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A Chinese Restaurant – don´t swank!

A Chinese Restaurant consists of three very young chaots, but already last year they proved that they rock like five pros which made them STALKER´s Fresh Act Of The Month. This likable band from the little town Gnarrenburg has had a good time since then and played with Andthewinneris, Days In Grief, Fire In The Attic, Itchy Poopzkid, Maroon, Philiae (another STALKER Fresh Act) and Schandmaul all over Germany. They still haven´t found a label yet but but we are convinced that A Chinese Reastaurant will find a suitabel Indie-Label soon. Singer Manu talked with STALKER about the band career so far, his wishes, hopes and plans.

Tell us first a little about the band, when you were founded and why.
A Chinese Restaurant in this line-up has been existing since 2003, that means Bustee (bass/ back vocals), Dennis (drums) and me (guitars / vocals). We founded the band as trio already in 2001, and we tried between 2001 and 2003 for several times to find a second guitarist, but it always ended right after a few months because of personal and musical differences. We founded the band back then to have something besides school.

You were the recent STALKER „Fresh Act Of The Month“ and have no label yet. Someone interested? What do you do to convince a Label?
This is not that easy if you don´t live in a major city! Therefore it´s more difficult to make a name and contacts with important people in the business, if you´re not „just round the corner“... I think that in the meantime we are on the right track and lived through some positive and negative business stuff, we learned something. Now we are working with X-CLUSIVESTAR- Booking and there other things we still negotiate but we cannot really reveal right now. In our opinion it´s important to be honest and keep your feet on the ground, because a lot just works via connections, and if you lie to people just to seem better off it´s the wrong way.

I work for a label, therefore I see a lot of „applications“. Do you send „just“ a Demo CD or do you consider something special?
If you work for a label we might have found the one for us now! As we said, being honest and natural is very important when speaking personally with people from agencies or labels ... before that we send a demo, a bio, a list of our gigs and recently also 2 or 3 stickers!

I visited your „MySpace“ site (http://www.myspace.com/achineserestaurant) and saw that you have some gigs in northern Germany. So when do you come to fans in other regions?
I hope that will start soon, also because of the new cooperation with the booking agency.

Unfortuately your site is still under construction. When will your new internet presentation be ready?
The new homepage is ready but we still wait for good news that might be to announce on the new site... as I said there are still some things to negotiate... but let´s see, if that takes too long, the new page will be online without these news very soon.

Who are your musical idols?
I cannot really determine something... there are definitely a lot of musicians I would like to meet personally, and some bands I would like to play with, but idols will always make you imitate them, so therefore I think we don´t really have real idols.

How were the reactions to your work so far ?
I´d say positive... otherwise we might have felt at some show that this was the last one. And also when you play in front of only 20 people and don´t get any money, and travelled 2,5 hours for that, people were happy with us, and this is what keeps us going. And of course such shows are not the rule but the exception ...

How do you do the songwriting ab? Who is mainly involved?
We do that all together, quite some time. Someone has an idea or a riff, suggests that and then we wrap up the song. The lyrics are mainly written by me, Bustee writes his own lines he sings or shouts.

What is your personal A Chinese Restaurant favorite?
Mhh, the one I most enjoy hearing and find the lyrics really important, is „ ...Of Being Left Here Without You“, the one I most enjoy playing is „Brokenhearts And Pictureframes“ and my absolute fave is „Should I Take“! Because it´s new…

What do you listen to now in private life?
I listen to „In Love And Death“ by The Used and lots of Blink 182... doesn´t quite fit but I like them both.

Besides music you surely have your real jobs. What do you do to earn money, and how do you manage to organize both job and band life?
Dennis is carpenter, Bustee is in the second year of IT-business school, I will finish my salesman education in a month and might do my community service right afterwards. I think that music and work is just a question of organisation in due time to get time off when you need it.

Thank you for the interview.
You´re welcome...
Author: Nicole Caspers, photos: Sebastian Gram, translation: Klaudia Weber
Date: 2006-09-05

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