After their set last night I had the chance to talk with the guys and gal that make up Re-TROS (or Rebuilding the Rights of Statues) and they were some real cool cats. The band is made up of Hua Dong on vocals and guitar, Liu Min on vocals and bass, and Ma Hui on drums. If you're interested in hearing their music, check out their myspace page or go to Modern Sky's website and check out the free downloads. If you're in the US and looking for more, you'll need to be patient as their first US release will be out in May (through Tag Team Records).
Having not written a formal article/review since my college (and really since high school) days, I was unprepared as a "journalist" and so can't offer any direct quotes, hey, the blog's just getting started, its a bit of a learning curve.
Anyways, what I was most curious about is that they, like a lot of newer bands on the scene in China, used English for all of their songs. The response was that while they tried Chinese at the beginning, the tonal nature of Chinese does not fit their style of music and makes it harder to get the feelings they want expressed to come through, whereas in English its much easier. Also, they are heavily influenced by foreign music and while the generation before them opened things up and gave Chinese "rock" a beginning, its the newer generation that is pushing things forward.
Since they'd only just arrived in the US a few days before, they couldn't offer much of an opinion about the country, however they did say they were surprised by the professionalism of the venues where they'd been so far, including in-depth sound checks before the shows. Part of their motivation for coming to the US, beyond the experience and playing at SXSW, was to take up a new challenge/challenge themselves. They understood the size of the US market and the professionalism that it requires and they hoped they'd be able to meet the challenge.
To them, Beijing was the only city where musicians could make a living solely off of their music. In Shanghai or other cities, musicians often have to work a day job to make ends meet, but with the number of venues for live music in Beijing, it makes it possible to focus solely on the music. However, despite Beijing being the main city for the Chinese rock scene, there tends to be a lack of professionalism, especially as compared to the US.
They put on a great show and have a real interesting sound, make sure to check them out. Below is their first video and a clip from a live performance. Enjoy!