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Interview:
Anita Schwanz
By May 13, 2010 Nightlife


Anita Schwanz is Anita Schwanz of Anita Schwanz & The Dudettes -- one part fabulous cabaret act, one part delightful commentary on issues of the day, all parts rock 'n' roll. After appearing on all of Shanghai's most reputable stages -- Bulldog, LOgO, Shanghai Studio, Anar -- Anita Schwanz & The Dudettes are bringing the act to this Friday's Roller Revival party down at the Minxin Roller Rink. They're adding a bit of poise and sophistication to the bill, which also includes a few local DJs of no consequence, plenty of roller skating, willful retroism, tomfoolery, shenanigans, costumes, booze, extras, and fabulous prizes for everyone.

SmartShanghai met up with Anita last night to take some glamor shots of her getting all zany on Xingfu Lu and then we got our interview on. Her demeanor was coquettish; her answers were coy. She left us wanting more. We're commin' to collect on Friday.

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SmSh: Okay, so tell me about Anita Schwanz. Where are you from?

Anita Schwanz: Well, I can't really say where I'm from because I grew up in a family that traveled around a lot, and it's secret what my parents do. So. Yeah.

SmSh: Yeah. Tell me about the band then. How did you all come together to be the superstars that you currently are today?

Anita Schwanz: We all took a bus together to the Midi Festival last spring. So we met on a bus to the Midi Festival. We were on our way to find peace and love and happiness, going there to have a good time. But the vibe was really great and we decided that we had to spread the message. So we hope people will come away from the show energized and with a new light in their eye and something to think about as well. Issues of the day. And a little more sunshine in their life.

I wish the other girls were here to say things too -- so the Dudettes: there's Rose, and she can read and write. There's Sandra, she can dance well and sing German. And now we have two new Dudettes, Laura and Alicia Fierce, and they add a lot of talent to the group...



SmSh: Tell me about your music.

Anita Schwanz: Our music. Hmmm. Well, it's made for Shanghai. It's made for people in Shanghai. We don't really rehearse. We just write songs the week before the show to keep it topical. Our first hit was "H1N1" which was done about a year ago...

SmSh: How's the shelf life of "H1N1"? Are you finding that it's not so relevant to 'contemporary audiences'?

Anita Schwanz: Yeah, I think most of our songs are only good for about a week or so and then they have to be retired. But we do like funny observation things on life and things like that... But we have Adam who is our technical support and musical genius. So he does stuff too.

SmSh: Where abouts have you played?

Anita Schwanz: Well we've played at LOgO and Yuyintang and Anar and Studio and a few other random parties.



SmSh: Pick the best show you've ever done and tell me all about it.

Anita Schwanz: Wow. Hmm. Let's see. The best show was probably the talent show we played at the Bulldog. We entered the contest like two days before hand and we performed the songs, "H1N1", "Shopping in China", and "Facebook Stalker" -- a song which also unfortunately didn't have a very long shelf life -- but we won the talent show, so that was a big surprise and lot of fun. It was a full house and a fun crowd. We won a bottle of whiskey.

SmSh: Well. Congratulations.

Anita Schwanz: Yeah, it's really what we’re all about: looking good and getting drinks bought for us.



SmSh: What was the worst show you've ever played?

Anita Schwanz: Well, we played at the Shanghai Studio and it was really fun and a really fun crowd but unfortunately we were having some problems with the microphones so we couldn't really do the songs. But it was a good vibe and a lot of fun. But we want to play everywhere in Shanghai... possibly the Shanghai Stadium, Century Park, something like that. We'll be at Expo this summer.

SmSh: What do you think of the drag scene in Shanghai?

Anita Schwanz: Oh, I think Shanghai has a lot to offer. I love the drag queens at Lailai. They're really amazing. They put on the best show that I've seen in Shanghai. They do all kinds of things -- Chinese opera, musicals, traditional songs mixed with pop songs...

SmSh: What can people expect from the show on Friday?

Anita Schwanz: I think that people should expect... well, I should stick to the message [laughs]. Peace, love, and happiness. They're going to come away feeling all kinds of happiness and have fun.

SmSh: Anything final words?

Anita Schwanz: Well, I'm awfully fond of "Better City, Better Life".



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Don't miss Anita Schwanz & The Dudettes this Friday at Even Better Than Roller Revival. Event details right here.
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