Meet Solid Liqui, a Post-Punk, No Wave Trio From Shanghai


Solid Liqui is a post punk, no wave, noise band from Shanghai that their raw music is super interesting with the blend of Chinese traditional opera and pentatonic scales, and this March 16 they will be performing at Asia Sound Space: Space Gekco at Brownstone with COSMOS Discovery’s Dizang and homegrown bands like Lepyutin, La Nuit and Hope the Flower. Let’s get to know them more in their first Thai-English interview with us, on Space Invader.

Solid Liqui

Yun Zhang (drums)
Amelia Wang (bass)
Chu Sun (guitar/ vocal)

Yun: Starting from the very beginning, it was exactly the kind of music we wanted to delve more into.

Chu: We didn’t explore too many different genres when we started our band instead of having a very strong intention of the kind of music that we wanted to create. Cause’ I have dreamed for a long time that I can work with two or three people together to create something special.

Amelia: After we three ran into each other, the music came out of our natural collision, and I suppose the occurrence of music is also the intersection of the music that has been absorbed in the past.

Yun: Amelia and I got acquainted through a noise gig. We met in autumn in 2016. That’s the time I got a job in Shanghai after graduation and started to live there. Chu and I knew each other through friends. Luckily when we three talked and played, there was lots of consistency on how we look and expect in music.

Chu: We met and recognized each other through music simply. I wrote a song and one of my musician friends listened, then he told me ‘I wanted to introduce you to a drummer’ who is actually Yun.

Solid Liqui

Yun: ‘World music’ maybe you mean some traditional elements. From my perspective, I’d like to add some percussion rhythm from traditional operas, which are more linear, as well as some bells and rings to put proper color on timber.

Chu: I like the word ‘world music’ cause’ I love folk music and traditional arts. The biggest influence for me is the folk songs and traditional opera in my hometown Xi’an where Qin Opera is famous. It is a kind of extension of the pentatonic scale, and a lot of traditional music worldwide also has similar functions. Cannot list all sources, but this is what we really love.

Amelia: We try to soak up nutrients in traditional Chinese music that we take root, not only for the rhythm, the chord, the melody, but also the local dialect in the phrase and vocal part.

Yun: This is the first full album we have. I think what we want to try in this album is to build subtle order through abundant and absurd appearance, just like Arnold Schoenberg did in the first place. 

Chu: In the album, I tried to express what I really wanted to express in the past years before we wrote these songs. So like mirages, it could be positive or negative, could be objective or subjective, but what you actually can feel and touch is real life.

Yi: I believe the album is the documentation and reproduction of the process in which we explore the form and expression of music. The Chinese name of the album ‘无浪击石’ literally means ‘there’s no waves striking the rocks’, which can be understood as ‘absurd fantasies’. While the wave itself implies a primitive, instinctive, raw rush, no wave represents the playfulness of stepping out of the frame and the rules, breaking through the instinct to express out of the linearity. No wave is not necessarily stagnant water, you will never know when it’s in or will have an undercurrent of violence.

Yun: The obstacles for me are from personal rather than policy. Since we have a day job, I think the way we use time, especially in creating and thinking, is still the most challenging aspect. Also I need more time to read and get in contact with other forms of expression, so that I can still feel life.

Chu: same as Yun. Putting more time on music is the challenge that we need to go through. I am thinking about some kind of commitment for a music career.

Yi: Yes, the lyrics won’t be the largest obstacle, I believe the key still lies in the music itself -how to effectively make use of time to create music in a way we desire and accept.

Yun: The lyrics come from Chu. He is the poet I respect.

Chu: This album tells about myself actually. It’s about my disillusionment, my arrogance, my love and hate for my hometown, some of the secret and untellable pains.

Yi: Chu has plenty of perceptions of life and the world we live in and he writes them down when inspiration strikes.

Yun: Yes, all channels are needed if you always want to know more. Honestly speaking, if talking about inspiration to compose a song, this is nothing about social media. For me this is more about the shape of real life. 

Chu: An energetic physical body will give me more inspiration. If my brain is exhausted, I cannot do anything.

Yi: I search for good music and musicians from different channels. One is to observe what other musicians are doing and the other is to absorb some musical nourishment and sometimes expand my imagination and boundaries for music. When creating music, I hope it’s a combination of the inside, from myself and my life, and the outside.

Yun: I think there is huge potential in China’s underground music. There is a way music comes from, that derives from the conflict between different cultures, economics, behaviors etc. From my perspective there are lots of changes and migrations happening here. The fast and big change of environment makes you feel uncomfortable or confused. These changes make people sensitive and need an outlet for their emotions. The spirit outlet could be music, music with true emotions.   

Chu: there will be more developments on local music scenes. And a lot of international musicians live here, like Dizang‘s members, they all provide the community with different energies.

Yi: On the one hand, if we say music is a form of self-expression, then the contemporary youngsters focus more on personal expression about themselves, the surroundings, the feeling and thoughts, hence music can be a tool for them. It explains why indie bands are appearing in an increasing number.  On the other hand, various music forms and genres are open to us, to enable music listeners to become musicians.

Yun: The suggestion is to wait for the next album, which could make this album easier to understand.

Chu: There are a lot of ways to express the same topic. In the first album, I enjoyed playing some pieces of phrases which have very unique techniques. But it is not easy to be grabbed by listeners. In the next album, I am trying to focus on the bigger view of a song, but I don’t know if it could be easier to understand.

Yi:  What people feel while listening to our music through streaming media might not be the same when they’re at the gig. So I will recommend they come and listen to our live shows. Also our next album may be another channel to understand us more, worth waiting for!

Yun: Lots of good bands. You should check on Dizang!

Chu: I like Dizang.

Yi: Dizang is such a band you cannot miss in the local music scene.

Yun: Always have new ideas to experiment and discuss with bandmates.

Chu: A good new song will always make me happier.

Yi: Try more on the instruments and the music itself.

Yun: I would not say we are exotic bands. Hopefully we bring a little bit of the evolution of music to you.

Chu: We come from overseas and we can sing some songs that you cannot find even on the internet.

Yi: Any imagination for a Chinese band? We will break it. Come check us on the scene!

Meet Solid Liqui and Dizang during these dates at these following venues!
14 Mar – Speakerbox (BKK)
15 Mar – Light my fire (Nakhon Pathom)
16 Mar – Space Gecko at Brownstone (BKK) 

Read more
COSMOS Discovery: 地藏Dizang 🇨🇳

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