Bloody Halloween and no polka dots: 10 Questions with Pet Conspiracy
It’s been quite a while since the last batch of 10 questions on ‘daze so it’s about time we get back to those. First up, Pet Conspiracy. This is a strange interview for me to have up there considering my general lack of appreciation of electronic music and how much I cared for the previous incarnation. I’ve actually only caught Pet Conspiracy in this lineup once, much before the CD release so i have no idea what kind of energy they bring to the stage now. Still, here might be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
1- What’s been going on with Pet Conspiracy since the CD release almost a year ago? This is your chance to plug your stuff.
We actually released our first album 4 months ago, at the beginning of last June. Since then, we have been first playing in a few clubs and festivals in China to promote the album, then left a month for our “Summer Tour”, including Switzerland (two gigs at Zurich Street Parade side event “Lethargy Festival – China Drifting”, promoted by Micheal Vonplon), Malaysia, Singapore, and back to Hangzhou and Shanghai. We took a break between September and October, with Edo and Mary going back to Italy, and we just came back to studio to produce new stuff. We now plan to have a new EP out by the end of this year.
2- How did the tour go? was it different playing Europe versus Asia?
In europe promoters usually make your life easier, since they have more experience in organization and can meet in advance any tiny and silly need you may have. As for the audience, Asians are generally more curious and easier to build an empathy with. On the other side, European audience is more experienced with bands from all around the world, therefore grabbing their attention can generally be more challenging. But when the feedback is as nice as the one we received during our four tours in Europe, this gives you even more confidence to go on.
3- What is Pet Conspiracy now? a band, a collective, a project?
Pet Conspiracy is pretty difficult to define, also because it is in a constant development. It surely cannot be defined as a band in strict sense, since this is not only about making music, it’s rather a project involving music, visuals, fashion design, a bit of theatre and a lot of hang overs!
4- Helen’s (Ex front woman, Helen Feng) shadow still looms large over the band whenever i speak to people about PC.. how did it change the dynamics of recording, preforming live etc… ?
Actually we never think about shadows, since we see all what happened in the band in the past 4 years and all what is going to happen as a part of a development process, so we always like to look forward. The recording process is done in this way: the first idea comes from huzi, who makes a draft music base, then proceeds to a first arrangement together with Edo. Everybody then thinks about its part, Mary or Fiona develops the vocal melody, Mary writes lyrics and Edo develops drums. After that, we all gather in our studio, we make final arrangements together. Huzi takes care about the overall production.
As for the live shows, we like to shock, to play games, to act and to rock the stage as best as we can.
5- I hear the halloween show on monday will be quite a production. can you describe it a bit? Why make it a free show?
In beijing free good parties are really rare, so we decided to do one ourselves. In the past week, we have been working out a concept for our Party, together with the Chinese artist Song Kun and the Italian photographer/director Nicola Longobardi… we are surely going to improvise something…you’ll see
6- I’m not really an expert on electronic music as you know but I’ve been noticing more keyboards on stage this year in Beijing. Are we witnessing a new electro-revolution here?
You are right right, electro music in China is surely growing. In China everything is moving so fast, so you’ll never know what is going to happen in a couple of years, but at this moment this is definitely a major trend.
7- Edo, how the hell did you manage to play on tour with a broken arm?
I broke my arm, two days before the Album Release Party, while cleaning my house, since Mary ia a mess and she made me becoming a housekeeper. On my way back from the hospital, the band asked me whether I would play anyway or I would prefer to cancel the gig. So i asked myself: “Def leppard drummer can play with one arm only, will I be able to do the same?”. The answer was “No, I won’t! but who the fuck cares, let’s do it anyway! “.
8- As I understand it, Mary writes most of the lyrics now. Are you planning to keep it that way ? if so, will we see a shift into more Italian instead of English like on Beyond?
Yes, Mary is the main author of Pet Conspiracy album lyrics. Most of our lyrics are English, but we like to play with our multicultural identity, so sometimes we mix Chinese and Italian. By now, besides Beyond, which is English/Italian, and our cover of Depot, Hey Sir is Chinese/English and Dio, which is one of our unreleased tracks, is Chinese/Italian.
9- What do you want the audience to get from a Pet Conspiracy show?
We just want them to have a strong reaction. This can be love or hate. The most important thing is get them high.
10- For each band member: What the best and worst thing about being in Pet Conspiracy?
Huzi: The best thing is to be able to make a living out of music
The worst thing is that sometimes money you earn are too small!
Fiona: What i like most is the vibe we create with the audience during live performance. What really sucks is taking all those early morning flights!
What I like most: I have always been a guitarist. This band gave me the opportunity to pratise drums and quickly become confident with it, mostly thanks to our audience support.
What I like less: painful hangovers on the day after a gig!
Best and worst merge for me. Pet Conspiracy is an extremely intense and challenging project and it requires a full-time involvement, although each of us has their own jobs. Since we are not (and don’t want to be, for the time being) signed to a label, we do everything by ourselves, from the creative production, to videos, to the stage concept, to choreography and band management. This is extremely stimulating and gives you great satisfactions, but sometimes can really freak you out!
Thanks the Pet gang for being good sports and being pretty straight up with their answers. I realized much after the fact that I completely forgot about the traditional ‘daze polka dots question… shame on me! still, good fun and informative! It’s easy to forget how much DIY goes into their gigs and the band.. I can only thing of SUBS as the other semi successful band that is independent.
Catch Pet Conspiracy tonight at Yugong Yishan:
DATE: October 31st, 2011 TIME: 9:30 p.m. – 3:30 a.m.
VENUE: Yugong Yishan LINE-UP: Pet Conspiracy, PARTY HORSE (U.K), We Are not Invited(FR)
DJ set: DJ OuYang, DJ A.M.U
DOOR: FREE ENTRY!!!