Insightful Pairs Interview at RIC

I haven’t spent much time looking at PAIRS for many reasons… noise rock ain’t my thing and they’re in Shanghai so I don’t have many opportunities to give them the benefit of the doubt. That said, Rock in China has just published one hell of a good insightful interview with the band touching on many many aspects of being a band in China.

Really go check it out:

very very insightful tidbits about merchandising, selling CDs etc…

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11 Responses

  1. Andy Best says:

    Asking him about being hyped and throwing in Carsick Cars there too was a bit misleading. That’s not a neutral interview question. RIC penned a very personal series of articles as a kind of anti-Maybe Mars manifesto, dealing with the same implication.

    I don’t recall them ever getting round to completing the series though, probably because there was no real substance to the complaints.

    Plenty of writers from the international and ex-pat scene got behind The Subs in the same way, even taking them abroad for festivals, long before MM hit it ‘big.’

    Detractors should just go about making their own credible network of indie writers, community advocacy, merch tables and openness.

  2. Andy Best says:

    By the way.

    Scene: member of honest hard-working band gives interview. Interviewer is renowned for tirades against indie bands especially Carsick Cars.

    Interviewer: “Hello, many people I know describe your band as ‘sh*t,’ they said it’s ‘more sh*t from China’ just like Carsick Cars, overhyped sh*t.”

    *** correct response ***
    Band: “F*ck you!”

  3. Beijing Daze says:

    I think RiC has been well documented as having a bit of an anti MM stand since they published their manifesto last year. that one was talked about ad-nauseum at the time….

    What i like about this interview is the candid nature of answers from the bands, not to mention the insight they gave about their lives as musicians in shanghai/china etc….

    • Andy Best says:

      My point is that it’s not what other people think on the Facebook page really, it’s what RIC thinks.

      That doesn’t go against you liking the candid nature of the answers, so I don’t know why you framed it as an answer to my comment.

      • Hi Andy,

        What I said to Xiao Zhong is that some tell me they are great (the new shit from China) others tell me they are not good (are shit). I took the citation from the FB group because it was the most outspoken one in yes, a negative way, because I wanted to provoke and get an honest answer, which I think I got.

        Interviews do not necessary be neutral in their point of view, except for research purposes and even then, sometimes are not.

        • Andy Best says:

          Hey Max. I’m just shocked you said it at all.

          You’re right about not having to be neutral. First as a general concept, but also after the ‘manifesto’ there could be no doubting that.

          Personally, when I read the discussion about Maybe Mars I thought it was petty and irrelevant. They do good work, as do other collectives and artists. As for me personally, you know I go out of my way to include bands on my blog that are not so famous: including videos, links and reviews of student metal bands that no one else is covering. Also more pop styled bands that are not even to my own taste necessarily.

          But the Maybe Mars thing, and the comment you put to Pairs, is nothing more than petty fan rivalry. My band rules, your band sucks. There is no major wave of people or coverage abroad that honestly think, “Oh, Carsick Cars, they represent China.” People still hardly know the scene here at all. The major Beijing festivals get far more attention overall. There is also nothing wrong with the MM bands, and, since they are Chinese bands, they do legitimately represent a part of China.

          What was your motivation for telling Xiao Zhong that people on your Facebook think his band is sh*t? Why do it at all? Mentioning Carsick Cars there just makes it look like you want to push the old issue again.

          And it’s terrible and rude to tell the band that. Everyone knows that each band have people who like them and others that don’t. You just wanted to push your agenda from the manifesto again.

          Or do you generally tell bands you interview that many people think they are shit? I know you don’t, which tells me you believe it’s a specific issue with this band. A band who have done nothing to deserve that kind of hostile scrutiny.

          Sure, you can say it if you want, but why? Have you read a Pairs interview before? Do you feel that Xiao Zhong is so reserved that he needs insulting to provoke him into talking openly?

  4. Jackson says:

    Great responses, I like the way this guy thinks. Will have to check out their music. The stuff about soundchecks is both hilarious and spot on. I can’t count how many times I’d wish I could blow my brains out waiting for our soundcheck time to start an hour after scheduled for that same exact shit. I hope he goes through with his threat to record and upload soundchecks like that!

  5. Xiao Zhong says:

    I promise to go ahead with recording bands that sound check for way too long and to upload it to Tudou.

  6. @Andy: Hi, the Carsick Cars reference was just co-incidence, I never intended any reference back to MM. Inclusion had been more of as fun thing, when you check with Xiao Zhong it was not in an aggressive way but more in a fun way we talked about it. Doesnt get through in the transcript but during the interview we both laughed about it. Not everything I say is meant to be scene-bashing 🙂

  7. Xiao Zhong says:

    I must have missed something here. Max was super nice to talk to and he said ‘what feedback have you gotten’ I said mostly positive blah blah, and he said ‘you seem to split people down the middle, some like you some don’t’ and then he read a quote from the Rock In China facebook page as evidence of someone who doesn’t like the shitty songs we write.
    That’s fine. I didn’t find it offensive in the slightest and out of all the interviews I’ve done, these were some of the best, thought provking questions – much better than the ‘how did you guys meet?’ ‘how would you describe your sound?’ trash we usually get.

    We get far more people being nice to our face than calling us out on some bullshit. It’s healthy. This molly coddling that seems to run in the Shanghai scene can get fucked. Healthy, respectful honesty should be welcomed and it’s up to the musicians to choose to ignore what is said or take what they can from it and improve, and bands need to get over themselves and accept the fact that not everyone digs their 6 minute songs and how they choose wank themselves on stage..
    Let the hostile scrutiny flow; we, as I’m sure most people making choices they are totally comfortable with, can defend our choices and stand by them if need be.

    I didn’t feel Max was pushing his agenda, but if that’s your beef why are you reminding him and everyone that you review student metal bands that no one else is covering? That seems like your agenda being pushed under everyone’s nose.

    Shit’s cool. He asked a question. I answered. People can ask me any question, that’s how it should be. Not everything needs to be fought about on the internet and have a knee jerk reaction

    • Andy Best says:

      It’s partly a continuation from a previous discussion a while back that Max evoked.

      And I can react to it any way I like. I don’t mind it being on the net here, nor do you judging by your comment just now. This is more about the Manifesto issue and the general attitude towards certain genres of bands.

      Ask me about it next time we meet in person if you prefer that, I don’t mind.

      Me and Max have been writing back and forth about stuff for ages. In fact he sent me preview copies of the Manifesto and got me to contribute on the Shanghai section.