Last Friday night, local hard rockers Bamboo Star played a blistering set at the Fringe Club in Central, as the four-piece unveiled their debut album No Hard Feelings to the world. The songs were recorded in Los Angeles, in the US, with multi-platinum producer Bob Marlette, who has previously worked with rock icons Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and Black Sabbath.
“Bob is an amazing guy,” guitarist Terence Ng told Young Post ahead of their album launch show. “His most remarkable trait was the way he communicated his feedback to us. He took the first couple of days to observe and understand what motivated us as individuals and applied it to really bring out our A-game.”
Frontman Wilfred Chung, whose stage name is Wolf Red, was as awed as Ng by the experience.
“It’s weird how it’s possible to be starstruck by a room or a piece of equipment, but it was a bit nerve-racking at first to be standing in the same spot, singing on the same [microphone] as Ozzy Osbourne or Marilyn Manson.”
Lead single It’s Just Business was released digitally two weeks before the launch show, and peaked at number six on the US college radio metal charts.
“It’s the most melodic, yet heavy and still groovy song of them all in my opinion,” says bass player Jasmine Wong. “It has a bit of each of our own styles so we all get a chance to shine.”
The group have spent the past five months working on a stop-motion animation using clay figures for the track’s music video; they hope the cute characters will make the song’s message more relatable.
“It’s about the nature of power, conflict and profiteering – and how societies often enable their own abusers,” explained Chung.
The rest of the album follows a similar theme, which the band see as “a response to all the trends we see across the world stage”, including social unrest and extremist groups, as well as songs about some deeply personal stories.
To help fund the album’s production, the band set up a Kickstarter campaign, which raised three times its initial target.
“It was amazing,” said Ng. “It’s inspiring to see others support and invest in us and our music.”
Chung added: “These platforms enable artists to create art and music for their followers. I would encourage all artists to use crowd-funding to be able to deliver personalised and special items to their fans.”
For many Hong Kong artists, it’s hard to break out of the 852 bubble. But Bamboo Star are making waves internationally, with their first Japanese tour later this month, and a slot at Skookum Festival in Vancouver, Canada, alongside prestigious acts such as The Killers, and Florence and The Machine.
“Japan is somewhere we’ve visited personally before but never to perform, and Skookum approached us as they felt we could bridge the Eastern and Western worlds through music,” says Chung, explaining that Bamboo Star’s mission has always been to represent those who feel caught between two worlds.
“So, yeah, we’re totally stoked about it.”
No Hard Feelings is available now on CD and streaming platforms.
Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge