I'm Chinese
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I'm Chinese

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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As I wait and converse with The Silver Tongue’s photographer , a clean cut with a crew cut, decorated with an expensive suit and yellow golden tie walks up to introduce himself to us. The man was Daniel Davis, the manager for I’M CHINESE. And he does indeed look the part, though he seems to have the humility that most managers in the music business lack. Our little small talk trio plays Secret Santa with an exchange of business cards and we talk about the CHINESE that are to be my focal point for this review and the photographer’s click, snap and flash point.

After a few minutes of what may have seemed to be an interview about Daniel and his holy tie (sorry, strange things entertain me), my questions about I’M CHINESE provided an open invitation to actually chat with the guys before they were to go on stage four hours later. I first had the opportunity to meet the front man for I’M CHINESE, Frank Wells, and then John Rosser, their lead guitarist. I got the impression that these two were very synonymous to a car battery. Frank would be the positive terminal where you connect the red cable and John would be the negative, and most importantly, the grounded portion of the battery. I suppose the fluid in this battery is the electrically charged music that I later learned would zap you into a state of emotional excitement. I’ll get to the fluid part later.

I was eventually introduced to James BrassWood and his “womb broom” as Frank cleverly titled the bassist’s curly goatee, and then to Stephen Dimmick, the reserved drummer also nicknamed “Dimodopolis.” In fact, the rest of the band seemed calm, conforming and reserved compared to their front man Frank who was nothing short of larger than life. Thanks to Daniel, their manager, I was able to really chat it up with the band and have a lot of good laughs. I’m convinced that if Frank Wells wasn’t the vocalist/guitarist for I’M CHINESE, he would most likely pursue standup comedy. I had a lot of questions; one of them being the obvious – where the hell did they come up with the name of the band? They were certainly not Chinese and picturing them with cute Asian schoolgirl outfits was far from the brain. So begins a little history behind what I like to call “The Chinese Invasion”.

The band seems to have already developed enough hype to get them in the door at Smith’s Olde Bar and this is their fourth time playing at the venue. Not only that, but they caught the attention of Daniel Davis with LG & M Entertainment, and understandably he cradles the guys like a new baby. So, who are I’m Chinese? Are they really Chinese? Taiwanese? Perhaps Chinese enthusiasts or maybe even Communists? Here goes… Frank Wells and John Rosser were friends and listening to a demo tape by a friend, but they couldn’t understand the lyrics. Their friend was Asian and was singing in Chinese. They both finally gave up trying to sing Chinese karaoke with the demo tape and simply replaced the lyrics with “I’m Chinese! I’m Chinese! I’m Chinese!” and there you go.

If you decide to catch an I’M CHINESE show, you will be pleasantly surprised, unless you’re only motive is to check out Asian girls in revealing mini-skirts. Remember my little metaphor about the battery? Well, it sticks and fits like a purple latex glove. Why? When midnight came I was blasted away by their first song entitled “Hold Your Own,” which like the rest of their playlist was nothing less than emotionally charged. “Hold Your Own” took me back to my own childhood at the Junior High dance while I watched everyone slow dance to sad love songs and well, I was just the dork stuck sitting on the bleachers. This statement is very relevant to what I’M CHINESE has to offer musically. I truly felt that I could relate to their music in so many ways. I think that is really significant for any listener. The lyrics of their music seem to focus on lost love, inner conflicts and Frank’s battle with drug and alcohol abuse. Fortunately, he has been clean and sober juggling a Nestle Pure Life bottle of water instead of a liquor bottle for two years. He replaced his addictions with music and impressive guitar riffs, even though he only starting strumming the strings during those two years of sobriety. You can feel the passion in the music like a shockwave of heartbreak and emotional turmoil, yet there is a comical tone to Frank’s personality that makes the band even more irresistible.

A few of the band’s influences are Radiohead, The Doors and The Smashing Pumpkins. This is slightly apparent while absorbing the music, but what is more apparent is the originality that they bring to the stage. Each musician brings their own version of unpredictability with a splash or slam of angst to each song. With songs like “Hold Your Own,” “Trophy,” “Nothing Comes to Mind,” and “Deathbed Conscience,” I was completely gift-wrapped, imported and sold to I’M CHINESE. Prepare yourselves for the Chinese invasion because these guys are going places so quickly that “quickly” isn’t even the appropriate word to use. - The Silver Tongue


I'm Chinese
Already Free

Review By Gary Smith, 28th August 2009

I'm Chinese are a 4 piece band that hail from Atlanta, Georgia. Stephen Dimmick brings the band together on the drums, while James BrassWood assists the rhythm section on the bass.

John Rosser and Frank Wells are both responsible for the melodic guitar works, yet Frank heads up the band with his soft, yet deepening vocal talents.

The EP, Already Free, is a varied mix to show off the full talents of the band. It is full of lighter moments, and kicks off with the alternate rock stylings which make you want to listen to the single over and over.

Already Free is available as a free download, so there is no excuse for you not to hear them!

The EP heads off to a great smooth start, full of melodic dual guitars... then it all kicks in with fabulous work from the entire band. 'Till It Burns' is the perfect way to start off. Franks gritty, yet soft indie voice works in wonders with the music, and the start of the EP keeps you hooked and wanting more.

'Deathbed Conscience' starts off with gorgeous bass lines and steadily brings you into the mix. Franks vocals sound slightly different in this song, almost James Brown-like, but that is definitely not a bad thing by miles! This just helps to prove the variations that I'm Chinese can offer to you.

The EP starts to take hold of some indie-chill out music from here with 'Clumsy At Heart' and partially with 'Capo Song', which are both beautiful pieces of music to listen to. Stephen really shows his work with 'Capo Song' introduction also. This track also shows off the awesome soloing talents of the guitarists.

There is, of course, a bonus track thrown into this collection of tracks. 'Hold Your Own' is their live recording from a performance at 'Eddie's Attic'. This is a nice acoustic track, which is always a nice treat for you listeners and readers out there!

This is a definite must-hear that GigReviewer.com recommends, so get that download! - www.GigReviewer.com


I love I'm Chinese. The band is less than a year old and already they seem to have fine tuned their sound, style and approach in ways many bands take years to do. The I'm Chinese story I'm sure is not unheard of with other bands, but it is striking none the less. The members of I'm Chinese have prevailed through drug addiction, homelessness and hopelessness only to come together at some of their worst moments in life to create a beautiful experience on stage, and an equally cool experience off stage.

I'm Chinese is Frank Wells (Vocals/Guitar), John Rosser (Guitar), James BrassWood (Bass) and Stephen Dimmick (Drums).
These are four of the coolest, straight up dudes I've had the pleasure of interviewing. We sat down with them over dinner before the show and before the interview and just had some real conversation...not something that comes easily for most. There was no bullshit talk about the weather or generic conversations about their music, only straight conversation about real things and real thoughts and emotions on their music and life experiences that led them to that dinner table...and to I'm Chinese.; just four real dudes who value each other's role. You can hear it in the interview and the answers they give.

Lead Singer Frank Wells has that leading quality. He says it how it is and doesn't seem to be interested in much else, but he's cool about it. Thats a quality anyone can respect. He has only played guitar for about two years and I believe has been singing in a band even less...but it just does not show. From listening to him on stage you would expect this is a man pulling from years of experience on stage, bellowing into a mic and strumming a guitar. That
is not the case, however. Instead, he draws on years of introspection and real life experiences living on "the other side of the tracks" that really put him in a position to tell tales that people can draw inspiration from themselves; stories that people can really respect...taking on tough personal issues, setbacks and difficulties and transforming them into something exceptional. He takes his experience and life lessons and masterfully transforms them into a
great and adventurous song. Check out a video from the show...this song is amazing...

Frank Wells finds matching quality in his band mates. John Rosser lays down the guitar in flawless, seemingly easy strides. He is a little more quiet than Frank in person, but on stage he is a powerhouse, really shaping and directing each song. His passive style may throw some off on just how talented he is, but in my opinion it only adds to his greatness. He is willing to put his talent out there and then shut up about it; he's not some asshole constantly throwing it in your face that he's the best guitarist on the street...and I really like that. James Brasswood and Stephen Dimmick play their backbone role immaculately, truly contributing to the humbleness that comes out of
I'm Chinese.

I'm Chinese straight ROCKS. You wouldn't be able to categorize them in some off shoot genre that sounds like they made it up. They play ROCK. They seep talent and experiment well with sound.

They shape a more classical row with elements of every original and great rock sub-genre you can think of, and they do it fantastic like. Anyone still asking where the true rockers are? Well, they're right here in the ATL and they start with I'm Chinese.

I'm Chinese, making music for people who really fucking love music. - www.BeAtlanta.com


Discography

"Greatest Hits"
released December 7, 2010

Track Listing
1. Drag
2. Pretty People
3. Walter's Dream

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"Already Free" EP
released August 24, 2009

Track Listing
1. Till It Burns
2. Deathbed Conscience
3. Clumsy at Heart
4. Capo Song
5. Hold Your Own [Live @ Eddie’s Attic]

Available for free download at www.DownloadImChinese.com

Photos

Bio

We are I'm Chinese and we're just like you.
But not in the way that anybody likes to talk about.

We're afraid
In a way it's all we know to be
Just like you

We work jobs that we hate
We buy shit that we don't need
Just like you

We don't try hard enough
We are easily distracted
Just like you

We're in control just like you

We don't have enough time
We have no idea what to believe in
Just like you

We're gonna die
Just like you

We're never gonna walk on water

We have families... and scars on our faces

We love Rock and Roll
...and when we turn on our radios or we press the "play" button, we want to hear the voice of a long lost relative.

We want something sacred

We want to sing along to the soundtrack of the end of the world

Just like you