An Interview With Liu Miao, Co-Owner of Beijing's Chill Spot 2Kolegas
The setting (park-&-pool, lake, drive-in), great music and bands (from Mademoiselle et son Orchestre to AIS), the people,... it's more like a community center with live music than your typical livehouse
[ Editor's Note: There are many great livehouses in Beijing, but few are close to my heart like 2K. The setting (park-&-pool, lake, drive-in), great music and bands (from Mademoiselle et son Orchestre to Candy Monster and AIS), the people,... it's more like a community center with live music than your typical livehouse. Rarely have I stumbled out of 2K before 6 AM, my only recurring regret having had that last shot. In sum, 2K is a perfect reflection of Beijing's 'chillll' side!
Hi Liu Miao. You and Gaofeng are the two owners of "2Kolegas", an important live venue in Beijing. When did you open 2Kolegas and why? What can you tell us about 2Kolegas?
We opened 2Kolegas on May 28th 2005. We celebrate the bar's anniversary every year, it's a very important event for us. I think 2K is a lot like me and Gaofeng - it's a place with a strong personality where you can be relaxed, find friends, be a hippie, a place people can easily like.
我们俩是在2005年的5月28号开的~哈哈~我俩发~每年会有酒吧的生日~也是我们每年比较重要的一个活动~2K 我自己认为是一个跟我和高峰性格很像的地方~ 随意 亲和 爱交朋友 很嬉皮~很热闹~总之是一个很容易让人喜欢的地方~哈哈~
You are originally from Ningxia, a province of central China. How is life there? How is the music there?
I am from Ningxia, while Gaofeng is from Inner Mongolia. There are many young people in Ningxia doing music, I'm not often there these days so I don't know what's been happening there. Still, I know that there are lots of young people in Ningxia playing music and that makes me very happy.
刘淼是宁夏人~高峰是内蒙人~ 在宁夏有很多年轻人做音乐~我很久不在，所以我不是很了解现在的宁夏在发生着什么~但是我知道有很多年轻人在玩音乐~ 这个让我很高兴~
What pushed you to come to Beijing?
Gaofeng came to Beijing for university. He never went to class and was playing music - playing bass - then later, he quit his job. I came to Beijing because I wanted to start a band and see concerts. I have been in the scene ever since.
2Kolegas is located in a drive-in. Why did you choose to open 2Kolegas in this area?
It's very simple. The atmosphere in this place is very different. There's a lake, there's grass to lay on,... it makes people feel like they are not in the city. The place is a bit isolated, so no one comes to bother us, and we won't bother anybody. (laugh)
Liu Miao, you played in 3 different bands, including WHAI (Electro-Rock), Li Dong (Folk) and Nucleus (Grunge). How did you start playing drums and what are you plans for the future with these three different bands? What does it mean for you to perform in Beijing?
I have three bands that I all really like. They have very different styles. Li Dong will release its second album this year. Nucleus and WHAI are preparing to record albums in real studios as well as perform many concerts... it feels great! (laugh) I came to Beijing because I like music, it's been 13 years now. I am still playing music and doing things connected to music, this is what interests me.
我有三个乐队~我都很喜欢~核乐队是第一个乐队~立东是第二，2012年加入WHAI 三种不一样的风格~立东明年要发行第二章唱片~核跟WHAI正在准备做一张真正的录音室专辑~包括很多很多的演出~~哈哈~很爽~ 我来北京就是因为喜欢音乐~所以我来北京玩音乐~13年了~我还是在玩音乐~和做跟音乐有直接关系的事情~这个就是意义~
Mademoiselle et son Orchestre at 2K in 2012
What do you think of the Chinese music scene? How do you think it is going to develop?
I think the underground Chinese music still isn't mature enough. It is still mostly in a phase of imitation, but there are also bands that have started their own creative paths, and this is something that should be respected. These bands should have more possibilities to play in good shows and big music festivals. Also, it is important to educate the audience and interact with them, in that way things will go further.
The Amazing Insurance Salesmen at 2K in 2011
What are the most interesting bands you have seen in all your years at 2Kolegas ?
There are many many good bands that play at 2K, I don't know who is better, I can only say who is more mature. For example, The Amazing Insurance Salesmen, my own three bands, reTros, Nova Heart etc...
There also bands coming from the West to tour China. They are all very good. To be honest, their also are a lot of very bad bands. This is what I think.
在2K 演出的好乐队真的是太多太多了~我不知道该说谁更好~只能说谁更成熟~比如保险超人~哈哈~我自己的三个乐队~重塑雕像的权力~NOVA HEART等等很多好的乐队~~包括还有从西方来中国巡演的乐队！都很优秀~~但是说实话~也有很不好的乐队~ 我个人的想法~
What are your plans for the future?
We plan to change 2K a little bit, make it a bit bigger. We will change the lights, the sound equipment and make things a bit more professional. We will use the area outside a bit more.
Under the right circumstances, we will do our own music festival.