I decided to “borrow” this post from more_cmusic@LJ, because it is such a good visual representation of the answer to this frequently asked question by commenter on this site: “Do Chinese indie bands ever go mainstream?”
Well, of course they do, just like in any other place and this example below is as fine as any, especially for those who would rather not read me write paragraphs and paragraphs just to make one point.
Super VC 2008
(only easily available picture at the time)
SuperVC 2009 aka Present Day
I guess it’s harder to tell who is mainstream and who isn’t of the Chinese bands, since even packaged mainland Cpop isn’t very well known outside of China, and thus their fame is no indication of their indie- vs non indie status. However should any of the big record labels sign a group, the band is lifted out of their indie status, like what happened with SuperVC.
As more_cmusic pointed out, the first picture you above see was when SuperVC was truly indie, and it was the only picture of them available. Now, after having signed with Dong Records, mega-producer Zhang Yadong’s label, SuperVC has been getting more and more coverage, doing interviews with the bigger news portals, and most recently, have landed in Men’s Vogue, doing some modeling.