Interview conducted by Michael Cupoli
Dee is the frontman for the long lasting punk band that goes by the name Gum Bleed. This year, Gum Bleed is celebrating it\’s 10 year anniversary which an amazing feat for any band regardless of genre. This past spring, Gum Bleed did a tour of Europe that had 30 shows in 32 days. Also, Dee talks about the current status of punk music in China and Europe. Catch Gum Bleed this Saturday, September 3rd at DDC at LBM presents Autumn Harvest Fest alongside Last Goodbye, Spin Axis, Rhonda, and JaJaTao.
How did you get started making music?
It was during the 3rd grade of my high school time when most of my classmates were under the pressure of Gao Kao. Me and some friends were almost giving up and we listened to the punk rock every single day(hopelessly). We decided to make our own band and we started to practice right after the Gao Kao.
What is the history of Gum Bleed?
Gumbleed started in the year of 2006 in Shi Jiangzhuang(my hometown). Moved to Beijing in the year of 2007 because I went to college here. Now the band is still in Beijing.
Gum Bleed has been around for 10 years now which is amazing for any band. How have you managed to keep a band going for so long? Do you have any tips for anyone that wants their bands/music projects to continue for as long as yours?
10 years, it just happened. But yeah of course we had many problems and crisis during the 10 years, the secret key is to keep the music as our hobby, not so eager to be famous or something. I understand that people are different and have different goals, so I cannot recommend our way to make the band. If you want to keep going you definitely know how to do it.
Over the years. how do you think the scene has changed? What do you think are some positive and possibly negative changes that you have seen?
Mostly negative for punk rock, I mean globally. We have seen the recession process of the recent 10 years punk scene. Famous old bands making shitty albums and occupied the headlines of the big shows, young kids chose to join the new school hardcore scene or even electronic music. Punk rock is getting down. but we are waiting the waves come back, because we believe punk rock is the best.
What have been some of the best moments or highlights of the past 10 years for Gum Bleed?
There are some highlights, like the first time we play in abroad(in Finland which was amazing, all was fresh and DIY), the first time we play Beijing punk festival and Shanghai punk festival, like we were on tour with SS Kaliert from Germany, and played the festivals some with famous bands like Anti Flag and Madsin. and of course, we had the chances to tour far and wide, see the punk cultures and meet interesting people in different countries.
What was touring Europe like? How would you compare the audiences between China and Europe? How was the music received by people in Europe?
To play in Europe is like to play the right music in the right location, the audiences appreciate what you have made and what you try to present. Here is more difficult, the scene is young and people don\’t really know what is punk rock. What is left and right or lets say, people don\’t know that punk rock is not about fashion. Our music was beloved in Europe, but as I said the scene is going down globally. I can say that because I just toured all over Europe. 32 days and 30 shows. We played with bands from all over the world. Audiences are getting smaller everywhere. It\’s not the best situation for punk rock. But it might never had the best time for us, we just need to keep doing it.
It has been two years since City Of The Heroes was released, do you have plans to record and release some new music?
Yes, we want to make a b-side of City of the Heroes, it\’s called \”Revolution!\”. Maybe soon, maybe in next year. 4 to 6 brand new songs will come out hopefully. (Ed\’s Note: pick up City Of The Heroes on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify)
I\’ve always been curious about the name Gum Bleed. How did you decide to use that for the name of the band?
It was just by chance, or lets say it was just a joke. Because of a toothpaste ad on TV, we thought it was ironic and funny. Thats punk rock.
Catch Gum Bleed this Saturday!!!!
Photo credits: Chris Stechs (b/w Dee)