Beijing’s indie music scene has done nothing but flourish in recent times. That trend continues this Sunday.
The second edition of ‘Get Unplugged’ by MusicDish takes place at Aotu Space this Sunday, July 11. In the words of MusicDish founder Eric De Fontenay, the performances are supposed to “strip away amps, pedals and effects, drums etc.” and leave the audience with a song and a melody.
READ MORE: ‘Unplugged’ Live Music in Beijing
On this occasion, ‘Get Unplugged’ features two up-and-coming bands on China’s indie scene.
Kenja Time offers a distinctly post-punk sound with creatively intricate guitar-playing. Formed in 2019, the band is made up of lead singer and guitarist, Hu Weihang; bassist, Geng Xinhao; and drummer, Hu Wanheng. They have done a number of live performances across Beijing in recent times.
Kenja Time band members. Image via MusicDish
Eight Immortals Restaurant (八仙饭店) offers listeners a more blues-style indie sound. The band is made up of lead singer, Wang Fan; guitarist, Dong Lin; and bassist, Yan Mingchen.
Eight Immortals Restaurant live in concert. Image via @八仙饭店/Weibo
Their latest mini record ‘Inauguration of Pleasure Dome,’ released in 2021, has reached more than 1.5 million listeners on NetEase CloudMusic, the most popular music streaming service in China.
MusicDish sat down with Eight Immortals Restaurant ahead of the ‘Get Unplugged’ performance:
For new listeners who might be unfamiliar with your band, which song is a good introduction to your music?
Eight Immortals Restaurant: Maze (迷津.)
How did your band come up with its name? How did your band members meet?
Wang Fan: It is the name of a B movie from Hong Kong in the 90’s by Qiu Litao. There are some urban legends surrounding the name. I was looking for a film name to use as my band name and I happened to come across this film. It’s straightforward, simple and evokes fear when thinking about it. It’s perfect.
Yang Mingchen: Wang Fan and I met through Dong Lin. Before forming the band, we were good friends with Dong Lin.
The title of your album refers to Kenneth Anger's movie. Can you elaborate on the idea behind it?
Wang Fan: The title of the album borrows the concept of scenes from Kenneth Anger's movies. Characters which are in different time and space, or exist in mythology, religion and history, appear in the same space as symbols. People who dream a lot might be familiar with this feeling. It is absurd but there are traces in the subconscious, an experience closest to the doomsday carnival.
Do you like to watch movies? What kind of movies do you prefer? Do you have any recommendations?
Yan Mingchen: I love watching movies, mainly on-the-road movies and comedies.
Dong Lin: Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor.”
Wang Fan: Gaspar Noe and Makavejev.
Which bands or musicians do you think have impacted your music the most?
Dong Lin: S.R.V.
Yan Mingchen: Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Wang Fan: Mudhoney, Ty Segall and Neu!
Apart from the band, do you have another job?
Dong Lin: I'm a great teacher of the people!
Yan Mingchen: I'm a music producer.
Wang Fan: I work in media.
What does being part of a band mean to you? Has this meaning changed since you first started?
Yan Mingchen: It means being busier but it's quite fulfilling.
Wang Fan: My aim is to put any extra value I have into music.
Dong Lin: Being in a band is also another form of work.
Want to learn more about the ‘Get Unplugged’ performance this Sunday? Scan the QR code below to follow MusicDish’s official WeChat account:
[Cover image via Pixabay]