Interview: Teenage China

Hey guys. Fill our readers in as to who you all are and what you do in the band.

Within Teenage China, Ged handles lead vocal duties whilst Barry and Rick play guitar. Francis plays drums and Simon plays bass. Everyone sings too.

Boring question out of the way first; do the Chinese characters simply mean Teenage China or something else entirely?

The characters roughly translate as young man, adolescent or most fittingly “a youth”. It represents a theme which runs through our music, name and uniform.

What inspired the band’s “uniform”?

We always liked the idea of a uniform image but wanted to avoid the usual clichés (corpse paint). Having consumed a lot of eastern media, we’ve seen armbands appear as a bit of a regular feature there. They’re often a symbol of a group, cause or ideal and we liked that a lot. Since we’re all approaching our thirties, we found that youth (what’s left of it) was a very big theme when we started writing this music. We wanted to write youthful music while we felt that we still could. Our image portrays us as a unified front for youth!

What introduced you to all to post hardcore? You guys seem to come from a very “early 2000s” school of thinking.

We spent our teenage years watching Kerrang! and listening to the Radio 1 Rock Show. This introduced us to bands like Funeral For a Friend, Glassjaw, Boysetsfire and At The Drive In. We’ve been fans of the genre ever since. Our favourite post-hardcore tends to come from the mid to late 2000s. So when starting the band, this was the sort of music we wanted to tip our collective hats to.

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Teenage China to date?

Appearing on Russian file sharing websites.

Are you happy with what you achieved on the Forth EP?

There’s always room for improvement and it’ll take us a while to settle into a more focused sound. As far as first EPs go, we’re all pretty happy with how it turned out.

I love all the little Scottish references in your lyrics like ‘wandering West Lothian’. Do you guys feel a bit of patriotism to Scotland or are the lyrics simply inspired by the places you’ve grown up or lived in?

It’s a bit of both. We’re all fairly patriotic and we love living here. That said, some of the lyrics relating to the places we grew up are written with more disdain than patriotism. For anyone who has grown up in a mid 20th century ‘new town’, they’ll know what we mean. As far as new towns go though, at least we’re not in Cumbernauld or Milton Keynes!

What bands that you’ve either played with or admire would you recommend to our readers?

From our local area some bands we really like are A Torn Mind, Ultimate Slaymaster and Vasquez. In terms of bands from the wider world: Dance Gavin Dance, The Panic Division and Unwound rank very highly.

What’s coming up next in the Teenage China pipeline?

We have plans to record a single and another EP before the end of the year.

What’s the best way for people to keep up-to-date with Teenage China updates and news?

Our Facebook and Twitter pages are pretty active, you can find them here:
facebook.com/teenagechina
twitter.com/teenagechina

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About Lewis Clark

Long time fan of rock and metal, webmaster and lead writer at UK Scumscene. Occasional co-host of Catbird's Sunday Roasting on TotalRock.com, 12pm to 3pm every Sunday View all posts by Lewis Clark

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