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Various older Stuff

Here you can find various stuff that was published before 2009. Some is in Dutch!

RockReunion.com, interview (D)

CHINAWHITE are a symphonic hard rock band from the Netherlands and have a mini-CD as well as a full length album out. Guitar player Peter answered our questions.
Please introduce the band and the members: All members were born and raised in the southern parts of the Netherlands. The current line up has been playing together since 1993, but some go back for over 15 years! The band is: Peter Cox – guitars and vocals, Don Feltges – lead vocals, Paul Roefs – bass, Rolf Vossen – keyboards and Hans in ‘t Zandt – drums and vocals.
Tell us more about the history of the band: Chinawhite was formed in the late eighties. Founding members are Hans and Peter. We started out playing mostly hardrock and progressive/ symphonic covers. But soon we felt the urge to forge the creativity present within the band into original material and have done so ever since. On stage however we also play tunes from various bands in the mentioned genres. One day we hope to be able to play original material only! So far we have released 3 demo tapes, contributed 2 songs to a sampler and released a mini-CD in 1997 called "A Dragon’s Birth" and a full length effort in 2000 called "Breathe Fire". Through mp3.com a bonus edition of the mini-CD is available since this year, containing 7 extra songs. Those where taken from the mentioned demo tapes.
What musical background do you have?: Paul and Peter have had lessons to some extent in a completely different music style; trombone and bugle respectively. Most of us are autodidact regarding the instrument played in the band. Hans just returned from the USA where he attended a half year of lessons at LAMA in Los Angeles.
How would you describe your style?: We have a lot of different tastes in the band, ranging from classical to fusion and from pop-rock to progressive metal. We meet in the middle. We all like what we do with the band. Otherwise, we keep working on the songs until everybody is happy with the result.
Who are your musical influences?: Well, that totally depends on who you are talking to. I’d say important influences are (in random order) Rush, Toto, Saga, Threshold, Dream Theater, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Blue Oyster Cult, Kansas, Spock’s Beard, Frank Zappa, Whitesnake, Steely Dan, Yes etc.
What are your 5 alltime favourite albums?: At this moment in time: Threshold – Hypothetical, Ark – Burn the Sun, Millennium – Hourglass (yep, Jorn rules!!), Rush – Moving Pictures (or any other album by Rush) and Dream Theater – Images and Words. But this list is too limited really…
What are your current favourites?: My Son 😉 I mentioned a lot of names already. Mike Slamer and Francis Dunnery are high on my list as well.
Tell us more about the songwriting and the recordings of your current CD: We decided in 1998 on what songs we wanted to do for our next album. Some songs are very old (early stuff like "Foolin" and "Infatuation"), some were written "on the spot" (In my Mind). Till then all the lyrics were written by me, our next album will mark a change in that as Don is getting more and more involved in that territory. Good thing too. The songwriting works as follows, most of the time Rolf or I come up with the basic idea and the band takes it up. Everybody has an equal voice during the process of writing and arranging the songs. We don’t stop until we are all satisfied with the result. Sometimes this takes us 2 weeks, sometimes 2 years, but we aim at quality, not quantity. On the other hand, we have material in rough form, for over 5 albums now, so someone better sign us as soon as possible! We are determined to show the world what we can do. In our reviews you often see that people have a hard time categorising us, we think that is a virtue. Makes us an original affair and not copycats.
What are your lyrics dealing with?: It is not the usual love affair only. We have a broad interest and like to share our thoughts on various matters. Not all is to be taken all too seriously though. Especially live, we try to get a good vibe going. Anger and pain only spoil the evening in my opinion. The "Breathe Fire" albums deals with voyeurism, nightmares (…or??) some love topics, the birth of a child, the downrun of the human race. Figure the rest out for yourself!
How did you finance the recordings?: We paid everything ourselves. We play live regularly fortunately and use the money to hire a decent studio. This time we ran a litlle short on funds and had to lend some. One more reason to buy the album and support a honest and good band… please… 😉
Where and how do you distribute the CD?: Fellow Dutchmen can order directly by transferring the appropiate amount of money to our account. Visit our site for details: www.chinawhite.nl. We are also available at Sounds Recordshop in Venlo, www.compactmail.com and www.cdbaby.com. We are working hard on a distribution deal in the Benelux, details will be announced within a few weeks. Interested parties in other countries should contact us through our independent label Rock Company; rock_company@tref.nl.
Are you in contact with record labels?: Well, it seems someone is always interested. But the efforts lack timing so far. We strongly feel we would be an asset to any decent company. We get great reviews and already sell a creditable amount of CDs. Last but not least, we play live, so we can get in touch with the people who like and buy our music. Our main problems are the financing of the studio and the distribution. Any help on that matter is welcome.
Do you have more finished songs? Do you already have plans for the next CD?: Our coming release will be a single. To wake the public we have recorded "Music" from John Miles. In a Chinawhite manner, that speaks for itself. We are considering adding a track from both albums so far and an introduction video clip as a bonus for the fans. Hopefully this release will draw more attention to the band and get us some airplay as well. Furthermore we are working hard on the songs for the next album. We plan a conceptual story this time. The lyrical content is about complete, as are the basics for 85% of the songs. Already we feel we will be getting into new grounds with this album as some songs are awesome. But we think it is important to grow, both as a band or individuals. Hopefully the result will prove this.
Do you regularly play live? Tell us more about your gigs.: We try to play as much as possible. We had some setbacks due to change of management, but continue to try to get gigs. Everybody willing to have us (Chinawhite rock like dynamite) should contact the management at chinawhite.agency@wish.net. We are ready for it! We love to play our own songs, but unfortunately in Holland you have to play covers as well. On the other hand, with our choice of repertoire we stick to our roots. We love to give some songs our special "treatment", hahaha.
What has been your biggest musical achievement / success so far?: I’m particularly very proud of opening for Uriah Heep a few years back, great gig and great fun. Also the release of "Breathe Fire" counts as a highlight. Especially when we made it to album of the week in UK’s HardRoxx.
How can you be reached in the internet?: Simple: type www.chinawhite.nl and you are there. And when you are, leave a message in the guestbook. We’d love to hear from you. Is there anything else you want to mention?: Give us a few spins and you’re bound to become a fan. Believe what they say, the music is still out there!
What are your plans for the near future?: I think I pretty much covered that. We hope you will be hearing a lot of us in years to come.

DETRITUS interview (USA)

by Tim Wadzinski -Interview with Peter Cox (Chinawhite) Dutch prog/AOR/??? band Chinawhite (see my review of their latest album BREATHE FIRE in issue #108) recently put out a press release announcing two new projects, a new single and a compilation. The latter will basically be a reissue of an EP with out-of-print demo material tacked on as bonus tracks. One thing led to another and soon I had a mini-interview with guitarist Peter Cox on my hands… DETRITUS: Will this new compilation release called A DRAGON’S BIRTH – BONUS EDITION contain all the songs on the debut EP A DRAGON’S BIRTH, plus everything from your demo tapes A THOUSAND THOUGHTS and WHEN DREAMS UNITE? I saw on your MP3.com pages that A DRAGON’S BIRTH has four songs; how many songs are on A THOUSAND THOUGHTS and WHEN DREAMS UNITE? PETER COX: On A THOUSAND THOUGHTS were four originals and one cover ("Jump" from Van Halen). The four originals will be included ("When All Goes Wrong," "The Perfect Thing," "Metropolitans" and an early version of "The Revolution By Night"). Due to rights "Jump" will not be included, plus we recorded it for fun, we had some time left at the time… On WHEN DREAMS UNITE were four original songs. We will include: "Foolin’" (a new version was released on our second CD), "Room With A View" and "On Arrival." The remaining song is a version of "Rock And Water," but it differs very little from the version on A DRAGON’S BIRTH so we left it off. The bonus edition will also include all songs from A DRAGON’S BIRTH ("Rock And Water," "The Revolution By Night," "A Dragon’s Birth," "Big Money" and "The Lurker") so the total number of songs will be 11. ("A Dragon’s Birth" and "Big Money" share the index number; the title track is a short instrumental piece.) D: What year did the original A DRAGON’S BIRTH mini-CD come out? PC: A DRAGON’S BIRTH was originally released in 1997, also independent. As you perhaps know, the original albums can be bought in the USA through CDbaby. The links are on our regular Web site. D: What about the new single? PC: The single we will be releasing is our version of "Music" from John Miles… We hope to get some airplay with it. We will probably also include "Permanent Vacation" from BREATHE FIRE and "Rock And Water" from A DRAGON’S BIRTH. At the moment we are waiting for a date to mix. After that we can plan the release. -This new A DRAGON’S BIRTH – BONUS EDITION will be released as an MP3.com D.A.M. CD, meaning it will have regular audio plus MP3 versions of all songs. The disc will also contain lyrics, song info, and an MP3 player, and it will be available for $9.99. Check out the band’s MP3.com pages for sample tracks.

MINDVIEW, Magazine (B+NL) interview:

Twee jaar geleden speelde de Nederlandse hardrock band Chinawhite op de Mindview Metal convention. Belangrijkste wapenfeit op dat moment was 1 aardige mini-cd. Gitarist Peter Cox vertelde destijds dat er reeds 5 nummeers waren opgenomen voor de weldra te verschijnen full cd Breathe Fire. Ondertussen zijn deze 5 nummer er 11 geworden, en is de cd wereldwijd beschikbaar. Hoog tijd voor een update dus.
Eindelijk is jullie 1e full cd een feit. Zware bevalling?:
Destijds waren enkel de basistracks voor de nummers opgenomen. Deze songs moesten we dus nog uitwerken. We wilden bovendien absoluut een volledig album uitbrengen. Het was ook niet altijd even gemakkelijk om onze agenda’s samen te leggen, en omdat de kwaliteit van het totale product bij ons voorop staat heeft het langer geduurd dan voorzien. Maar het was zwaarder dan gedacht. We hebben zowel op persoonlijk vlak als in de studio wat tegenslag gekend, maar zijn er sterker uitgekomen. We zijn trots op ons album en genieten van elke recensie. We wisten al vroeg welke nummers we wilden opnemen. Het doet goed te constateren dat veel mensen er het nodige potentieel in zien. Maar we zijn er nog niet, en willen onszelf de volgende keer nog verbeteren.
Wat is er anders aan deze cd als je hem vergelijkt met jullie mini-cd?:
De songs zijn beter. Ze bezitten meer dynamiek, zijn beter afgewerkt en klinken volwassener. We zijn ook beter op elkaar ingespeeld, waardoor alles beter uit de verf komt. Qua stijl komen onze diverse invloeden ook steds beter uit, en dat maakt de muziek nog afwisselender. Als je jezelf kippenvel kunt bezorgen, dan gaat het behoorlijk de goede kant op.
Op Breathe Fire twijfelen jullie echter nog steeds tussen prog en traditionele hardrock. Jullie mengen deze stijlen niet echt, maar gebruiken ze eerder parallel. Het ene nummer klinkt prog, het andere eerder hardrock. Heb je daar een verklaring voor?:
Enigszins tot mijn verbazing constateer ik dat niet elke journalist de verschillen in stijlen kan waarderen. Maar smaken verschillen, dus dat mag. Als je de recensies overziet, merk je heel duidelijk dat het van de smaak van de journalist afhangt welke nummers hij of zij het beste vindt. Een nummer dat de één minder vindt, vindt de ander juist top. Het nadeel is dat het niet eenvoudig is om er een labeltje op te plakken. Het voordeel dat we nu meer mensen aan kunnen spreken. Wij maken geen bewuste keuzes, zo van: nu willen we dit of dat maken. We schaven elk nummer net zo lang bij tot we er tevreden over zijn. En ons uitgangspunt is dat wijzelf onze nummers leuk moeten vinden. Zo houden we onszelf tenminste niet voor de gek. Omdat er veel invloeden binnen de band aanwezig zijn, weerklinken er automatisch veel muziekstromingen door in onze muziek. Veel bands waar ik naar luister hebben dat ook. En bedenk tevens dat een gezicht een voorkant, een achterkant en 2 zijkanten heeft…. Hopelijk zijn daar in de toekomst geen vraagtekend meer over. Chinawhite is Chinawhite.
Heb je trouwens een verklaring voor het feit dat prog/symfo zo aanslaat in Nederland? In vergelijking met Belgie hebben jullie een echte scene.:
Ik zou het echt niet weten. Misschien omdat veel mensen zich de moeite willen nemen om er vertrouwd mee te raken. Het is ook muziek die niet gauw verveelt. Ik zou Chinawhite echter niet als een pure symfo band willen typeren, maar eerder als een melodieuze hardrock band met symfonische en progressieve invloeden.
Een weerspiegeling van de muziek waar jullie zelf graag naar luisteren, dus?:
Dat hangt er van af met wie je praat binnen de groep. De invloeden van de band zijn wel behoorlijk divers; van klassiek tot hardrock, symfonische rock, progressieve metal en van alternatief tot AOR en jazz. Maar binnen de band hebben we allemaal wel muzikale raakvlakken. We staan voor 100 procent achter wat we doen.

 

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LORDS OF METAL, interview:

Chinawhite from Holland is a band with music that’s best to be descriped as Symphonic Progrock with here and there a Metal edge. This band was founded almost 11 years ago and made in that time three demotapes and one mini CD. But in August this year, at last, the first full lenght CD, ‘Breathe Fire’ was released. Jack from The Lordz send some questions down south and Peter from Chinawhite was kind enough to answer.
For those who’ve never heard of Chinawhite before, how did you come up with that name? It was our drummer’s idea, originally written as two words : China and White, wich means something like white china. It also is ‘slang’ for synthetic drugs, and music is our drug.
On the covers of both ‘Dragons Birth’ and ‘Breath Fire’ there’s a dragon (nicely drawn by singer Don Feltges). Why this association with dragons, is it some kind of logo? We were searching for something wich we could use on any cover, and give every kind of addition we wanted. The dragon is ofcourse a mythical creature, so very suitable for our purposes. We’ve got a lot of visual plans for the dragon, so yeah, it’s fair to see it as a logo.
The recordings for ‘Breath Fire’ started in May 1999, the release was in August 2000, looks like a lot of work. Why did it take so long? Well, for several reasons. The first is financial, we had no financial backup from a label, so we had to pay for it ourselves. We didn’t want to borrow money, so we had to earn it with our live shows. It also wasn’t easy to organize it all, for we all got busy jobs, the producer we wanted (Fred Henrix) is a very busy man and the studio of our choice is frequently booked. Also of influence were some personal circumstances, and not always nice ones. Between the mini CD ‘Dragon’s Birth’ and the release of ‘Breath Fire’ lies a gap of three years. A creative break perhaps, or to busy with touring? It’s true we play on a regular basis, but the main reasons are the ones above. Our first goal was to release the album in 1999, but we hope it was worth the wait. The first reactions are very positive, and we have a good feeling about it, it was certainly a big step ahead for us. For a band who started out influenced by the likes of Rush, Saga, Camel and Marillion, the new CD is quite different in style. Is this temporary or your defenitive sound? Our influences nowadays are going way beyond the mentioned bands. Think of bands like Dream Theater, Threshold, Blue Oyster Cult, Deep Purple, not to mention somebody like Beethoven or things like Fushion, so our current style isn’t easily defined. The various influences are popping up in an unpredictable fashion, but it’s still Chinawhite. You have to bear in mind that our first singer was an enormous fan of Fish, and our current singer is more a Hardrock man, wich we regard as an addition to our sound.
‘Dragon’s Birth’ was received pretty well by fans and media, can we assume that with ‘Breath Fire’ in the pocket it’s possible that Chinawhite is gonna tour beyond Holland, Belgium and Germany? Yes, we expect to play next year in Sweden, we’ve been asked many times by now. We’re also asked to play Brazil, but to keep the costs at an acceptable level, we need more than a few gigs overthere. But the interest is ever growing, so who knows? Everybody can ask us, we love to play live, and we want to give all our fans the opportunity to see us live.
How would you descripe your music? I would say melodic progressive rock, for that’s what most of our music is all about. I know it’s easier for people outside the band to compare us with other bands, and sometimes that can be pretty hilarious, I remember (long time ago) somebody once telling us that we were something like ‘Elton John goes Hardrock’…
This is maybe a bit fast, but what can we expect from you guys in the future, is there enough material or inspiration for a follow up, or are you gonna tour the coming months? Well, don’t you worry about the inspiration, we’ve got tons of lyrics lying around (anybody interested?) and with our musical ideas we can make a lot of CD’s. And to reveal a little secret : we’re thinking of making the next CD a concept album, The storyline is basically ready and the musical concept almost. The music will be like on ‘Breathe Fire’, but we think it’s better (hehe) and somewhat deeper. I also hope that we continue to grow, as a band, as a person and as musicians.

 

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Chinawhite wel bekend in Zweden, niet in Maastricht (Dagblad de Limburger, 27-09-2000)

Door Bart Ebisch

Drie jaar na de mini-cd A Dragon’s Birth komt de Noord-Limburgse hardrock band Chinawhite met het volwaardige debuut: Breathe Fire.

Dat is elf jaar na de oprichting van Chinawhite. Waarom de bevalling zo lang geduurd heeft, legt gitarist/zanger Peter Cox uit. Hij is tevens verantwoordelijk voor de teksten van de elf nummers op de nieuwe plaat.
Cox: "We hebben regelmatig in de studio gezeten. In onze eerste samenstelling hebben we twee cassettes uitgebracht. In 1993 is zanger Don Feltges erbij gekomen. Een jaar later hebben we een derde cassette gemaakt. En daarna nog die mini-cd.

‘ Ik lees een positieve recensie in het Zweedse hardrockblad Catchy Hooks. Jullie plaat wordt beloond met het rapportcijfer 8.
"Zijn we heel erg trots op. Het bevestigt wat wij dachten: dat het een flinke stap vooruit is. De cd is progressiever en ruiger dan onze eerste plaat. Muziek maken doen we er allemaal bij. En dat willen we zo integer mogelijk doen. Wat we doen moet wel goed zijn.

‘ De productie van Fred Hendrix (Terra Nova) wordt geroemd. Kun je meer vertellen over de samenwerking in de studio?
"Fred heeft heel veel studio-ervaring. Hij kan muzikanten in de studio optimaal laten presteren. Kwam ook driftig met ideetjes aandragen. Niet dat we alles van hem gebruikten, dat begreep hij wel. Wij zijn gewoon minder commercieel dan zijn band, Terra Nova.

‘ Jullie zijn wel bekend in Zweden, maar in Maastricht is jullie cd niet te krijgen. "Typisch Nederlands. Wat van ver komt vinden we lekker. Daarom krijgt een Amerikaanse rockband eerder aandacht. Zweden staan wat onbevangener tegenover muziek. Ze luisteren gewoon naar de plaat, in plaats van dat ze zich afvragen waar de band vandaan komt. Er wordt momenteel gewerkt aan een distributiedeal. Ook via internet (www.dprp.vuurwerk.nl/ bands/chinawhite) is onze cd te koop.

‘ Hoewel knap gespeeld mis ik af en toe de wisselwerking tussen de verschillende instrumenten. Alsof het professionalisme ten koste is gegaan van de spontaniteit. Hebben jullie het te mooi willen doen?
"Ik begrijp wel wat je bedoelt. We moesten onder druk werken, vanwege tijdgebrek. Gingen we noodgedwongen af en toe op de automatische piloot spelen. We moeten ook alles zelf doen, van het maken van de cd, tot en met het hoesontwerp en het regelen van optredens. We hebben geen grote platenmaatschappij met geld achter ons staan die ons werk uit handen neemt.

‘ Jullie hebben inmiddels een honderdtal optredens achter de rug. Dat lijkt veel, maar over een periode van elf jaar zijn dat er nog geen tien per jaar. Zit hardrock in het verdomhoekje?
"Ik heb juist de indruk dat hardrock uit het dal aan het klimmen is. Ik merk het aan van alles. Er komen hardrockbladen bij, evenals kleine platenmaatschappijen voor dit soort muziek. Ook de verkoopcijfers laten een groei zien.

‘ Wat verwacht je van de nieuwe cd?
"Het maken van de plaat kostte tussen de 20.000 en 30.000 gulden. We zullen zo’n duizend exemplaren moeten verkopen om uit de kosten te komen. Belangrijk ook is dat we voldoende publiciteit krijgen. Kunnen we onze horizon verleggen wat betreft optredens. In meer en andere plaatsen spelen. Zodat we uiteindelijk een volgende cd kunnen opnemen.

‘ Dat gaat weer drie jaar duren?
"Je zult er versteld van staan. De meeste nummers zijn inmiddels geschreven. We moeten wel even wachten met opnemen, want onze drummer Hans in ‘t Zandt gaat eerst een half jaar naar de Verenigde Staten. Voor de optredens hebben we een plaatsvervanger, maar in de studio hebben we hem er toch graag bij.

‘ De presentatie van Breathe Fire vindt vrijdag plaats in zaal De Vriendenkring in Steyl. Aanvang 20.00 uur. In het voorprogramma speelt de Noord-Limburgse band Fort Knox.

Progpower Benelux Contest 2000

Second band was CHINAWHITE. The band did a great job. Individually very skilled musicians, the only problem with Chinawhite for this contest was that their music is more like melodic hardrock from the eighthies. But very well played, the people liked what they heard.

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Neerpink ’98

Als laatste kwam onze topper CHINAWHITE.
Dit is een heel professionele band met nummers van o.a. Saxon, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden en vele anderen. Keiharde muziek maar absoluut een topper !! De gitarist van de band loopt met zijn gitaar gewoon door het publiek, loopt over de bar en speelt de sterren van de hemel. De drummer van de band zit achter zijn drumstel of hij nooit iets anders heeft gedaan. En maar te zwijgen over de zanger. Deze man heeft een stem, daar zullen vele zangers jaloers op zijn.
Een te gekke band, die absoluut vaker te zien zal zijn in Café Twister !

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