Shanghai based Electronic band Astrofuck release new video for “The Funeral”. We dig their sounds
This is one of my favourite interviews because Jackie not only named names, he named numbers.
Jackie used to work at Modern Sky, he managed Re-Tros and organised shows for a whole bunch of Modern Sky bands and did a bunch of promotion. But he recently jumped ship and is now sitting behind merch desks selling Maybe Mars stuff and organising and promoting tours for bands on the MM roster.
He’s a great guy and always very polite, full of energy and not afraid to say whatever, hey.
Read the interview with Jackie below and get the scoop on how shit works, or doesn’t work in a Chinese label.
Why the move from Modern Sky to Maybe Mars?
Well, I would like to say I don’t quite like the way that Modern Sky deal with their bands, they only want money from the band and not treat them well, don’t do promotions. Also, there’s a lot of sub-rules in the office, I’m the guy who doesn’t like obey rules, especially stupid rules such as being flattered to those so called “superiors”, this is music industry, not the competition of “politicians”, so I’m done with that, I want to help the bands to be famous and earn some money to live instead of filling my own wallet by cheating from both sides, I mean, both the bands and shows. I’ve seen my ex-superior doing that in the office, so I told myself, ok, time to say fuck you, and goodbye.
Did Maybe Mars give you an interview and all that stuff? What are your main responsibilities with them?
Yes, they did give me an interview, they wanted to know that if I could help them of just simply want a job. My responsibilities are helping Maybe Mars to manage most of the bands, help them to get more shows as many as possible and help them to make a living by playing shows. Also, take care of them when they are on tour, make sure everything goes right.
Why do Modern Sky keep recycling bands for their festivals?
Due to the situation now, Modern Sky will pay really low price to the bands who have been signed and that’s the way to make money, because Modern Sky pay a shitty little money to their own bands who played in the music festival, so they can cut the cost as much as possible and earn more money by getting sponsors or tickets selling, for example, normally, when RE-TROS play in a music festival, they will get paid for at least 50,000 RMB, but when they play at Modern Sky’s music festival, they only got paid for 20,000 RMB, which means Modern Sky saved 30,000 RMB, so that’s the reason why Modern Sky keep recycling the bands, and also the reason why Modern Sky keep signing shitty bands without thinking of the music itself.
You’ve toured all around China and to quite a few countries with a few bands, Re-Tros to name one, what have you learned from your travels?
Well, I have learnt that I have to make sure of everything and make it as clear as possible before I went on a tour, as you know, bands on tour is always full of uncertain issues, so I need to cut those uncertain things as many as possible to make the tour easier and make the band feeling comfortable, but annoying things always happen in China, to be honest, I love the tour in Europe most, because everything in Europe is quite organized, so we didn’t have to check out a lot of shit ourselves, we just went to the venues and played there, get the money and get out of there, quite easy and pleasant, all I need to do is to keep my eyes on bands to make sure that they wouldn’t get lost or “run away”. LOL
Given that there are no well-known CD stores and no radio stations that play smaller indie bands, how hard do you think it is to work for a record label in China?
It is really hard. To form a record label of indie music in China and make it bigger will take a lot time; meanwhile, it also needs to stand still to against the huge crush from the mainstream, so everybody can image how hard it is. Besides, the biggest problem is the Chinese audience, most of them don’t get enough education, so they are too naïve to tell what good music should be, they just listen to something really easy listening or something they can easily pick up. Above all, it relates to the censorship and agenda setting. As you know, anything connects to those two things, will be really hard in China.
Do you hope one day to start your own label up?
Yep, why not? After I got enough experience from my job, I will start my own. It’s good to be my own boss, much better than listen to anyone else, well, that’s my personality, it that hurts, sorry.
What’s the best part of your job and what’s the shittest part?
The best part is I can travel with the band and the music I like without paying for that, LOL. I love travel and music. The Shittest part is sometimes it’s a little bit tired, and don’t have enough time for friends and myself.
As part of my court appointed community service, I am obligated to post this.
Got an email from someone called Xavier with the following:
“We are an amateur rock band (drummer, 2 guitars, 1 bass but not for long more), looking primarily for a kick-ass singer and also a bass player.
F is unfortunate enough to be in a band with me but is fortunate enough to be in a band with Yajing (Next Year’s Love) so it evens out. You may also know F from any article written from here on in that mentions female musicians in China.
She recently went to America on what we can only assume was a massive journey to buy baby formula for her colleagues.
Here she lists the five things from her trip. Fucking exclusive, aye.
5 things about Fitch’s American trip:
1. I like the Detroit airport. It is big and people were friendly there, at least they didn’t give me a hard time at custom. It was really nice to know this after a 13 hour flight from Tokyo to where I entered the country as possibilities that I fucked up saying something weird or regretful would have been high after all this. I looked it up online before the trip, people saying it’s a horrible place for Asian people to get through customs. But lucky me, I didn’t follow them to the little dark room. At security check, I was told by a security lady that the only reason she didn’t check me was because she got distracted by her co-worker over there. Then her co-worker said something nice about my leggings, the lady immediately agreed with him. I hope this would give them something to talk about for a date. Anyway, now I can say that Detroit airport isn’t a horrible place. If that can change people’s opinion, Delta Airlines will start to owe me something.
2. The hotdogs and mustard there are really good. And ice-cream, they are delicious and so cheap! All kinds of flavours and like 2kg for 30RMB! Sadly, I could only bring some mustard back. Chinese food there looked the same from American movies and shows, but they tasted nothing like here. That was the first time I heard of fortune cookies and all that shit.
3. I went bowling in Brooklyn and loved it! It was my first time play that game and I was really bad, but I like it. The place is right next to the Brooklyn Brewery if that means anything. I will try best to engage myself in every possible bowl game that I can sense from now on.
4. I almost got hit by a car in New York, a cab actually. It’s near the Empire State Building, so no one cared. This is my nearest trip to death that I am aware of lately. It was cool to look over the city from the building, but I haven’t been to the SWFC building yet.
5. I miss UK.