‘Dedicated to those who have lost touch with the world, to those who are neither asleep nor awake’ – that’s the logline for Shanghai’s Mirrors 解离的真实’s debut Within An Endless Dream. And they’re not lying – I can remember catching them back at Wetware Festival in 2017 and being astounded by their set. While top-rate producers like Actress and Andy Stott were trying to work a sweat at over at Tango Livehouse, this unknown Shanghai rock band had turned School Bar upside down – it was mass hysteria. Simply put, Mirrors are a precision missile of hard-hitting rock and roll that’s primal in it’s seduction. While singer and guitarist Aming’s fierce guitar and feral-like vocalizations hit you like a freight train, the trio is very much a unit, propelled by pulsating drums of Daniel, and the rock hard grooves of bassist Bai, both of whom meet in the band Nonplus of Colour. It’s an electrifying cocktail, elevating every song to a cultish frenzy – shaking you to your very core. The band has been hard at work on their debut, and while the pandemic did it’s best to delay this beast of an album (as well as a New Zealand tour), the band has finally gotten around to unleashing it upon listeners, with a release show at Yuyintang Park on Friday, May 29th. I shot Daniel and Bai some questions regarding the album.
Q: A lot of time and work went into the album – how does it feel now that it’s finally done? Are you relieved?
A: It is really relieving. It’s typical for albums to months or years to complete and release with a label, but things came together in the end so we are super happy to share this work now. It’s a relief after covid 19 to get it out and lift the psychic energy of people after a bit of a daunting time. Get psyched!
Q: What was the most difficult part about the process? The best part?
A: Life can be a fucking struggle. We are all suffering or we are going to suffer. Eventually we loose everything and everyone we love in this life. This album is testament to personal suffering. We embrace the difficulties. We cherish our failure. We are preferred to suffer. The best part? Letting go of pain. This album enabled us to harmonise our minds & bodies to dislodge grotesque emotional energy. The transmutation from bad feelings into constructive creative behaviour. Celebrating the archival process of recording. Finishing. Letting go.
Q: There’s something primal about your music that’s hard to shake – what turns you on musically?
A: I feel music is a conduit for all the primal human nature repressed in our daily modern lives. All the feelings we have can be expressed and released with musical instruments, together. It’s fucking powerful. If you’re asking about musical influence – just the people around us in the music scene making things happen. Personally I only listen to new techno artists on Spotify. Otherwise watching live local bands.
Q: Psychedelic music and Shanghai seem like a strange match – how has the city influenced the way you approach your music? How does it compare to a place like Beijing, where you (Aming) lived and helped in many was develop the experimental scene?
A: Shanghai is a proto cyber punk apocalypse. There are thousands more bands to be born in this city in the future. Shanghai is still in it’s infancy of modern cultural influence. Plenty of room at the top.
Q: In one of your songs you say ‘So we gotta keep singing, we gotta keep moving to set em free’ – is there something cathartic in playing together and performing for audiences? Do you find it therapeutic?
A: Yes. No shit. That’s the reason. You guessed it. Battle scars.
Q: Getting German saxophonist Klaus Bru on board is pretty nuts – how did he get involved?
A: We were introduced to Klaus first through Aming as they’re good friends. In our second performance ever Klaus performed with us. At that time, it was only a simple rehearsal, and he easily integrated into our song, and he was very impressed. So when we realized that the song needed a sax, we thought of Klaus without hesitation.
Q: You were supposed to release the album and go on tour in New Zealand earlier this year – how did you react to the news of the cancellation and postponement?
A: Stay home save life’s. I was more shocked by how far down the rabbit hole Internet culture has gone towards global conspiracy. Everyone had become a fucking nut job. Internet search algorithms have radicalised a new alt right movement. I have lost interest in my own selfish egotistical desires (inserts goals for 2020 meme) There is a tactical war for possession of your mind. How can we avert disinformation and protect ourselves from a fake reality?
Q: How did you all finally move forward? Can we expect a hologram of Daniel?
A: Once international travel is safe I will come to China and play shows. Likewise we can tour NZ.