P.K.14 occupies a space in modern Chinese music analogous to that of the Talking Heads or Television in the New York of the 1970s. They are among the most thoughtful and self-referential of bands, with an enormous curiosity about music coupled with a complete inability to care about musical fashion. Among the astonishing group of young musicians that has emerged in Beijing over the last few years, they are almost unanimously cited as the band that has most influenced the aspiring musicians of the capital city.
Founded in Nanjing in 1997, P.K.14 made their debut in December of that year. In May 1999, the band opened for Sweden’s The (International) Noise Conspiracy in Shanghai, and thus began their rise as one of China’s most admired and influential bands. In 2001 with the release of their debut album, Shang Lou Jiu Wang Zuo Guai (Upstairs, Turn Left), on Sub Jam records, they quickly established themselves as one of the major bands in the Chinese indie scene. That same year they moved to Beijing, China’s musical epicenter, where they released their consequential Shei Shei he Shei Shei Shei (Whoever, Whoever & Whoever) on Modern Sky, followed by the eagerly-awaited album Bai Pi Shu (White Paper), which was recorded in Sweden in 2005 and released later that year.
Only frontman Yang Haisong remains of the bands original line-up; he is generally considered to be the physical manifestation of P.K.14′s aesthetic approach to art and music. As one of China’s better-known young poets, his lyrics, predominantly about Chinas disaffected urban youth, have defined the bands style and lured throngs of attendees to the bands performances. Besides publishing poetry and criticism, Yang Haisong has produced some of the most important Chinese bands of recent years, including Carsick Cars, Ourself Beside Me and 8 eye spy. Shi Xudong is a founding member of Guai Li, one of Beijings wildest new bands.
P.K.14 has performed extensively in China and abroad, both headlining and sharing the stage with many notable bands, including The (International) Noise Conspiracy, These Are Powers, Ex-Models and The Soundtrack of Our Lives. The have also been the subject of numerous articles, interviews and critical pieces on Chinese, American, German, Austrian, French, Swedish, Norwegian and Australian television, as well as dozens of newspapers and magazines from around the world.
In June 2006, the band was nominated for Best Band and Best Rock Band at the 6th annual Chinese Music Media Awards (the Chinese Grammy Awards). June 2008 saw the release of the bands fourth album, titled Chengshi Tianqi De Hangxing (City Weather Sailing) on Maybe Mars records. This record was produced in Sweden by Swedish Grammy winning producer-duo Henrik Oja and Mats HammarstrÃm, and mastered in New York by Greg Calbi, whose credits include Sonic Youth, Television, Talking Heads, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, David Bowie, Blonde Redhead, Patti Smith, Yo La Tengo, Strokes and Interpol. The group spent the latter half of 2008 touring China (50+ shows) in support of the new album. Also in 2008, TIME Magazine chose P.K.14 as one of Asia’s five Best bands and one to keep an eye on. 2009 was a groundbreaking year for the band, when they embarked on their first US tour (including sold-out dates in both New York and Washington DC). MTV China featured P.K.14 as their band of the month for September. They wrapped up the year with a headline slot at the Hey Ho, Let’s Go festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2010, P.K.14 went to America for a West Coast tour including the SXSW festival and performances with Roky Erickson. Equally noteworthy was their first visit to Taiwan and Australia.
Most recently, in October of 2012, the band recorded its fifth album, ominously titled “1984” at Electrical Audio in Chicago,under the aegis of their long-time producer Henrik Oja, and engineered by the legendary Steve Albini. Maybe Mars will release the album in Autumn 2013, thereafter the band will perform in Vladivostok, Russia before heading off to complete a major Chinese tour in September and October of 2013.
|Line-up:||Yang Haisong » Vocals
Xu Bo » Guitarist
Shi Xudong » Bassist
Jonathan Leijonhufvud » Drummer
Yang Sen » Drummer (1997-1998)
Hua Dong » Drummer (1998-2000)
Yang Hongbin » Drummer (2000-2001)
Xu Feng » Guitarist (1997 – 2001)
Xing Mang » Guitarist (1998)
Sun Xia » Bassist (1997 – 2003)
Ren Jie » Bassist (2005-2007)
|Genre:||Rock, Post-Punk, Indie|
|Influences:||Talking Heads, Television, Woodie Guthrie, Pere Ubu, Motown, Fugazi, Bauhaus, Wilco, Nonesuch, Fela Kuti…|
|Active in:||1997 (Nanjing) – Now (Beijing)|
|Links:||Mysapce · Douban Site|
City Weather Sailing¸CD¸Maybe Mars¸ 2008
White Paper¸CD¸Modern Sky¸2005
Whoever, Whoever & Whoever¸CD/Cass¸Modern Sky¸2004
Upstairs, Turn Left¸CD¸Sub Jam¸2001
|News:||09, 2011 – Black Rabbit Music Festival Beijing & Shanghai
09, 2011 – Creators Project 2011: Beijing
05, 2011 – Vietnam CAMA Festival
04, 2010 – Taiwan Tour
03, 2010 – SXSW
09, 2009 – Plaster 8 Rock Weekend
|P.K.14: How Majestic Is The Night from Maybe Mars on Vimeo.|