Post Hardcore band Mensheng (门生) from Hongkong responded to Rock in China’s call for artists for CORE IN CHINA. Azchael of RiC interviewed them and Joe Wu answered:
Azchael: Can you please introduce yourself and the band?
Joe Wu: Hi there I am Joe and I play guitar for Mensheng. We are a post-hardcore band from Hong Kong.
Azchael: What instruments are you using in the band? Which brand?
Joe Wu: Both Billy and I use ESP guitars. He uses Peavey 6505 guitar amp and I use Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier guitar amp. Our bassist uses Ibanez bass and Genz Benz bass amp. I believe our drummer uses DW snare, Pearl drums and Sabian cymbals.
Azchael: Tell us a little bit about the Hardcore scene in Hongkong? How many bands are there and what are their messages?
Joe Wu: There isn’t much a hardcore scene in Hong Kong. The only active hardcore band is probably King Ly Chee. Though there are good amounts of metalcore, post-hardcore, emocore, screamo bands in Hong Kong right now.
Azchael: You have been in China as early as 2008 and last year (2011) as well. What do you think of the scene in China compared to Hongkong?
Joe Wu: I think in China most venues are bars & clubs, while in Hong Kong, we often played in youth community center. This suggests that heavy music have a market in China. In Hong Kong, there isn’t really a bar or club having gigs daily like Mao (Beijing) or Vox (Wuhan). Another thing I notice is that audience in China are willing to learn more from the bands. When we toured in China, we had audience came to us asking questions regarding our songs’ messages, gears and etc. which I think is cool.
Azchael: Which cities do you like to perform in? And what Chinese bands do you like to play with?
Joe Wu: Guangzhou! We feel like this is our hometown and the crowds never disappointed us. We always have so much fun playing in this city. We love you Guangzhou! In the future I hope to play with The Falling because we have known them for awhile now but we still haven’t got to share the stage with them. The last time when they came to Hong Kong to play in Polymuso, they were supposed to play after Mensheng, but the rain became so heavy that organizer had to stop the outdoor show. What a pity!
Azchael: You have mentioned that you are working on a documentary about the band? Is it finished and where can I get it?
Joe Wu: Yeah it was finished and already shown on RTHK. Here’s the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdG2hTXE0Gw
Azchael: How do you usually promote your music? Do you also promote overseas?
Joe Wu: We promote our music any way we can find. I believe in hardcore and its DIY spirit. I suppose every indie band needs to promote their band themselves. We booked shows, organized our tours ourselves too. This way we have our own control and we can do the way we want! Yeah we also promote our music overseas through the internet. We had people from oversea that have bought our album.
Azchael: What is underground for you? Is Mensheng underground?
Joe Wu: To me underground is something you do without having to compromise. Mensheng is an underground band because we write and talk about whatever we want. We have touched subjects that the Chinese government would abandon. We never care if this band can be commerically successful. We just want to do what we want to do.
Azchael: You have also played on the 2010 Guangzhou I Scream Festival? How was the event and what was the reception of Guangzhou fans to your music?
Joe Wu: It’s one of the biggest festivals in Guangzhou in recent years. We were scheduled to play in the 2nd last spot, right before their hometown hero Yufeimen 与非门. The fans already screamed our band even before we stepped on the stage. We had so much fun because we saw the crowd moshing, dancing like there was no tomorrow. Like I said before the Guangzhou audience always gives Mensheng their biggest support.
Azchael: What do you think of Rock in China?
Joe Wu: I think Rock in China will be a very good platform to promote rock music in China to the rest of the world. It can introduce bands/artists to more people and let them know that there are quality music in China. So good luck to you guys!!!
Azchael: Thanks for the interview!
Joe Wu: Thank you having us here!