Lin Lin is a manager at Yuyintang, the mainstay venue of Shanghai's rock scene. Having spent a few days sick in bed lately, she found time to answer a couple of questions for me.
Who are your favourite bands in Shanghai? Yuguo, I respect them for keep trying to write rock songs in Chinese and really show how beautiful the language can be. Their new single 'Chun Xiao' Spring Dawn combines rock and roll with Beijing opera, really amazing. Also Cold Fairyland. I always wondered what it would be like to mix rock with Chinese elements/traditional instruments. Cold Fairyland answer this and left me with more.
What was the best show at Yuyintang so far? I'd say the mini festival of everyday shows in the May 1st holiday. All the biggest Shanghai bands played and the venue was packed all the way through, as we'd hoped.
Which new band will be big in the future? Crazy Mushroom Brigade maybe, but they've won two local awards and are not really new anymore. For real new comers, I'd say Bang Bang Tang (Lollipop). Their vocalist can really sing and they already have a fanbase.
Why do you work at Yuyintang? Oh, this is tough. I love the atmosphere and great shows at Yuyintang and basically I love rock music. Yuyintang is the oldest and purest rock house in Shanghai and is well established. There is a family of rock and roll fans here and when you stay around people just like you, you don't feel like a freak anymore. Besides, I have my performance manager license from the government now, so it's really my proper job.
I don't read Chinese so well, what is everyone talking about in the Chinese language world of the Shanghai scene? The news is that Ark Live Bar has closed. It was run by the manager of L'arc en Ciel and was the very first live house in Shanghai but it hasn't done many rock shows for years. Rock shows don't make money in Shanghai and the rent in Xintiandi is too high. Pure rock and roll houses can't survive. For issues, as I said, money is the biggest problem. Living in Shanghai costs more than other cites and everyone has pressure. Band members can't make enough and they all have their own full-time job and make music part-time. The issues then become not enough time to write and rehearse, they focus on quick success and don't take time to hear other bands in the scene. Bands are formed quickly but rarely last.
Do many people use neocha.com? Not so many, but I checked the site a few days ago and loved the updates. I hope more people will catch onto it.