In October 2011, Shanghai band Androsace got interviewed by Azchael of Rock in China via email.
Rock in China: Can you please introduce your band?
Our band – Androsace – has been formed around 1 year ago in Shanghai by Lenz (singer from Yunan) and Dario (drummer from Italy). They started writing some songs until Sacha (guitarist from Xinjiang) and Sebastien (bassist from France) joined the party a couple of weeks after. Since then we’ve been working on our own songs and spread our sweat and blood on various stages in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing.
Rock in China: What instruments are you using? Which brand?
Sasha: My guitar Epiphone les paul been used for long time and another one is telecaster from Squie,I really like tele! My pedals are Coopersonic-VALVESLAPPER，Crybaby，Big Muff，Blue Boy Overdrive. My amp: lucky that I found a old and dirty Fender amp on the street!
Seb: I use a quite simple but Ibanez 4 strings bass with a fast playing thin neck. When I m not too lazy I also use a Boss overdrive pedal. No pick!
Dario: Zildjian K cymbals, Pearl drums, Pearl Demon Drive Pedal and Vic Firth 5B sticks. A drumming style that is trying to have the clear and distinctive of Roger Taylor, the power of Dave Grohl and they dynamic of Jose Pasillas.
Rock in China: Would you rather call yourself a Shanghai, Chinese or rock band?
We like to call ourselves a “minority (grunge) band”, since we all come from different horizons, with different experiences, tastes, ages, etc.
Rock in China: With which foreign band would you like to jam?
a. Lenz: L7\Melvins\…..any loud band, but I cant really do much other than sing
b. Seb: playing with The Police, The Pixies, Led Zeppelin (but I m not sure they are available…) would be pretty nice.
c. Dario: Chris Cornell and John Fogerty
Rock in China: Can you please describe the Shanghai scene?
a. Lenz: too soft!
b. Seb: a lot of opportunities for young guys to create their bands and jump on stage, but also many guys losing themselves in boring easy listening / easy performing commercial stuff.
c. Dario: There’s should be more space for local bands, should invest more in experiment new line ups and music genre and less expat oriented.
Rock in China: As you have been in the process of making a new CD, can you please explain a little about it?
How we got to having a CD is a funny story – we originally set out to record some demo tracks to put on Douban, things just snowballed from there. One of the Beijing gig previews had us down as an electronic band which was kind of funny really and one of our fans had commented on that blog explaining what our sound was but had also said “don’t listen to their Douban tracks as they are a bit rubbish, watch the videos” or something like that. You could say that got us a bit more focused!
So a while later we organised to record proper demos at JuJu where we rehearse, we turned up, ripped through each song in a single take and were done in a couple of hours, that was really great fun actually. Li Wei Yu did a brilliant job – we wanted to catch our live sound so kept everything really neutral. We were really happy with the end result and all set to put the tracks on Douban when something happened that changed everything.
One of our friends sent his mate Andrew Moon who makes these amazing drone records as RST copies of the session and he offered to mix it for us in his shed in Auckland where he does all his own stuff. Andrew completely got what we were after and we think really captured the raw sort of angry sound we try for when we play. Anyway, after we had listened to the first track he completed (Machine) we sat there for a bit then Dario said ; “cazzo, do you think that’s good enough for a CD?”
So the past few weeks have been a blur of hand painting, folding, stuffing and writing putting the CD together. We thought about professional pressing and production but we didn’t set out to make that sort of thing and Lenz really wanted to let her creative spirit loose and hand make everything. We ordered the tracks and then created a master of sorts on a laptop and we’ve been burning out our CD writers ever since.
Rock in China: How do you intend to distribute your CD?
For the moment still in the process of making around 200 copies. Idea is to give some for free to people with ears open on underground music (journalist, bloggers, bands we already played with in Shanghai but also BJ, etc), and also save some copies to give for free during our next gigs (Yuyintang in SH on November 4th, Nanjing on November 12th), because that’s a nice way to thank people who’ve been supporting us!
Rock in China: What is the meaning of “underground” for you?
b. Seb: being underground might be being too stupid or careless to be able to answer that kind of question
c. Dario:Underground is being able to express our ides throught music without following any commercial logics. Underground is just trying to be really free avoiding to acting cool and independent just for be labelled as underground.
Rock in China: How do you see the rock scene in China in 10 years?
a. Seb: probably more foreign people will be looking closer and closer on what s going on there, for the best (young bands getting more opportunities to promote their own style and spread their message) and for the worst (probably a lot of easy listening un-personal crap will also emerge and be exported).
b. Lenz: there is a risk that if things don’t change in China in terms of politics, then we will be more or less at the same step as today.
Rock in China: Thanks for the interview!