Available for download Here.
Recorded in Beijing in October 2017.
First Video “Beijing Autumn”
“What You Want”, the latest Djang San + Band album, is now available worldwide on all platforms including China, Taiwan etc.
Here is an interview made by a Chinese media about the launch of the album in China. It’s both in Chinese and English.
张思安与乐队这次出的新专辑叫“What You Want”
这张专辑在张思安发明和设计的电中阮和电琵琶演奏的音乐上有了进一步拓展。当中的鼓手是来自美国加利福尼亚州的Carlo V.Fuentes, 贝斯手是来自澳大利亚的Clancy Lethbridge。
这次的创作通过“What you want”和“Rainbow Machine”此类歌曲呈现Funk风格，“Lava”和“Monster Following me”呈现迷幻摇滚，“Emotional Blackmail”呈现了Punk风格，以及“Tron”表现了流行音乐风格。
张思安与乐队通过这张专辑也继续发展另类的世界音乐。比如“Sakura’s Bolero” 是《拉威尔的波莱罗》和 《樱花歌》 的混合，“Asian Flower” 是民谣，电子乐和摇滚的另类混合。
“What You Want”, recorded with Carlo V.Fuentes on drums and Clancy Lehtbridge on bass, two exceptional musicians from California and Australia, goes once more further into the use of electric zhongruan and electric pipa, both designed by French musician Djang San, pushing those two Chinese classical music instruments again beyond their supposed limits into more musical styles.
Djang San + Band pushed this time into funk with songs like “What You Want” and “Rainbow Machine”, progressive rock with songs like “Lava” and “Monster Following Me”, psychedelic rock “Beloved Monster”, punk “Emotional Blackmail”, and pop “Tron”.
The band, also keeps on exploring World Music in a different way with such tracks as “Sakura’s Bolero” inspired by Ravel’s Bolero and mixed with famous Japanese classical music theme Sakura, and “Asian Flower”, which also brings some electronic music ideas into the mix.
Heard that you have to use their invention and design in the new album of electricity in ruan and electricity pipa, ruan is turn out to be a Chinese people are not very familiar with Chinese traditional musical instrument, what do you have access to the Chinese traditional instruments and music creation?
I have done 40 albums so far, this is not the first album I record using the electric zhongruan and electric pipa. I actually started to compose music with a zhongruan as soon as I bought one in 2000-2001.
Yes I have created electrified versions of the zhongruan and the pipa. I did that in order to give these instruments a different musical life and expand there possibilities into modern music.
I started playing zhongruan after I went to the Beijing Opera when I first came to China in the year 2000. I saw the zhongruan was one of the instruments used in the background and I saw the potential of that instrument as a leading instrument in a band. After seeing the performance I went to several music shops in Beijing in order to find a zhongruan and finally found one.
For many years I played that instrument on stage in China and most people in the audience didn’t know it was a Chinese instrument, they would often ask me if it was a French instrument.
I decided to use the zhongruan and other Chinese instruments like the pipa, the hulusi etc. because I saw an opportunity to do something different.
I started playing guitar when I was 16 and I saw in the zhongruan, and in singing in Chinese, a way to do something different in the world, and to introduce a new idea of music.
So yes, when I started doing that, no-one in or outside of China was really interested, I was pionneering a new idea and felt like I was creating a new direction for music, with at the center of a band, not a guitar, but a different instrument, an instrument most people in the world didn’t know about at that time, and most people in China had forgotten about.
You have to understand that China in 2000 and China in 2017 are very different places. When I arrived the first time in Beijing, everything still had to be done, and development in China was really just at its beginning.
I found it interesting I could play a role in that development with music.
Now that China’s young people seem to be paying less attention to China’s traditional culture, do you think these attempts at music will refocus their attention on traditional Chinese culture?
The music I do is a mix between East and West in many different manners, it includes elements of music from the East and the West, musical styles like rock music, jazz, electronic music, which are styles
that everybody knows and listens too anywhere in the world.
Because I can both use the zhongruan and pipa in there taditionnal way, but also in a modern way I have created through a lot of experimentation, I think my music can attract people from all ages and origins.
Most people in the world have forgotten about all these ancient instruments, but to me the past and the future are all related. We think of the guitar as a cool intrument because we have heard so much music done with it and know so many bands that used it that it becomes natural for us to like it and think it’s cool. To me there is always a need for new ideas and change in everything, using these Chinese instruments is a way for me to create change and to show we all are just people, wherever we are from.
张思安：我第一次来中国的时候是在2000年,一位朋友向我介绍了北京地下音乐酒吧，像幸运酒吧，What酒吧或CD咖啡馆，我认识了谢天笑、小河、, 野孩子, Honey Guns，瘦人乐队，万晓利，王娟，二手玫瑰，声音碎片，郭龙，张玮玮，布衣乐队和许多其他人。
在2001 – 2002年的那个时候，我每周三都在河酒吧玩，有时周末也会过去这些音乐人在一起，他们对我产生了很深的影响。当时几乎没有人唱中文歌，而在法国，大多数摇滚乐队都用英语演唱，所以我决定用中文演唱，因为我认为这将是一个新的创意。
Do you have any favorite Chinese musicians? What do you think this musician gave you on music?
When I first came in 2000, a friend introduced me to the Beijing Undergound Music scene and I went to venues that existed at the time like the River bar, Get Lucky bar, What bar or CD Café where I saw bands and musicians like Xie Tian Xiao, Xiao He, the Wild Children, Honey Guns, Thin Man, Wan Xiao Li, Wang Juan, Second Hand Roses, Sound Fragments, Guo Long, Zhang Wei Wei, Buyi and many others.
At that time in 2001-2002 I was playing every wednesday at the River bar and sometimes on the weekend too. I used to jam with these musicians as well and as a young guy that had a deep influence on me.
At that time almost no-one was singing in Chinese and in France most rock bands were singing in English so I decided to sing in Chinese as I thought it would be an original and fresh idea. I think I became one of the first French musicians to sing in Chinese at the time.
It’s also around that time that I started to use ancient Chinese poems in my music and I started to write folk songs in mandarin.
I also became very good friends with the drummer of the Wild Children at the time Xiao Peng, he gave me CD’s and tapes of Chinese music like Cui Jian, Heyong, Tang Dynasty etc, I then started to study the origin of rock music in China and even wrote a memoire about the origins of Chinese music and the use of the pentatonic for my 3rd year of University in Bordeaux. That’s also how I learnt Chinese, through Chinese rock music.
As a foreigner, what do you think about the atmosphere of China’s independent music?
When I first came in 2000, there was only one music festival in China, the Midi Festival, and there was only one magazine about music, the Modern Sky magazine. A lot of things still had to develop on the music side, when I see all these festivals today, I think the progress is pretty impressive. A lot of things still have to improve but I think it’s achievable.
If you use a French cuisine to describe your music, what do you think it would be? Why is that?
I really have no idea about that. French South West Foie Gras maybe ? (haha)
Which cities have you visited in China, where are the most fascinating cities?
In all the years I have been in China I have been almost everywhere except for Tibet.I like the south more I think, but I like Beijing for the musical possibilities the city offers.
张思安：每当我有空闲时间的时候我就会经常记录，它是我生活的一部分。这张专辑有点不同，因为它是我用Carlo V录制的最后一张专辑。Fuentes和Clancy Lethbrige作为乐队的鼓手和贝斯手。在这张专辑中，有比以前的专辑更多的合作歌曲，这比我过去所做过的很多专辑都要多。
这张专辑还将电子中阮和电琵琶带入了新的音乐风格，如流行音乐、FUNK、前卫摇滚、迷幻摇滚、朋克和古典音乐。我们在北京的Psychic Kong studio工作室录制了这张专辑，这也是我们录制《电豆腐》的地方，以及专辑《桥》。
You have done 40 albums, why have you done so many ? What can you tell us about this new album ? How is it different from the 39 you have done before this one ?
I constantly record, anytime I have free time, I need it as part of my life.This album is a little bit different because it was the last one I recorded with Carlo V.Fuentes and Clancy Lethbrige as drummers and bass player for the band.On this album there are more collaborative tracks than on precedent album, it’s more a group effort than a lot of albums I have done in the past.
The album also takes the electric zhongruan and electric pipa into new musical styles such as pop music, funk, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, punk, and classical music.We recorded the album at Psychic Kong studio in Beijing, that’s also where we recorded « Tofu Electrique » as well as the album « Bridges ».
这张专辑融合了很多不同的风格和元素，所以专辑的名字叫 What You Want是想表达各种风格总有一首是你想要的吗？
标题背后的另一个想法是，这一次我们想要录制更符合大众口味的音乐。在专辑《电豆腐》、《Eye.爱.Ai.I》和《桥》等专辑中，我认为Djang San +乐队确实展示了中国电子乐器的可能性。《What You Want》专辑更多的是关于不那么实验性的，听起来更入耳，让这些乐器成人们更熟悉的流行音乐和另类摇滚的音乐风格，像《Tron》或《Beloved Monster 》。
我们还探索了像《Rainbow Machine》这种有趣的风格。还有迷幻和前卫摇滚的风格，像《Monster Following Me》和《Lava》和《What You Want》。
当然，我们并没有忘记我们的民谣和世界音乐的根源，比如《Asian Flower 》和《Sakura’s Bolero 》。我记得当我们在北京的苹果社区写了歌《 Asian Flower 》，我们围成一个圈, Carlo打电子鼓，Clancy弹贝斯，我玩中阮一句话也没说，音乐的魔力就这么发生了。
This album is a combination of many different styles and elements, so the name of the album is What You Want to express all kinds of styles and there is one thing You Want?
Aha, no. There are several meanings behind the title.This album is more a collaborative album in between three musicians that have met in the Beijing music scene, so it is more about what the three of us wanted that only about only my vision of music.
Another idea behind the title is that this time we wanted to record music that was more accesible to everybody’s ears.With albums like « Tofu Electrique », « Eye » and « Bridges » I think Djang San + Band really showed the possibilities of electrified Chinese instruments.
The « What You Want » album is more about being less experimental and more listenner friendly, to get those instruments into music styles that people are more familiar with like pop and alternative rock with tracks like « Tron » or « Beloved Monster ».We also explored humor with a track like « Rainbow Machine ».There’s also psychedelic and progressive rock in there with tracks like « Monster Following Me » and « Lava » and funk with the « What You Want » song.
Of course we didn’t forget our folk and world music roots with tracks such as « Asian Flower » and « Sakura’s Bolero ».I remember when we created the song « Asian Flower » we were at Clancy’s appartment in Pingguo Shiqu in Beijing, we sat down in a circle with Carlo on electronic drums and Clancy on bass, I was playing zhongruan and without a word we let the magic of music happen.
Will the music creation continue to revolve around electricity and electric pipa? What do you think is the potential of these two instruments?
What’s fun about music is that it’s never over, there is always something to explore.By using Chinese classical instruments I have been able to break cultural and musical bounderies and I will go on doing so. In the future I might concentrate on other instruments but right now I am still having a lot of fun with what I’m doing.
How do you know the drummers and bass players who found this collaboration from the United States and Australia? Why not choose to cooperate with Chinese musicians?
I met Carlo who is from California randomly in a bar in Beijing in 2012 or 2013 and he introduced me later to Clancy who is from Australia when we were on tour in South Korea.
That first time in South Korea the first bass player of the band, a very talented man going by the name of Stefano Latorre had to go back to Italy, so the change from Stefano to Clancy happened very naturally as they were both there on that first tour of South Korea.
Something clicked when we met I think. We went to South Korea again and Japan on tour after that, none of us needed a visa to go there, that also made it easier to organize.
I used to play with a Chinese drummer in my former band « The Amazing Insurance Salesmen », we won the Global Battle of the Bands in Mainland China and Hong Kong in 2010-2011, it was a cool experience.
I also used to play with musicians from Xinjiang.I will probably do collaborations with Chinese musicians as well in the future, all possibilities are open.
Djang San + Band will be playing on the 1 of December at Temple Bar in Beijng.
As Clancy and Carlo are not in China anymore I am now playing with two French musicians who are also very talented.
In December I will go tour in Japan as a « One Man Live Orchestra » to promote the album « Tofu Electrique » which will be released in Japan for the first time in CD format。
张思安：Djang San +乐队将于12月1日在北京的坛酒吧演奏。由于Clancy和Carlo不在中国，我会和两位法国音乐家一起演奏，他们也很有天赋。12月，我将在日本以单人现场乐队的表演来推广《电豆腐》这张专辑，这张专辑将会是第一次以cd形式在日本发售的专辑。
What are your plans for the future ?
Djang San + Band will be playing on the 1 of December at Temple Bar in Beijng.As Clancy and Carlo are not in China anymore I am now playing with two French musicians who are also very talented.
In December I will go tour in Japan as a « One Man Live Orchestra » to promote the album « Tofu Electrique » which will be released in Japan for the first time in CD format.