Layabozi

Interview with Exit A

Featuring a five-piece band ensemble, Chen Jing (Bass), Yang Dan (Guitar), Wang Yuqi (Guitar) Da Zi (drums) and Cao Yang on lead vocals, Exit A incorporates elements of industrial rock and electronic music. Already making circuits in the local festival scene – performing at this year’s MIDI Festival and boasting past appearances in Xi’an Qujiang Youth Music Festival and the Hangzhou Xihu Music Festival, the band is slowing rising up the Beijing’s live music landscape. We were able to get in touch with lead vocalist and arranger, Cao Yang, here’s what he had to say, with added English-Chinese translations.

LYBZ: How did you come together as “Exit A”?

辣鸭脖子:你们是怎么样聚在一起组成的“ExitA”?

Cao Yang: I had already written some songs before we came together as a band. I met Yang Dan, who is now one of our two guitar players. We started playing together. We used to play music before having a few drinks. He completed the guitar part of the music. We didn’t have money, so we just recorded it by tape, and put it in the computer directly. When we finished the sample of the music we just started performing. We met our other band member, iLoop. We played and matured together. Then Wang Yuqi and Chen Jing, who were already, established players in the rock scene. I had listened to their music growing up. We changed drummer and bassist a lot. We didn’t pay our band, but we did it for fun. So at the present time, this is our line-up.

曹阳:之前我写了 一些歌。后来有段时期有大把空闲的时间。所以用电脑做了一批歌曲的构架,多数已经是比较完整的歌曲了。正好认识了杨坦,就是我们现在 的两个吉他手之一。大家都年轻,除了经常在一起喝酒之外也没什么正经事可做。所以就喝酒之前一起玩玩音乐,这样就完成了那 些歌的吉他部分的编曲。那会儿没钱,办法就是吉他过台子声卡直接进电脑,效果器都是软件的。小样做完之后又开始没事情可干,于是找了 另外一个白领奴隶iloop,正式组成了这个乐队。然后接下来的事情就是演出。其间乐手频繁进出,吉他贝司鼓换了好 几个,折腾,大小演出有钱没钱都去凑热。然后iloop退出乐队,大 家一起成长。直到摇滚圈的活跃人物王钰棋和陈劲加入一起玩,他们俩进来之后带来了很多好玩的东西,碰撞的很有意思。陈劲不用说了,我 们小时候听他歌长大的,“逼上梁山”、“累”这些歌都是小时候我们常挂在嘴边的。王钰棋了解的人也知道,离开二手玫瑰之后一直在玩比 较纯净的音乐,包括他的个人专辑都是比较平静优雅的。但他进来之后也算是把这些年他所有在“重”和“噪”上面的想法都实现 了——我们彼此都很享受。终于算是个像样的乐队了。目前就是这个阵容。都是机缘巧合,这 都是过程,折腾出来的。

LYBZ: Your sound has been described as a cross between electronic and rock, would you agree with that?

辣鸭脖子:你们的音乐被形容说是穿插在电子和 摇滚之间,你们同意这种说法么?

Cao Yang: It doesn’t matter because everyone has his or her own opinion. In China from the 1990s till now, nothing has really changed. Then people started selling pirated CDs and users started to downloading music using P2P networks, and this is the current situation. I once met an American on IndieRock, she said that in the United States, it is not easy to buy or download so many types of music CDs. I personally feel our sound now incorporates some synth-pop and the electronic element of rock and roll. It’s definitely more rock and roll. But just because you use a computer, many people would say you are interspersed between the electronic and rock. In fact, that is very superficial to judge.

曹阳:无所谓,每个人都有自己的看法。在中国,进入上世纪90年代以后开始到现在,大家接触到的新鲜东西都差不多,先是有打口磁带、打口CD,然后出来好多各种之前听不到的国外音乐的盗版CD,再往后就是现在的互联网免费下载、P2P。我们该接触到的,都有了。剩下的就看个人喜好和认识了。我曾经碰到一个美国来的做IndieRock的孩子聊过,她说在美国,也不容易像在中国一样可以很容易买到或下载到那么多其他类型的 音乐CD的。我个人觉得我们目前在做的是包含一些synth pop和电子元素的摇滚乐。无论是合成器音色的运用还是加入的某些电子元素,都只是我 们对音乐上的需要罢了。但肯定是摇滚乐,而且是血统纯正的摇滚乐。对于我来说,这个是最重要的。我个人认为所谓摇滚,是要有一些精神 层面的东西在的。你听港台那边(包括我们大陆这边copy港台的一些所谓明 星),有一些很大众、很流行,官方很支持的东西,其实音乐上面,做的挺“重”的,貌似很“摇滚”——他们丫自己也是那么说的。但是摇滚这个东西,应该是你若不站在某种对立面上,那 它就永远和“摇滚”无关。这个东西就是摇滚的灵魂,如果没有的话,就很可疑了。然后说语言方面,到我们的音乐里面有一些所谓“电子” 的元素,这个完全是因为我们的某些成员具备一些使用电脑这种工具的能力,并且享受这种工具带来的新鲜感。然后呢?你使用了电脑,很 多人就会说:“你丫是“穿插在电子和摇滚之间”,呵呵。其实这种判断挺肤浅的。

LYBZ: As a band, have you always been inclined towards that style of music?

辣鸭脖子:作为一支乐队,你们是否一直倾向于这种音乐风格呢?

Cao Yang: Oh, this is not the so-called style of our music, it’s just what it may seem on the outside. When we play our traditional musical instruments, or when we use our computer-related stuff only – it is our own thing right? We have our own independent judgments, and with other artists or bands of different things. I do not want to be affixed to a label. That’s pretty crap.

曹阳:呵呵,这个 当然不是了,所谓风格只是外面的皮而已。没准什么时候我们玩儿一个全部是传统乐器,完全和电脑无关的东西,或者完全没有传统乐器,只 和电脑有关的东西——那是我们自己的事,对么?我们有自己的独立判断和与其他艺人或乐队不同的东西。我 不希望被贴上某个标签。那挺扯淡的。

LYBZ: Are there any distinct influences that have lent towards your style and sound of music?

辣鸭脖子:你们的风格和音乐有没有产 生过什么不同的特殊的影响?

Cao Yang: We do not really draw from distinct influences. But we believe in 100% honesty, expressing how we feel, and channeling that energy through our music. We use Chinese, which is important to us. We hope that transcends across, and everyone feels it too.

曹阳:这个其实是你们提问里最大的问题,我们最在意的问题。我必须得100%坦诚地来说。目前来说,我们还没有把“影响”做大,但我们希望能,并且我们做了足够的准 备。我们用中文表达,这个非常重要。我们表达的东西是我们感受到的、并且希望传达出去的信息。我们相信这些问题大家都感受得到,我 们所能做的,是在我们这个方向上所能提醒的。我希望我们的作品能在相当长的一段时间里面,慢慢发挥他的作用的。

LYBZ: Are there any plans to release a full-studio album? What are your future aspirations as a band?

辣鸭脖子:有打算要出一张乐队的专辑吗? 对乐队的未来有什么渴望?

Cao Yang: No, not at the moment. Although we have enough quality material to release an album, we have to take into consideration the current state of China’s music industry. And for a full-studio album release, this is perhaps not the best time. It is something we have thought about in the past, but we have to look out for the right time and opportunity to take such a big step. However, in the next year, we do intend to release an EP of 5-6 songs.

曹阳:不。目前不 打算出专辑。虽然我们自身这边数量质量都够,但在目前中国大陆的唱片工业的环境下,不是出专辑的最佳时期。我们现在已经进棚录音了, 年中会先发一张EP,5-6首歌,明年 上半年再发一张。之所以这么考量是因为我们需要保持足够的出镜率。现在都是单曲时代了呵呵。专辑,,看情况再决定。我们目 前已经有完整的专辑概念了,但得看情况再决定,我们得找到最佳时机。

曹阳:渴望谈不上。音乐,对于我们乐队中每一个成员来说,都是玩物。在这方面,我们和所 有好玩的人一样。我们会尽全力做好自己业务上的事情,对音乐这门“听觉艺术”负我们该负的责任,但那时我们自己的事。但,对我们而 言,她永远不是全部。

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