Streets Kill Strange Animals on Youth and Their New Disc

By Andrew Chin, November 2, 2016

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Emerging out of Nanjing, the noise-rock trio is now one of the most celebrated indie acts in the Beijing scene. They’re hitting the road for their longest tour yet, stopping off in Shenzhen (Nov 3 @ B10) and Guangzhou (Nov 6 @ SD Livehouse) to support their sophomore disc, McDonalds Kids, which is being released on Modern Sky. We chat with frontman Leng Mei about their dirtier sound, their newfound direct approach and why Streets Kill Strange Animals are for the kids.

Congratulations on the new album. Judging from the two new singles, the band sounds much dirtier. How would you describe the sound of McDonalds Kids?
Thank you. We feel that our new songs are more direct in style and expression. We recorded the bass on overload so maybe that’s why it sounds dirtier. McDonalds Kids is based around the dreams of China’s youngs and the growing gap between the rich and everyone else. We feel sympathy and worry about the teens.

Why did you decide to use McDonalds as a metaphor in the title?
We all like to eat fast, have to eat fast food but don’t we also hate fast food?

Streets Kill Strange Animals is really rooted in that guitar-bass-drums sound. Have you ever thought about adding any new instrumentation?
Maybe in the future we will consider integrating more instrumentation in our recording and writing in the future. But for this album, we didn’t think so much about the instrumentation but were focused on creating something more direct.

Who are some of the great-guitar-bass bands that have inspired you?
We love Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Fugazi and Television. Also Black Flag and Big Black.

It’s been four years since you released your debut album, Plan B: Back to the Analog Era. Was there any reason for the gap?
We found out that we had to go to work to support ourselves, so that’ what we did.

Listening to that album, what are your thoughts?
It’s cool listening to it on the subway, but when I listen to it, I don’t really have any feeling.

For the new album you ll be touring China. Will this be your longest national tour?
By far. Although it’s the most cities we’ve played, we feel guilty when fans ask us why we aren’t going to their city. We want to go, but I hope fans understand that we only had the budget for the current tour and we actually resigned from our jobs to do this. Hopefully one day, we can go to any place we want.

For your live show, do you have any visual elements?
We’d like to try a VJ some time. Hopefully, some visual artists will want to cooperate with us in the future.

What’s the wildest or most memorable show you have played?
There was one show where the audience was made up of the other band. The other three people at the venue were playing billiards as we played.

Shenzhen: Nov 3, 8.30-10pm, RMB60-80. B10.
Guangzhou: Nov 6, 8.30-10pm, RMB60-80. SD Livehouse.

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