1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
Well, we are a Asian folk metal band based in Sydney, Australia. It may sound unusual for a Asian folk metal band to reside in Australia but it doesn't matter, our main goal is to introduce Asian culture,mythology,literature and music with metal and spread it amongst the metal scene.
The band's music/theme is currently focusing on a chinese concept but we have shown a bit of japanese but there plan to be others as well.
2. How would you describe your musical sound?
At the moment it is a mix of black/death/folk metal with Chinese/Japanese melodies and instruments,there is also a mix of brutal,melodic and cheesy riffs/tunes here and there.
I would like to also add that our sound is still very young and is developing.
3. What is the meaning behind the band's name?
The name was taken from a Daoist deity named Hongjun Laozu, however "Pangu" the creator of all in Chinese mythology refer Hongjun Laozu as Xuan Xuan Shangren. So basically it was just a name taken from a deity, however the reason i choose this name was because it sounded asian yet metal.
4. How would you describe the lyrical content for the music?
So far its based on popular chinese myths and fables, such as the Monkey King and The Grand Unity.
Some of the lyrics are just a retelling of a tale or myth while I have written lyrics about the culture itself.
5. Have you had the opportunity to do shows yet, if so what are some of the best shows that you have played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
No, but we have been offered quite a few, one of them was a folk metal festival in Germany.
The reason we have not done any shows is because Shangren hasn't hit the live scene yet, we have not completed our line up.
Once our line up is complete, we will prepare to go live!
6. How have extreme metal fans reacted to your sound so far?
There have been a lot of great responses, especially on our myspace page.
Some are glad that there is finally a band doing Asian folk metal seriously, Alot of the times fans think our music is original,
some fans like to label us as chinese restuarant/pokies metal band which is quite amusing and others just enjoy it.
7. Can you give us some details on the upcoming album?
It plans to be a lot more unique,interesting and folkish then the demo. I don't want to say too much but i believe it will define the chinese folk metal sound.
8. Are there any other side projects besides this band, if so who are they and what kind of music do they play?
Well, besides been the main songwriter for Shangren, i am also trying to compose music for a Symphonic blackened death metal project which i have yet to name or release anything.
Andy (Our guitarist) founded Starforge, a melodic death metal band and that's about it.
9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and what are you listening to nowadays?
Behemoth, Eluveitie, Finntroll, Ensiferum, Amon Amarth, Chthonic (Who gave me the major idea of doing Asian folk metal), Kalmah,
and many other metal bands. I have also been listening to a lot of traditional chinese music and also some classical as well.
10. According to your page that band is into Daoist philosophy and Sun Tzu's Art Of War how would you describe your approach to Eastern Mysticism?
To be honest, i have not read any of it yet, however they are ideas on what to write about for later releases. i just know very little about it.
So i can't really answer that question at the moment. We are just focused on Chinese/Japanese myths and fables for now.
11. What are some of your interests outside of music?
Well music makes up most of my interest but other then that it would be
Food,Reading,Asian culture,going to live gigs,Surfing the net,exercising,Fishing,Watching Movies,TV Shows & Anime.
12. Any final words or thoughts?
We are about to have our first release which is the demo, it is entitled 'Warriors of Devastation',i hope fans actually buy it haha, other then that
Fear us vikings and trolls! For we dynasty warriors shall rise!
Thanks for the interview!