採訪及攝影： Vivan Yeung, Nien Kong
集結本地獨立樂界出色樂手，香港「超級樂隊」Teenage Riot成員來自False Alarm, 22Cats, Hard Candy, Rachel Believes in Me及汐，陣容強大。今次負責訪問Teenage Riot的Vivian Yeung 和Nien Kong曾觀看過樂隊成員無數次演出，而他們終於得到機會與這隊噪音搖滾的超級樂隊作訪問。大家不妨來看看他們如何一同懷愐過去，談及未來。
Por：（笑）我們剛開始時並非什麼超級組合。大約十年前我在22Cats, Ling在False Alarm, Yan在Hard Candy時我們已想和其他音樂人合作，嘗試新的東西。我們三人都是Sonic Youth樂迷，於是組成了Teenage Riot，以cover Sonic Youth歌曲為主。
問：Teenage Riot以噪搖經典樂隊Sonic Youth歌曲命名，你覺得Sonic Youth對你們創作上有何影響？
Ling：由False Alarm時期開始我已經常說我們的音樂取材於其他樂隊。False Alarm有幾首歌曲借用了Spiritualized的元素，不過人們大多不認同。我想大概因為歌曲的出發點有採用到這些元素，但完成品經過琢磨後變成了原創作品。Teenage Riot以cover Sonic Youth的歌曲作起步，所有新事物都源自歷史，無論是借用或作推翻之用。
問：你們在過去的演出上曾演繹The Velvet Underground或Lou Reed的歌曲。今年於Clockenflap會演奏原創歌曲抑或以翻唱為主？
Ling：以組成獨立樂圈的樂種種類來說，我認為現在與90年代分別不大。90年代中期刮起英搖風潮，本地出現了很多英搖樂隊，他們普遍沒有特別的樂隊哲學或使命感，純粹享受創作英語歌曲。Pillow, Kind People, Atomic Bubbles, Chaos等樂隊教曉我獨立音樂精神－記得第一次在港大陸祐堂看到像Chaos的樂隊，全員以英搖風格打扮。獨立樂界的圈子很細，而且都是業餘，大多視夾band為興趣。
Teenage Riot將參演今年Clockenflap。十一月三十日下午二點十五分Your Mum舞台上見！
Interview and photos by Vivian Yeung and Nien Kong
Chinese translation by Becky Wong
Consisting of prominent musicians from the local indie scene – including members of False Alarm, 22 Cats, Hard Candy, Rachel Believes in Me and Tide – Hong Kong supergroup Teenage Riot has a formidable lineup. Having seen one too many of their gigs and bought too many secondhand records off one of their guitarists, Vivian Yeung and Nien Kong spoke to the fascinating noise rock band about the good old days, being a supergroup, and upcoming projects.
Q: How did you all meet and why did you decide to form such a supergroup?
Por: (laughs) We didn’t start out as a supergroup. About 10 years ago I was in 22 Cats, Ling was in False Alarm, Yan was in Hard Candy and we all wanted to try something new with other musicians. The three of us loved Sonic Youth and we decided to form a band to do Sonic Youth covers and that’s why we called ourselves Teenage Riot.
Ling: It’s funny that people see us as a supergroup because we just see ourselves as a bunch of old people playing in a band, doing what we like in our spare time. In this tiny scene with so few people it’s hard to see anyone as a supergroup, our bands have hardly been commercially successful. From day one we didn’t really have any expectations and just wanted to make music for ourselves.
Q: In your biography, you say that you don’t really have a fixed lineup and it changes according to your mood – why do you prefer it this way and why does it work?
Yan: We just want to have fun, so if some members aren’t free we can always have someone else join. Our music is pretty straightforward so it isn’t hard for them to pick up.
Por: We just go with the flow, really.
Ling: We’ve spent so many years playing in bands so we’re really used to lineup changes.
Q: Are you planning on releasing an album anytime soon? If so, does that mean your lineup will remain fixed from then on?
Ling: We’re planning on releasing an album on vinyl next year; we don’t have much faith in the CD format anymore. About 80% of the songs are done, but vinyl is expensive to press, so we’re planning to see if we have enough people who pledge to buy it, and if we do we’ll get it made.
Yan: I don’t think it’s going to result in a fixed lineup though.
Q: It’s evident from the band’s name that you’re fans of noise rockers Sonic Youth. Who else do you think has influenced you musically?
Ling: We can talk about musical influences all night! (laughs) I remember reading Music Colony Bi-weekly (MCDB, an indie/alternative music magazine that ran from 1994-2004) where there was this column called Band File in which bands recommended albums, and I feel like we’re still stuck in that time period. We’ve been listening to bands for 30 years, it’s hard to list them all.
Sabrina: I’ve been listening to a lot of techno lately.
Freakiyo: Classical is soothing when I’m at work, so that’s what I’ve been listening to.
Q: Most of you have your own bands or projects, so is it difficult to reach a consensus when you’re deciding on a general direction for the band?
Ling: I don’t think so; we’re okay with pretty much any genre.
Yan: We’ve been in the indie scene for so many years that we’ve pretty much played in every sort of music possible.
Ling: Except maybe metal, because I don’t think we’d be able to pull it off.
Q: Why do you say that your genre is copy rock?
Ling: Starting from False Alarm I’ve always said that our songs borrow off other bands. There was a certain False Alarm song that I told people we borrowed off Spiritualized, and people told us they didn’t think so. I guess we start out borrowing elements of other music, and in the end we end up with an original song of our own. Teenage Riot started out as a Sonic Youth cover band; there’s nothing that doesn’t originate from history, whether you’re overthrowing it or borrowing from it.
Yan: A good artist is good at hiding their sources!
Por: When you like a band so much that their music is already subconsciously embedded in your mind, it’ll be reflected in the stuff you create.
Q: You’re performing at Clockenflap this year. What do you think of Hong Kong’s music festivals?
Yan: They’re becoming better and better, that’s for sure. Clockenflap, for instance, wasn’t such a big event before. Look at their lineup now – they even had Franz Ferdinand last year, and they have big sponsors.
Q: You’ve been releasing some behind the scenes photos on your page lately; could that mean the release of a music video?
Ling: Yeah, we’re working on a new MV and we hope it’s going to be released soon!
Q: In your past shows, you’ve covered songs by The Velvet Underground or Lou Reed. Will you be playing original songs at Clockenflap or will you be doing covers of your favorite acts?
Yan: We’ll be playing an all-original set this time, since it’s a short set.
Ling: If we had no time constraints at all we could play for a really really long time. (laughs)
Q: Which local band would you most want to collaborate with?
Ling: We’re always collaborating – just look at our band members and you can tell that we’re already the biggest collaboration.
Q: How do you think the Hong Kong indie scene has changed over the past ten years?
Yan: A lot of the new bands don’t seem angry enough. There don’t seem to be enough hardcore, metal or punk bands around. There are a lot of bands that play party or alternative music though. Back then, there were more people our age who listened to indie music.
Ling: In terms of the composition of the indie scene I’d say it’s not much different from the 90s. There was a wave of Britpop bands in the mid-90s. They didn’t have any particular philosophy or big ideas; they sang in English and were in bands because they loved doing what they wanted. Bands like Pillow, Kind People, Atomic Bubbles and Chaos taught me the spirit of independent music – I remember seeing this show at Lok Yew Hall at HKU and that was the first time I saw bands like Chaos, with members all dressed up Britpop-style. The indie scene is still pretty small, and most bands still do it as a hobby and not full-time.
Por: That reminds me of the shows at Roman Square in CityU. And those shows organized by MCB at Tsuen Wan Town Hall in the 90s, those were all sold out. I guess that was because there were fewer shows of the kind back then.
Teenage Riot are playing at Clockenflap this year. Catch them on 30 November, 2014 (Sunday) at 2:15pm on Your Mum Stage!