From Music-China Wiki
Tian (Chinese: 甜蜜的孩子 tian mi de hai zi) are one of Shanghai’s oldest and most popular alternative music groups, who also have been known as ‘The Honeys’ throughout China and abroad.
Tian cut their debut album “On the Street” in 2002 with Fanyin Records, which made them to be the second Shanghai rock band who ever released an album back then, and also the first on a local Shanghai-based label. The eleven original songs thrive by its rich variety of music scape, from spontaneous loops to easy humming chanson, and those catchy sing-along rock tunes paired with the irresistible charisma vocalist Yu Tian’s voice, all this enpowers them to become an indispensable force of the Shanghai scene.
In 2003 they were nominated for “Best Band” by listeners of Shanghai Oriental Radio. Since then they have been profiled by the BBC and also got featured in the South China Morning Post, on tour guide books by Lonely Planet and Time Out Magazine.
In 2006, Tian entered the studio to record several new tracks with UK's star producer Safta Jaffery (Muse, Coldplay etc.) and sound engineer George Shilling (worked with Blur, Mike Oldfield, James Brown, Lisa Stansfield etc.), where they excelled to forge a fusion between traditional Chinese instrumenting and modern rock grooves.
Beside innumerous live performances in China (among others at the Beijing Pop Festival, the Shanghai Rock it! Festival, the Hangzhou West Lake Festival and Qianjiang Music Festival), Tian also have toured overseas in the US, Germany (twice), France, Hong Kong and Canada. Their first gig abroad was at a showcase during Musexpo in Los Angeles in May 2007 – with Tian being the first Asian band ever to be part of Musexpo. Their showcase at “Key Club” on Sunset Boulevard not only marked Tian’s first international concert, but also the first-ever concert by a Shanghai-based alternative act in the United States. While in L.A. the band also got a chance to perform at the legendary “Whisky a Go Go”.
In September 2007, the band went to Germany for a small tour, where they played together with German rock band 4LYN (www.4lyn.com) who they had met in Los Angeles. After the tour the two bands went to the studio together and recorded the Chinese-English duet “Nostalgia – Yi Wan Li”.
In January 2008 Tian followed an invitation to headline the MIDEM opening party in Cannes (France), which was organized in collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Culture.
But doing live shows is not the only way for Tian to get recognized internationally, their songs have been licensed both for the Mel Gibson production “Another Day in Paradise” and for the soundtrack compilation of the German movie "Kein Bund für’s Leben". Also french/german TV station ARTE has used their music in a documentary about the latest work of Chinese artist Yang Fudong.
In October 2007, Tian signed their first endorsement deal with German company Sennheiser, which provides equipment and service for the band’s microphones and in-ear monitoring systems. This was the first time that the company has offered such a contract to a rock band in China. Another endorsement deal with Fender (guitars, bass and amps) was signed in 2008.
In December 2007 the first song of the new album, “Yi Jiang Nan” was released and promoted all over China – reaching #2 on the hit charts of China Music Radio and #1 on Shanghai Oriental Radio. The long-anticipated album followed in January 2008, with gigs in several big cities in China.
After having played their biggest show so far in May 2008 – together with 4LYN in Chongqing for 10,000 people at a festival organized by the German Goethe-Institut – the band traveled abroad again for their first appearance in Hong Kong (including a showcase at Music Matters). After a short summer break they were back with gigs e.g. at the China Now! Music Festival (part of the Shanghai International Tourism Festival) and as opening act for the QianJiang Show by Cui Jian, known as the godfather of Chinese rock.
Tian’s latest project is a charity co-operation with the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), who work with musicians around the world (e.g. Neneh Cherry, Morcheeba, Massive Attack) on a CD release to raise awareness for World Hepatitis Day on May 19. The compilation album, entitled “This Day: World Hepatitis Day”, includes the Tian single ‘Yi Jiang Nan’ featuring ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler as guest musician.
To get a first impression of Tian’s music, please visit their website www.the-honeys.com or their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/tianmidehaizi.
THE HONEYS are one of Shanghai's oldest and most popular alternative music groups. They were first formed in 1997 after lead singer Yu Tian - formerly of Lunar Eclipse, one of the first rock groups in Shanghai and whose other members went on to form Crystal Butterfly - had moved to Hangzhou to attend the prestigious China Art Academy. There, he met drummer He Lao and bassist Zheng Yu, and the band was born. Fellow Lunar Eclipse alumni Wu Qingyong joined the band in 1998. In between studying and playing, the band in 1998 also opened Soho, Hangzhou's first rock bar. Yu Tian and He Lao are both now art professors by day. The Honeys returned to Shanghai after graduation, and cut their debut album "Zai Jie Shang" (On the Streets) in 2002 with Fanyin Records. It was the second ever album released by a Shanghainese band, and the first on a Shanghai-based label. The eleven original tracks range from heavy riffs to crooning ballads; their catchy pop-rock buzz and Yu Tian's irresistible charisma have made them integral to the Shanghai soundtrack. In 2003 they were nominated for "Best Band" by listeners of East Radio. They have been profiled by the BBC and in the South China Morning Post. The band's line-up has changed, with Wang Zhe now on guitar and Dai Zhe on bass. In 2006, The Honeys entered the studio to record several new tracks with famous UK producer Safta Jaffery and sound engineer George Shilling, where they also combined traditional Chinese instruments with modern rock rhythms. The Honeys also played at the China Pop Festival in Beijing in 2007.
June 1997 The Honeys are born and record their first demo.
September 1999 The Honeys support the British band Space during their gigs in Shanghai.
October 1999 The Honeys receive an award at the “YAMAHA Band Competition”
July 2000 The Honeys attend the “Future World” open air rock festival in Shanghai.
August 2001 PHILLIPS Extreme Sports Concert in Shanghai.
October 2002 The Honeys follow an invitation to play at the “Zhen Chang Yun Dong” rock concert in Hangzhou, summoned by Cui Jian, the father of Chinese rock.
November 2002 The Honeys release their first album On the Streets.
December2002 The Honeys support the American band Damone at their Shanghai concert.
December 2002 The Honeys perform at the Original Music Campus Concert
January 2003 The band appears at the Beach Concert in Sanya on Hainan Island
September 2003 The Honeys open the concert for the Shanghai Tourism Festival.
November 2003 The band makes an appearance at the Shanghai Asian Music Festival Final contest.
November 2003 Sixth Asian Music Festival Square Concert.
November 2003 The Honeys are the only Chinese band to perform at the Bubble Festival, together with the L’Arc-en-Ciel side project S.O.A.P.,and Sack Down from Japan.
November 2003 The Honeys perform at the Taizhou Food Festival.
July 2004 The Honeys’ lead singer Yu Tian writes “Youth”, the theme song for the 7th National College Students Olympics.
May 2004 The Honeys perform at the Pudong International Music Festival.
February 2005 The Honeys are interviewed by th BBC.
February 2005 the song “YI YA YA Ao” is chosen as the theme song for the computer game “Magic Land”.
June 2006 Live open air concert at the China Academy of Art.
July 2006 The Honeys song “Leave” is broadcasted by Sweden’s national radio station Channel V.
November 2006 Producer Safta Jaffery and sound engineer George Shilling form the UK come to China to record the The Honeys’ second album.
November 2006 The Honeys’ debut songs from the new album at their “Remember the Time” concert in Shanghai.
January-February 2007 Live concert at “4 Live”, Shanghai.
March 2007 Live concert at BONBON, Shanghai.
27th April-5th May 2007 The Honeys are the only Asian band to take part in MUSEXPO 2007 In Los Angeles.
28th April 2007 The Honeys are interviewed by Los Angeles’ music radio station, Indie 103.1 FM,and perform the song of new album unplugged.
1st May 2007 The Honeys are interviewed by IMF TV in U.S.A.
1st May 2007 The Honeys perform at the Key Club in Los Angeles.
1st June 2007 “The Honeys Celebrate the ”1st June” concert at Zhi Jiang Dream Factory
30th June 2007 The Honeys perform at Dino Beach Rock Festival.
September 2007 The Honeys’ song “Hero Like You” is collected in “Kein Bund Für’s Leben”, released in Germany.
9th September 2007 The Honeys perform at “Beijing Pop Festival”, together with Nine Inch Nails, PE, New York Dolls, and Cui Jian.
21st Sept—5th Oct 2007 The Honeys German tour concerts in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, The Honeys record the Chinese edition of “Nostalgia” with German band 4LYN.
17th Oct-19th Oct 2007 The Honeys perform at Prolight + Sound Shanghai 2007
20th Oct 2007 The Honeys Sign contract with Sennheiser, become the first band to get sponsorship by Sennheiser in China.
27th Oct 2007 The Honeys’ Song ”Yi Jiang Nan”, ”Jiu Kuang”, ”Wake Up” are chosen as the theme song for American documentary movie “Another Day in Paradise”.
11st Nov 2007 The Honeys perform at “Rock For Roots&Shoots” charity concert.
20th Jan 2007 The Honeys release their second album Water.
Made in Shanghai (VA) - 2003, April
- "Kein Bund für's Leben"
- "This Day: World Hepatitis Day"
Appearances in Magazines
Music Worm 1 - 1998, December
Appearances in Podcasts
Rock in China Radio Show 8 - 2006
Articles & Interviews
- 甜蜜的孩子: A Shanghai Indie Story, interview with Layabozi, May 2010
- Concert Review: First impressions of Day 1 of SUS2 5th Anniversary Party (down)
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