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- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 10:14AM by Hilary Hughes
The story behind bigger-than-Beijing industrial rock outfit Snapline is one that undiscovered bands everywhere dream about: They were playing one night when a world-class musician and producer caught their set. Next thing they knew, songs of theirs were being mixed in the United States and huge festivals throughout Asia were booking them. Now these lo-fi electronic gurus are prepping for a showcase at SXSW and their undeniably bright future as the next big thing out of China.
Describe the sound of Snapline in your own words.
Low and honest.
Take me through your creative process. Does one member of the band do the majority of the songwriting, or is the effort completely collaborative?
We all write the music together and Chen Xi writes the lyrics.
Give me the back-story on Snapline.
Chen Xi was my classmate in high school, and from that time we had wanted to start a band. Even though we entered different universities, we still found a way to practice. It wasn't until three years later that we finally found a bass player we were happy with, though. After the three of us got together, we started to play shows and write a lot of songs quickly. During the summer of 2006, Martin Atkinson came to China and saw us play. He thought that we were different from other bands, maybe because we use a drum machine, and wanted to sign us to his label. We were very interested in industrial music, so we said yes. We went to the studio with Martin and recorded all of our songs in one afternoon. Martin mixed them all in the US and sent us the mixed version, and that's how we finished our first album.
Are there any songs of yours that stand out as favorites, or any that you feel particularly connected to over others?
No, every song that we have kept playing up until now are our favorites. We throw away any song that we don't feel connected to, including songs that we have played for several years.
Who influences you musically?
We are influenced by many different genres of music. From the time that we started listening to music we've been influenced by everything that we've heard, and it's very hard to say what is more or less important. We are constantly searching for new music to listen to and our favorite bands and artists are constantly changing. We just want to increase our knowledge of music. For us, music is knowledge.
How did you come up with Snapline as the band name?
The name was really chosen by chance. We were trying to think of as many names as possible and Chen Xi came up with this word. We had no idea what it meant and searched in a dictionary to discover that it was a real word, and decided to use it as our name.
What's your biggest vice?
What's in your festival survival kit?
Beer and painkillers.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
I don't want to tell you.
Tell me about the music scene in Beijing. What inspires you about your city, and does it affect your writing and performance?
The musicians in Beijing practice really hard, and we believe that if we don't play hard we will be left behind. In Beijing's music scene, we always try to break ourselves to create new ideas. We think this is a good creative environment to be in and we hope that finally we can create a new style of music.Hilary Hughes is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.