Cultural and political obstacles prevent Metal in China? The answer is no....
Heavy Metal music is loud, emotional and bearing the spirit of rebelliousness and thus
easily associated with Western culture. If you think of Mainland China, people normally speak of rich cultural heritage, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the marvellous food, but remain silent if asked about Chinese Rock. Furthermore there is the restrictive government.
Cultural and political obstacles prevent Metal in China? The answer is no. Hard music found a niche in Mainland China and closer look at the scene reveals an interesting culture.
But first: Let’s go back in time and have a short glance at how it all began….
The development of modern music is closely connected to the political changes and the policy of Deng Xiaoping, who opened China to western influences. It took some year before
The birth of Rock Music in China is dated in 1986, as a development call Xibei feng (North-West-Wind) came up. We’re speaking of Cui Jian and his famous song “Yi wu suo you” (I own nothing).
Cui Jian was the first who was able to record and publish this new taste of music in 1989 (which is for western ears somehow very experimental and hard to love). With the beginning of the 80ies he belonged to a group of about 20 – 30 friends, who collected all sorts of western music. They borrowed tapes from foreign students and discovered a new world of music. Among those were also some people who later on formed Tang Chao (Tang Dynasty), the first Metal Band of Mainland China, the pioneers of hard music.
The birthday of Metal was the, when the “Xiandai Yinyuehui” (festival Of Modern Music) took place in Beijing on 18th February in 1990.
Tang Dynasty played among other bands. And even if their music was enriched by traditional instruments and rhythms, there were typical Metal trademark: the guitars and the pounding drums. At this time really noone has foreseen the euphoria this concert initiated. Famous the sentence one spectator said: «This is the most exciting time of our lives. We feel as if the music buried in our hearts has finally come to life». It was still hard to imagine, Hard Rock and Metal could have a chance surviving in a country flooded by shallow pop music. But Tang Dynasty played another concert a few month later: At the opening ceremony of the 1990 Asian games in front of Millions of TV-spectators and 100.000 people in the Beijing Olympic Stadium.