An article about F.B.I. and me in the latest issue of BC magazine... since you can't see what is written 'cos it's so small, I have typed it out below. Please enjoy!
What do you expect of the upcoming Guns N Ammunition show?
I expect the audience to have a lot of fun; it will be the first full show we have done in a long time in the Lan Kwai Fong area so hopefully a lot of our friends and fans will come to the party. So it should be a lot of fun.
What should we expect as an audience for the show?
Because we haven’t played a full set in a long time, you should expect to be blown away by our mix of sounds and energy.
You came 2
nd in the Hong Kong GBOB finals. What does GBOB mean to you as a Hong Kong musician? And what does coming 2
nd mean to you guys?
OK, so obviously coming 2
nd is not as good as coming first and it’s abit of a let down that we did so well but then we only came 2
nd. But the fact that out of 13 bands we got a place in the top three is really great because not only were we competing against the 13 bands that made it to the finals, but we’d already competed against the 50 something bands that joined the heats. The fact that we came 2
nd means that almost we’re kind of the 2
nd best band in Hong Kong you could say. But GBOB is a lot different from the Battle of the Bands that was around a few years ago but folded: In Battle of the Bands you play a 30minute set and GBOB you only play two songs, so you could have two really good songs but the rest of your songs could sound like shit. Yeah, we came 2
nd because we’ve got two really good songs but you need to come to the Guns N Ammunition party to hear the rest of our songs and find out that they are just as good as the ones we played at GBOB.
One of the difficulties in a scene as encapsulated and small as Hong Kong’s is maintaing people’s interest. F.B.I. have been around for a few years; how do you maintain public interest?
Obviously starting out you rely on your friends to support you but as you play more shows, friends tend to come less and less and that’s when you try to develop a fan base. The way we develop a fan base is by getting seen, getting known and so we join competitions such as GBOB because we want more people to find out about us. I think all the competitions that we’ve been in have made us not well known but better known to a wider audience. But, it’s very hard to keep it going because, obviously, if you’re playing the same songs all the time, people aren’t going to come to the show as often. This is the difference between a band in a place like America and us in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong you are only playing to the one city whereas in America you can go from city to city playing the same set and you’ve just got a different audience. In Hong Kong, not as many people are into the rock scene, more are into the pop scene, so you’ve got to liven it up and make new songs. We have to write new songs almost all the time to keep people interested because they don’t want to hear the same old stuff again.
You guys play a heavy but mix musical styles, such as punk and rap. Is there an F.B.I. ethos? What are you trying to achieve?
I think everybody in the band has different tastes. I’m into heavy metal whereas the other guys, being of Chinese origin, are more into pop and Cantopop, so we try and meld our styles into one. Sometimes I will have an idea or Jerald, (Archvictor) or Nice has an idea, but the main thing is we don’t want to conform to one style- I find that with some bands you can listen to their whole set and it will feel like listening to one long song. We don’t want our audience to have that feeling. We want them to go up and down and turn around, you know- we want them to have different feelings. Sometimes we expose them to our heavy metal type of music and then other times we want to rough it out with them and sing them a ballad, so it’s more ups and downs and not just flat for the whole show.
Apart from music, what else have you been up to recently?
Well, when this issue comes out I’ll have finished performing in Sweeney Todd as Adolfo Pirelli, the Italian barber. That’s a musical, so I’m acting in that and then in January I’m playing Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. In both of these plays I get to die so that’s cool, ha ha! I get to sing, act and die so, yeah, that’s really fun! It’s a transition for myself to expand my horizons so I’ve been doing theatre. I was an MC for HK Live until they stopped it because they don’t have a sponsor anymore and I’m doing interviews for Choochoo TV, an online TV show. So, I’ve been keeping very busy! As far as the rest of the band go, we’re all so busy that it’s hard to make time to get together to practice.
So where does F.B.I. go from here? What’s the next step?
Like I was saying before, in Hong Kong there are not many places that you can go- we’ve been to Macau before. We’re looking to go to Shenzhen, Taiwan, Singapore; basically we are trying to get into some festivals next year. There’s a possibility that we might be able to get into a festival in Perth, Australia, but that’s all up in the air at the moment- things are always up in the air! In the future we want to do more festivals; we want to get better known, get a bigger fan base and I guess make more songs and try to get record companies interested in them so that we can quit our day jobs basically! One of our songs is called ‘Don’t quit your day job’ and it’s all about people saying to me things like, “You’re no Tom Cruise, you can’t sing, don’t be a comedian- you’re not Jerry Seinfeld.” And, you know, fuck them! I have dreams and some people may think that they are impossible but that’s what I live for. If I don’t have dreams then there’s no reason to live!
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