With their bratty vocals, ugly distortion, simple riffs, and subversive lyrics the Beijing four-piece sound more like the Sex Pistols than the early 90s Manchester indie rock bands that they so revere. But the band, who will play LOgO on Saturday, insist that while the ethics and attitude of punk rock have inspired them, it is the English indie heroes from the Northwest, like the Stone Roses and Oasis, that helped shape their sound.”There are money mountains around us, look / People are out there doing bad things to each other/ Let me down,” Oliver frontman Lifu snorts to a background of brash open chords.
“I have heard punk music from all over the world. Our essence is punk, only we express it through different musical forms. To be punk, you do not have to play punk,” Lifu says, speaking to Laybozi this week. The influence of Manchester indie rock is massive, he goes on to say. Many of the bands from that era helped define their sound, the above two and the Happy Mondays among them, but as for the fusion of punk attitude and indie grooves that has become Oliver’s trademark, well, that is very much their own.
“Our style has become it’s own style: Oliver.” Lifu is right, of course. China is China, the scene is moving at it’s own pace, and local bands don’t need to imitate anyone. “Beijing local music surprises people every day. If you look at the performances, every week new music emerges, just as fast as China’s economic development. At all times we should be promoting the development of Chinese music. The music from the U.S. does not matter, because we make music for ourselves.”
But what about Shanghai, a city often seen as the runty sibling loitering in the shadow of its bigger and better northern neighbour?
“Shanghai is a very international and modern city, but musically it has fallen behind Beijing in certain areas,” he says. “This is a strange situation, but I think it will gradually improve. I hope Shanghai will become a rock city.”
As for Shanghai music fans who head down to LOgO on Saturday, what can they expect?
“An Oliver show is very simple–we sing and play the guitar. Anybody worthwhile will like it.”
Oliver：那些乐队，对我们的影响一样大。如果我们一定要做出选择，那就是Stone Roses=Oliver， Happy Monday=Oasis。
Oliver：我听全世界的Punk, 我骨子里就是Punk。只是用不同音乐形式来表达就是Punk，不一定要玩Punk吧. 我听的第一支Punk乐队不是Rancid，而是Sex Pistols。
Oliver：我们今年会计划制作专集,那样就会让更多人知道我们。Oliver的现场就是唱歌弹吉他, 非常简单的。 有品位的人都会喜欢。