Interview with producer Yang Haisong

Meet Yang Haisong, man of many talents. In addition to his role as half of the Beijing noise-pop duo Dear Eloise, the Nanjing native is also a DJ, a DIY label helmsman, the vocalist and guitarist for under-the-radar “poetic political music” outfit After Argument and a highly sought-after producer who has recorded several Genjing releases, most recently the Dyne’s new seven-inch, Swim. Fly Roots, and Dear Eloise’s Vanishing Winter, the band’s fourth release on Genjing Records.

We caught up with Haisong in the studio and peppered him with rapid stream of questions about his view from the control room.

What are you doing?

I’m doing mixing for Alpine Decline‘s new album and After Argument’s first full-length. Both are gonna be done soon.

Great! How was the Dear Eloise release party?

It was good. Not many people, but everyone seemed happy with the show and the DJ set.

What was it like working with the Dyne?

It took a day to record at Psychic Kong Beijing and it was pretty easygoing. They totally were ready for the recording; they play well, the songs are good and most importantly, they know what kind of sound they need.

Do you give advice to bands in the studio?

Sure, if they ask!

How did you get into production work?

I started with Carsick Cars’ debut in 2007 and after that, many new bands asked me for producing.

What’s your background?

I play in a rock band and working with other three excellent musicians and our producers, I learned a lot from them.

Which equipment do you typically use?

Mics as a singer. And now more guitars when I play in Dear Eloise and After Argument.

Producer influences?

Jim O’ Rourke, Steve Albini and Henrik Oja.

What’s your favorite record?

Really hard to choose. If I had to, I’d like to pick John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

That’s a good choice. Best story from the studio?

I’ve seen lots of arguing and fighting between bandmates; people keep changing their minds in the studio and a lot of bad things happened during the recording sessions. I think that all of this is because there is so much pressure for musicians when they go into the studio—especially for new bands. In the studio, the best story is no story (laughs).

How about the worst?

The worst thing is when I almost finished the recording, the band said that the drums or bass or guitars didn’t sound exactly what they expected. What can I do then? The only thing I can say is why didn’t they say that earlier (laughs).

Some of your work has been done for Genjing, a vinyl-only label. Does the medium hold any special appeal?

I’m kind of a record collector. When I listen to music and handle the sleeve and look at the artwork, I can feel some mysterious connection between me and the musicians. Mp3s or CDs are okay, too, but it’s very different with LPs.

Do you have any advice for bedroom producers and upstart musicians?

DIY or die!

Dear Eloise’s Vanishing Winter is now available on Genjing Records. For production inquiries, you can drop Yang Haisong a line here.