Paul Reed Smith and his band recently spent four days in China and three days in Japan for a series of performances. The band traveled from Beijing to Shanghai to Hong Kong playing a set of originals and cover tunes in front of hundreds of excited attendees.
We caught up with Paul about his trip in a quick Q&A session below, check it out!
Q&A with Paul
First off, how was the trip? Do you have a favorite memory from the journey?
Paul: It was a joy, I found the people to be extraordinarily open hearted and intelligent. I brought my wife with me, it was the first time she had been to China. The whole trip to me was one big movie in my head. The spirit of the people was great.
What do you think can be attributed to your band’s success in China?
Paul: The most famous radio DJ in China, Zhang Youdai, has been playing our music on the radio there. Our band’s versions of two traditional Chinese folk songs: “Clouds Chase The Moon” and “Butterfly Lovers” have been well received.
There is a genuine interest in the kind of music that we play, which is different from traditional Chinese music. I treat all the people I meet in the country as spiritual equals and I think they sense that.
What gear did you play?
Paul: All PRS gear, PRS amps including a Sonzera 20W, which sounded huge, and an HXDA. I played a prototype of a new Paul’s Guitar.
What’s the most surprising thing about performing in China?
Paul: The difference in the energy of the cities. The energy of the people in Bejing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong are all very similar, but the energy of the cities is different. Also, the jet lag is rough, you try to go to sleep at 7 in the morning!
Did you perform only originals or throw in some cover tunes? Any favorites from the set?
Paul: Both of the Chinese tunes we played are covers but we played mostly originals. The first time we visited China four years ago, people were singing our songs back to us, they knew them from the radio there.
Did you take any guest musicians with you?
Paul: He’s not really a guest musician because he is in our band, but we brought along Bill Nelson who runs Johns Hopkins Cancer Center.
What’s next for the Paul Reed Smith band?
Paul: We have gigs around town, but we’re most looking forward to playing at the PRS Experience event in the beginning of June.