Carsick Cars, described as A nervy, consonant euphoria, by Jon Pareles from New York Times, originally consisted of Shou Wang on vocals, guitar, and loops, Li Qing on percussion, and Li Weisi on bass guitar. The band was formed in March, 2005, when Shou Wang, a student at the Beijing Institute of Technology, met Li Weisi and Li Qing at the rehearsal space of mutual friends. By May, they had performed their first concert at a party for a small group of friends, and Carsick Cars was performing in Beijing clubs by the end of that year.
Their first CD was recorded in the spring of 2007 and was produced by legendary P.K.14 frontman Yang Haisong. Their sound, influenced by the drone of Velvet Underground, Suicide, and Sonic Youth and the formal structures of Steve Reich and Glenn Branca, is a combination of brilliantly-textured roar and hard open chords that are used to explore and tear apart their beautifully crafted songs. Their expert songwriting has gained the group a large fanbase among Beijing musicians and the position as one of the most frequently covered artists in China.
As befits what is one of the most admired Chinese bands in the world, Carsick Cars has performed widely in China and abroad. In addition to packing clubs in every major city in China, Carsick Cars also toured Europe with Sonic Youth, who described Carsick Cars as their favorite band in China. Following their London show, the band was invited to perform at the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Austria in October 2007, and at London “All Tomorrow’s Parties” in May 2008.
Their 20-city tour of China in March 2009 with label-mates The Gar has already passed into Chinese musical history as one of the key events in the development of the Chinese independent music scene, and their shows indicate how for many in the young audience Carsick Cars “belongs” to them as much as the young Bob Dylan “belonged” to his fans in the mid 1960s.
The band members have been very active in a number of other music projects besides Carsick Cars. Shou Wang is a founding member of experimental duo White, who’s first CD was produced in May 2007 by Einstürzende Neubauten founder Blixa Bargeld in Berlin. In addition to his work with composers Elliot Sharp and Alvin Curran, Wang performed on the recording of Glenn Branca’s Symphony 13 in February 2006. In July 2007 after performing at a festival in New York, Shou Wang was asked to join These Are Powers in the recording of their second album.
Li Qing and Li Weisi are founding members of rock trio Snapline, whose debut album was produced by PiL drummer Martin Atkins for his Invisible Records label. They have both performed with Pigface and as part of White. In addition Li Qing has performed with Elliott Sharp. The band has been extensively written up in the Chinese, English, German, Swedish and American press and has been featured in television shows in the US, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. In September 2007 they were listed by That’s Beijing as one of the top ten bands in China, and Shou Wang was described in a June 2007 Rolling Stone article as one of the country’s four most innovative Chinese guitarists. In November 2010, the original line-up played their swan song as guests for the Raveonettes’ show. After that, Li Weisi and Li Qing left the group.
He Fan (of Birdstriking) and Ben Ben (of Boyz and Girl) respectively assumed the roles of bass player and drummer. In the summer of 2011, after performing at SXSW, Ben Ben left the band to put more focus on her own music project. A new drummer, Houzi (of experimental noise band Chaos), joined Carsick Cars. Their tumultuous lineup has kept Carsick Cars fresh, and they remain one of the most beloved bands active in China.
Shou Wang - Guitars / Vocals
Alex Turner - Bass
Wang Xu - Drums
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February 20, 2017
Last Friday, 3CR’s Music Matters broadcast interviews with Birdstriking, Shou Wang, and Julian Wu ahead of their Melbourne, Australia dates. Pop over to their website […]