pop/rock - Beijing, China

Zo, the guitarist and vocalist, and Atom, the incredibly tough drummer of Hedgehog, answer to our questions.

Hello, can you introduce the band Hedgehog and tell us how you’d define yourselves in a few words?
Atom: Hedgehog is a classic power trio. It sounds fresh, simple but powerful, sincere and natural. A tough guy’s nightmare, youth’s spring, a music lover's best choice.

How did you meet each other and how did you start the band?
Atom: We started in 2006; Zo & Box were high school mates. I had been looking for a cool band for two years until my friend introduced me to them.

Your last album Honeyed and Killed seems more reserved than the earlier ones, and maybe more melancholy also. What can you tell us about that?
Zo: Growing up brings a lot of sadness and gloom; we don’t want to work but what else can we do? We now currently work and create something new that makes the listener happier (laugh).

The EP DEstroy meMOries offers in contrast a sound that’s more direct and aggressive, closer to your live sound. Do you consider it to be complementary to Honeyed and Killed, the two presenting the entirety of the face of Hedgehog?
Zo: DEMO was experimental, in terms of both releasing and recording it. We want to do something that can describe the original shape of Hedgehog music. Some of the songs in DEMO will be in our next new LP.

What evolution do you see between each of your albums?
Zo: The music changing often compares with our mood changing; as we said before, growing up brings a lot of things, some we can stand, some we never understand. Different types of music suit different times, so we think we change the music type and mood naturally, not thinking about it first. Changing comes naturally from our hearts.

Atom, you were part of Hang on the Box, although that information is absent from many sources. When was this and what memories have you kept from then?
Atom: It was in 2006, I just played with them for half a year.

Also for Atom, in 2009 you were voted the second coolest star in Beijing according to the Timeout Beijing Magazine, and you are generally considered to be the main attraction of the group. Do you sometimes have the impression that the public interest in you defeats the interest in the music?
Atom: It happened frequently in the earlier years of Hedgehog. I could understand the media or other people's intention; it’s normal, but I don’t like that. I hope people can pay more attention to what they should, not just the exterior.

You’ve toured quite a bit outside of China. Seeing a Chinese group perform abroad is still something that’s rather new. What is the public reaction?
Zo: Most of them are astonished and excited by what they have seen, and some people don’t believe that the band is from China. They consider China to be a third world country. For us, we want to show more things musically rather than where we are coming from.

How do you see the future of Chinese rock music? Does it have the means to develop more and keep exporting itself more?
Atom: Maybe it'll be game over for this generation in 5 years, maybe more good rock bands will come out in the next 10 years. We think it can be better, we hope there will be a cross-over band born in China. If that happens, it will change a lot. But now the most important thing to do for Chinese bands is to show more to the youth in China, give them another culture and life style choice.

Generally, what do you think about the vitality of women in Chinese rock?
Atom: More and more girls love rock in China. It’s a familiar sight to find girls in a band today. There are a lot of differences between women’s rock and men’s rock, because of hormones i think. Men’s rock is wild, extreme and has much more tension; women’s rock is sensitive, exquisite, vivacious and much more intelligent. Yang Fan (vocalist/guitarist of Ourself Beside Me), Liu Min (bassist/vocalist of Re-tros) and Shenggy (drummer/vocalist of hang on the box) are some of the loveliest musicians in China.

A last message for the Europeans who will discover you through Blue Daydreaming?
Zo: 24 hour rock party, rock & roll forever young, have fun!

June 2011

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