The indie band with multiple identities

Updated: 2015-12-26 05:12

By Li li Xueqing in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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The indie band with multiple identities

More than 70 musicians have been a part of Mushroom Bunnies since it was formed in 2013. Photo provided to china daily

From the day it was formed in February 2013, Mushroom Bunnies has never quite been the typical indie music band. Founded by six Shanghainese men scattered across the United States, Canada and China, the band is a testament to the powers of technology and how it can so seamlessly connect individuals around the world.

After all, the band’s discussions and music were largely done in cyberspace, with each member contributing their part to the song before someone pieced it all together. Six months later, Mushroom Bunnies pulled off their first show at Mao Livehouse in Shanghai, a popular rock music venue, playing the songs that they had created online.

Of the six founding members, only Xu Qifei remains — not because there was a major falling out between parties or a clash in creative direction, but because the band prides itself on constantly rotating its members with new blood.

Since its inception, Xu has collaborated with 77 musicians from all over the world. Most of them are college students or graduates that share the same passion for music. Some are also music academy students or members of other bands. Xu said that he enjoys working with musicians from New York and Japan the most, claiming that they consistently surprise him with their dedication and originality.

“Mushroom Bunnies uses cartoon images to represent itself, because it keeps changing members all the time,” said Xu, who explained that the constant flux in members helps the band explore as many genres as possible.

“Within a traditional band, it’s easy to fall into the trap of formulaic music creation. That just doesn’t happen with Mushroom Bunnies. There seems to be an infinite amount of inspiration flowing around because we keep inviting new members who bring in new ideas,” added Xu.

Born into a music-loving family in Shanghai, Xu’s music inclinations started with the piano when he was just four years old. He has since gone on to experiment with music conducting as well as different genres such as pop, rock and jazz. The first band he was involved in was called Neverland. The Shanghai-based outfit, which made it a point to deliver their performances without any fancy, expensive gear, became quite a hit among the high school crowd and even managed to hold music festivals under the name Shanghai High School Music Coalition.

“We consistently attracted hundreds, sometimes more than a thousand high school students to our festivals, filling almost every venue we performed at,” Xu said.

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