Interview: Jiang Hao (DOC)


Interview conducted by Michael Cupoli 

Jiang Hao is one of the guitar players from the band DOC which used to be Doc Talk Shock. DOC is one of the great bands that are from Dalian and their music has changed quite a bit over the years. Jiang Hao explains the evolution of the band, their creative process, and the music scene in Dalian. This weekend, DOC are releasing their new album, Northern Electric Shadow, at Tango, Saturday, August 20th, as part of the Limbic Man show with Duck Fight Goose – give that a listen on xiami, douban, and iTunes.

What is your background in music?

I learnt accordion and played trumpet in the school band when I was a kid. I guess that was the early influence. I didn’t start a band until years later in college. After playing in a couple of college bands, I formed Doc Talk Shock with three friends in 2008 and it has now evolved into DOC.


What is the music scene in Dalian like? Since I know you travel often, how do you think Dalian is different from and fits into the rest of the music scene in China?

Dalian’s music scene is quite small but very united. All the musicians are very close friends and open to different kind of collaborations. Apart from bigger scenes in Beijing and Shanghai, I think each city has its own type of music culture. Dalian has a quite serious experimental scene. In the past decade, Dalian\’s music scene was a bit isolated from the rest of the scenes, but we have always been producing good music here.


Why did the band decide to change the name from Doc Talk Shock to DOC? What does Dalian Obscure Club(DOC) mean?

I think the new name symbolized a new start for the band and it fits our current status better. Our own rehearsal place is at inconspicuous basement by a main road. We gather regularly there to make music is like going to a secret club.

Who are the members of the band and what does everyone play/do in the band?

Me and Yudong plays guitar, Evgeny is on the bass, Sean is the drummer and Qu Ruining plays the synth.


How has the music of the band evolved since the last album?

Doc Talk Shock was more influenced by the 90s alternative rock. DOC’s new album has incorporated diverse influences and approaches as well as balancing highly structured compositions against abstract improvisational sections and also an interest in pop songs. Its sound consists of a melodic and energetic mix of instrumental rock, minimalist music, electronica and cinematic themes.

What is the writing process for DOC? Does the band write everything together or is there someone that is the main song writer? Does is there a lot of improvisation within the music?

We had a quite open writing process for this album. Each of us has contributed a lot in this one. We choose the tracks from a number of works we have done in the past two years and further develop them. Yes, some sections of the music come from improvisations, and the last song in the album Hua Palace, is full improvisational.


DOC has two shows planned with Duck Fight Goose in Beijing and Shanghai and then some other dates have been planned as well. What are all the cities that DOC is going? Is there anything special that is going to happen at the show? 

Apart from Beijing and Shanghai, currently we have confirmed shows in Xiamen and Guangzhou, we are still planning for other shows later this year, maybe another two to three cities. The Limbic Man show in Beijing and Shanghai, we will give the audience a special angle of Dalian on the visual, Han Han from Duck Fight Goose and Taiwanese visual artist Neng Huo will also give it an artistic spin.


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