Hong Kong In The 60s : Q&A

Citing old Oriental pop, classic AM radio and the baroque melancholy of groups like Blonde Redhead and Broadcast as influences, Hong Kong In The 60s produce a timeless, delicate sound that exists between dreams and reality.

PS: Tell everyone a bit about yourselves and what you're up to.
Mei Yau: I sing most of the vocals and play a variety of small instruments from the 80s. I'm currently studying for an MA in Library and Information Sciences.
Chris: I play keyboards and sing some vocals, and I'm currently leading a life of glorious isolation in Cambridge.
Tim: I'm the obsessive of the group. I live in a quiet part of South London that looks more like Bournemouth or Brighton. At the moment I'm spending all of my money on early 80s synths from the internet.

PS: Do you have set roles within the group or is it a more open songwriting process?
Chris: Everyone does a bit of everything, although Tim is in charge of most of the recording/producing/general fiddling.
Tim: The way our songs are formed seems to change over time. Lately, a lot of pieces have grown out of loops and samples, which never really happened before. Vocal melodies or choruses will often be added to a song started by someone else, which is quite exciting and unpredictable, because we might reveal an element of the song that the originator didn't know was there.

PS: Your music is very delicately constructed. Do you ever go nuts with twenty layers of guitars before removing it all?
Chris: How did you guess? That pretty much describes our creative process exactly, apart from the fact that we usually realise in the end that what the song needed all along was a harpsichord part!
Tim: The thing that usually makes me go insane is the percussion. Percussion is one of my favourite things in music, but it's also something I find very hard to get right. Most songs go through at least three completely different percussion tracks before they're finished.

PS: You're all quite well traveled, where do you feel most at home and why?
Chris: Anywhere except the present day and present location. It's too cold and noisy and modern here!
Mei Yau: I manage to feel at home pretty much anywhere I go but there's nothing like a nice library for making me feel truly at ease, whatever country I'm in. There's something comforting and almost sweet about the familiarity of the library world – you know nothing really awful could happen to you in a library. Unless you're in Ghostbusters.
Tim: Wherever I lay my Cheburashka, that's my home.

PS: If you were named after another country in another decade, what would it be?
Chris: Brazil in the 50s (during the presidency of Juscelino Kubitschek to be precise).
Mei Yau: Japan In The 90s – perfectly encapsulated by the Flipper's Guitar song "Friend's Again" and the accompanying video.

PS: Give us a Top 5 of something.
The band's main pastime is eating out (with playing music a close second) so here are HK60s' Top 5 London restaurants, in no particular order:
1. Cafe de Hong Kong, Chinatown – the best place to get real Hong Kong food in London; our favourites are the hawker noodles, watermelon juice, red bean drink, sesame paste and French toast.
2. The Golden Dragon, Chinatown – simply the place to people-watch and get dim sum, always one or two Chinatown kingpins to be spotted here.
3. Gurkha Diner, Balham – not only are the service and food impeccable but the toilets are probably the best we've ever seen.
4. The Patio, Shepherd's Bush – hearty Polish food in massive portions, fabulous hostess reasonable people-watching prospects too.
5. The Laureate, Chinatown – another good dim sum haunt, order in triplicate!

Download Disintegration, Mermaids, Gingerbread Crumbs and more at the bands Last.FM page.

Upcoming gigs:
30th Jan @ The Half Moon, Brixton, London
28th Feb @ South Street Arts Centre, Reading