Before falling in love with South East Asia, I was a big fan of underground independent music. Seeing my friend Simon Gaudry with his project Planetrox and his group Van De Kamp’s make a second visit to Asia, I thought it would be a golden opportunity to talk about the rock culture in Asia and their journey to the land of the rising sun.
People in general are open-minded and with the internet these days, visitors can discover the experiences of Westerners who live in Asia. As for music, I think it is a good tool to help discover the culture of Quebec, particularly with groups who sing in French. People have really enjoyed discovering a new sound at our shows and they were surprised and excited to know that we sing in French, unlike most Canadian groups. I think this article about the tour of a Quebec group in Asia will interest your readers as it is a rare experience for Quebekers groups to go and play in Asia, except for Simple Plan and Celine Dion.
We held three concerts in Bali last November. We played at hard rock cafe in Kuta, at the Twice Bar and Brewers. They were three memorable concerts. The welcome was warm and the audience enjoyed themselves. We played three nights with the band Disconnected, an alternative rock band from Indonesia. Then we played in Hong Kong with a Japanese group, Electric Eel Shock and also the Sleeves of Hong Kong. The day before, we were invited for an interview at the currently number one radio station in Hong Kong: RTHK. We were very lucky because the interview took place over the lunch hour, a great timeslot with many listeners. The evening of our first concert in China was held at Blossom internship in the area of busy Tsim Sha Tsui. Again, the public response has been amazing … we sold all the CDs we had in our possession … really great! The next day we had a concert in Macau on live music association stage. Again, we sold all the CDs we had brought with us. Before the concert, we were received in a typical Chinese restaurant for a meal fit for Asian emperors with lots of seafood dishes
At that time in Quebec City in 1996, there were no events broadcasting alternative music. Three others and I have decided to found an organization whose mission would be to present outdoor concerts with music punk, indie, hard-core and metal.[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/29740565[/vimeo]
Yes it was a very nice discovery. I encourage Internet users who visit your site to log onto www.planetrox.ca. They will discover an initiative that allows emerging groups from 15 countries to hold their concerts in Quebec City during the Festival and Envol et Macadam. I like to provide opportunities for young groups. It’s exciting to see young musicians who are happy to live such an experience. In fact, Planetrox auditions are available for groups of these countries in order to participate in our event in September. Quebec City is our main partner in this project; however, we thank greatly the responsible offices of these major events as without them, the project would never have happened.
I knew a promoter from London in 2006: Takeshi Ohyashiki. We discussed the scene of our two respective countries and we decided to set up a project: japanrocks.net. This was to set up a project group exchange between Quebec City and Japan. Van de Kamp went on to do some concerts in Tokyo and the Quebec group Molly’s Decline. In addition, groups Moja and Pinky Piglets were able to come to the festival concerts in Quebec. The exotic side of the country attracted me a lot.
We were not allowed to play on the street at that time, but the girl band Pinky Piglets performer insisted to promote their band and they invited us. Of course we did not hesitate for even two seconds to join them. Especially since we needed to make original videos to win the Clictonband contest of Choifm radio station in Quebec City; which we won. This award has enabled us later to record our first album.
It is universal and language is secondary? I think so; the language is secondary and less important than the music and energy that emerges on stage. The French language got this advantage of providing something exotic and rare. Asians love the exotic and unusual stuff …
Every day we discover great stuff – whether it’s food or the very friendly people. Even the monkeys in Bali are quite friendly, even when we should not tease them too much because they have a short fuse!
Of course we have the time to make friends; we have plenty of friends now! People come to us to talk to us and we enjoyed it a lot. This is a very sociable side of Asians. Unfortunately we have not really had time to learn how to speak in their language; we can only say thank you and hello in their language.
Yes of course, Thaïlande, Morocco and France are among our choices. But we would like to continue what we started to return to Hong Kong where the reaction was great.
Yes, indeed the food is very spicy in Bali and we ate lots of seafood and food typical to this part of the country. I tried surfing for the first time in my life and monkeys have stolen our travel kits! We also filmed sequences that we would use for our first music video.
Yes … every moment of this trip is very well versed in our memories! We became addicted to Asia really quickly! I also love the sea, the temples of Bali and the jungles.
The worst food is at McDonald’s and the best was probably the restaurant Menega Cafea in Denpasar where we had our dinner on the beach during a sunset
We visited the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba, etc.. for my part I travel a lot in Europe and in July I made a trip to Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur for Planetrox.
In fact I got all my contacts from people I have met during my 20 years of experience as a show promoter. Over time, you end up knowing the good people. Also, with internet these days it’s easier to match with other promoter. I recommend Heaven records in Indonesia, Globalchillin in Tokyo and theundergroundhk in Hong Kong.
Boring and I just think of going back to Asia!
The most bizarre thing of our trip was the fact that people who are caught with drugs in Indonesia are facing the death penalty … however the magic mushrooms are legal and are in sale anywhere in Bali. It goes without saying that we have found it very funny as a paradox!
Go ahead and do express your uniqueness and always be respectful of the differences in cultures and religion.
We were kind of wise boys throughout the tour. To find our stories in detail, the next time you need to come with us
Yes, other countries in Southeast Asia.
To release our first video and tour again as soon as possible!
Thanks for your interest!
This post is also available in: French