By Josh, 2012年 1月 5日 原文地址：http://pangbianr.com/brian-offenther-interview/《 看无解网站做的中文采访 》
For those unfamiliar, Shanghai’s Trash A Go-Go
is one of the most prolific DIY music promoters in mainland China. They are a trio of friends who book garage, surf, punk, et al: ”music that can make people say ‘my life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll.’” In just under two years they’ve organized tours for bands from Norway, Japan, Australia, and France, as well as domestic groups such as Beijing’s Flying Mantas
. It’s totally DIY and not-for-profit (all the money they make is re-invested into future shows), and it’s run by true music lovers: Japanese transplant Toshi has played drums in a number of Shanghai bands, including raging (and now defunct) hardcore punk unit The Instigation
; Shanghai native Misuzu fronts Banana Monkey
; and “token Yankee” Brian Offenther spins rock ‘n’ roll classics as DJ B.O
Brian is also somewhat of an expert on the rock scene in Mongolia, where he lived previously. He has organized tours for Mongolian bands in China, and last year sent Shanghai’s Boys Climbing Ropes
and Moon Tyrant
to Ulaanbaatar. His next venture is a China tour for Mongolian garage punks Mohanik, who will play on Friday, January 13 at D-22 along with Moon Tyrant, Flying Mantas, and DJ B.O. (Stream Mohanik’s jams here.)
Read on to learn about Trash A Go-Go, the Mongolian rock scene and more from Brian:
pangbianr: You’re a part of Shanghai’s Trash A Go-Go crew, which is responsible for bringing international garage rock acts to China and throwing interesting shows and parties, among other things. Can you explain the objectives of Trash A Go-Go? What have some of the highlights been, and what are your future plans?
Brian Offenther: Trash A Go-Go is Shanghai’s monthly tribute to vestiges and vintages of rock ‘n’ roll, including rockabilly, garage rock, and punk. It was formed early in 2010 by Toshi (The Macaronians) from Japan and local Misuzu “The Tornado” (Banana Monkey). I guess they needed a token Yankee, so I joined them soon after I arrived to China in the summer of 2010. Each month we bring a different band to Shanghai for the shows, including bands from Norway, Japan, Australia, and more. We don’t profit a dime from the shows – all the money gets reinvested into it, and sometimes we have to pay expenses from our own pockets. It’s worth it though, because we are completely focused on the quality of the shows and have really helped keep the independent rock ‘n’ roll flame alive in Shanghai.
Up next, in late February, we have The Barbacans
from Italy. They are a real stomping garage band in the style of ? and the Mysterians
All other plans are under wraps. We are the North Korea of rock ‘n’ roll.
pbr: The Trash A Go-Go shows seem to include a lot of different styles and influences, including garage, surf rock, instrumental rock, hardcore punk, et al. You also DJ under the name DJ B.O. Can you talk about the guiding aesthetic or philosophy behind Trash A Go-Go? Do you aim for a particular sound, or a particular vibe??
B.O.: Well, my DJing goes back to my college year in Gainesville, Florida. I really like to dance but don’t like “dance music” per se. It then continued when I moved to Mongolia, and now China. At a Trash A Go-Go show, as I generally prefer anyway, I focus on the music that inspired Trash A Go-Go, people like Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Paul Revere & The Raiders, etc. It’s shake and stomp music – no lessons required.
Trash A Go-Go has some Americana kitsch, but it’s really about music that can make people say “my life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll.” It’s not terribly sophisticated, but it’s a manifestation of sexual and societal angst, hip grinding for the greater good. Human beings are not meant to sit at cubicles or in schools all day, so it’s not surprising that when they hear a primitive drum beat they go ape. This is music you can feel, that pulses – not plastic.
pbr: Your next big project is a China tour for Mongolian garage punks Mohanik, which you say is the 2nd ever tour by a Mongolian band in China. You seem to do a lot of work bringing together Mongolian and Chinese bands, as when you organized shows for Boys Climbing Ropes in Ulaanbaatar last year. What is your impression of the Mongolian rock scene? Why do you think that, despite physical proximity, there has been such little overlap between Mongolian and mainland Chinese music? Can you namedrop some Mongolian bands for us to check out?
B.O.: It’s the second ever time a rock band from Mongolia has played Beijing. The last time was a Mongolian culture event (played by The Lemons
), so it wasn’t really open to the public and might not even count. It is the fourth tour of China by a Mongolian band overall, with Mohanik’s first time playing in Shanghai in the summer being number two – complicated stuff.
The Mongolian rock scene is small, but pretty well established. It’s tough to compare to China, because half of the population of Mongolia lives in Ulaanbaatar, and that’s only 2 million people or so. However, it does have some good infrastructure. There are radio stations that play local music, music videos by Mongolian artists play all day on TV, and you can buy albums by local bands at stores. It should be remembered that Mongolia only “opened up” in the early 90s, so it’s still regrouping its art forces.
There’s been little overlap for a few reasons. For one, the Gobi is a beast, and transportation to and from Mongolia can be expensive. Two, many Mongolian people have a long-standing xenophobic hatred of China, based somewhat on the sticky issue of Inner Mongolia. Mongolians are a historical-minded people, and The Great Wall of China is still an affront to some. Three, many Chinese have little idea and no understanding that they have a neighboring country called Mongolia that even exists. Four, Mongolia (and China, for that matter) is still a developing country with many other priorities.
Some quality Mongolian rock bands: The Lemons and A-Sound
toured China last time, and they are Strokes-like indie rock and Coldplay-like indie pop respectively. Altan Urag
is a folk/metal band in the style of Hanggai
, but with a much higher badass quotient. If you like hip hop, rapper Gee
is of serious international quality. You can expect to be seeing more of these acts in China in the future…
pbr: On that note… Hanggai is one of the most popular folk bands in Beijing, and arguably one of the most successful Chinese bands internationally. But they clearly derive a lot of their sound and image from their Mongolian heritage, albeit via Inner Mongolia. What is your opinion of Hanggai and other Mongolian bands operating in mainland China?
B.O.: Hahaha. The Mohanik guys have been getting a lot of questions about Hanggai. Last night they asked me, “Who the fuck is Hanggai?” Hanggai is barely known in Mongolia, and only by hardcore music guys who would know them even if there wasn’t a “Mongolia” connection.
Like I mentioned before, this is a sticky issue, with all sorts of historical implications. Just last year, Mongolians were furious when China “claimed” a traditional Mongolian instrument as its own in an UNESCO related project. This was like, big news over there, and not a blip in China, which also explains a lot in terms of their relationship.
In some ways, I think what Hanggai is doing is great. I think it’s super a band from China plays Bonnaroo. I think mixing folk and rock music is a great development. I also have a deep appreciation for traditional Mongolian music.
However, in a lot of ways, Hanggai are like Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphys, and Black 47: utilizing their ethnic heritage (well, some of the Hanggai guys aren’t ethnically Mongolian) as a hook. Is that okay? Maybe. It is complicated though because “Irish-American” has a whole legacy of its own. When people hear about Hanggai though, they assume they are “authentic” (whatever that means), which according to most standards, they are not.
The Hanggai guys are super nice, and they’ve expressed interest to me in playing in Mongolia. I really hope it will happen. I think in many ways they hold a key to lessening tension held by Mongolians to China.
pbr: At the Beijing stop of Mohanik’s tour you’ll also curate a “rock ‘n’ roll dance party” as DJ B.O. What will your set consist of?
B.O.: If you need more than what I said before, here is my press release profile, along with a mix: Mods & Rockers Mix
He [DJ B.O.] rebels against people who DJ because they are afraid to dance in public. He will sing and dance to provoke movement. He is somewhere between vaudeville and Warhol. Featuring vintage-hits and forgotten favorites, he thinks dance music is for pussies but The Shangri-Las
are fucking artists, man. Tech? NO.
Also, I’ll probably play some cool Mongolian music.
Joining us on the show in Beijing will be Moon Tyrant from Shanghai. They played the tour of Mongolia with Mohanik and are a great hard rock/metal band. And, we will be joined by Beijing’s own Flying Mantas, who played Trash A Go-Go a long while ago and left me voiceless after I sang along to their punk classics.Download mp3.
Mohanik – “Duugii Daagii”Download mp3.
Mohanik – “Kukariku”Download mp3.
Mohanik – “Moritoi Ch Boloosoi”