Tone Deaf in the Public Kingdom – 10th September 2010

Beijing indie punk band P.K.14 were invited to play at the Melbourne Festival and I was to be their man on the ground. The festival covered their travel expenses and two nights in a hotel but I planned an extra show and some free time with them.

As part of the promotional push for them, singer Yang Haisong did this email interview with Tone Deaf magazine.

P.K.14 play Melbourne Festival Oct 22nd 2010

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files, however, we don’t like regurgitating press releases or asking the easy questions. No one gets out of the Tone Deaf Interrogation lightly, so just hold still, grit your teeth, clench your buttocks and be still while we put on the rubber gloves, apply the thumbscrews, and pull out our thermometer while you open up and say ahhhhhhhhhhh… Truthful answers only or we drink your rider while you’re on stage.

Lead singer Yang Haisong from Chinese band P.K14 answers our questions.

We don’t want to know about the bands your press release says you’re influenced by. Take us back to your bedroom when you were 14. What band posters did you have on the wall?

When I was 14, most of music around us are propaganda songs and love songs from Taiwan and Hong Kong singers. I don’t like them both. No any chance to listen western rock music or get posters from stores. So I didn’t have any poster in my bedroom.

What’s been your worst gig and why are you glad there’s no footage of it on Youtube … yet?

I don’t really remember which gig are the worst. I would say the very first gig that P.K.14 played 13 years ago was so bad. We played 4 songs, I sang all the songs out of key, and my legs shacked all the time in front of hundreds of university students. But at the same time, It’s the best gig to me. I hope I can see the show on Youtube but seems nobody shot it.

Tomorrow’s payday, so we’ve only got $A20/$US18/£14/€10 to get you drunk. Where do we go and what do we buy with it?

I have no idea about it. I didn’t get drunk quite long time. Maybe you can take me to some local 2nd hand records stores? I am gonna get drunk even no alcohol there.

What releases have you put out? Are they million sellers or do you still have a few boxes of them sitting gathering dust under your bed?

We put out 4 albums so far. And none is million-seller. Most of people like all the love songs and kind of Chinese idols, Unfortunately, we didn’t play love songs, and are not idols neither.

Suppose we put a gun to your head and force you to kiss a member of another band. Who, which band and why?

Billie Holiday. I think you know why.

You’re touring Australia. We know how much visitors are afraid of our native animals, so what is your greatest fear? Getting attacked by a) a snake b) a redback spider c) a bluebottle jellyfish d) a crocodile or e) a venomous drop bear?

Snake is my nightmare, worst ever.

P.K14 play at The Forum on Fri 22nd October, as part of Melbourne Festival’s Beck’s Festival Bar. Tickets are $20. Find out more info on the Beck’s Bar website, or visit Ticketmaster for tickets.