Xiao Dou, a student of the erhu, 二胡, a two-stringed bowed musical instrument known in the West as the Chinese violin, started his career in the music industry working as a sound engineer for bands and clubs across the capital.
A few years later Xiao Dou started his first band DICE, accompanied by talented musicians.
Xiao Dou soon found himself moving back to Guiyang in 2014 to start Run Run Run. All four members of the band were different ethnic minorities. After few gigs in 2015, the band signed to Maybe Mars. In 2017 Xiao Dou moved back to Beijing.
What does your band name mean?
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It is the same song name from The Velvet Underground, also our favorite song. So we use it, don’t have any special meanings.
是 The velvet underground 的一首歌名，也是我们非常喜欢的一首歌，所以就用了，没有特殊的意思
How and when did you start your career in the music industry?
I formed the band “DICE” in 2010 Beijing, then started Run Run Run in Guiyang 2014 until now.
How long have you all known each other?
Now our band has 3 members, me, keyboard and bass Xiao Wen and the drummer Moter. Xiao Wen and I have known each other for 8 years, Moter for 3 years.
How did you meet?
By watching gigs and friends’ parties.
What are the major influences on your music?
Earlier 60/70s impromptu bands like The Velvet Underground and Can. Besides, there are some influences from movies about the Second World War and Vietnam War.
主要影响我们音乐的还是早期六七十年代偏即兴的一些乐队，比如The velvet underground 和Can 这样的乐队，除此之外有一些电影影响，比如关于越战和二战的一些电影.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Most of the topics are about environment，some reactions towards people and the environment. Also from movies.
How did the China tour go?
The tour was a refreshing feeling, the audience was beyond our imagination. We jammed a new song in every place. It was really fun.
What’s your songwriting process?
There are some motivations that come from my mind at first, and then rehearse to express those ideas, record those materials and then there is a selection of the material.
Can you share with us a story from backstage?
One time, we performed at Old Heaven Bookstore in Shenzhen, because of our busy tour schedule, when the guest band Sulianying was performing, me and our keyboard Xiao Wen fell asleep in the corner of the stage. (The bookstore didn’t have a backstage for rest, and the chairs were not enough, so we could only rest on stage.)
Will you tour in Europe or the United States in the next future?
We are very much looking forward to Europe or the US for a tour because there are vivid music scenes and our favorite musicians. We hope we can have a chance to go on a tour.
What is your next project?
We are preparing for our new album. We gave up our ideas from the last album. Now we prefer to make an album that is more Groove. Just like our band’s name. We hope we can produce it at the end of this year.
Thanks to Maybe Mars for the collaboration
CHINA-UNDERGROUND. Matteo Damiani is an Italian sinologist, photographer, author and motion designer. Matteo lived and worked for ten years in China. Founder of CinaOggi.it and China-underground.com.