During 2011 Hedgehog has been touring around China showing their latest album Honeyed and Killed, and their new line up that features bass player Fun, GuaiLi’s ex bassist. The last time they passed by Shanghai was in March for a concert produced by Converse. They played at a packed YuyinTang, as every time they pass by Shanghai they were warmly welcomed by their fans, a big crowd came to see them, and to sing their songs with them. After that last show I talked with ZO, and since then we were emailing talking about their music, their projects, their beginnings, and their experience while becoming one of the most important rock bands of China.
They will come back to Shanghai in few days, Converse will bring them back to play on July 11th. Last week Emma reviewed Honeyed and Killed, and now I bring you a good extract of the chat I had with ZO.
The conversation was in some kind of Chinspanglish, we both did our best to go through the language differences. I didn’t correct much our writing, I think some mistakes included meanings that would be lost with right grammar.
Layabozi: What did you guys fantasize about when you started Hedgehog?
ZO: No fantasize, it was just for fun. We love music and had nothing else to do when we were in collage, so we started the band.
LYBZ: What were you guys studying in college?
ZO: I studied aircraft eviroment control. Fun did computer science, and Atom record engineering.
LYBZ: Do you have a daily job besides Hedgehog?
ZO: I’m s a php programer, Atom is a sound editor, and Fun is a program tester.
LYBZ: When did you feel the band was more than just for fun?
ZO: When we signed with Modern Sky and released the first mainstream rock album Noise Hit World
LYBZ: What vision do you have for the evolution of Hedgehog now?
ZO: We currentlly think the question is: what can a rock band do? We don’t want to be a part of entertainment, the answer it’s maybe just to make new music and create something new, change minds, show our life in our music. China needs more rock youth to tell the truth, the world needs a great Chinese rock band, maybe we can’t hit the mark, but we can try through our life.
LYBZ: Until now, what have been the most important moments for you with Hedgehog?
ZO: The first time we tour in the U.S., that is the most important thing for us, to some extent it opened our mind.
LYBZ: How was the process of opening your mind? What did change about you after this experience?
ZO: When we saw the real landscape of the west coast, we knew where music like the Red Hot Chille Peppers and The Eagles came from, and the born reason of surf rock, pop punk style. When we were in Seatlle, all day raining, smells like construction air, we felt how the grunge music genre generated. When we were in New York, we knew bands like Sonic Youth, and The Ramones played music like that, and saw more underground indie rock bands live, we absorbed a lot of things that made us think more about what real music is. We are based in Beijing where it seems like a rising big city in the world , now it’s giving a really good ground for new music, and we realized we need to feel it more and do something.
LYBZ: During the time you have tour with Honeyed And Killed have you felt any changes inside of Hedgehog?
ZO: Actually HAK tour is a real good chance to practice with the new line up of the band, with our new bass player Mr.Fun, we somehow changed our method of creating music. Now the band is more natural and we think we have a new start on everything.
LYBZ: Do you think that to be a rock band in China is a unique experience? How would you describe it?
ZO: It’s not unique, but it’s really not easy for a band in China to do it. It’s like a “Rock To Home” trip.
LYBZ: What do you think that defines the heart and mind of the music of Hedgehog?
ZO: It’s all about growing up, the real experience of youth in China. Cute, offensive, powerful, introvert, and idealistic.
LYBZ: When and where are your next shows?
ZO: 7.11 in Shang Hai there is a converse show case , we don’t know the details yet. Until now we are working on our new album , maybe do a small tour covering some rock cities in China by the end of the year.