When Xiao Rong started China’s seminal punk band Brain Failure, he was a teenager. That was years ago, when nobody had ever seen anything like the mohawk and the studded-leather belt Xiao sported around Beijing. Living on American fast food and pirated CDs, Xiao was one of the first Chinese youth to write punk lyrics with a blatantly political message.
At that time, he could have only dreamed of performing in America, though Beijing officials were too busy keeping up with the chaotic pace of China’s economic development to worry about the potential dangers of punk rock. But after Brain Failure released their first album, Xiao postulated, “If the punk movement grows, and we have a big, huge concert, and everybody’s hair is green, that could become dangerous.” [Full Text]