For Israeli art rock band Eatliz, the mainland is still a mystery and that's why the six-piece outfit are joining this year's JUE | Music + Art, an arts and music festival in Shanghai and Beijing. The group want to explore the mainland and its indie music and art scene. Eatliz will also be appearing in venues in Wuhan, Nanjing and Hong Kong.
According to guitarist Guy Ben Shetrit, the band had never thought of playing on the mainland as they didn't know there was an audience for their music. That music, says fellow guitarist Or Bahir, is a kind of 'complicated pop', which is quirky and 'poppy and melodic'.
Eatliz met Macau-based Panda Artist Management at last year's South By Southwest, one of the biggest annual music festivals in the US. Panda suggested they should tour this region, and connected them with JUE. Eatliz jumped at the chance to play in Asia.
Fronted by female lead vocalist Lee Triffon, Eatliz regularly collaborate with visual artists and their music is often accompanied by video and animation. For their Asian tour, they have teamed up with young Beijing illustrator Yan Wei.
Shetrit says the band came across her work at NeochaEDGE, an online platform for cutting-edge Chinese artists. 'We fell in love with her work. It's trippy and has manga and comics influences,' he says.
Though their music is still relatively new to the mainland, their video work has already garnered recognition there. They won awards at events such as the Sichuan TV Festival, the China Xiamen International Animation Festival, and the China International Animation and Digital Arts Festival.
Bahir says their music and art is universal, and crosses cultures and boundaries: 'We put our heart and soul into it. We are glad it speaks to people all over the world. The truth is, we were surprised to get such amazing prizes at Chinese festivals. But it's encouraging to know that in a world of reality shows and mediocrity, art and culture that is challenging can still get recognition and respect.'
He says the visual aspect, which includes flyers and videos, is an extension of the band's artistic vision. In the past, they have worked with Grammy-nominated directors Yuval and Merav Nathan. Shetrit is also a 3-D animator and a director.
'The videos set a creative high-water mark for Eatliz. We try to top ourselves every time we do one,' says Bahir. 'That's why we spend so long working on them.
'The music video for Hey took three years to be realised. That's the amount of time it normally takes to produce a full-length feature film.'
Tonight, 8pm, 25 Tai Yip St, Kwun Tong, Kowloon. HK$150 (walk-in only). Inquiries: 9170 6073