UPDATE: Word is the new Carsick Cars will play NYE at D-22...
This post is nothing to do with The Beatles and Apple: that was hardly the epoch-shifting announcement it was built up to be was it? But then again, the reaction to the announcement that is
the subject of this post is likewise slightly overblown in my opinion. By now you've probably heard that Carsick Cars have split. You can read the English translation of the original statement here
and I recommend you read Dan's take on it all here
. In fact, I started writing this as a comment on Dan's piece before I realised it was going to be too long.
There's been an outpouring of grief following the announcement on Douban
(one thread in the CsC group has over 8,000 comments on it so far)
, but I don't really think it's a massive deal that Carsick Cars have split. Don't get me wrong, I like the band, the two Lis are both excellent musicians and it's always a shame when an original line-up that has stayed together for so long comes to an end. It's true too, that the band has had a major impact on the development of Chinese rock music, but is this the end of Carsick Cars? Probably not.
If Carsick Cars are the one Chinese band anyone outside of China has heard of, then Zhang Shouwang is the one member that most people associate them with. The fact that "the other two" as they're inevitably referred to have left, is unlikely to have a catastrophic effect on the band. The sound might change, although that could just as well be attributed to the natural shift in direction between albums, but it'll probably just mean that Carsick Cars becomes The Zhang Shouwang Experience even more than it was before.
Again, this isn't to diminish the two Lis' contributions, just that Carsick Cars are most widely associated with Shouwang's ideas and performances than with them. They have their own projects, Carsick Cars is largely his. So he'll find a couple of other musicians to become subservient to his ideas - already rumoured to include one of the guys from Birdstriking (who we know already worship Shouwang) - and carry on with the Carsick Cars name. Dan rightly points out that bands such as The Misfits carrying on once Danzig had left seem like a fraud, but that would only relate to a Shouwang-less version of Carsick Cars. So far as this band is concerned, Shouwang, not either of the Lis, is Danzig and he's sticking with the band name.
Whether they'll produce music as good as the original line-up remains to be seen, but I doubt it's the end of the band entirely, just Shouwang taking more control over the band's direction, and that'll probably continue until one or other of the replacements becomes uppity enough to have their own ideas.
Life goes on.