Jumping Goat （跳山羊）is a post-punk, garage noise band from Xi’an, the ancient capital of China.
In October Jumping Goat released its debut album ‘Walking on the Ice’.
Vocal & keyboard: Tingting Xiao
Vocal & guitar: Wei Xin
Bass: Fuxin Hao
Drum: Shunzhe Zhang
What are the major influences on your sound?
We are really into the 70’s & 80s indie rock music scene in the western world. Our music was deeply influenced by the grandmother style post-punk band, such as Joy Division, Gang of Four, Bauhaus, etc. These listening habits shaped the root of Jumping Goat.
Recently, we were also fascinated by lots of heavy post-punk bands, such as IDLES, Shames, Black Midi, Psycho Monks, etc. Maybe we will try more powerful music on the next stage, which is more live house or gigs-oriented.
Where does the name ‘Jumping Goat’ come from?
Jumping Goat is a Chinese folk word “Tiao Shan Yang” （跳山羊）, we directly translated it to English (The jumping goat is a folk children’s game that simulates goat jumping, similar to the game of leapfrog).
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It means leaping frogs or vaulting when we grew up in primary school. But people don’t use this word anymore. So we picked it up to memory this period of happy memory.
How and when did you start your career as a band?
We met each other around 2013. All of us already had bands, but we still eager to do some different sounds, such as pioneer music or indie music. We were bored with punk, metal, or Britpop. We were based in Xian. We spent 2-3 years with each other during this period. We also created most of our songs during 2013-2015. And then we temporarily dissolved because the guitar player read Ph.D. in the UK.
How did you meet?
We met on DouBan, which is a very important youth culture website five years early. The bassist posted a message to find a musician. I saw it and drop him a message, very easy!
How the environment you live in have shaped your sound?
Xian is one of my favorite cities in China.
It was the capital of China for 13 dynasties.
Xian is not modern but we like its long history.
People’s lifestyle is very relaxed and slow.
We can spend lots of time writing music, talking with friends, and drinking all night.
What are the main topics for most of your songs?
Our song mainly talks about the real problems we faced, such as the value of teenagers, the separation of a family.
However, we prefer to tell a story or say it in an obscure way.
For example the song “forest”, we intend to describe the danger of adult society.
Like a zoo, all kinds of animals with different desires and motivations, which is like a forest, full of love and hurts.
Can you share with us a story from backstage?
Our band has a strange habit, we used to do something together before gigs, to relieve our pressures and relax each other.
We always went to the restaurant to have a good meal and drink a lot during 2013-2015, when we just started Jumping Goat.
However, recently, instead of drinking and eating, we prefer to go to a massage shop to take massage therapy.
We found massage is better than food and alcohol, which could warm our up quickly.
Which artists would you like to collaborate with?
We really into collaborating with dancers on the next stage.
We watched lots of dancing-rock bands such as Bonaparte, LYNKS AFRIKKA, etc, which largely fascinated us.
These kinds of bands refined the show of rock and roll.
We fully agreed that sound is only one element of the show.
We hope to add some new ways to present the gigs that more cult and dark, such as VJ, dancer and so on.
Will you tour abroad in the next future?
We really expect to bring our sound to different countries, collaborate with local artists, talk with native people, and drink lots of craft beers.
We also looking forward to recording our next album abroad.
What is your next project?
First, we plan to write some new songs in 2020, even publish an EP.
Second, we want to find one or two dancers with a modern dancing background.
Maybe they will join in Jumping Goat group and play together with us on stage.
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.