new bands come to life. The music scene probably did get a little bit more commercialized with big brands trying to hop on the music wagon and try to reach out through young people through music.
I actually thing right now Chengdu has one of the best scenes in China with a lot of young bands getting started. For the last year I helped 3 young local bands with their recordings and organizing their first China tour. These bands are Stolen, Hi Person and The Hormones. These bands are really great, have their own identity and are among Chinaâ€™s best new bands.
For years and years the Chengdu music scene was based around the Little Bar, a legendary venues in Chengdu that has been around for 18 years. The Little Bar is still there, but this year and last year 3 new venues will open up in Chengdu and the Little Bar will move to a bigger place. Might be just a little bit too much at one time, but at least bands will have more places to play.
Chengdu bands are actually in a good position, because life is cheap, so itâ€™s fairly easy for them to make enough money with playing music. The only problem that Chengdu bands face is that they really should try to get out of Chengdu once in a while and go on the road, Thatâ€™s probably the only way you can get your name out and actually mean something in China.
Before I basically worked with bands that would reach out to me. Right now we are much more picky about the bands that we bring, because we do want to work with bands that have already a name out. The last two years we also have been working with much bigger bands like Mogwai, Tortoise,… Itâ€™s sometimes difficult to be able to invite bigger bands, because their fees are quite steep and ticket prices are still lower than in other places of China.
Right now we are also try to do things completely legit, that means applying for permission papers, getting bands work permits etc etc. This is basically a bureaucratic thing that costs us some more money, but we would love to keep going in what we do, so this is a logic thing for us.
Pourquoi est-il encore si difficile aux groupes chinois de toucher un public international ? Why is it still so difficult for Chinese bands to reach an international audience ?
To be honest, the quality of Chinese bands is in general still not that good. Europe and the States have a long history of rock music. In China that is still fairly new. The radio and TV still will play Chinese pop songs, so a lot of young people only will listen to these kind of music. With the internet as a key player I can see lots of things change in the future, it will be more easy for young people to check out music from the West.
10 years ago a lot of bands were still copying bands from the West, which is a really bad thing, because a copy is in most cases not as good as the original. Right now I see bands trying to get their own identity, which is a really good evolution.
Another factor is that touring in Europe is quite expansive to do, so you will need a good plan in order to get outside China. More and more bands go to Europe right now and I only thing that is a really really great thing.
We have quite a lot of bands lined up for this year and will also bring some bigger acts to China as well. In May 2015 we will also bring Chinaâ€™s biggest post rock band Wang Wen to Europe. They are invited to play 3 festivals in Europe and we will book a tour around that. They will play Paris in Espace B on May 16.
This year we will also start to focus on different kinds of music and also start to work all over Asia. Really will be a challenging but promising year!