In September 2010, I sent a few e-mails between myself and Chinese Street punk outfit Gum Bleed. Speaking to their lead singer Dee, he was able to give us an insight into the state of affairs in China, the scene in Beijing and give us an update of what’s next for the band.
You toured Europe in 2009, mainly the Scandinavian countries, Is the plan similar for 2011, but to stretch across to the UK as well?
Yes we played more gigs in Scandinavia last year. We still have the plan to play in Denmark and Sweden in 2011, hopefully to tour around Germany, Netherland and UK, of course
What was it like playing a festival like Puntala Rock. How was your experience of the event?
Puntala Rock Fest was a great memory. We had a very successful show. To our opinion it is a real punk fest, it doesn't have too much people but all of them are punks; no business there - that's impossible in China.
What's the Chinese punk scene like, specifically Beijing?
It is a dead scene... but there are some bands who keep the faith and carry on the flag, we are one of them.
With the horrible Human Rights track record in China, Will you be pushing the issue in your songs? I'd imagine the Government involvement is lot more involved with everything than it is in the UK?
No, our songs are more about the class war and social justice. we don't believe in human rights and we are not sure if there is real human rights in united states.
no not really, China is a capitalist country now a days. But yeah, much different from the western countries.
Editor’s Note: With Dee’s English not being the best (although he does better than most British folk I know) and my Chinese being non-existent, I asked him to clarify what he meant when he said “He didn’t believe in human rights”. I thought I’d best give you his answer in full, cause it’s pretty good.
People should have rights of course, but we think the class problem is still the most important thing right now. especially in a country like China, there is no human rights in class society.
The western countries media such as USA said that China have the worst human rights' record, but how about that in the USA? Send the working class kids and illegal immigrants to Iraq or Afghanistan, take the hard-earned money of taxpayer to support an aggressive war or wall street during the economic crisis... so does that mean they have the human rights in American society?
"We don't believe in human rights" doesn't mean we oppose human rights. This answer is similar to the question of "democracy" and "freedom", we think that there is no real democracy and freedom in a class country. In the class society, higher class have the democracy, human rights, great life and everything, everything based on the painful of lower class.
In the good society, people should have the human rights, democracy, freedom, because they are equal.
How was Balefire Juvenile received in the PRC?
it was released last year, everything was fine
What's your next planned release?
This Oct. we'll release a limited free ep (4 songs), can find on our show and online store soon! it is a NFS stuff, just for the promotion. And the second album will be released next year, hopefully.
Will it be on the Proletopia label? Tell us more about the label?
No the new ep will released by our self.
the label is a Chinese punk rock label, started by 3 Chinese punks, release good music and organize concerts... the most important is, they are not in it for the money nor business.
Have you had the chance to head to Japan with the scene being so diverse there?
No we haven't play in Japan. we will go there in the right time one day, but not for now.
Have you had the chance to support any bigger touring bands?
We played with some touring bands in China, but few very big bands, but sham69 is the biggest one of them. Too few big punk bands tour China, because they ask too much money.
You mentioned the scene in Beijing is pretty quiet and you have the few and faithful, I can relate to that with my hometown scene, hence the Dead Cities name, How often are you able to organize shows and is it usually alot of small venue and intimate gigs you play?
Sometimes we play the festival with more than 20,000 people but the audiences don't really know what punk rock is. All we need is the real punk scene. We have concerts almost every month in Beijing, and tour all over China main cities 3-4 times a year, but we play small clubs and free shows sometimes, we love it.
Reccomend us a few of the local Beijing bands you'd suggest we check out.
There are some punk bands still alive in Beijing, you can Search for “Demerit”, “Misandao” and “Brain Failure”.