Posted by Nevin Domer on 18. May 2009
When did you open the bar?
In March of 2006.
And this is the second location for the bar?
Yeah, we moved here last year in June, June 6th.
What is the meaning of the name 4698?
Ha, it's a long story. I think every rocker in China understands the meaning. [ed. If you rearrange the numbers you get a controversial date in modern Chinese history]
I was told that you build the first bar brick for brick. Can you tell me about that?
That's a bit of an exaggeration. We didn't build the whole bar ourselves, but we did build parts of it like the stage. At that time it was very DIY. We were just like construction workers at that time; it took about one month to complete.
The bar was built by three people together right?
And all of you play in Last Choice?
Right, he (pointing to Lolo) is out guitar player and also our bass player, who isn't here right now.
So which came first the bar or Last Choice?
First Last Choice and then the bar.
Before 4698 were there any places to play in Changsha?
We organized some shows at other bars, bringing in the PA and amps ourselves. At that time Changsha was in the same situation as many other cities in China.
So when you started playing in Last Choice and when you first built the bar what was the music scene like?
Well even before we had a band there was a bar in Changsha that would hold rock shows and we saw some local bands perform in that bar. However at the time it was hard to spread information about the bands and promotion for the shows. The bands weren't working together to promote each others shows and there wasn't an audience for rock music. I think there have always been people playing music in Changsha but sometimes there are many bands and sometimes just a few, sometimes there are a lot of people who come to see rock shows and sometimes only a few..
Is it hard for the bar to make money?
Not so bad. At first the bar was just my dream, but now it has become my job. Everyday I need to come to work on time, but I never have to worry about where we should drink.
What about now? I know that Last Choice is taking a break for the next year and many of the older bands including SMZB and Angry Jerks are doing the same. What do you think of the current situation for the Chinese punk scene?
I think it's just coincidence. It's a normal course that everyone has to pass through and afterwards everything will be ok.
Do you think that lot's of older bands are taking a break because of money and the need to focus on other things besides music?
The money is one reason for it, but a bigger reason is each person's individual situation. I think my own situation is not good. But if my situation can get better again then I will keep playing in the band. I'm sure that the future will be better.
Is there anything that you would change about the Chinese music scene? And what do you think needs to happen to make the scene better?
I think its better just to worry about yourself. You can't change the Chinese music scene. There are lots of reasons that people become involved in rock 'n' roll music and you can't affect that.
What advice do you have for a young Chinese band just starting out?
I think the young bands are good. They just need to keep rocking!
What future plans do you have for the bar, 4698, and Last Choice?
We want to record a new CD and then tour. The most important thing is to find a new drummer and to practice. Also I want to host more parties at the bar and make this place more fun; one step at a time.
Is there anything else that you want to add?
We want to play at D-22 and I believe it will happen.
Has Last Choice been to Beijing before?
You guys should come!
We think so too.
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