I find myself on average at about 3 or 4 live shows each week and one person I’m almost certain to come across is Jaime Welton of Bad Mamasan & Black Cat Bone. Whether it’s at 2 Kolegas, Jianghu Jiu Ba or Haidian Park for MIDI, the mas is there up front banging his head in the middle of a crowd, sipping a beer and generally a having a good time. While some might see him as the madman of Beijing Rock, a crazy fantastically talented guitar player, he’s a lot more than that and a joy to hang out with. To quote what somebody else told me a few weeks back: “Beijing is not worthy of having Jaime around”… I kinda agree!
I caught up with Jaime ahead of their Friday May 14th show at Yugong Yishan with ChunQiu He’s now also officially the first person to be interviewed twice on BeijingDaze, the first DO-Over:
1- It’s been a little while since we did the 10 Questions ahead of the Bad Mamasan show at 2Kolegas, what have you been up to since?
Well, aside from working on a the large scale shows and planning future ones (Walking With Dinosaurs is one of them—way cool!), most of the music part of my life has been getting more originals done with the boys in Bad Mamasan….It’s really been fun and just rehearsing the stuff is fun and stress relieving. Keeps my heart at 16 years old!
2-a How do you feel about sharing a bill with ChunQiu? I Feel great about it as I set the thing up!
2-b do you think the bands complement each other? I do as we are both in the more classic or old school Heavy Metal genre that has “singing” in it and are unique for what we do. Most of the other metal in China is more on the thrash, death, or Nu-Metal side with the yelling or growling vocals.
2-c Isn’t it also the first time you and Kaiser Kuo will be playing the same venue on the same night but not as part of the same band? Nope, once several years ago Chun Qiu opened up for Dirty Deeds. Poor Kaiser had to place in both bands…pretty tough night for him!
3- I hear that Friday’s show will be recorded..cool! Any songs in particular that crowd should freshen their memory on?
Yeah, we plan on making this a live CD….I guess if we fuck up a lot because we are being wild on stage, it will turn into the tracking for a demo video instead but I have high hopes that we can have a 10 song live CD to our name just after our 2nd gig! Not bad eh? Half originals, half our fav covers. Freshen memory?? Nah, just come, smoke, drink, and get rowdy with us! Maybe just bust out the old Sabbath!
4- If Beijing was a song, what would it be and why?
It would be “Lady Sniff” by the Butthole Surfers as that tune has everything in it that sounds like Beijing on the street and the noisy music scene here, especially the big “Beijing salute” that ends each chorus line…go check it out and hear for yourself.
5- There’s a lot of stuff being written online these days about music in China, especially after some bands made it to SXSW and Rustic won the Global Battle of the Bands. What do you think of the portrayal of the Chinese Music scene in foreign media?
Two words: ONE SIDED! I just read an article on this and totally agree with the main point. The rest of the world just sees the noise/indie thing and this is for various reasons which I won’t go into here. I will say that I am consistently disappointed by the one sided coverage of the scene as a whole. And, not all, but most of the CRAP that is getting across is just getting there out of sheer “interest in the Chinese” worldwide. There are so many talented musicians here but we all know that all it takes is some financial backing, some connections, and then “poof” it can be presented anywhere (this is ALWAYS the case but life just ain’t fair I guess).
I used to go to see anything that was Japanese when I lived in Chicago just ‘cause watching Asians scream and bounce around the stage was entertaining in itself because it is so different from the norm back home. If most of these bands were white and in the USA or Europe, they wouldn’t make it out of the fuckin basement! Sorry if I seem insulting but I really like to see not only something that is musically interesting or plain amazing, but a show at the same time, Chinese or not. I think it will get better in time….I have high hopes still….I think……
6- Are you really gonna sing “Suzanne, ain’t nothing better, than a one night stand” ? (note: inside joke)
WTF?? Hehehe….did you just have a little seizure?…hehehehe
7- What’s the biggest misinterpretation about Jaime?
Well that depends on where you met me. If it was at 6am at Kolegas….nope, you didn’t, I really am that horrible and out of control. Hehehe- If you met me at 6am loading in a giant, complex show, nope, I am capable….If you met me at a museum looking at art or at a dinner table discussing physics, nope, I am a science nerd as well. Wait a minute….that wasn’t the question…..OK, The biggest misinterpretation of me is that I am just the person that you met in one situation without seeing me in another… I think I am well rounded and deal with the world on the level that it presents itself at the moment…Makes for a balanced life!
8- What’s your favorite song to play/sing?
Well I am really liking some of the new originals but for the covers, I really like singing “The Ripper” by Judas Priest as it has the high screams and hammy evil lurking vocals. I think for heavy music, Rob Halford is the best there ever was or ever will be (that’ll cause some argument).
9- any special surprises planned for the show? like a jam with Kaiser for old time’s sake?
If I told you, then it wouldn’t be a surprise! My answer is “I dunno”.
10- The only musician i run into at just about every freaking show i go to is YOU.. It’s pretty obvious and disturbing that you’re stalking me!! that said, what’s the best show you saw over the past 3 months?
I am attracted to things that come from Morocco…puff puff…cough cough! Yeah! Oh, Best show…..hmmmmm…yeah, that would have to be the Back Street Boys! Oops, now I think I just had a little seizure just now…..In all seriousness, I dug Lamb of God just recently but I have to say that I am really digging the Redbucks when I see them around….it’s nice to hear some real bluegrass around here and they are the only ice cream shop in Beijing with that flavor!
Jaime is Ace, folks! I’m really thankful that he took the time to do this and I look forward to headbanging along on Friday at Yugong Yishan! I really hope for a good turnout so that the energy of the show can be captured on record! I love how he referred to The Redbucks are Ice Cream… coincidently, the pictures that illustrate this interview are all credited to none other than The Redbucks’ own Chip Roundtree.