More and more bands are finding solace in the second and third-tier cities of China. Besides Beijing and Shanghai not having the appeal or convenience that they once used to, the emergence of Wechat, weibo and other online platforms as well as a plethora of smaller independent records companies in recent years, have made getting heard that much easier. Building a fan base becomes less about performing in live houses every week and more about putting out consistent quality work and having the right people to back you. That’s where Shaoxing’s Little Wizard comes in. The three piece hard-edged instrumental rockers have been keeping it real for ten years releasing an array of top notch EPs, LPs, and remix compilations that have made them indie darlings. Their most recent release Little Wizard II found its way on to many of 2017’s Year End Lists including our own – a ramped up freight train of thundering drums, rip roaring guitars, and jaded bass lines that strike with ferocity and precision. They join this years’s Fete de la Musique this Thursday, June 21st at Omni Space where they’ll have the honor to play alongside ferocious and red-blooded French math rock trio Lysistrata.
Q：This year marks the band’s tenth anniversary – congrats! How does it feel? What’s the most noticeable difference in both your lives and your musical careers?
A：There is nothing to balance for us, because our members’ jobs are related to music. Some of the first members of our bands eventually decided to focus on their careers.
Q：Shaoxing isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking bands with a sound as brutally embracing and instrumentally intricate as yours – how has the city informed your music over the years?
A: The influence on us is not informed by Shaoxing. The pace of life in Shaoxing is quite slow and we don’t have so many things to do. If we live in big cities, the band would have fallen apart already. It is because we live in Shaoxing that we have a lot of time to think about music.
Q：Speaking of which – I imagine the scene in Shaoxing isn’t all that big compared to other first-tier cities – but you still choose it as your home. Do you believe smaller cities like Shaoxing can develop both musically and culturally over time and if so how?
A：I think the atmosphere now in Shaoxing is not as good as it was when I was first learning to play the guitar. At present, I don’t think there is any music scene. We have been playing in the band for 10 years which indeed has had an impact on our circle of friends, but it is still not enough.
Photo by 周四早晨
Photo by 周四早晨
Q：One thing that defines your music is your ability to cut to the chase and deliver bone-crushing melody cuts, powerful rhythms and other offbeat elements in the span of just a few minutes – how intentional is that and do you consciously chase that quick rush?
A: At first we had intended to make some songs with long lengthd of time. However, we found that we repeated many useless pieces in order to make a long song and later on we just abandoned these songs. For now, we do not intend to think about these things or how we will compose it – we just stop wherever we want.
Q：你们去年加入了一个杭州的音乐厂牌Space Circle Music，他们也越来越受到更多人的关注。你们之间的关系是如何建立的？他们如何在众多厂牌中脱颖而出？
Q：You guys joined Hangzhou based label Space Circle last year, who have been making more and more a splash as of late. How did that relationship form? How do they stand out from the rest of the labels out there?
A：I met Su ten years ago and we collaborated a bit when she was in college. Actually, she helped us get many opportunities to perform in our early years before we were signed to any company. During our last two tours and the release of our first album, Su really helped us a lot, therefore joining her and Space Circle was simply a rational choice. Both the artists of her label and the style of how they work fits our style, and we’re close, so we decided to work with them.
Q：One of the more surprising gems in your catalogue are the numerous remixes from musicians like Gooooose, iimmune, and most recently, Taiwanese rapper Peter Fish. How did these remixes come to fruition? What are some other collaborations we can expect in the future?
A：It’s not as difficult as you think because we were friends. I just asked their opinions and they said yes so we made these remixes. I really want to work with other musicians and we will make more of this kind of music.
Photo by 周四早晨
Q：Are you excited to be apart of Fete de la Musique this year? What can audiences expect? Any final words to your fans out there?
A：It is our first time to attend this FDLM and we will play some songs that we don’t usually play. After the show, we’re going to record our new EP and it will be released in the latter half of the year. I haven’t imagined that Little Wizard could stay for ten years and it was so fast. Thanks for those who love us and those who hate us.