Rock with a dongbei tone

Updated: 2012-12-17 14:40

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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Rock with a dongbei tone

Rock 'n' roll band Second Hand Rose stages rock music influenced by the folk style of dongbei or Northeast China. Zou Hong / China Daily

From the day that Second Hand Rose made their debut performance 12 years ago at a small bar in Beijing, they have been known for their bold combination of traditional Chinese instruments, such as suona, with solid rock 'n' roll.

The band has constantly toured since then and this year, they will conclude their schedule with a show in Beijing.

Rock with a dongbei tone

Frontman Liang Long, from Northeast China, is tall and strong and usually dresses in women's clothes on stage, such as a qipao or black silk stockings.

The band also includes guitarist Yao Lan, who resembles John Lennon; bassist Li Zi-qiang; and Wu Zekun on Chinese traditional instruments, who says his major influence is his rock musician uncle, the drummer Sun Quan.

Off stage, Liang insists he is just a normal guy and his biggest interest is collecting paintings.

Liang named the band Second Hand Rose because he thought Chinese rock music were just copies of the West.

Rock with a dongbei tone

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In response, over the past decade, Liang and his band have created first-hand, or original Chinese rock music, with their ironic jokes on social issues and reflections on life.

Uniquely combining errenzhuan, a folk song and dance style from Northeast China, which has humorous and sarcastic lyrics, Second Hand Rose lets each song become a story.

Liang says the suona can produce a festive and happy effect and represents the wild characteristics of the Northeast.

With two albums under its belt, Second Hand Rose's songwriter Liang says he likes to compose on the road. Their third album will be released in 2013.

Liang once tried his hand at film acting, which he says is an easier way to make money.

Even so, he is sticking to music because he says he enjoys the reaction of fans at shows, which he calls a kind of magic.