Article by Hector Herrera

Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

How many times have you caught yourself saying “this can be my thing!” There will always be some form of art that will definitely get your blood pumping and leave you wanting for more. At times there are things that we dare to take to the next level, and we give it our everything despite the complications and the “double life” it entails. On many occasions, people excel and get a chance to prove their strengths, but 99.9% of the time, they end up giving in to social pressure or simply pulling a Marty Friedman and give the “I wanna get heavier” excuse. It’s that .1% of people with the character, talent and conviction, that refuse to quit that make a career out of music. These are the people that fought their negative thoughts and walked on with a smile on their face, knowing that with their set of skills and blind conviction, they will prove everyone wrong and rock the world.

For this article, I sat down with four of the most perseverant musicians in Xi’an: 来哥, Spoon, Pact, and Dave Wright. These guys have been pushing their talents and voices for years. They each have their own unique ways of staying active in music and in the Xi’an scene, for instance, owning a specialty drum shop, playing in house bands, or simply flicking it to The Man. They continue making music that’s true to their beliefs and their creations have definitely gotten you dancing and singing if you’ve been anywhere around Xi’an’s music scene for the past 4 years.

Out of that .1% only a select few get to go down the Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll highway, but it’s not always fresh pavement and mellow slopes when it comes to music. There are always speed bumps, like an oppressive culture, for Spoon, or a boy to raise like 来哥, and of course the manager making you play the mainstream crap, like Spoon

But in the end, all the sweet and blood invested in what they loved so much can be credited to that first time they saw that performer/band or heard those songs/sounds that shook their existence and changed their life. It was the voices of Bon Scott and 崔健 for 来哥, the eerie sounds of DJ Q Bert for Spoon and the driving, mellow roar of Kurt Cobain for Dave, a teacher turned mentor for Pact, are all examples of why we get into this crazy, demanding pastime of ours.

These people have all achieved so much in the past and continue to electrify the masses with what they can do. I thought it was only fair to tell you, in brief detail, what these guys have accomplished throughout the years and what they are currently developing.

DJ Gunknown/大招DaZhao/Spoon
DJ/Producer/Party Organizer
Started: 2008
Instrument: Turntables
First and past projects: Office Plant/TBOR, System Error, Chaos World
Current projects: The Boring Room, NOUS Underground, solo project
Words of wisdom: Make a plan, exercise, care for your health, practice hard but not too hard.

Singer/band manager/event organizer
Started: 1998
Instruments: Lyricist, Vocalist
First and past projects: Lithium
Current projects: Nude Injection, Lithium, Drunkass Productions
Words of wisdom: Concentrate and absorb yourself, follow your heart and disregard unbelievers.

Started: 2004
Instrument: Keyboard, Guitar, Bass
First and past project: Fallen Beat, Chaos World
Current projects: Solo project, NOUS Underground, Monsta Masta
Words of wisdom: Keep it real, be loyal, respect, peace and love, keep your health, your work, your family in check, it’s that easy.

Dave Wright
Started: early 2000s
Instruments: Bass, Trombone, Guitar, Drums
First and past projects: Flunk College, Shatner Vs. Gorn
Current projects: Collision
Words of wisdom: It’s easier than you think it is.

Hector is a good guy living in good ol’ Xi’an.