From Music-China Wiki
Tang Dynasty is the first metal band in China. Their first CD combined elements of traditional Chinese music with British heavy metal. The music of Tang Dynasty was in their beginning mostly melancholic, partly depressive, lost in the attempt to escape into a imaginary dreamworld and full of contrasts. It expressed what Tang Dynasty saw as their way to show their honesty and true feelings. Tang Dynasty had four initial band members: Ding Wu, Zhang Ju, Kaiser Guo and Andrew Szabo.
Ding Wu, lead vocalist of Tang Dynasty was born on December 30th 1962 in Beijing and has spent most of his youth in the northern province, Heilongjiang before he returned to Beijing in 1972 to start studying at the Industrials Arts Academy. After his graduation he was working at on of Beijing's colleges, where he had his first contacts to foreign Western rock music. In 1981 he bought his first electric guitar on which he immediately started practicing. In 1984 he joined the the band Bu Dao Wung. In 1986 he joined the band Black Panther for a short time.
Zhang Ju was born 1970 in Beijing as youngest of three children. He started playing guitar in 1984 and switched to bass in 1986.
Lao Wu was born in Tianjin 1963 and was the lead guitarist of the band White Angel before he joined Tang Dynasty.
Zhao Nian was born in Beijing 1961 and played in the band The Micro-organists before.
In 1988 Ding Wu, Zhang Ju, Kaiser Guo (US) and Andrew Szabo (US) met at a party and decided to form Tang Dynasty. They played several gigs on smaller parties, but had to abandon touring plans after the Tiannmen incident 1989. Kaiser Guo and Andrew Szabo returned to the US. But in autumn 1989 Ding Wu and Zhang Ju met Liu Yijin (Lao Wu) and Zhao Nian, who join Tang Dynasty.
On February 17th and 18th 1990, Tang Dynasty was allowed to play on the 'Festival of modern music / 90's Modern Music Concert' (Xiandai Yingyuehui) in front of about 18000 people at the Capital Stadium. The euphoria and cheering reactions not only surprised the band but also the organizers.
The tremendous success Tang Dynasty got with this concert helped the Taiwan record company "Rolling Stone" (Gun shi) to overcome their objections to sign the band.
Supplied with a record studio and a rehearsal room, Tang Dynasty recorded 11 songs until December 1991 and released their record A dream returns to Tang Dynasty (Tang Dynasty) in mainland China.
According to statistics from a Taiwan record company have been more than 700,000 legal copies sold, and as much as over 2,000,000 under the Rock-China Fire-Magic Stone affiliation throughout Asia and abroad. This doesn't take into account the more than millions more of illegal ones and uncounted fake 'Best-of'collections.
In December 1992 the overseas edition of their record A dream returns to Tang Dynasty was released in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.
In 1993, they performed in Beijing'S Worker Stadium during the 奥运之光 event (Olympic Games Concert). In April of the same year, their song 梦回唐朝 was included in the shortlist of the category "International Viewer's Choice Awards - MTV Asia" at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards.
1994, February, they participated in the "Chinese Cultural Festival" (中国文化艺术节) in Berlin, Germany. In October they performed during the "International Culture Festival" (国际文化节) in Fukuoka, Japan. In December they were invited to and performed at the "China forces in rock and roll" concert (中国摇滚乐势力) in the Kanhung stadium, Hongkong.
The Tang Dynasty band soon became the icon of Chinese hard rock music, and their lightning-fast guitarist Liu Yijun (刘义军), a.k.a. "Lao Wu", became the first rock guitar hero in China. However, tragedy casted a dark shadow over the band on May 11th 1995 with the untimely death of bassist Zhang Ju, who was riding his motorcycle from a fellow rock scene bassist friend Chen Jin's home, when an accident occurred involving a collision with a truck on a freeway overpass. This dealt a heavy blow to the band, and Liu Yijun subsequently left the band and was replaced by original founding member Kaiser Kuo, a Sino-American who has formed another well-recognized Chinese metal-rock band, the Spring Autumn. Zhang Ju's memorial service was attended by more than 200 people and his ashes were buried in his hometown in Hunan province. To show his struggle combining his blood & tears with his bass' music, his bass instrument was buried together with him. After the death of Zhang Ju, Tang Dynasty stopped rehearsing. In July 1995, Gu Zhong joins as bassist. In November, they performed in Wuhan Hongshan Museum during the "95 modern concert" (95现代音乐会) performance. In December, they performed in Shenzhen at the "96 New Music Concert" (96新音乐会).
In March 1996, the "Good-bye Zhang Ju" (再见张炬) (or A Tribute to Zhang Ju (VA)) memory album was recorded and released. In May, Tang Dynasty performed in Tangshan during the first anniversary concert of Zhang Jun's death. In 1997, they resumed rehearsing and together with several other bands, they recorded the song Goodbye Zhang Ju (再见.张炬), as a memory. In June, they performed in the "Return of Hongkong" (香港回归) concert in Guangzhou. In December, they performed in Jilin and Harbin and organized several rock music nights in Beijing. They also won a prize for being the Best Band. (reference missing)
In January they performed in Lanzhou, in April they performed in Xinxiang during the 98 China New Music (98中国新音乐). In July, they participated in Qingdao during the Qingdao beer festival at the China Rock Night (中国摇滚之夜). Further in July they performed in Suzhou during the Suzhou Beer Festival. In August they went to Malaysia and performed at the China rock night (中国摇滚之夜) concert. Further in August they performed at Xuzhou's China rock night (中国摇滚之夜), at Chengdu's 回归酒廊航班100期 and at Guangxi Nanning's China New Music (中国新音乐) concert. In September they signed with the Jingwen record company (北京京文音像公司) and prepared for their second album Epic. In December "Epic" was released as their second album, 7 years after its debut record. Epic did maintain a level of artfully composed series of new prog-metal rock songs that helped bring success to their debut album, but may otherwise be described as a little bit more of a straight-ahead rock music rendition with a little less ethnic orientation, which had unfortunately received relatively lukewarm reviews. Nevertheless, the album was still popular enough to elicit waves of unauthorized copies in the pirated market. Further in December, they performed in Taiyuan during the Chinese rock night (中国摇滚夜) and on Channel V for the X2000 concert (X2000演唱会).
In January 1999, they performed at the Beijing Yi Square (北京颐和广场) for the Tang Dynasty: Epic (唐朝、演义) concert. Later in January, they participated in Shantou's Chinese rock night (中国摇滚夜), they were in the 北京音像大世界及天星音像 for a signature session and also performed in Kunming's China Rock Night (中国摇滚夜), in Yuxi's Chinese Rock Night (中国摇滚之夜) and in Changchun for the 99 Concert (99音乐会). In February they went to Wenzhou for a concert. In March they performed in Jinan in the 99 Concert (99音乐会) and joined the Beijing Music Fan Show. In July they performed in Qingdao's open-air Ocean festival, in Hongkong's New Music Festival and also in Hongkong's Star East concert. In August they participated in Beijing's 搜弧 festvial and in Changchun's New Music Festival. In September they participated in Qingdao's International Beer Festival, they performed in Qingdao at the 丽晶百老汇做专场 and performed in Cangzhou at the opening ceremony of the Cangzhou Martial Arts Festival. In October, they performed in Chuxiong, participated in Hangzhou at a China Fire (中国火), performed in Handan performed in Beijing at the Rolling Rock Performance Series (滚石参加摇滚). In the second half of 1999, the band started to work on new songs Why Flowers are so Red (花儿为什麽这样红) and 明月千里寻相思. Kaiser Kuo again parted company with Tang Dynasty, and young guitar virtuoso Chen Lei joined the band in the second half of 2000.
In January 2001, Lao Wu rejoined the group and Tang Dynasty is at its present five-man band form, featuring contrasting styles of Chen Lei and Lao Wu both exchanging and interplaying guitar work, and fattening-up their overall live sound with Ding Wu's occasional coloring in their sound pallette with a third guitar.
In February 2002, they performed in Tianjin, in March they performed in Urumqi and in May they attended the opening ceremony of Hangzhou's Beer Festival (杭州参加啤酒节). In August they participated in Qingdao's Beer festival and they were featured in an interview in issue #5 of the Painkiller Heavy Music Magazine. In October they performed in Chengdu and in December they performed in Wenzhou.
On July 20th, 2003, they attended a bar-based rock music festival in Shenzhen and on July 26th, they performed at the 世纪之窗 (Shenzhen). On August 22nd they participated in Beijing's Chaoyang park during the Special Administrative Region Rock Night (京朝阳公园参加炫特区摇滚之夜演出). September 20th, they performed in Lanzhong's (SiChuan) 名醋节 opening ceremony. September 22nd they performed at the opening ceremony of the Hubei Electrical and Mechanical Services Expo in Wuhan. September 23rd, they participated as a special guest in the ceremony organized by the National Palace Museum for the film Warriors of Heaven and Earth and sang classical songs. September 26th, they performed in Karamay and held a A dream returns to Tang Dynasty special concert. September 28th, they participated in the Rock Unicom Night concert together with Thin Man in Zhangjiakou. October 3rd the participated in the opening ceremony of the Yinchuan Motorcycle Tourism Festival at invitation of the China Central Television. December 13th, they held a special disco concert in Zhoukou. December 24th, they performed during a special Christmas Night concert at Shanghai's Grand Stage. December 27th they performed at a large-scale concert in Nanchang.
February 6th, 2004, they performed in a large stadium concert in Zhanjiang. On May 2nd, they went to Chengdu to attend the Seven days, seven nights loving the ocean (七天七夜爱情海) music week. On May 6th, they performed in Xi'an Rock Music Festival (西安摇滚音乐节). May 11th, they performed in Shengli. August 6th they performed at the large-scale rock concert Shining path of Chinese rock (中国摇滚的光辉道路) in Yinchuan on Helan Mountain. August 20th, they performed at the Asian Games Village Fifth Avenue. August 21st, they performed at Beijing's West City Bar (北京西部酒城). September 6th, they performed at Tianjin's 藏库酒吧. September 17th, they performed at the Roman Holiday Garden (罗马假日花园) in Shanghai. September 28th, they performed at Zhangjiakou's Unicom Night. October 3rd they performed at Chongqing's South Side Culture Festival (重庆南岸泉文化节). October 6th, they performed at Shenzhen's 世纪之窗. December 13th, they performed at Zhoukou's Rolling Stone Disco. December 15th, they had their 杰克丹尼南方巡演 tour Shenzhen concert at the 根据地 bar. December 16th, they had their 杰克丹尼南方巡演 tour Shenzhen concert at the 南山 bar. December 19th, they had their 杰克丹尼南方巡演 tour Guangzhou concert at the 马田会 bar. December 20th, they had their 杰克丹尼南方巡演 tour Guangzhou concert at the Red Windmill (红风车) bar. December 22nd, they appeared on the Ganzhou, Jiangxi, T'ai TV show. December 24th, they performed at the Grand Stage in Shanghai for the Christmas Night concert. December 27th, they performed at the Nanchang Rock Festival.
January 8th, 2005, they performed at the annual real estate party in Tianjin. January 13th, they participated at a Southeast Asian Tsunami Benefit concert in Beijing. January 15th, Tang Dynasty rocked at La Luna’s official opening party in Qingdao. January 21st, they had a concert at a nightclub in Zhengzhou. February 15th, they performed at Taiyuan's 红唇 Bar. April 18th, they performed at the opening gala of the Shishi fashion festival. July 1st they performed at the 60th victory anniversary at a large-scale concert called "Peaceful Sky" (和平的天空) in Beijing. July 6th and 7th they performed at Tianjin's Paradise Beer Festival. July 18th, they performed at Chongqing's beer festival. August 6th, they performed at Beijing's Nameless Highland. August 20th, they performed at Urumqi's Xinjiang Water World Beer Festival (新疆乌鲁木齐水上乐园啤酒节). September 17th, they performed at the Beijing Pop Festival 2005, on which Ian Brown performed as well. December 2nd, they performed at the Microsoft New Product conference. December 18th, they performed at the Anti-Piracy NCA benefit concert. December 30th, they performed at the Wang Feng & Friends concert in Shenzhen.
In March 2006, they attended the Pepsi Music Awards as guests. March 18th, they performed at the Chengdu flower expo. April they performed as the final band on the Xinjiang rock music festival. May 2nd, they attended the Labor Day event in Xi'an. May 6th, they performed at the Kunming world expo rock music festival. Further in May they were juries for the 麦克塞尔校园 band. In June they performed at the new product demonstration of Sennheiser at the 21st Century Hotel. June 8th they participated in Changsha's Hunan Golden Eagle Festival (湖南长沙金鹰艺术节). June 18th, they performed at the Shenyang stadium rock music festival. June 26th, they performed at Lanzhou's China Central Television. July 24th they performed in Taiwan's Ocean Music Festival. July 26th, they performed at Shenzhens World Rock and Roll Carnival (世界之窗摇滚狂欢节). In August they performed at Yantai and on August 20th, they performed at Ningbo. In September they participated at the Yibin Pop Festival and at the Xinjiang Beer Festival. October 3rd, they performed at the Zengcheng rock music festival. October 6th, they performed at the Shijingshan Sculpture Park Rock Music Festival in Beijing. October 15th, they performed at the large-scale evening party of the China Central Television, in Kunshan. In December they performed in Shenzhen.
In January 2007, they performed in Tianjin in several bars and during the opening ceremony of the Tanggu High Street. April 12th, they performed in Renqiu. April 18th they acted as juries for school band Maikesaier. May 1st-2nd they performed during the SiChuan Carvinal (四川成都乐园狂欢节) in Chengdu. May 3rd, they performed in Zhengzhou at the Ge Youhui Television. June 9th, they performed at the Inner Mongolia Summer Music Festival (内蒙古鄂尔多斯万人消夏音乐节). June 25th, they performed at the Beijing Television Classical Concert Review programme. June 28th, they performed in Handan. July 1st, they performed at the 10th anniversary gala of Hongkong's return. July 5th, they performed at Shenzhen's Hongkong Return party. July 12th, they performed in Zhuhai at the Water Park Music Festival (广东珠海水上乐园音乐节). July 18th, they performed at a large-scale show in Suzhou. July 21st, they performed at the Genghis Khan Mausoleum Rock Music Festival (内蒙古成吉思汗陵摇滚音乐节) in the Inner Mongolia. July 28th, they performed at the Xi'an Rock Beer Festival (西安摇滚啤酒节). August 6th, they performed at the Tianjin Carnival (天津乐园狂欢节). In August Tang Dynasty signs with Culture Stars of the Century Records (世纪星碟文化有限公司). September 11th, they head into studio to start recording of Tang Dynasty's third studio album. October 2nd, they perform at Suzhou's Rock Music Festival (苏州摇滚音乐节). December 11th, they performed in Huairou. December 28th, they performed a stadium show in Zhenjiang.
January 2008, they record their new album. March 19th, they performed at Chengdu's Ancient Wine Festival (成都古井贡美酒音乐节). April 9th, they start the online qualification of the Maikesaier school band (麦克塞尔-小熊在线校园乐队选拔赛启动仪式). April 25th, they signed a contract with Jingwen Records for their third album Romantic Knight. May 16th, they performed at the China Internet Earthquake Disaster benefit concert. May 29th, they performed at the Sad to bid farewell, Choose to be Strong (送别伤感，选择坚强) disaster relief benefit concert. June 8th, they performed at the Italian College Music Festival (伊利大学生音乐节). June 10th, they were the jury for Shanghai's online school band competition Maikesaier (麦克塞尔-小熊在线校园乐队选拔赛上海站). June 13th, the record Romantic Knight is released and their Knights Tour starts in Beijing. June 26th, they have a special disaster relief in Guiyang. June 28th, they performed at the Beijing Exhibition Center during a 13 Moon concert together with XTX. July 11th, they performed at the Zheng Jinning Cultural Festival.
In January 2009, Lao Wu announced his second departure of the band due to "personal reasons" and "in cooperation with the idea of music with the band"; he is now working with an Austrian neo-classical rock artist on an album stated to be out by 2010. Ding is currently filling the spot of the second guitarist. On March 28th, they performed the Wuxi International Plaza for the 新世界両周年慶典曁2009揺滾音楽節 music event. August 28th, they performed at the Beijing Olympic Sports Center Football Station during the 夏日領航2009大型音楽季 event. October 30th, they performed at the Ningbo Cultural Park for the 把愛唱響 - 中国揺滾情歌演唱会 event.
February 2010, Ding Wu has announced that the band is preparing for the fourth release due out later in the year
March 28th, 2010, they performed at the Starlive. According to Beijing Daze: I have to admit I was expecting to be seeing an aging metal band, a little rusty around the edges from not playing shows for awhile. I’d heard they have been around for well over 15 years, it had been over 10 years since Kaiser Kuo left the group (see his 10 questions with BeijingDaze here). But I was surprised to find what appeared to be a rock band in their prime. These boys did not miss a beat, the set was so tight you would think they were in the midst of tour selling out big arenas every night! May 1st, 2010, they performed at the Strawberry Music Festival 2010. According to Beijing Daze: Tang Dynasty much heavier than i expected! Still, i won't call it metal.. More like arena rock/ hard rock and (...) great melodies, good stage presence, working the audience pretty well! They tried their best despite the sound problems that became extremely obvious during their set. According to Beijing Gig Guide: (...) definitely lived up to their name. I enjoyed them all, and it was a brilliant way to end the night on a high. On May 3rd, 2010, they performed at the Midi Music Festival 2010.
Midi Music Festival 2010, May 1st-4th 2010
Beijing beer and rock festival 2006 - October 2006
Guilin Rock Festival 2005 - December 2005
Articles in magazines
Encyclopedia of China Rock&Roll (VA) - 2006 - May
Jingwen Shidai no.0 (VA) - 1999, September
A Tribute to Zhang Ju (VA) - 1997
China Fire I (VA) - 1992, December
Appearances in Podcasts
Rock in China Radio Show 1 - 2006, June
- Tang Dynasty @ Last.fm
- Wikipedia page
- Yaogun.com page
- Metal Archives page
- Fanpage at noizeworks
- Tang Dynasty
Features in radio programs
- Chinese Pop Music History 20 Years Special - Tang Dynasty, CRI English program
- "Kaiser Kuo, Tang Dynasty, Spring and Autumn", from China Beat radio program
- Culture Express variety show hosted by Ji Xiaojun, featuring Tang Dynasty in studio for upcoming new record
- Rockmusik in der VR China Very good article by Andreas Steen about rock music in China and Tang Dynasty's involvement (German).
- a live gig report written by an Italian
- Article on www.metalglory.de
- Article by Schwermetall.ch
- Wiki Users , History of Metal in China, published on 21 April 2013 05:17:29
- User:Azchael , History of Rock in China, published on 29 March 2013 04:21:19
- ↑ keaneann (2010-05-25). "文化-音乐-Evolution of Chinese Rock". Retrieved on 2011-01-16.
- ↑ Baidu Baike, Article on Chinese rock, accessed 2011-01-16
- ↑ http://ent.newssc.org/system/2009/01/17/011480367.shtml
- ↑ http://china.org.cn/arts/2010-02/26/content_19481932.htm
- ↑ Beijing Daze (2010-03-31). "No Rust & Deafening Crowd Roars: Miss Ruby on Tang Dynasty @ Starlive". Retrieved on 2010-04-25.
- ↑ Tweet by Beijing Dave
- ↑ Beijing Daze (2010-05-03). "Strawberry Day 1: How Music Saved the Day When the Organizers did Their Best to Ruin it". Retrieved on 2010-05-03.
- ↑ Beijing Gig Guide (2010-05-04). "Strawberry Festival Highlights!". Retrieved on 2010-05-04.
| There are the following additional videos for this page (via Freebase ID: /m/056qsq):
Tang Dynasty - Pathway | Chinese Heavy Metal, China's first metal band Tang Dynasty song taken from their newest album Knight of Romantic.