Layabozi

Boys Climbing Ropes, A Conquered Ambition

 

 

 

Last year after we published the interview to Morgan and Peipei, the day of the release of the album Summer and Winter Warfare, I talked with Devin and Jordan about the interview, and I told them the next interview to Boys Climbing Ropes was going to be to the two of them, and we all liked the idea a lot. Little did we know that then we fixed what would be the last interview to Boys Climbing Ropes. Now I write these words, last, and Boys Climbing Ropes, and I get goosebamps, butterflies, heart contractions, and sighs stuck in my stomach. I don’t know about all of you, but I know that I’m not the only one feeling emotional with Boys Climbing Ropes these days.

Last Wednesday was finally the day that we set up to meet with Jordan and Devin. I was nervous before meeting them, I was reading some of our old articles about Boys Climbing Ropes, and listening to their music, and I was feeling this butterflies in my stomach, and my heart, I was re-sizing the weight of Boys Climbing Ropes, and their influence. So when we finally met in front of Dada, I was a bit shaking and already nostalgic about it, so I told them how I was feeling. To laugh about it and to relax, also to explain them in a silly way that this time, and them, were a big deal for me, and for all of us, music people, in Shanghai. We went to the park in front of Dada, it was raining, we sat under a roof, had some beers, and talked about the story of Boys Climbing Ropes. This interview is probably longer than what you are used to read here, but there’s no spare information. Devin and Jordan brought back to life moments of Boys Climbing Ropes that I believe should be well documented and enjoyed.

Devin is the chilled loud, and very intense drummer that is all over the music, keeping the speed and the vibe of the band in hot mode from the very back on the stage. Devin’s drumming was actually the very first thing I heard when I first saw Boys Climbing Ropes, the sound of the drums were all over the place, on the stage and around the audience, they were super loud, and most of the time so strong that it made everything felt like it was out of order. Then gig after gig, I saw them getting more together, and that was Devin’s drums putting the elements in the right time, and finding its right tempo, and volume, though still when he goes intense he could easily break a drum set. And then again, if you see him off the stage, you would think of him as a chilled guy. I guess those are his poles, thus the poles of Boys Climbing Ropes too, the up up down down style of their music, probably Devin is the opposing party to Peipei in the band. And then Jordan and Morgan maybe are the other axis in that dimension. Well, what a work would be to analyze the dimensions of Boys Climbing Ropes!

Jordan is the rough voice of Boys Climbing Ropes, the guitarist with the riffs looping in friendly melodies, the writer of half of Boys Climbing Ropes songs. The singer that duels and dances with Peipei’s singing. In this interview he talked about his skills to play guitar as not the best, probably he is not the best, but how many of his guitar lines do you know? and how many times have you played air guitar along with him? Me, hundreds of times. The design of the melodies in his guitar is simply perfect, so even if it’s just one chord, who cares, if the result is as great as it’s been. Also, I think Jordan aligns the communication between Boys Climbing Ropes and the world, I think he brings good part of the good common sense of the band to ground, getting them closer to us, their listeners. Also, Jordan is the one that is moving out of Shanghai causing the end of the band, not to blame him, but to notice that his timing plays a really big role in the history of the band, not only to drive Boys Climbing Ropes to its end, but also when it brought them to their beginning.

 

Layabozi: How are you?

Devin: Good

Jordan: I’m kind of freaking out a little bit, leaving and all that…

D: Me too…

J: My wife and I are going on our honey moon to Turkey on June 16 and then that’s it

LVBZ: And you (Devin), are you leaving or are you staying?

D: I’m staying, I’m the only one staying. I’m going to be a 28 years old washed up rock star [laughs]. It’s going to be so awesome, I can’t wait for that. It’s gonna be so cool going around random shows, and people will say “hey that guy used to play” [laughs], “look at him he used to play, and now he is so old”. [laughs] No, yeah, I’m staying. The last survivor. Actually it’s funny ’cause that day that you were talking to us at Uptown, I was okay with everything, knowing what was happening, but as soon as we played that show I was like, fuck me! We got literally two shows left. Jesus! And we played that, and it was a fun show, I had a good time, you know, as soon as I got off the stage I was like “oh my god it’s starting to be depressing now”. I started to think about it, you know

LYBZ: Are you having flashbacks?

D: It’s funny we were walking down here and we were walking pass Logo and all that stuff, like Jesus, remember all the times we were sitting on those steps, buying cheap ass beers at the All Days, and going into Logo to play this sets, and … it was weird

J: It’s super nice, these last shows, these next weekends, we are digging up our old songs from even before our first EP. And I’m pulling out old guitar cases with lyrics, sheets, and stuff, even songs from before Pei was with us. And I don’t know, it’s kind of interesting to start to try playing those old songs and feel what it felt like to be back there six years ago. Like some big circle or something.

D: That is weird. I mean. Just yesterday when we went to practice these songs, it was so weird. Just think about like what we were doing before Pei joined the band too, like, which is still cool, but it’s just that we forgot how to play it, you know, and we really need to make a dedicated effort to remember how to do it. But it’s still cool, I couldn’t remember even like thinking back to 2006 and holly shit, I listened to what we were doing then, musically, and then to what we are doing now, and wow, this is not the same band

J: It felt much more aggressive back then. Very angsty. And trying really hard. It felt really cool to play these songs yesterday. No synth, no piano, and just very very straight forward music. I don’t know. It’s kind of fun. It’s like clean and pure, and holy shit, we played one of our new songs it was the very last song we played that night it’s a new song and it feels so different

D: Yeah doing those songs, I remember at that time, when I was playing I was like, Jesus it’s so hard! and then when doing it now, I was like, Jesus! I’m not creative at all! What am I doing? This is so nice and easy. And then, like you [Jordan] said, we played one of our newest song at the very beginning, and I was, I can’t even do this right now. [laughs] It’s funny ’cause even for me I’ve lost some of our old recordings so when we started to play them again it was like it’s all muscle memory, so I remember everything but it’s like, Jesus the difference!. It’s weird to see the difference. It’s like a weird reflective period

J: Something I realized is that is really easy to learn again old songs because I didn’t know how to play the guitar at all. So there were songs that were like two chords, three chords, and now still I don’t really know how to play guitar very well but it makes it easier to learn the old songs.

D: I don’t know what song was that you started to play, and you looked at me and said “this is one chord!, just one chord!” [laughs] “what am I doing? This is a one chord song” [laughs] like yeah, old school…

J: It’s all about the attitude [laughs] Attitude behind the one chord. [laughs]

LYBZ: Well guys this interview is basically to do a rewind, re play, and talk about your history. So, let’s start with the origin of BCR…

J: I was just talking about this with my wife a couple weeks ago. Morgan and I, I guess, nine years ago maybe, were going to the university together, back in Canada, and we were doing our degrees together, and then my wife was like,… she was not my wife at that time… she was my girlfriend. She told me “hey I’m going to go to China, don’t you want to go to teach English?” and I sort of had nothing to do [laughs], so I thought fuck, why not. Morgan and I were pretty good buddies and he was like, “fuck yeah, let’s just do that”. So we talked for about six months before we left Canada. This is back in 2004, we talked mostly drunk though “oh yeah we’ll go to China and we’ll start a band, and it’s gonna be amazing”. And I was like, okay, ’cause Morgan didn’t know how to play any instrument at all, as far as I knew, and I could play about, you know, ten chords on the acoustic guitar, but we, you know, messed around together, and then we moved in together when we got to China. My wife, my girlfriend at the time, moved up north, to the university district, and Morgan and I lived together. And then one day, I remember, the door of the apartment opened and it’s this grgrgrcrashcrash and Morgan comes in with a guitar, a bass, and two amps! and he goes “All right, we are starting that band!” [laughs]… I was like, what the fuck?! So then we did a shitty band at the start for one year. My wife said today, she was sitting around the table at that bar in Canada with us, and she was thinking these guys are just blowing a lot of fucking hot air, starting a band, are you fucking kidding me?! [laughs] And now it’s really interesting, ’cause then looking back, it’s what… six, seven years of playing music here, and it’s been super fun, and we did start a band, which is kind of very interesting, and it actually worked out perfectly, because when we met Devin it was the perfect time.

LYBZ: How did you meet?

J: I quit my first job, and I started working at this other company, and Devin was just arriving…

D: It was my second day in China. I arrived I was there for one day, and I went to my company’s orientation, and it’s all the new teachers coming there and sit down, and you gotta have these conversations with people, blahblahblah, and Jordan was sitting besides me and he is like, “I play in a band this past year, and we did this and we did that, and our drummer left blahblahblah” And I was like, I just got here, I’m a drummer. And he is like, “ah! Lets exchange numbers”, so we did the numbers thing, and I swear that weekend we started to play together.

J: And Morgan and I, we really sucked. And I remember we loved our first practice when Devin was there and we were just like “holy shit! This guy can actually play his instrument!” [laughs] so after that we kind of built our songs riding Devin’s momentum and energy and skill. Then talking about the perfect timing, that was perfect timing, it allowed us a year and a half to grow, we kind of found each other, Morgan, Devin, and me, playing together, and then perfect timing again, Peipei comes up to us and she is like “You guys fucking suck, but I like you” [laughs] just always there at every one of our early shows. Just this little girl dancing dancing dancing dancing dancing, and it was very inappropriate ’cause we are playing acoustic songs and shit, and she is just freaking out, and then she started talking to us after a couple shows at YuyinTang and just joined the band. We did one cover song together, it was PJ Harvey, what was it?

D: “To Bring You My Love”

J: Yeah, that or whatever. And we were like “yeah, cool” So she’d come up, we’d play that song and then she leaves the stage. After that we were kind of talking as a band in practice, “what do we do with this girl?” Then she comes walking in the door and she is like “Fuck that song, we’re gonna do my songs” And so we did. She just came in with full energy, full force, just like Devin did. So Morgan and I, at that point, we were like, “all right”, and Devin was like, “all right”, and Pei joined the band,

D: After that year. Our birthdays are like a day apart, and for every year we’ve always done this joined birthday parties in December. And we did one, I don’t know where in a brewery, and we are sitting down there with Pei, chilling out and then Morgan comes, and he is “hey I got a present for you guys” …Oh yeah, what’s that? …And he hands us this manual, we look at it, and it’s the manual for the Korg. And we are like wow! Fuck yeah! Literally after that, every practice we did was just like, let’s just experiment the fuck out of this thing…

J: That changed everything

D: That was the catalyst to what we are doing now, because everything started to revolve around that

J: That’s super interesting, never thought about that! … Morgan and I, then Devin perfect timing, then Pei perfect timing, and then Morgan buying the Korg, perfect timing.

D: Yeah, it’s funny, because I’ve never asked him what possessed him to do that, to have that impulse, and you know, I love the guy’s force, he’s fantastic, and he just saw something there

J: We could have been a shitty folk rock band for a long time [laughs]

D: Yeah, that’s right, [laughs] We were going with that vibe, you know. But that was the turning point. I look back at that now, and, Jesus Christ!, I’m so thankful for it. And I love all that stuff we did before, it was cool, and it has good elements too, but I think that Morgan said last year, that our last year, year and a half, has been like a really exciting time for us, because we stopped playing from our influences and coming together as what we are as a band. At the same time it’s sad, you know, ’cause it has to end now, but the experience has been unbelievable. You never think you would have something like that. You know what I mean? I came over here with the intention of staying for a year, and the first week I started to play music with these guys and it was like “this-is-fucking-awesome” you know. Every dream that you have as a kid, you know.

J: Yeah and at that time we were just playing for our girlfriends, five people in the audience, and we were “this is awesome! Look at our fans!” … But it’s just that, we just always have fun together, there’s nothing better than that. Just always has been. Every time we step in the practice space or on the stage, before the show, it’s just all smiles. We’ve never had any fights, any anxiety, no stress, and we just play.

D: And that’s the thing that … I won’t say anything bad about anybody, but I don’t feel like we’ve been in everyone’s face saying “come to our fucking shows! And watch us, and fuck, yeah” …You know, we go like whatever, here’s a flyer, come and have a fun time, and whatever. And that’s been nice because I think, I don’t know, for us, as the band, I feel like that has allowed our songs to speak for themselves, you know, like to see the elements that are in there, and I think that it’s different than a lot of stuff that’s going on too. So, you know, I’ve been very proud of that… I mean, it’s good to self promote, but you don’t want to over do it

J: I think the idea is that we have always had fun playing together. Who the fuck cares, if there’s people there or not, then hey we are just gonna still have as much fun!

D: There’s no difference between doing a show here in Shanghai, or going to a city where there are five people, who cares! I find that even in those situations we become more cohesive, it’s like who cares, it’s all about what we’ve been doing on the stage. I don’t know, it’s weird, it’s like as the time is gone, it feels like it gets stronger and stronger and those shows become more intimate, I think, these little moments with everyone near the stage at some point that it’s kind of like what everything is about, you live for those moments.

LYBZ: Yeah…. Okay, one geeky question, who was the first drummer?

J: yeah. Morgan and I had a band previous to BCR, called Pirate Panties, and he was a Danish guy, named, Morten Fausboll, who really taught me and Morgan a lot about music. I think we owe a lot to him, because he was the core of that band also, like Devin is kind of the core of this band, in terms of keeping us motivated and energized, but at that time he also was very skilled. He could have played any of the instruments better than Morgan and I, but he just tried to play the drums and I think he was a good force for us at that time, and he had to leave, so, you know how it goes.

D: He is back now, right?

J: Yeah, now he is living in Shanghai. He actually does comedy some time with the Kung Fu Komedy group. He is a super nice guy

LYBZ: What was your first gig?

D: Live Bar? Logo was our second show. I think it was Live Bar. No?

J: I think so. When Brad was the manager. Brad was like the start of everything for BCR, he has been there for every moment all the way through, which is unbelievable.

D: Brad has never wanted us really to talk about him, but we do need to talk about Brad, he gave us our start. And from then until now he has been supporting our band, producing our albums for free, trying to make videos, and doing everything. Every interview he has, and they ask him what his favorite band in Shanghai, he always goes “I love BCR” like really supporting us, what a nice guy!

J: And he would always see when we are freaking out on stage and then he goes “okay, I’m gonna do the sound check tonight”

D: Yeah! Right

J: He has also given me a ton of advice about my guitar set up, like the sound of my guitar, and he would say “hey you could do this” and I’m like “oh fuck off,” in my head, I would not say it loud, you know, but then after a while I’d go, “ah! Goddam it, Brad was right!” He is very in tune. Yeah. Definitely Live Bar was our first show, when Brad Ferguson was the manager, before all that drama happened, you know…

LYBZ: Yeah, I remember. Let me go back a bit again, you told me you and Morgan were thinking about starting a band before coming to China, but … are you crazy? You didn’t know how to play anything? Really? What happened to you? Did you have a dream? What was it?

J: I think there are a couple of things. We were both studying English Literature at that time, and I think we were both completely bored with what we were doing, and we needed something more exciting to talk about. So like I said, most of the conversations were about our future band. We even made up a name for it: The Great Wall And The Long Knives

D: That’s awesome! [laughs]

J: We needed something better to talk about over beers at the graduate bar, and also I feel that there is this idea just when you finish university and you realize that you don’t have any job prospects at all, so it’s nice to talk about some kind of future. Maybe it was a way of coping with the fact that we were actually going to move to China and we had no idea at all about what we were getting ourselves into. I could play the acoustic guitar a little bit, I played a few Neil Young songs, whatever. But yes, I guess it’s been a huge learning curve since then

D: Also you think about the coincidences too. The job that he ended up applying for and it was the same company I came to. The reason I came for was, I graduated from university in 2006, and I have two older brothers, and my middle brother, he moved to Shanghai the year before, to this company. So I wanted to go overseas, and it was an easy transfer for me, so I graduated like on May of 2006, and I was here on July, and right away I just walked into it. The timing, you know. Timing was good.

LYBZ: What is the origin of the name Boys Climbing Ropes? You were before Pirate Panties, and what was it? The Great Wall and …

J: Pirate Panties is a really awful name! [laughs]

D: Yeah it is pretty bad [laughs]

J: Boys Climbing Ropes… [sighs] You know… I don’t really like the name of our band …. [everybody laughs]

LYBZ: It’s a little bit late!

J: Can we change it?

LYBZ: We already printed the flyers! [laughs]

D: Morgan …

J: Yeah, Morgan, and myself and an old guitar player, another guitar player, from the Pirate Panties, he was also in BCR for about…

D: … Two practices, yes

J: Yes.

LYBZ: So originally were two guitar players, bass, and drums

J: Drums, yes, and then the other guitar player kind of got …

D: Deported, isn’t it?

J: Yeah, kind of, I guess… he kind of disappeared… So the name… we were talking about it at this pizza place, trying to figure out names for the next band, not Pirate Panties, I don’t think any of us really like Pirate Panties, no offense to Morten. Yeah, we started talking about PE class, gym class, you know, about always the spectacle when there’s one rope that you have to climb, and there’s all these weird boys going through puberty, having to climb these ropes. Some of them can make it up with one arm, and the other would be no legs, and there’s always the guys who are like maybe making it up about half way, you know. And I remember when I was really young… this is very personal [laughs]… and I remember in my head, climbing up the rope and fuck! I can’t fucking make it to the top, and the PE teacher at the time, wearing his very tight gray sweat pant shorts, and you know, he is very like, strong, and uhhhh! So he is underneath the rope with his whistle going “wheeeehhh wheeeeh wheeeeeh wheeeeeeeehffff come on, Small! Get up there! wheeeeeehhh”and I’m just like “holy shit”, of course I never made it, and I just had to get in a fight at lunch time, and you know, to prove myself, and … no! just kidding! [laughs] But well, I do like the name because of the hopeless ambition. You are going to climb it, you might get no where, but it’s great the effort that you put in, and it’s always going to be people expecting more from you, and people expecting less of you, and then the people afterward who are going to judge you because of whatever you did, and it’s all fucking bullshit, . But well, that’s were it came from

LYBZ: The last song on Except For The Darkness then, it was originally from Pirate Panties?

D: No, no no

J: No, no, yeah the Zombie song… interesting.

D: Yeah its interesting. It’s true, and it’s also probably going to shed a few tears but .. it’s true

LYBZ: What’s the name of the song?

D and J: Notorious Z.O.M.B.I.E.

J: It’s a ridiculous song

D: It is a ridiculous song

J: But we just recorded it at my apartment with a couple of guys that we were hanging out one night.

LYBZ: Who?

D: My brother, a good friend of ours, who’s gone back to Canada, and another friend that actually… Joe, RJ…

J: Yeah! We were like, yeah, let’s just try and record a song. And we were very focused on playing Call Of Duty video games [laughs] yeah, a video game where you…

D: You kill zombies and shit, and that was the passion behind the song. We even recorded the song from the sound of the video game, but, anyway. To go back, the reason why we did this, is prior to that, it was very close to Chinese New Year, and we had all of us a plan to go to Malaysia, so we were all going to meet and we were going to go Borneo, or whatever, I forgot. But one of the guys who we were going to go with, he had gone you know, a few weeks prior, because you know, he had a few more weeks of holidays than us, and he was Jordan’s room mate at the time, and Jordan got this phone call from his family, it was his sister in the phone, and she said their father had passed away, from a heart attack, so it was like we didn’t feel right about going on the trip, so he immediately went to Canada, we stayed in Shanghai, and we…

J: We didn’t know how to send our condolences, you know,

D: That’s what we did, we wrote the song, and it was like…

LYBZ: About zombies?

D: Well, yes, it was something he was familiar with, and we all had this common bond with. Before he left we would spend hours playing this game,

J: It was just of friendship

D: Yeah, a song of love, and we did it, and we send it to him. It was big for us. I’m sure that everyone who listen to that…

J: I totally forgot that. It makes it much more meaningful

D: It does, it really does. That’s the reason that song existed. And it’s funny, because I don’t think anybody knows that story, except for us

J: Because actually that same song time frame, that same incident about thinking about that same friend going through, that it’s also what led me, maybe a week later to write Whale Song too. And that was me trying to fathom how you are supposed to, you know… I got contacted through Facebook, that one of my closest friend’s father passed away and he didn’t even know, and there was no contacting him. I didn’t know how to negotiate that feeling of just immense distance, you know… There are multiple layers there. So that song also came out of that experience. It’s a hard thing to think about

LYBZ: What are your favorite BCR song(s) and why?

D: Good question! In earlier days I would say Calculate. That song was really a stepping stone in the direction our band was going …that direction being the Korg as one of the (or the) most central instruments. And more recently I would have to say actually our newest song, which doesn’t even have a name. It’s dancey, high energy and has some punk elements to it. It will probably go down as the last song we will ever write. I think it’s a good summary to the style of music we play….and not mentioning its fun as shit to play!

J: These days I’d say my favorite song to play is “Grow Up, Stop Fucking Around.” It’s just really cathartic. Just feels like the right way to say goodbye to my life here.

LYBZ: On the interview to Morgan and Peipei they mentioned you guys recorded five songs, but on the EP were only three, and at the time you guys leave them out thinking to add them on a next album. Now what is going to happen with those songs? And what songs are those?

D: The songs that didn’t make it on the summer and winter warfare EP were: “Snowblind” and “Two Dogs” . These two were additionally recorded with Manny [an American producer that came last year to Shanghai] and the plan was to release them on a final album, EP or whatever. But due to some time constraints it’s not looking like they will be ready for the final show. Worst-case scenario we will get them up on the Internet for people to download.

J: Yep, I’ve been trying my hardest to get in touch with Manny to little avail. We have six tracks recorded with him that will hopefully see the light of day in the future. Maybe it’ll be like a back from the dead type thing, where we release them after everyone has started to forget about us. We will just crawl back into everyone’s life after they thought they were rid of us.

LYBZ: Now, thinking about the future, do you guys think you will get into new bands?

D: For me it’s not that I wouldn’t involve myself in other musical experiences. It just has to be something that I’m passionate about or with a group of people who have similar music interests. But nothing will be able to compare with the experience I have had with Jordan, Morgan and Pei. I mean you’re talking about people who were at one point complete strangers and now you consider family. Just a big sweaty happy BCR family

J: I am in complete agreement with Devin. There will always be music and performance in our lives, however the common understanding that we share as a band is something I feel is quite rare. I have been in perpetual wonderment at the way we have been able to consistently make space for one another creatively. I have friends making amazing music back in Canada, and I would love to get involved, but I know that I have been apart of the best band I will ever play with, already! …At least Shanghai has the most eligible drummer bachelor free for dates after we all leave [laughs]

LYBZ: Going back to the best of… What have been your favorite gigs … until now?

D: Yeah Midi was insane! Just to see that many people in one place at one time all appreciating what your on the stage doing. That’s a cool feeling.
The Uptown gig, with Jessie- yeah when he stopped us and got very serious and said “you guys will be very much missed next year” it was humbling and strange at the same time. Mostly, because we’re pretty close with Jessie and we always joke around and shit so to see him be serious was odd. But very nice! Also made me realize that the end is in sight! …And Handsome Furs show was unreal! You know most big musicians just sit in the band room waiting to go on. But we were putting everything we had into that show. And then at one point I looked over on the stage at YYT and there they both were just rocking out to our music! We hung out with them post show and actually had another run in with Alexei in Beijing the following year. But to have those guys who were musicians that our whole band was such a big fan of, watching you play and legitimately enjoying their experience…I mean fuck! What is cooler then that?

J: Every single show we did as the Misfits was unreal. I remember being on stage at 4live with Dan Shapiro and just watching him jumping into the crowd as Danzig and believing for a minute that we were actually the Misfits. There was so much violent energy at the Misfits shows, the one at Logo and Yuyintang, where at points I felt afraid the crowd would pull us off stage! It was so awesome. Also, we had a really good run up in Beijing this past winter. Felt like we were warmly welcomed, and the audiences were less ambivalent than previous shows in the capital. Honestly though, aside from the early shows in Wuhan and Midi, I felt like our last show at Uptown Records for the Twin Horizon T-Shirt release was perfect. I felt like we were amongst friends and doing what we love to do. Just get all sweaty and loud and pound on our instruments until we can’t anymore.

LYBZ: What have been your worst gigs?

D: I’ll let Jordan answer this one [laughs]

J: We have had a ton of bad shows, mostly it would be when we go on at 2am and are too drunk to play. Or if we travel hundreds of miles to play a show for twenty people and lose a thousand rmb each. Those are a little demoralizing. At the end of the day, though, there is no regrets. We always have fun, every show we play.

LYBZ: About your next and last gigs, do you have any projection, feelings, or idea about how you will feel there?

D: Its going to be an emotional experience. I would say from the moment Jordan hits that first, chord its going to be cry fest. But that’s ok because we sweat so much so it will mask our immense sadness! [laughs]

J: I think these last few shows are going to be as heartfelt as ever. We are all feeling pretty bummed about having to say goodbye to this experience and I think that will show when we play. I am very happy that we will have the opportunity to play with all of our favorite musicians in the city. That means so much to me.

LYBZ: And do you have any wish for these last gigs?

D: The last show being two days. All of these bands wanted to play with us. That’s the support within our little Shanghai music community. That’s a nice feeling for us too! To be able to hang out with them and support them for their shows. That’s what its all about!

J: Yah, like I mentioned a bit earlier, I am just so happy to be getting together with all the musicians and friends in the music scene that have meant so much to me over the past years. I want to be able to spend time talking and reminiscing. I’m going to do my best to share a drink with everyone who I have grown up with in this scene.

LYBZ: Are you thankful?

D: Of course! I want to thank Jordan, Morg and Pei. Other than that all of the other bands we’ve had the privilege to play with over the years and of course all the people who have come out to support our band and music in Shanghai. Other major people I would like to give a huge thanks to would be Brad Ferguson and Abe Deyo. They have done a lot for our band and a lot of things wouldn’t have been possible without them

J: Oh man, thankful is too soft a word for this band… I have honestly lived some of the greatest moments of my life with these guys, and not to be histrionic or anything like that but I doubt I could ever thank anyone of them enough for this experience. On top of that, is everyone that put their energy into bringing our band up too. There is no way we would even be anything if it wasn’t for Brad and Damen. And we have Michael who has turned us from a bunch of mediocre rockers, into a bunch of mediocre rockers playing bigger shows. Abe has always given us glimpses of all the adventures we can have, and after that there is a list too long to even begin. So I guess it would be easier to say thank you to every person who has ever entered the doors of Yuyintang!!! That pretty much sums up who we love!

LYBZ: In very short, what would be the main lesson or couple of lessons that you have learned during these last years together?

D: I would say one of the main lessons Jordan and I learned was to never trust Morgan with any financial situation [laughs] … Basically learning not to expect too much on the road (with regards to venue equipment) You need to go with the flow as often you may need to play without something now and again promoters may say they have certain.

J: That if you take yourself too seriously, you’re already lost.

LYBZ: Give it a try and summarize in few words your experience with BCR on these six years?

D: Sweaty, expensive, energetic in your face indie rock! [Laughs] I mean what can be said except for these experiences that I have shared with these three are hands down some of the best experiences I’ve had.

J: There was one night in the room off the side of the stage of the Vox in Wuhan, long after our show had finished, where Pei, Morgan, Devin and I were just dancing on the dirty couches to extremely loud pop music. That was it, right there, just us four dancing for no one. We were so happy.

LYBZ: … And about the concert this weekend. Do you want to invite people to your last show?

D: Come share the love! Free sweaty hugs too!

J: Oh god, free Amelia’s sausages and beer for the first people arrive on Saturday, awesome! Also, there is that old movie of us playing our second ever show, where we absolutely suck.

LYBZ: And at last, what would be your advice or “final legacy” for the bands, producer, people involve in the music scene here, now at the end of BCR?

J: I think it is very important that people that are starting out or playing here in Shanghai to be honest with themselves. There are a ton of musicians, producers and promoters who work their asses off making things happen here. Don’t disrespect the amount of effort it takes to make the beautiful things we see at YuyinTang or other venues happen, by feeling like you deserve something you haven’t worked for. I feel there is a tendency for people in Shanghai to think they should have opportunities handed to them while they dick around in self-absorbed dream worlds. Hard work and honesty, that’s all I want to see.
[Tudou video]

 

Find more about the The Last Waltz, the farewell shows of Boys Climbing Ropes, and about the band in these previous articles on Layabozi.

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Mache is a hippie witch that was born under Beltane's full moon. She enjoys talking to ghosts and interdimensional beings, and cooking for her friends and beasts. She has Chilean wine in her veins instead of blood,and at the moment she belongs to China.

1 COMMENT
  1. Meredith

    Nice interview! It’s cool to hear about the origins of BCR. They will definitely be missed. :(

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