Posted by Nevin Domer on 18. May 2009
When did Black Iron bar open?
In April of 2005.
Before that time was there any places to play live music in Nanchang?
No, each year there was only one or two shows and almost all of them were held in Universities, not often in bars.
What were your reasons for opening the bar?
Precisely because there were no shows, so some friends and I wanted to make a bar just for rock 'n roll shows.
At that time were there many bands in Nanchang?
Not so many and almost all of them were student bands, but when opened there were shows every weekend and after half a year we started to get touring bands from other cities.
What were the shows like at that time?
At that time the environment was not good for rock 'n roll and the equipment was very poor. Now the equipment is better than before but still not so good.
What's the meaning behind the name? Why is it called "Black Iron?"
There is no meaning. I just picked the name because I like metal and I feel that the name is very metal.
Is it really hard to open a bar in Nanchang?
Nanchang is a small city, not so many people like rock 'n roll. The largest number of people we can get to a show is 200. Actually, lots of people know about Black Iron bar but they don't often come to see shows.
How many shows do you usually have each week or each month?
We always have at least four shows a month, one show each week. The most we can have is around ten shows in a month.
Are there often touring bands coming through?
Yes, now every month several touring bands will come to play.
You opened in 2005. It's been four years. Has the music scene in Nanchang changed since that time?
It has changed, but the most important thing is that Nanchang doesn't have very many bands and almost all of them are student bands. Student bands will spend several years to grow up and become better, but when they graduate they leave Nanchang. Very few people from those bands stay in Nanchang to play in a band. It's a big problem for the Nanchang scene.
Are there any famous bands or bands with members who have come from Nanchang?
Yes, before there was. I am not sure about now, but there were older bands such as Pangu, Louqi and Zhi Nanzheng. There are more but I can't remember now.
What do you think is the future for underground music in Nanchang and the rest of China?
I hope that in the future it will be better and better, but I think it depends on the society and the Chinese government. The Chinese government is not as open as governments in foreign countries. But I am sure that it will be better in the future.
If you could change anything about the Chinese music scene what would you change?
It's really hard to answer that question. In China now there are more bands than before but not so many bands have their own ideas. They don't have their own way of thinking and their own style. Before Chinese rock had some very Chinese characteristics to it, but not as much now..
What advice would you give to a young band in Nanchang?
No matter what band or what style of music just keep going, keep on playing your own music. Do what you really want to do and keep doing it.
Out of all the bands you have seen play at your bar where there any performances that really stick out in your mind?
Yes many, but I can't pick any now. It's easy to remember the shows from the foreign bands they seem more relaxed. I like those bands more.
Do you have any future plans for Black Iron bar?
I just hope that everything can get better and better and I will try my best to make it happen.
Is there anything else that you want to say?
The bands in Nanchang are not as good as the bands in some other cities but I think that it will get better and better. Actually not so many people want to stay in Nanchang to play in a band. Lot's of people start bands in Nanchang but as they get better they go to other cities.
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