A top record company predicted their latest album would not sell more than 1,000 copies, but hardcore rockers King Ly Chee, whose second release Stand Strong hit the shelves yesterday, just laughed. 'I don't care about what they say,' says drummer Kevin (Li Kin-wang). 'They should do some research before opening their mouths. I'm not certain we will sell more than 1,000 copies, but they shouldn't make such a prediction when they don't understand what it's all about.' The band, formed in 1999, was signed to local rock guru Paul Wong Koon-chung's independent label, Polar Bear, last year. 'We don't expect an underground band like us to be a big hit. Look at LMF. They were rejected by mainstream record companies when they first released an album. But when they sold 15,000 copies the companies came running back to them. They are just shallow. 'It's okay to be not interested, but they didn't need to say that. A thousand copies will go fast just among our friends.' The hardcore quartet, consisting of Kevin, vocalist and guitarist Riz Farooqi, vocalist and bassist Alex (Chung Chi-kin) and guitarist Andy (Chung Chun-kin), say they are sad the local mainstream record companies are being short-sighted and conservative. 'They just follow a formula to produce music. That's why every Canto-pop song sounds the same. Whenever there is a new idea they say 'Hong Kong people won't support that',' says Farooqi. 'They think that because some mainstream artists can't sell 1,000 copies we can't either. Of course we have a totally different opinion. We have hope.' To bring this issue to the attention of Canto-pop fans, they have written a song about it on the new album, which they hope will change some ideas, both of listeners and the record companies. 'Major record companies just do their business based on demand. If there is a demand for certain kind of music, that's what they will produce,' says Farooqi, who studied business at the University of Massachusetts in the US. Though they are signed to Wong's record label, they have no support from any record company. 'Paul thought about running the label as a record company, but he is just too busy and can't really do that,' Farooqi explains. 'His attitude is great. He really wants to help bands who regard music not just as an interest, but a way of life.' Wong is executive director on the record and advises on production and sound. 'Paul is really experienced and can see things that we might overlook,' Kevin says. 'If you think this record is powerful, this is the contribution of Paul and the Polar Bear sound engineer. They want this to be the most powerful record out of Hong Kong,' says Farooqi. Without any backing from a record company, the band used its website to recruit a promotion team of about 80 people, who helped promote them on campuses and around the territory using posters and flyers. 'We received more than 60 offers of help the day after we posted the message on our site,' says Farooqi. 'I never thought so many people would be willing to spend their time and effort promoting our band. 'Some people think Hong Kong teenagers don't care about anything, but suddenly there are so many who offer their help. It's amazing. Hong Kong is changing.'