Hang on the Box
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Preview Song: HOTB - No More Nice Girls Their music styles throughout time: Female Punk Rock (1998-2002)
Garage, Indie, Dance Rock (2003-2005)
Kraut Rock, Experimental (2006-2007) Lineup: Vocals/Guitar: Wang Yue (王悦) (now Girl Kill Girl and The Brilliant Gia), 1978.12.23
Guitar: Yang Fan (杨帆) (now Ourself Beside Me), 1981.8.18
Bass: Yi Lina (伊丽娜), YiLiNa
Drums: Shenggy (沈静) (White), 1982.5.30 actual name: Shen Jin, Shenggy is used from 2007 onwards.
1998 / 1999
In 1998, Hang On The Box came together when classmates Wang Yue (aka Gia) (Vo&G) and Yilina (Bass) met Yang Fan (Drums) in a Bootleg store when Yang Fan approached the two for a cigarette. (The band name doesn't really mean anything, but apparently Irina who's from Mongolia had a dream, where god said to her that if she were to form a band, the name of the band must be Hang On The Box) On July 20th, they have their first live performance in the Scream Club, during which they performed two songs "No Sexy" and "Asshole, I'm Not Your Baby", which later should appear on their debut record. Not having practiced once, they announced that they where the only all-girl punk band in Beijing at their first performance at this punk Mecca and made a live debut. With their non-existent skills and only their punk attitude, they received a storm of booing, laughter, and violent words, but this is when they decided to become the best punk band only possible by girls. They continued to perform live, such as on September 16th 1998 in the Scream Club, and in 1999, they appeared on the cover of American journal News Week (February 8th issue). In March 1999, they signed a contract for the recording and distribution of three songs: 戴着項圏的狗 on 紅星揺滾 2000上篇, 冒牌貨（Imitation fake） on 超高壓 2000伏紅星揺滾 2000下篇 and 大門 which was not released. In July they performed live in Hohhot and Baotou in the Inner Mongolia. In August, they performed live in Tianjin. In September they rocked in Qingdao. In September Shenggy (only 16 at that time) joined on drums and Yang Fan moved on to guitars. Gia concentrated on vocals only and the lineup increased with Shenggy by 1 to in total 4 members. The same month they performed in Shenyang during the 光大銀行瀋陽戸外揺滾節 event at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. In November they performed live in Zhengzhou, Henan province. In December they started recording their demo. Furthermore they had a interview with So Rock! Magazine (no. 1) in 1999.
In March they signed a contract with Modern Sky Records subsidiary Badhead, which started producing their first record in July together with Feng Jiangzhou (The Fly), however later it was cancelled by Badhead. In May, their songs Yellow Banana and I'm no sexy are included in Japanese compilation record Beijing Scream (VA), with which HOTB slowly becomes a known name in Japan. In July they performed at Shanghai's U-LIKE Bar. In October they rocked on a rock concert hold in Jinan, Shandong. November 11th, they performed in the Old Get Lucky Bar. December 1st, they performed as support act to Japanese bands Tomorrow and Rotary Beginners in the 開心楽園. Later that month they signed a deal with Japanese record label Sister Benten.
In January their song THE UGLY SIDE OF THE FACE is included in the magazine 現代芸術 听3. On April 27th, their record Yellow Banana is released. September 24th, 25th and 26th, they are in Japan. In October they are broadcasted live on Fuji Television Network.
On March 15th, they performed as support act to Japanese bands TOMATO JELLY and no-table during the People's Records party at the Get Lucky Bar. On April 6th, they performed again as support act to Japanese band Lolita No. 18 and Korean NONSTOP BODY during a People's Records party at the Get Lucky Bar. On April 7th, they performed they performed with both bands again, this time in the CD Cafe. On June 23rd, they performed on another People's Records party, once again in the CD Cafe, together with Japanese 5678's. In July they recorded their second record Di Di Di and also signed a contract with Scream Records. On September 21st, they celevrated the distribution of their record Yellow Banana in mainland China in the CD Cafe. In October Yi Lina leaves the band. On November 16th, they joined yet another People's Records party at the CD Cafe, performing as support act to Japanese bands ONE SHOT SKULLMENZ and A.S.K, with Liu Bao serving as support bassist to jump in for recently left Yi Lina. December 8th they performed at the Beijing College of Printing. December 25th, they performed at the Get Lucky Bar during the 2002年度聖誕節狂歓夜 event.
January 14th, they performed together with PK 14 in the CD Cafe in Beijing. From March 13th until April 1st, they joined Brainfailure on their America tour called Beijing Punk Jet Set US Tour 2003 with Hang On The Box & Brain Failure and performed in 11 shows. March 13th, they rocked at the Cheapo Disc in Austin. On March 15th, they performed at the Elysium during the SXSW Asian Nite, still in Austin. March 16th, they performed at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis. On March 17th, they rocked the Firesidebowl in Chicago. On March 20th, they perofrmed in Kenny's Castaways in New York City. March 21st, they performed at the Ladyfest in Philadelphia. March 22nd, they rocked the "Connections" in New Jersey. March 23rd, they performed in the "Don Hills" in New York City. March 24th, they performed in the Saint Lawrence University at Canton /NY. March 27th, they performed at the Silver lake lounge in Los Angeles. March 29th, they performed at the 924 gilman in Berkley. March 30th, they rocked at the mission records in San Francisco. Monday, March 31st, they rocked at the Espresso Cafe in Sacramento. April 1st, they performed at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco. April 8th, they performed at the Shinjuku Loft in Tokyo, Japan, together with Brainfailure for the first time. Later that month, their song There is a City was included in the compilation record Badhead 2 Girl's Day (VA). On May 21st, their second record Di Di Di is released in Japan. On May 22nd Yi Lina on the bass joins the band again. In June Yang Fan leaves the band and Abe G acts as support guitarist. In July their song Di,Di,Di is included in the magazine Tongsu Gequ vol. 249. Furthermore Abe G joins the band as permanent member on guitars and their record Di Di Di is released in China. August 15th, they performed in the Get Lucky Bar the first time with Yi Lina during the Metal & Punk party with Tookoo organized by XMUSIC.NET. On September 13th, they performed in The Coffee Road. On September 20th, they performed at the LuShang with PK 14. In October their record For Every Punk Bitch & Arsehole (Hang on the Box) is released in Europe. On October 18th, they performed in Osaka, Japan, in the AtlantiQs, which is part of the Minami Wheel Festival. October 23rd until November 2nd, they perform together with Brainfailure 6 shows in America. October 23rd, they perform during the Asian Nite at the Siberia Bar in New York. October 26th, they perform at the Knitting Factory in New York. October 30th, they rock the Monterey University. October 31st, they perform at the Thee Parkside in San Francisco. November 1st, they perform at the 924 Gilman in Berkley. November 2nd, they perform at Mission Records in SF. November 15th, they performed together with T9 in The Coffee Road.
February 14th, they performed live at The Coffee Road. March 4th, they performed at the Nameless Highland. April 3rd, they rocked at the Nameless Highland. April 25th, they performed in Hongkong during the 繽紛嘉年華 event. April 26th, they performed live in the Hard Rock Cafe in Hongkong. May 3rd, they rocked the Nameless Highland. May 15th, they performed at the Nameless Highland. July 17th, they performed in the 雲夢森帝 bar. August 1st, they performed in the Nameless Highland during its One Year Anniversary party. Most propably in August, HOTB were interviewed by the online webzine Womanrock.com. Asked about their feminism message in their music and how "does addressing sexism fit in with whatever desire you have to just be in a band and have fun" Wang Yue and Shen Jing respond respectively:
It's hard to answer, I haven't thought about it. There're many things I'm not satisfied with in life, also about the relationship between the female and male. Because I'm not pleased with it, then I take my lyrics to reflect that rage. I think that will influence many people. In a new song I cite a part from the movie "A Clockwork Orange": "WHAT KIND OF A WORLD IS IT AT ALL? MAN ON THE MOON, MAN SPINNING AROUND THE EARTH, AND THERE IS NO ATTENTION PAID TO EARTHLY LAW AND ALL THE NORMAL." Also, a new song is named "NO MORE NICE GIRL: GIRLS SO ROCK IS NOT BAD." The nice girls don't play rock, so we don't need more nice girls. - Wang Yue
If I don't play in a band, I also will take another way to do that. Playing in the band is a kind of release from the heart about my youth and every affair. It's pertinent to everything in my life, so if I didn't play in a band, I might try to be a DJ, to write a book... or to use another way of art to express it. - Shen Jing
In September Scream Records releases their record Foxy Lady. December 24th, they performed during the Christmas party of the Nameless Highland. December 25th, they rocked the 13 Club.
On January 7th, they band performed in the Yugong Yishan as support act to The International Noise Conspiracy, style had been garage punk rock. Further in January, the band decided to drop their Chinese name 挂在盒子上 and only use their English translation Hang On The Box from now on. From that time, they also distance themself more and more from their previous music style and adopt an approach to music, they call themself Future Rock (未来揺滾). March 19th, they performed in the Nameless Highland. On March 20th, during the The Annual Pepsi Music Award in the Beijing Olympic Stadium, Gia is named Best Rock Vocalist. On May 4th, they performed during the fifth anniversary of Chinapunx.net party in the Namesless Highland. May 14th, they performed at the Yugong Yishan. July 29th, they rocked the Nameless Highland. Further in July, Hang on the Box contributes the Cui Jian cover song Bu shi wo bu ming bai (It's not that I don't understand) to the compilation record Who is Cui Jian!? (VA) and a live recorded version from October 2003 of the song I'm sick is included in a compilation record of JVC record for the memorial of Bruce Lee. August 6th, they performed during the 真唱運動三周年記念 event. August 27th, they performed at the Nameless Highland. September 30th, they performed in the 13 Club during the 春樹新書『両条命』発表会 event. On October 3rd, they performed during the Midi Music Festival 2005, after the gig Abe G (guitars) is leaving the band. Gia is picking up the guitars and HOTBs style is changing more towards Krautrock plus more experimental vocals and guitar noise.. October 4th, they performed in the 13 Club. October 8th, they performed as support gig for Canadian band Hot Little Rocket in the Nameless Highland. October 15th, they performed in the 2 Kolegas. In the same month they sign a contract with a German company. On October 28th they performed in the Nameless Highland for the first time with their new guitarist. November 4th, they rocked the Yugong Yishan. December 9th, they performed at the Nameless Highland. December 25th, they performed at the 13 Club during their Christmas special event. In December their song Shanghai is included in the Tongsu Gequ vol. 305 magazine. In December 2005, their interview with CLUAS is being published. Within the interview, Shenggy stated that
The Chinese old school of rock is "'shit forever, and I want to kill them forever?" explains Sheng Gy. "That's why we want to put more promotion abroad."
And Wang Yue further states, that
The tone of English is suitable to our melody," she says. "We feel uncomfortable with Chinese because the pronunciation doesn't fit our melody.
On March 11th, they performed in the 13 Club. On March 17th, they performed at the Nameless Highland as support act for Swedish Hardcore punk band Insurgent Kid. Lineup at that time was Gia (Vocals), Yi Lina (Bass) and Shenggy on drums&sampler&midi. In April their song Roller Coaster is included in the magazine Tongsu Gequ vol. 315. On April 8th, they performed in the New Get Lucky Bar during the Kurt Cobain Memorial concert. April 11th, they performed in the 2 Kolegas bar as support act to French band Vialka. May 13th, they performed in the 南門空間. May 19th, they performed in the D-22 with Sun Ling Sheng as guest guitarist. May 27th, they performed in the 13 Club. June 10th, they rocked the Nameless Highland. Further in May, HOTB is represented on the Midi Music Festival 2005 (VA) DVD and CD. July 14th, they performed at the 2 Kolegas during an outdoor event. Further in July their EP “G”ides songs is released. On July 20th, they had their 8th anniversary party in the D-22. On July 27th, they performed in the Starlive. At the end of that show, Shenggy left the band. In August Shi Wang Lu (Hedgehog) joins the band as drummer. September 29th, they performed at the D-22. October 3rd, they performed at the International Sculpture Park during the Beijing beer and rock festival 2006. October 13th, they rocked the D-22. October 14th, they performed in the Get Lucky Bar. October 21st, they rocked the Nameless Highland.
In January, despite Shenggy's leave from the band, the three girls (incl. Shenggy) finish the recording of their record No more nice girls. During the writing process not all songs were included in the official record, such as several very long 9 minutes opening songs, that used classical music and are now played by Girl Kill Girl. The band had given the record the name ShangHai, however it was decided by their record company to drop that name and use No More Nice Girls instead. One song sad and low was played in by Shi Lu on the drums. In March, Shen Jing moved to London and used the name Shenggy to continue making Experimental+Noise music by herself. On April 20th, the compilation record Beijing Bubbles OST (VA) is released in Germany on which HOTB's song Foxy Lady is included. In August, their song ShangHai is released with the compilation record Look Directly Into The Sun: China Pop 2007 (VA). In September 2007, their 3rd record No more nice girls is released. September 30th, the New Zealand Music Television invited HOTB for a cover song of Zealand's famous old band The Chills: I Love My Leather Jacket. The TV channel produced a TV programme introducing Chinese music and interviewed HOTB and Gia, while Gia had a fun night in Beijing's party night life together with her friends. Furthermore their song Rock star is included in the music mag 音楽時空 2007.9. On October 25th, they hold a presentation party in the Mao Live House for their record No more nice girls and at the same time their farewell show, during which famous young Chinese writer Chun Shu (a good friend of Gia) recited poetry, written for Gia. With this show the band finally decided to disband. In November their song No More Nice Girls appears on both the So Rock! Magazine no. 69 and the X-Music Magazine no. 353.
HOTB's Original guitarist Yang Fan founded a new band called Ourself Beside Me, a named chosen from HOTB's last record (track no.2). Yang Fan had chosen the title and it was actually one of the first lyrics written by HOTB in the summer of 1998. It was always a favorite track among the girls in HOTB.
In January 2008, their song Rock Star is included in the magazine Pocket Music 16. In May, Gia started her own band called Girl Kill Girl. On July 20th, the disbanded band reunited for a tenth anniversary concert at the Yugong Yishan. Later that month, the band's 10 year anniversary DVD 1998-2008 is released. On November 7th, the band has another concert in the D-22, as Shenggy had returned to Beijing and they wanted to have some fun.
Wang Yue uses the name Gia also for her solo works and she signs with Modern Sky Records.
2010: Reforming / New Lineup
On August 28th, 2010, they performed at the Hot Cat Club, Beijing, during the Hang on the Box relaunching/reforming event. According to Beijing Daze: I can tell you we got her (Gia) back! I have not seen her enjoy herself or perform with this much energy in any of the shows she did last year, not even her birthday extravaganza. (...) Sure, HOTB material is no Mozart but it’s fun innocent punk that is reasonably silly and definitely not serious… and that’s what their performance on saturday was like. The band still has to work out some chemistry issues but they played their way through HOTB classics like Foxy Lady, Bitch and No Sexy without missing a beat with Gia being her old self, just slightly older! She even looked dangerous at times. According to Pangbianr: The lead singer was the only original member, and the material from their set came from earlier in their career. Mostly uptempo rock jams with riot grrrl-esque titles like “Bitch”. Many of the songs played were written by former guitarist Yang Fan, who now leads Ourself Beside Me.
No more nice girls - 2007, September
Foxy Lady - 2004
Di Di Di - 2003, July
For Every Punk Bitch & Arsehole - 2003 in Japan
Yellow Banana - 2002, September in China / 2000 in Japan
Look Directly Into The Sun: China Pop 2007 (VA) - 2007, August
Beijing Bubbles OST (VA) - 2007, April
Midi Music Festival 2005 (VA) - 2006, May
Who is Cui Jian!? (VA) - 2005, July
Badhead 2 Girl's Day (VA) - 2003
Beijing Scream (VA) (Japan) - 2000
- Featured in Beijing Bubbles - 2005
Appearances in Podcasts
- HOTB @ Sister Benten Records Online
- Hang On The Box Official Website (down)
- MySpace Site
- Last.fm page
- HOTB @ Scream Records
- Douban page
- Douban group
- Gia's blog
- Interview with So Rock! Magazine, 1999
- Interview with Sing Along Together Webzine, 2004 (down)
- HOTB interviewed by Womanrock.com, August 2004-?-, by Andrea Benvenuto
- Hang on the Box Beijing Bubbles Clip
- hang on the box performing in-store at cheapo disc, austin, tx. march 2003
- Hang on the Box - Summer Time
- 2008 纪念HOTB成立10周年演出"Bitch"
- 2007/10/25 HOTB告别演出"上海"
- 2006 HOTB和沈静的最后一场演出,星光现场
- 2003 America Tour 美国巡演
- 2002 di,di,di MTV
- 2001日本 there is a city MTV
- 2000 Yellow banana MTV
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 According to BENTEN Record Label, http://www.sister.co.jp/hang_on_the_box/index_e.html
- ↑ Dennis Plauk. "Hang On The Box - Ein kleines bisschen Revolution". Retrieved on 2009-06-03.
- ↑ According to the photo report by Audrey, http://www.sister.co.jp/hang_on_the_box/photo5.html
- ↑ According to SISTER BENTEN Records, http://www.sister.co.jp/english/jetsettour2003_photo/
- ↑ According to Benten Records, http://www.sister.co.jp/hang_on_the_box/index_e.html
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Andrea Benvenuto (Womanrock.com) (August 2004). "HANG ON THE BOX: THEY"RE NOT PUNK ROCKERS, NO REALLY THEY'RE NOT". Retrieved on 2010-07-24.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Mark Godfrey for CLUAS (December 2005). "Beijing Beat: Women On Top". Retrieved on 2010-07-23.
- ↑ Beijing Daze (2010-08-31). "Hang on the Box returns, sort of.. and my first time at Hot Cat Club". Retrieved on 2010-09-02.
- ↑ Josh (Pangbianr) (August 2010). "Rustic, Hang On The Box, and The Dancers @ Hot Cat, 28 August 2010". Retrieved on 2010-09-02.