It was May 2008 if memory serves me right and we were having a few drinks at the Saddle Cantina when i got a phone call from a friend telling me about a show that night at the newly opened “The Boat” with these kids playing good rock n roll. I didn’t really have much planned so I dragged my party out there and we took over basically the entire upper deck waiting to hear them Bad Apples.
I was a bit surprised when they took the stage because the drummer, Wang Yung, is also on skin duties for one of my favorite Chinese bands, Chasing Star.
Anyways, a few years later, Bad Apples, brainchild of Michael Dallin and Kris Liu are still rocking Beijing with their brand of funky rock n roll and they’re getting ready for a huge gig at Yugong Yishan on February 4th. This also happens to be Kris’ Bday so it shouldb be one hell of a party. Michael took some time to give on an update on what was going on in his world.
1- What’s going on in your world?
My world is full of surprises since I moved to beijing. I find myself at the center of 3 different projects right now. Bad Apples is the band that brought me to Beijing and we are still playing about ounce a month. Vital Time is a new Rock N’ Roll project and we are currently practicing and recording, and getting our show together to really give everyone a show that is as entertaining to the eyes as the music is to your ears. Last but not least at all is The Michael Dallin Project. This band focuses on playing the songs I’ve written the way they come out of me on any given night. Every show is different, with a different line up of talented musicians who know their instruments and can just sit down and find their spot to get their groove on. Aside from that I’m out jamming with musicians as much as possible when I don’t have gigs of my own going on. There are many a talented musicians here in Beijing and I intend to learn as much as I can from all of them.
2- How did you end up playing in Beijing out of all places?
I moved here with the lead guitarist Kris Liu of Bad Apples April 1st of 2008 to come prepare a Chinese version of our band to play the Beijing scene during the olympics.
3- I was there for your first show as “Bad Apple” at The Boat years ago. you had just landed in China at the time! How did things change?
I’ve seen you all over the Beijing music scene. So many shows… nice to know you were there when we Rocked the Boat, but actually our first gig in China was at Jiang hu only a day after we landed in Beijing. I broke 5 guitar strings that night and was ready to get back on a plane to the States. what changed is the band just became busier and busier and I just lived in the chaos and the ups and downs of playing every night, having gigs cancelled last minute, and Bars trying not to pay up what was agreed upon. That mixed in with partying a bit much after shows with all the people that liked the music can put a man into a bit of a spiral.
4- For a while, Bad Apples was all over the place playing gigs and then..silence! What happened?
Life happened, one month our drummer Wung Yang was out of town, the next I took off to Thailand for what turned into a month vacation. So I guess in all that time that members were missing we weren’t so focused on booking gigs cuz we were enjoying the time off. After that it’s just taken us a while to get things back on track, but don’t worry you’ll start to see us back Rocking the Big Jing.
5- You guys recorded a CD while in Beijing. how did that go and are there plans for a follow up? Also, where can people buy the record?
It went alright. We just recorded on our own with my little Roland VS 1824. Its a portable digital recording device thats a bit outdated. We recorded everything old school with the whole band in one room together and mics ran all over the place. It was a fun experience but next time we’ll be doing the proper studio thing. You can get the Album “Pangea” at any of our gigs so get to it peoples!
6- What about the Solo stuff? what’s happening on that front?
The Michael Dallin Project is what I’ve called to decide that as it is an ever changing thing. For me it is alot of fun to get to play with so many talented musicians from so many different music backgrounds. I try not to book the same people each gig because it keeps us all on our toes and something different happens to each and every song depending on our feelings and the feelings of the people in the rooms where we do a show.
Right now our next gig is on March 3rd @ Salud in Nanlo.
7- Word association: write the first word that comes to your mind.
- Beijing: RockTastic
- Shanghai: ummmm
- Baijiu: yummm
- Jeff Beck: why?
- Chopsticks: Foreplay
- Hutongs: Recording Studios
- Polka dots: Sorry but they bring nothing to my mind.
8- Name 3 high points and 3 low points of your musical career in Beijing:
High points… hmm just 3 random gigs that really felt perfect. The first was my first gig with our new Bass player Xiao Mu, and the 2nd was new years 2008, number 3 was last friday night with The Michael Dallin Project @ nearby the tree. We were booked to play 3 sets with two guitars but it turned into a long night of Jamming with 2 guitars, Bass, and a Violin player that really rocked on his fiddle.
Low points just having gigs cancelled last minute due to things I’m sure you’ve witnessed in Beijing, and not getting back to see my family and friends in what’s about to be 2 years. Sorry No 3.
9- Can someone make a living in Beijing playing music in your opinion?
Anything is possible and there’s a number of guys who have been here for alot longer than me. I’m no expert on this one. It’s not easy and I would say practically impossible,but there are more than a handfull of us here doing it.
10 – If you weren’t here doing what you do, where would you be and what would you be doing?
I would be somewhere else doing the same damn thing. Making music and then playing it for everyone that wants to listen is what I live for. So I guess much wouldn’t change for me.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Michael-Dallin/90656062807?ref=ts: Good ol’ Facebook
http://www.myspace.com/michaeldallin. and for the old schoolers I still make it on my Myspace on occasion.
and don’t forget to come out in force to wish Kris happy Bday February 4th at yugong yishan. Mama funker is on opening duties