Posted by Pete DeMola on 15. Mar 2009
In early-2006, rising Beijing stars Ne Zha disintegrated after going through a series of lineup changes and internal turmoil. But frontman Zhan Pan rose from the ashes, and with bassist Wu Wenjie and Wang Xu on percussion, formed the Gar -- the invigorating trio who quickly rose to the top of the city's indie rock food chain with a series of high profile performances showcasing their quirky brand of highly-emotive post-punk.
Their self-produced LP drops this Friday through Maybe Mars Records. We've heard some tracks, and love what they've come up with: psychedelic-tinged melodic compositions paired with the more raw and explosive elements drawn from their live invigorating live performances.
We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Zhan Pan to learn more about the Gar and what's in store for the release party.
WeLiveInBeijing: Describe your band's sound in five words.
Zhan Pan: Youth, freedom, love, imagination, conspiratorial.
WLIB: Who have been your biggest sonic influences?
ZP: Bands from the late 80s and early 90s, and also my life experience.
WLIB: Did spending time in the studio recording a professional LP affect or influence your sound?
ZP: Nothing has changed. It only enriched our music, and made it sound better.
WLIB: Is there such a thing as "the Beijing sound," and if so, how would you describe it?
ZP: I think there is, but it's more like a term to me -- an abstract symbol. As I know, those Beijing bands' lyrics cover a lot of different themes: [the sound] has already exceeded "Beijing" as a geographic definition.
WLIB: If you could tour with any band, Chinese or otherwise, who would it be?
ZP: Chinese band P. K. 14.
WLIB: What are the biggest challenges facing young bands in Beijing today?
ZP: How to get away from the self concerned little world and write a great song that captures the times.
WLIB: How did you come up with your band name?
ZP: A coincidence... a gift from God.
WLIB: What can we expect at the release party?
ZP: We've carefully prepared light shows for videos of some of our songs. We'll also have a few special guests perform. Beside that, it's our songs -- and we sing our songs from the bottom of our hearts.
詹盼: 青春 自由 爱 幻想 阴谋论.
詹盼: 中国的 P.K. 14。
The Gar will perform on Fri, Mar 20 at Yugong Yishan. Golden Driver and 24 Hours will support, along with several unannounced special guests.
Chang Liu contributed to this report. Photo courtesy of Maybe Mars Records.
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