24 Hours is one of the most intelligent newcomers in China’s rock scene. Hailing from Xi an, one of the four ancient capitals of China, the three create, in their own words, passionate rock and roll. The current lineup emerged in 2007 with bassist Zhang Chen, guitarist Ren Yilan and drummer Li Guanyu. The three share vocal duties. The band members are also entwined in a simple-yet-complicated relationship that affects their approach to music. Zhang and Li were high school classmates and are now lovers, while Zhang and Ren were university schoolmates and lived in the same dorm. The band’s music is often a reflection of their relationships: constantly-changing but always intense.
In October 2007, they played their first show in Beijing at the legendary underground music venue D-22 and caught the eye of local musicians Yang Haisong (P.K. 14) and Li Qing (Snapline, Carsick Cars). With their help, the trio signed a deal with Maybe Mars Records. They moved to Beijing in early 2008 and quickly dove into the city’s challenging sonic environment, becoming one of the city’s most prolific bands by playing several gigs per weekend, attracting both a devoted following and local media attention.
Originally christened 24 Hour Party People, in homage to the 2002 film of the same name chronicling the lives of Manchester’s music community from 1967 to 1992, the band soon shortened their moniker to its current incarnation. While their name naturally conjures post-punk imagery, 24 Hours is not a simple continuation or imitation of certain bands or genres but rather the natural expression of the band members individual musical infatuations. From basement practice sessions to their notorious live shows, the group has steadily developed their own style. In Summer 2007, the trio released their debut EP in Xi an using a pure DIY ethic, handling production, mixing and art design themselves.
After two years, the band released their debut album No Party People. The album was produced by Martin Atkins (PiL, Pigface, Nine Inch Nails), the famed Chicagoan who began his work in the Beijing music scene by producing Snaplines debut LP, Party is Over, Pornostar (2007). Using his unique style to capture both the rough and fresh feeling of their music, Atkins successfully elevated their sound to an international level. No Party People maintains the fury of 24 Hours live sets while adding a dreamy sonic dimension awash in subtle nuances.
Upon completion of their debut album, the band members, who are all art majors, drew the paintings for their first music video Mr. Stevenson. This band continues to impress the Beijing music scene, and is sure to leave its mark.