The Horde is a Shanghai-based band that creates what can only be best described as epic folk music. The group consists of five members: Ho Tom The Conqueror, Fierce Franco, George Goliath, Nick Nasty, and Johnny 2.0. During their live shows, Tom is on the very front of the battlefield conquering with his guitar, while Franco is fiercely plucking away a monstrous tune on the mandolin. Meanwhile, Nick is on the keyboard, getting unreasonably nasty with it. Then there’s George, a towering goliath of a man, asserting complete dominance on the harmonica. On the other side of that sits Johnny, who is seemingly robotic with his rhythmic precision on the cajón. Their sound, while resembling Americana folk rock, is actually a genre-defying acoustic onslaught that blends together different unlikely styles.
The Horde是一支上海乐队，他们所创作的音乐大概用史诗民谣来形容最合适不过。该乐队成员五名，分别为Ho Tom The Conqueror、Fierce Franco、George Goliath、Nick Nasty和Johnny 2.0。表演时，Tom带着他的吉它激战于舞台最前阵；Franco的曼陀林在他的疯狂弹拨下，声声震耳；与此同时，Nick在一边对着键盘下狠手；当然，还有巨汉George雄霸着口琴；在整个阵列令一侧，坐着Johnny，在箱鼓上精准地打着节拍，俨然机器人一般。他们的音乐，类似美式民谣摇滚，但事实上是将各种想不到的风格融合在一起，可谓自成一派。
These five joined forces through a series of fortunate encounters. Tom, Nick, and George were previously co-workers. Through their mutual interest in music, they ended up hanging out frequently and eventually started jamming together. Franco later came along in 2010 and met them at Anar in Shanghai, where the three were already playing regular gigs on Monday nights. Convinced that the trio absolutely needed a mandolin in the mix, he soon joined the team. Johnny, a regular at the bar they played at, later joined the group after revealing his finesse on the cajón.
Shanghai – or China in general, is an unlikely place to hear Americana-style folk music. The band never never really planned to bring the folk sound to Shanghai. But serendipitously, these five musicians had a similar mindset to create, and with their different musical influences – ranging from bluegrass, to Afrobeat, and even psychedelic rock. It all came together to culminate into their epic folk sound.
The band tells us that producing Consider Yourselves Conquered, the group’s first album, was an excruciating process. Although they had all played many live shows together, the recording studio proved to be a completely different environment and this resulted in a lot of wasted time. The album starts with “Shanghai Train”, which uses an ambient soundscape sampled from field recordings by Nick Nasty. The same track quickly and unexpectedly dives into a poem about Shanghai. The remaining songs on the record are all quite different from one another: from fast-paced jams like “The North”, to the blues-inspired sounds of “Shakespeare’s Coat”. The short five-track EP is as acoustically diverse as it is entertaining.
他们告诉我们，第一张专辑《Consider Yourselves Conquered》的创作极为艰辛。尽管他们在现场表演上已轻车熟路，但是录音室却完全是另一回事，这导致他们不得不花费大量时间于其间摸索。单曲《Shanghai Train》是整张专辑的开场，采用Nick Nasty在现场录音时采样的环境音，音轨迅速、意外一转，呈现出一个关于上海的激昂诗篇。专辑中其余的单曲也各自风格迥异。从快节奏的《The North》，到受蓝调启迪的《Shakespeare’s Coat》，这张仅由五首曲子组成的EP十分具有娱乐性。
The band reveal that, ever since the release of Consider Yourselves Conquered, it has been a roller-coaster ride filled with many ups and downs. A wide variety of issues plagued the band and delayed the album release: from studio dramas, to personal issues, and changing priorities. Overcoming every hurdle that came their way – as conquerors often do, they released their newest album Fahuazhen earlier this year. A 12-track album that includes “Space Wars”, a genre-transcending track that manages to draw influences from a variety of musical styles. The whole album then concludes with a song, which is sung completely in Chinese and was inspired by a pingtan performance that Tom saw in Zhejiang. In this quirky ballad, he sings about a Chinese family’s disapproval of a relationship due to a number of money-related reasons, like not having a house, a car, or a Shanghai hukou.
据乐队披露，自专辑《Consider Yourselves Conquered》以来，他们一路的经历跌宕起伏，犹如过山车。工作室抓马、个人问题、轻重缓急的改变，无一不困扰着乐队，导致这张专辑发行的一再延误。正如征服者们通常所为，他们也一路披荆斩棘，并于今年早前发行了最新专辑《法华镇》。专辑由12首歌曲组成，其中包括 《Space Wars》，一首不同音乐风格影响下跨越流派的产物。专辑以一首完全中文的曲目收尾，其灵感来源于Tom在浙江时观看的一场评弹演出。这首神奇的民谣讲述了一段由于在物质方面没房没车没钱没户口而导致不被中国家庭认可的恋爱故事。
Listen to The Horde’s latest album Fahuazhen below:
以下曲目来自The Horde的最新专辑《 法华镇》，欢迎试听:
Unfortunately, following the release of this album, The Horde has announced an indefinite hiatus due to core members moving from Shanghai. Tom says that he wishes more people would continue making music in Shanghai, about Shanghai. Although the future is uncertain, they have hinted at the possibility of bringing back The Horde further down the road, but it will most likely consist of different members. So until that day comes… consider yourselves conquered!
遗憾的是，这张专辑发布之后，随着核心成员搬离上海，The Horde也宣布了无限期解散。Tom表示他希望在上海有更多人继续创作关于上海的音乐。尽管未来难料，他们暗示了The Horde回归的可能性，当然届时很可能是由新面孔组成。在那之前，consider yourselves conquered！