Vietnamese Rock - Metal Community > Interview > Meet PK-14 – Chinese indie in a nutshell
Meet PK-14 – Chinese indie in a nutshell
Post by rpadmin | At: 1:29 pm - 13/12/2009 |

(RockPassion.Vn) – Four hours before the show “Hey Ho Let’s Go III” (brought about by C.A.M.A. Vietnam) kicked off, we had a little time off to chat with PK-14 (Public Kingdom For Teens) outside the show venue.


Interviewing PK-14 across the show venue

RockPassion (RP): Being one of the better known indie bands in China and Asia, what do you think of as the most notable aspects of your music?

PK-14: Well, first, I think it’s the way we make music. We don’t do it, like, someone comes up with the whole song and everybody else get together to play it. It’s often a process that involves us four. Every member of the band has his own contribution to our music. The second aspect is our lyrics.

RP: Yeah, and your lyrics often deal with youth’s dissatisfaction and protest, don’t they?

PK-14: Yes, about youth’s dissatisfaction; but no, we don’t think our music is protest. Of course, we admire protest music and artists, for example, Bob Dylan. We got our inspiration from them, too. But it’s not characteristic of our music.

RP: Do the materials for your lyrics come from personal experiences or from the genre’s typical themes?

PK-14: Almost all of them are from our personal experiences, especially from Yan Haisong’s.


RP: How does it feel to be underground and at the same time, try to approach more people? Is it hard to be a successful band and stay true to your musical roots?

PK-14: Yeah, it’s kinda true, but never a big problem to us. For us, everything has to be personal. You want to work with us, well; you have to talk to us and to know us personally. We do what we feel like. We’re not a commercial band and no, we don’t have a manager.

RP: So, music is like a hobby to you guys?

PK-14: No, it’s more than a hobby. We’ve got really involved into it. Everyone’s dedicated. It has become the bigger part of our life – or a way of life.

RP: So, it’s like a hobby with passion?

PK-14: Yeah, you can say that.

RP: Okay, what do you think of the indie scene in Beijing and Asia at the moment? Is there any new movement? If there is, would you prefer to keep your way or would you roll on with the scene?

PK-14: Good question. It’s a little bit hard to answer. I think Beijing has one of the newer indie scenes in Asia. But we’re moving rapidly and catching up quite well. We’ve got some of the most devoted artists and bands. In the indie world, you know, especially in Beijing, we are like a small but tight community where everyone knows each other. Beijing scene is very art-driven and daring. We’re not afraid of experimenting. Actually, we have many avant-garde and cross-over artists. For PK-14, we don’t frame ourselves to anything. We’re inspired by the whole scene; just progress and adapt ourselves naturally. Maybe ten years later, when you look back on today’s music, you’ll say: “That music was shit!” Who knows?


Taking a little time off after the soundcheck session

RP: Have you got a general idea of what might be the HCMC’s underground music scene? Have you met a lot of people who are involved in it?

PK-14: We haven’t known many people here. We hear that there’s quite a large metal community and fan-base in HCMC. Right? But are there some punk bands as well? Do they do gigs and make records?

RP: Yeah, the metal community is growing and gaining more attention. I believe the indie scene is on its way, too. We probably have some punk bands here. They kind of stay underground and haven’t come to the phase of making records yet. But they’re trying to get together and play as often as possible; to keep their bonds and spread the music.

PK-14: Of course. It’s nice to hear that. It has to begin somewhere and yours is a good way to start. Well, hopefully we’ll meet more people from the local scene tonight.

RP: Sure. Thank you for your time. Good luck with the show. I’ll see you later tonight.

PK-14: Bye. See you at the show.

(Interview: Ris/Photos: Lane)

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3 Responses
Mike Read | December 17th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Thought the gig was exceptional. Dunno how many of the local underground scene were able to attend as it’s quite a prestige venue with associated prestige, but I hope some were able to and to gain inspiration and ideas from it. There’s no reason why Saigon can’t have its own version of PK14 a bit further on down the line, and I look forward to giving them my support too.

Mike Read | December 17th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Oops, meant associated prestige prices!

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