Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Feb 19th 2010 3:00PM by Jason Cohen
"We have like two days off," he tells Spinner. "We'll see. You're lucky on any tour to do stuff besides loading in and soundcheck and a show. I really am interested in Shanghai, and would just love to be able to explore the city. But if all I do is eat the whole time we're not doing band stuff, that's fine with me too. I'm ready to eat all kinds of weird crazy food."
The Thermals' label, Kill Rock Stars, has experience in China, having worked with Beijing's Modern Sky Records several times. Last year, KRS artists Deerhoof, Panther and Xiu Xiu were three of four Western bands booked at Modern Sky's Strawberry Festival (the fourth, Arms and Legs, is actually signed to Modern Sky), though Xiu Xiu later cancelled due to illness.
Kill Rock Stars' Maggie Vail, who studied Mandarin for five years, was also on that trip. Given China's reputation for blocking portions of the Internet, fans of the Thermals' often-boisterous Twitter feed will be glad to know that she was able to tweet freely.
"There was no -- as far as I can say -- governmental interference," Vail says. "Though, there was one point in the Panther show where Charlie, the singer, said 'f---.' There was a whole line of soldiers in front of the audience and they all turned and looked at him. It was kind of a frightening moment. They looked a little bit freaked out."
Though the Thermals are technically still touring behind 2009's 'Now We Can See,' they already have another record in the can, which is being mixed with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. It's tentatively titled 'Personal Life', and is due out on Sept. 7, 2010. So if the Chinese fans are not familiar with such songs as 'Pillar of Salt' or 'Now We Can See,' that suits Harris fine.
"That's kind of exciting for us," he says. "The audience isn't going to have any expectations. If they're not dying for us to play all our old songs, we can think of ourselves as like a whole new band."
The tour kicks off March 17 in Beijing.