Showcase: The White Rabbits
Published on May 12th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Rocksucker meets the best Chilean/Welsh surf rock band in all of China! Front man Max and guitarist Chris answered our questions after we fell in love with both their delightfully twisted Shadows-meets-Beefheart sound and their willingness to take on the Tetris theme tune…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
Well, describing our sound is a bit hard: we’re a Chinese band of Chilean and Welsh people so the mix of culture and backgrounds is pretty damn weird. We’re really trying to get our own unique sound – some old ’50s rock’n’roll, a few drops of punk, a healthy bit of surf and rockabilly, and a hell of a lot of reverb! A bit dark and twisted yet danceable.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
Right now we’re based in Xiamen, China, where we all originally met and started jamming in old garages, BBQ boat-trips and rooftops….it’s a sub-tropical island with beaches and colonial buildings, and about 3 million people. We’re part of a growing scene here; most Chinese cities are discovering rock music for the first time, and we’re helping bring that to this city.
We recorded our EP at a local studio which was used to record voice-over artists and propaganda newsreels to send out to countryside villages, so it was a bit of a challenge, but at least we could produce it ourselves!
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
We are working on our first album. The album has a mix of the different sounds we like, going from the dark, mysterious rattle-snake rock’n’roll to the more crazy, fast energetic stuff that gets the crowds going….we think a good album should be fast, deadly and full of great songs…. a bit like the aforementioned rattle-snake.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
Being in a rock band in China is a confusing, weird and awesome experience. Being in any band can be like that, but in China it can be surreal. Every show is exciting as we get to see the reactions of cities which may be hearing our kind of music for the first time ever. Thankfully so far it’s been awesome to see the same reaction in each place — people start off intrigued and a bit freaked out, and end the gig dancing and moshing away (usually to Surfin’ Bird).
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
We’re midway through our first China tour; next up is Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The plan for the summer is then to head to Shanghai, Beijing and some festivals in Inner Mongolia. And if everything works as expected we hope to play at the big Beijing Midi Festival in the Autumn.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Max (front man): Wow! This is a question I would need around 2 or 3 years of bail time to come up with the right answer, but if I didn’t have all that time I´ll say The Cramps, Johnny Cash, ACDC, George Romero and Miyazaki.
The White Rabbits, thank you.