Xiao Zhong doesn't often go to beach parties, but when he does, he goes to TICT beach parties... Join him as he learns you don't need to be buff to enjoy The Ice Cream Truck.
Heard The Ice Cream Truck just got a new intern. What have you had him/her doing so far?
Yeah, her name’s Ni, she’s cool. So far she’s been sorting out RSVP emails, dropping off flyers around town, the basics that are time consuming and super important for what we do ... nobody believes me when I say it but I miss doing that stuff.
Is TICT office a fun place to hang out? Can you guys set your own hours?
It’s a fun place – friends swing by a lot and we have some good brainstorm sessions, but it’s also (for a company named The Ice Cream Truck) a pretty serious workplace. People expect us to be just blasting music and goofing around but 90% of the time it’s kids pounding away on laptops with headphones on. We work 10-7 Monday through Friday.
I always kind of felt that TICT parties were a little bit intimidating. All the photos I see are of super hot girls and buff guys. I don't do well with legend of the dog faced women, let alone women that look like they belong on DJ Spenny's lap. Is this a fair statement or am I being a dick?
I don’t think it’s being a dick to admit that you don’t deal well with women, most of us are in the same boat. Seriously though, photographers are like moths with super hot girls in bikinis –the galleries that go online are probably more glamorous than an average cross-section of people at our events. I’m really skinny and pale, for example, and don’t feel worse about it at our parties than I do in general.
Mau Mau @ Xiao Zhong's worst nightmare
You guys are bringing over Round Table Knights on the 13th of July. Can you shoot some more info on the event? Was it hard to convince them to come to Shanghai? Do you also try and get them something in Beijing?
We actually found out about their Asia tour through a connection in Beijing, so that gig was set up first and we were lucky to jump on the tour with the Friday date. I believe they’ve been to Beijing before, but it’s their first show in Shanghai.
You said via private email that Round Table Knights are one of your favourite acts. Are you going to fanboy all over them?
Sadly, I’ll be back in the States for a family reunion while the night is happening, but I’ll make sure the rest of TICT fanboys over them like crazy.
You are pretty young, yeah? Is this the best job ever? Reckon event organiser is something you'll be doing until your twilight years?
I turn 26 later this summer, which sounds kind of old to me . . . like an age where you should start considering things like health insurance and those twilight years. To be honest, I love organizing events today but it’s hard to say how long I’ll be doing it for. If I keep loving it like this, a long time, but I’ve never been much of a long-term life planner.
You were being studio bitch on the weekend with the Acid Pony guys. Are you thinking of getting in to recording?
I’ve been trying to learn everything I can from the Ponies – they’ve been awesome about sharing their knowledge and helping me produce music. Would love to get to the point where I have the ear and the know-how to help real musicians record, but that’s a long ways off. I’m pretty slow when it comes to anything really technical.
How can I get a job being a white guy that is paid to go to a club like G+ or something?
Not sure how you land the job, but a lot of people definitely do that. Maybe find someone who does it who’s getting bored, or who feels like Slurms McKenzie? I don’t think you want that job, though.
Are you out and about every weekend? If yes, do you feel like Slurms McKenzie? If no, is that because you felt like Slurms McKenzie?
In the summer we have events almost every weekend, and between other DJ gigs (Get Stiff at Amber on a lot of Fridays) and dancing to friends DJing, I feel a lot like Slurms McKenzie.
Can you shoot some info on D.A.F.F? Jake Newby posted some photos on his Weibo and it looked awesome. Was it fun as fuck organising a more family orientated event?
DAFF was awesome – it consumed our lives for a couple months leading up to it . . . the fun came when we got glimpses of people enjoying themselves in between running around making sure the electricity’s still on in 60 tents and things like that, and then at the end, when we heard the feedback and slowly realized what went on that day. For the record, though, while DAFF is definitely more family friendly than the club-music-oriented dance parties we throw, its overall orientation is towards Shanghai’s creative community, which tends to be younger than baby-making age.
DAFF - May 2012
You mentioned once that a lot of venues won't allow you back after one of your pool parties. Why is that? Someone has to piss in the pool, yeah? It's human nature.
Yeah, we’ve made some messes. If you ever go to a TICT pool party, please respect the foliage around the pool, and the other nice stuff that the hotel provides mostly for their real guests. They’ve all been a lot of fun, though, I hope we can find another pool soon.
What's some of the hardest shit about organizing shit in Shanghai?
For us, with our focus on outdoor events, it’s the rain – but it rains everywhere. One thing that’s tough in Shanghai is that people don’t really know about the kind of house and electro music we like the most – unless it’s huge names or acts who’s crossed over into pop music. We’ve worked hard and been lucky to build up a brand where some people will come out even if they don’t know the act or aren’t super-familiar with the music – but that’s just a few, and for a lot of the local population especially house music is a foreign concept.
What, to you, for whatever reason has been the most successful event you guys have thrown and what has been the biggest bomb?
Besides the most recent DAFF, our Halloween warehouse party last year was awesome. Really grimy warehouse, really fun crowd – people seem to dance harder wearing silly things – and the party went really late.
The biggest bomb was probably our 2nd anniversary beach party last year. The weather looked iffy and we decided to risk it. Sure enough, 30 minutes after we set everything up it started raining this nasty cold rain, and then it got windy . . . our friends were making little igloos from tipped-over umbrellas and still drinking and dancing in them, but yeah not the most successful event.
TICT Halloween Warehouse Party 2011
How have TICT events changed over the years?
They’ve gotten bigger, they involve a wider range of stuff, they’ve started to include international acts when we can . . . they’re probably better organized, the organizers are less drunk halfway through the party.
We realized this winter, though, that we’d gotten too far away from our roots – doing free parties in little dive bars like the old LOgO – and so started a monthly party called TICTFMLY, which is just that kind of thing.
Any artists total dicks? Name names. It's a cheap trick but people love reading that shit. Sell them out. I'll start. Grandmaster Flash. Not the nicest guy ever.
I swear I’m not covering anyone’s butt, the acts we’ve brought out have been really nice people. Oliver $ was frustrated when I picked him up to go to the airport, but I kinda felt for him – he had a partied late after the show, and then went back to his hotel room and got hit by the munchies. He dialed room service, who said they’d send a menu up. Nothing came so he went down to the front desk. They apologize but still won’t give him a menu, and send him back to his room to wait . . . but still no menu. The next time he calls the desk he gets someone who speaks no English, so he had two fangbian mians and a minifridge beer and went to sleep grumpy.
Do you become Facebook friends with big DJ's after you hang out with them on a personal level? Do you have to show them around Shanghai? Where do you usually take them?
Sometimes they’ll respond to my friend request, yeah. A lot of times people are jet-lagged and don’t want to hit the town too hard, but we’ve done the walk-the-bund, moganshan lu. Southern Barbarian’s a good spot for artists who think they don’t like Chinese food. If they’re down for whatever we’ll usually go to Dongbei spot on Wanping lu that our friends usually meet up at.
TICT just added a Chinese member to the team, yeah? What difference has that made to your demographic/marketing/Weibo reposting?
Yeah we did – probably too soon to say the difference it’s made in our demographic, but we’re definitely trying to market towards the Weibo-using population as much as we can. I think by the end of the summer we’ll have a better idea if we’re more successfully engaging Chinese people or not.
What do you reckon is with the increase of total bros in Shanghai?
Good question. Maybe word of Sherpas and crazy tutoring salaries and DVD prices is reaching more of the bro centers around the world? It’s pretty easy to live like a lazy king here, and I think total bros are probably totally into that.
Can I get on the door now for a TICT event now that we are total interview friends? Anything you write in the affirmative will be taken as legally binding.
Yeah! And free Champaigne. No but really, for our next ten events the budget is really tight and I’m afraid I can’t add anyone at all to the guest list ;-)
Any future plans for TICT you want to pimp out/throw to the gossip mill?
Always! Besides the Round Table Knights party, we have a Beach Party on July 21st, then a Rooftop party where the aforementioned Pony Club will team up with Tzu Sing to do a live acid house set (super psyched for that) . . . and then the next DAFF coming up fast in September.
Round Table Knights play Lola this Friday (the 13th!)
WORDS: XIAO ZHONG / MAU MAU