Ourself Beside Me
Ourself Beside Me was first formed in 2003 by former Hang On The Box guitarist Yang Fan. The line-up changed several times before Yang Fan (Ourself Beside Me’s main vocalist and guitarist) met then-still-a-drummer Xie Han through the internet in the fall of 2005. They bonded immediately and started writing songs together.
The band begun with Xie Han on the bass, although she departed in 2009. EMI, a drummer hailing from Japan, joined the group in 2007 and established the modern triumvirate. In the second half of 2007, this trio began performing regularly, first at D-22 then expanding to other clubs in Beijing.
The group soon began justifying their reputation among D-22 regulars as one of the most promising and innovative bands in Beijing, and has since swept aside all obstacles on their way to national recognition.
Their sound is difficult to describe. They claim inspiration from 60s and 70s bands such as the Velvet Underground, Syd Barrett, Can, Tom Waits, Soft Machine and the Fall. While these influences are clearly present in their music, the group is also heavily influenced by New York’s East Village brood of the late 1970s and early 1980s. These influences combine with the Chinese obliqueness of their harmonies and the Beijinger’s bluntness of their musical approach to forge the bands unique and distinctive sound. They combine the rhythmic sophistication of bands like ESG with the eerie guitar lines of Bush Tetra guitarist Pat Place and the strange harmonics of DNA. Amid their drawn-out sessions you can sometimes even hear the long, druggy marches of the Doors. After several acclaimed concerts in Beijing’s major clubs, P.K.14 frontman Yang Haisong took Ourself Beside Me to the studio to record and produce their first CD. The group was one of the first to join the Maybe Mars label, and the first CD was released in 2009.