Layabozi

Beijing's Oliver Bring Manchester to Shanghai

 

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.”

Check more about the band on myspace and for more S.T.D gigs keep an eye on their blog.

Interview:

辣鸭脖子:请介绍一下北京音乐界,我听说是很有意思。

Oliver:北京本地音乐每天都会给人惊喜。因为,如果你经常去看演出,每周都会有新的音乐出现.就像跟中国经济发展一样快 。

辣鸭脖子:你们说90年代Manchester的音乐对你们来说是非常重要。哪个乐队的影响最大?

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。

辣鸭脖子:在音乐方面上,你认为2009年的北京象不象90年代的Manchester?

Oliver:我觉得2009年的北京更像的是欧美的70年代初期。我们就是北京音乐未来市场和前途最好的产物 。

辣鸭脖子:北京有很多摇滚乐队,竞争也满厉害吧。你认为这是件好的事吗?你们乐队有什么特别呢?

Oliver:我听说北京现在有1000乐队在频繁活动。这是件很好的事。时刻推动着中国音乐的发展,对于我们的音乐来说无所谓。因为我们是为自己做音乐,观众也都是自愿来看我们的演出,对于我们本身可以认识更多的朋友是很有意思的事。因为我们的风格已经成为Oliver风格了。

辣鸭脖子:你们的音乐和歌词也有Punk的感觉。你们常常听英国的Punk吗?

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。

辣鸭脖子:有人说北京的音乐比上海的摇滚音乐好多了。你看为什么是这样?有没有希望?

Oliver:我认为上海非常国际和现代化的城市,但至少现在音乐在某些方面是落后于北京的。这样奇怪的局面会慢慢好转的.我希望上海能成为下一个Rock City。

辣鸭脖子:给我们的读者介绍一下你们的现场。

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。

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  1. lois

    i love this article!

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