“24 FRAMES per SECOND – open air screenings”, the cycle of music documentary by Free the Wax, will be showing this coming Thursday “Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (2007) “ a documentary about The Clash lead singer, one of the greatest on Punk history and a “must have” on your music collection.
This is the third screening they are doing, I heard about them during the last weeks but until now I couldn’t make it, and after talking with them, I regret it. We had a good IM chat with the two founders of Free the Wax about this next Thursday screening, about their work and the coming projects they are already working on.
Mache says: Hi Leo. How are you doing?
Leonardo says: I’m good… I’m here with Katrina the other half of FREE the WAX
Mache says: great! Hi Katrina!
Leonardo says: hello
Mache says: So guys, how long have you been doing this work?/p>
Leonardo says: We had been thinking about this for a while now, but we actually started doing it now. September will see our first live music production with Daedelus, from UK record label Ninja Tune, who is coming to the Shelter on the 25th.
Mache says: I will add that event to our list too, then. And how did you began to think about this? I mean what did motivate you at the beginning?
Leonardo says: Katrina and I met in Shanghai about a year ago. I gave her a few CDs with a selection of my wicked tunes and she fell for me. Katrina had connections in Italy with whom she did some projects. These guys were bringing a lot of Ninja Tune, Warp and other quality European record labels to Italy. In February, the idea came about. Since then we’ve been working on the concept of it for a while. After Katrina came back from the Sonar festival in Barcelona (where Daedelus played live) this year, we made the first concrete steps towards starting the project. We initiated this mainly out of frustration with the local scene. We thought that the music scene in China still lacked a certain punch, a greater variety of quality artists coming here. We hoped then to diversify it, with a clear focus on ground-breaking live acts.
Mache says: These events at The Rooftop were the beginning? The first concrete steps?
Leonardo says: We have a theory that if you push hard enough, people who are used to all-you-can-drink parties can be persuaded into going for something that focuses on the music, the atmosphere created by it and the culture surrounding it. And this leads to your question about the film nights… 24 FRAMES per SECOND open air screenings. The film nights were initially a personal thing that Katrina was trying to connect to live music events that were happening in Shanghai (mainly punk rock and hip hop cultures). The idea was to show only documentaries surrounding these topics. However, after a few sporadic film sessions, we decided to turn into a weekly, serious type of cultural event. By serious we also mean relaxed; where people can come, bring their friends, their drinks, chill out, chat for a bit, meet new people and watch something that they wouldn’t have had the chance to watch back at home.
The concept, like with the music we bring to Shanghai, is to show something different, ground-breaking, that people don’t necessarily know about, and very diverse. On previous editions we screened Scratch documentary, Punk attitude documentary, Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch with a Tom Waits sound track), Rockers (the best Jamaican film ever!), Bye Bye Brazil (pervaded by a beautiful Brazilian music soundtrack and poetry). And this week we’re having the documentary on Joe Strummer, the Clash lead singer who left an incredible legacy behind him.
Mache says: very good choices for the movies.. I regret I lost the last ones… but I’m going, for sure, this Thursday
Leonardo says: cool. Come and bring friends! It’s open for all and the atmosphere is very inviting. We also have fake grass!!
Mache says: Of course. I’ll go with friends!… And with fake grass! That’s not to loose! …. so, what about the place? Is The Rooftop a bar? or the Rooftop of your home?
Leonardo says: It’s the rooftop of Katrina’s place, actually. We have barbecue parties there occasionally. However, since it’s a residential area, we think that the film nights are more appropriate (by that we mean they don’t tend to descend into lascivious chaos like some parties do).
Mache says: Leo, do you make music? because that CD you gave to Katrina was with your own music or the “Soundtrack” of your life?
Leonardo says: Hi, it’s Katrina writing now, actually, it was 5 CD’s compiled with different universes. For example, “South America is the Universe” and “Universal Feel good joint” “Beauty is the universe” they are spectacular I must say. It lasted quite a long time during our flirting stage.. haha. He knew he would earn points with those.
Mache says: It sounds like a very smart flirting …by the way, where are you both from, guys?
Leonardo says: I’m from Brasilia, in Brazil, Katrina is from Sydney, Australia.
Mache says: Guys, with your next event at the Shelter you are going to join groups like S.T.D. and Antidote.. right?
Leonardo says: what do you mean by join? as in throwing regular parties throughout town?
Mache says: yes, and also bringing new DJs and music to town.
Leonardo says: Well, we think that STD and Antidote already handle that aspect just fine and we often go to their parties. What we want to do is something different. Our focus for now is to present artists that have never been to China before and that have a very unique sound. Having said that, we want to emphasize on LIVE Acts and bands much more so than DJs. We are aiming towards the concept of ‘concert’ rather than party. Our events are not regular. They will happen only once in a while, roughly every month in both Shanghai and Beijing. Believe it or not, FREE the WAX is, in fact, our side project. Our main project is to work as a booking agency and we are now in the process of opening our company. FREE the WAX is just our production name for our enjoyment of music, pure and simply.
Free the Wax is a new group in town working to bring us more live music and ground-breaking music events to Shanghai, and we will be keeping our ears on them. For now, I’m looking forward to meet Katrina and Leo this next Thursday and enjoy the documentary about Joe Strummer and The Clash, really great punk, do not doubt it, you should go.