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Foreigners in China
Whether you love or hate rock ‘n’ roll, GAMMALUX will rock you.

By Cool Han

He stood onstage, bald, facing a couple of hundred fans who seemed more pleased than thrilled to be there. He sang, he jumped, he sang some more. He angled for more interactions. He pointed to one section of the crowd and asked, “Y’all having fun?” Yeah, pretty much. To another section: “Y’all having fun?” Sure they were.

May, 13Club, Beijing, Heavy Metal Festival. GAMMALUX were hard working and humble, rocking hundreds of crazy fans. On the stage he had a deep voice that could cut through the grinding guitar to get to melody notes. Surrounded by astoundingly hard and tough music, he yelled and screamed, creating a ritual background for the audience.

Not like those hard-rock bands with long hair tossing around and brushing frequently—GAMMALUX has purer and simpler appearance, and mind. They told me directly that their name GAMMALUX was just a combination of two Latin words with no specific meaning. And the logo? No meaning, too. “I know it sounds crazy, but it is just the truth.”

When you talk with band members, you will realize they are just people like you and me, nice people. Philip is a college student majoring in biotechnology and a cool bass player; Dome has one girlfriend and two kids besides powerful voice and outstanding stage-performances; Marc had no time to take care of beautiful girls in Chengdu but his guitar is the most powerful weapon on stage attracting girls’ hearts; Olaf bolte beats the hell out his drums; Chris has eyes like angles and smiling face who has been playing guitar for twenty years. As the godfather of GAMMALUX, Chris has unbelievable talent in management and amazing patience in dealing with all sorts of tough challenges. They all have their decent jobs, but they are just working to “make a living”. Music is their real business and true love.

GAMMALUX had been rocking over China for several times at many places. In 2008, they picked up a “sounding good” name PHOBIA as their China tour name and came back again. For them, China is always a “cool place to go” and Chinese people “cool people to rock”. And they do have strong feeling of connections with their Chinese friends.

It’s definitely a long way to go from the moment they fill out their MySpace pages until their styles are tagged by magazines and blogs, and their music will be fit into ever-expanding taxonomies of genre. But, the point is, they don’t care how others evaluate them. What they care is whether they can make real and good music. They label themselves as “direct and fresh SUBROCK made in Germany”.

Whether it is SUBROCK I don’t know. But there is one thing I’m pretty sure: GAMMALUX has deep sense of humanity, that’s must be part of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit. On the MySpace page they created a list of thanks covering “all the wonderful people, fans, organizsers, club-owners, sound-engineers, trnaslators, local tour-managers, security-staff and weird taix-drivers” who made their second ASIA-Tour an unforgettable greate experience.

After the Sichuan Earthquake, They updated they blog saying that “recent tragedy left all band-members sad, paralyzed and speechless. Our deep condolences and prayers go out to those who lost their beloved ones, to those who lost their homes, to those suffering from injuries.”

Maybe it is their earnest heart that touched the audience and fans. Their performance at midnight was a fuse that detonated the fire of passion. Pogo, dive, encore were the flames. All these made the Heavy Metal Festival a real festival for rock fans.

Azchael, a German journalist and photographer was just one of the audience. As funding father of “Rock in China” website, Azchael definitely had the quality of being a good newsman, but after taking pictures and interviews with GAMMALUX outside the club, he quickly put his work away and turned into a crazy rock fan again. The audience—from college students to Yappies, people wearing black T-shirts and silver jewelry, slam dancers and listeners, foreigners and Chinese—gradually became part of the show.

Watching those guys enjoying themselves so much, a question long hovered in my mind finally found its right position to land. What is the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll? Throughout “Rock ’n’ Roll” music is never mere entertainment. It’s not propaganda, either; there are no political or protest songs. Instead music is variously a refuge, a cry from the heart, a flag of defiance and a token of freedom. Characters in “Rock ’n’ Roll” take up longtime arguments about “rock ‘n’ roll spirit. They grapple with questions about ideology and pragmatism, politics and counterculture, materialism and spirit, language and lies, art and economics. But seriously, who gave rock its beat?

They didn’t tell me directly. On the stage Dome asked: “Are you ready?” “Yeah!” hundreds cried with exciting faces. Now could you tell me who gave rock its beat?
It’s YOU!!!

                         不管你喜不喜欢摇滚, GAMMALUX的故事都会撼动你







是不是非主流摇滚我不知道,但有一点我确信不疑:GAMMALUX 有一颗博爱之心,那一定是摇滚精神的一部分。在他们的MySpace页面上他们列出了一串很长的感谢清单,“向所有热情的观众, 歌迷,组织方,酒吧,音效人员,翻译,地方旅游组织者,安保甚至是有点奇怪的出租车司机表示感谢”。是这些人让他们的第二次亚洲巡演成为一次难忘的经历。








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