The term birdstriking is aviation jargon that describes the collisions between birds and aircraft in mid-flight. The collisions may be intentional or unintentional, and can sometimes cause damage to the aircraft. When Hefan, the guitarist, vocalist and one of the founding members of the Beijing rock band Birdstriking, first heard this term, he thought to himself, “How can a bird, an animal of just flesh and blood, damage a gigantic airplane that’s made of metal and steel? That is really pretty amazing.” Moving at 80 kilometers per hour, birds can actually generate 216,000 newtons of force on impact. After learning about this, Hefan gained a newfound respect for energy and life. He hopes that the band’s music can generate the same amount of energy, and make a similar kind of impact on listeners.
Take a listen to some select tracks from Birdstriking below:
The band was formed in 2009, when Hefan met Wang Xinjiu, the band’s original drummer and now guitarist. Later, the original bassist Yang Fan joined the group, and the three of them became the first iteration of Birdstriking. With the addition of a few new band members and some shuffled roles, the group sounded even better and with a fuller, more layered sound. When they are crafting songs, they will often have clashing ideas, but for the group, this is all part of the fun. On the new album, there are the lyrics “Half-hearted conversations and sincere smiles / disagreements fade away in the rhythm”, which they say perfectly summarize the band’s state of mind. As for their style, is it grunge? garage? punk? psychedelic? Hefan likes to think of it as just being indie rock. For him and the rest of the band, it doesn’t matter what genre they are classified under. After all, isn’t enjoying the music the most important thing?
The new album, which will be released next year, was produced by Ricky Maymi, the guitarist for The Brian Johnstown Massacre. He was also the tour manager for the band’s 2015 North American tour. The decision to have him help them produce the album came very naturally. One day when they were on tour, Ricky asked the band, “Who’s producing your next album?”. The band just said, “We want you to produce it,” and he said okay. Whether it was in music or in everyday life, Ricky would give the band a lot of inspiration. On tour they would often just chat and joke around, so it was only natural to have him produce the album too.
明年会推出的新专辑，由Brian Johnstown Massacre的吉他手Ricky Maymi制作。他也是鸟撞2015北美巡演的巡演经历。决定让他来帮助鸟撞制作的新专辑是非常随性的。巡演中的一天Ricky问鸟撞：“你们下一张专辑谁制作？”鸟撞说：“我们想让你制作。”然后他说好的。无论是音乐还是日常生活，Ricky都给了乐队很多启发。巡演中大家也经常聊天和开开玩笑。这专辑让Ricky制作也是自然而然的事儿了。
Hefan says, “The new album is meant to be inspirational, and is dedicated to every young person who feels confident about the future. It’s like a promise to the future. All five of us in Birdstriking are around 25 years old. We all feel like kids who are entering the next stage of adulthood, and right now we are slowly conforming to societal expectations. During this time in our lives, it feels like we‘re just trying to express ourselves, but venting isn’t cathartic enough. To make actual changes to the world, there needs to be action. When a person is dreaming, no matter how good they feel about the dream, it won’t affect reality in the slightest bit. We need to wake up, get our blood flowing, and use our brain and our own two hands to turn our dreams into something real.”
Next year will be an important year for Birdstriking. The band’s new album will be released early in the year, and they’ll also be touring and attending lots of music festivals. They hope that more people outside of China will start to fall in love with Chinese bands. Bassist Zhou Nairen really wants to keep making more music that the group can be proud of, and hopes that Chinese rock will only get better over time. In recent years, many live houses in Beijing that have been around for a long time have ominously started to close. From watching gigs at these venues, to actually playing at them, there is a sense of emotional attachment for the band to these places. At the moment, it is unclear how this all will affect Beijing’s music scene in the future. Birdstriking just hope that more Chinese young people who love rock music can pick up an instrument and form bands of their own. This, for them, is the most important thing.