After speaking with the boys of Taiwanese band Monkey Pilot, I felt that their band name really suited them. A little crazy, a little humorous but with street smarts that give them an added edge, their answers were certainly amusing. Coming from a very different, more laidback perspective on life, the guys are celebrating their ten year anniversary this year with a long-awaited new album that reflects just that:
“Our new album was finished outside of the city. All the creative processes were outside of the city and we wish to write from a non-city perspective to observe our lives and what other possibilities it might have. “
An interesting perspective, especially coming from a Rock band, but once you’ve heard their music, you’ll see that rock doesn’t always have to be heavy and dark, but can have more of a natural edge too. As the boys like to tell me, “Rock to us is like blood that cannot be extracted once it enters your soul”, something which every headbanger knows to be true.
Lead vocalist Tang Ni admits that he himself wasn’t always a fan of Rock, but once you really get into it, there’s no turning back:
“Everyone is different, but for me, when I was young our neighbour listened to rock music and gave me a cassette tape. When I first started listening, I actually couldn’t accept it. But one day all my tapes were broken except for that one, and listened to that cassette. The first time I listened to it after that, I still couldn’t accept it but then upon second listen, it was so good! And then after that I fell for it. Even until now, my music tastes still focus mainly on Rock music.”
But even after ten years in the music industry, Monkey Pilot’s passion for Rock music has never wavered, and has brought them many a memorable experience over the years. They recalled for me one of their most prominent ones below:
“[Tang Ni] So during our very first performance, Ah Qiang fell and broke his tooth. That’s the most memorable experience. He kept it until now, as a keepsake from the experience, 10 years ago at our first performance. [Ah Qiang shows me his broken tooth] I don’t really have any intention to fix it, I’ve just left it as a keepsake.”
For me, that was one of the most amusing anecdotes of the 13 interviews I conducted at the Golden Melodies, but of course, the band who had previously won a Golden Melody Award themselves also pointed their GMA experience out as another milestone they would never forget.
“And then our experience at the Golden Melody Awards was also memorable, because it was something we didn’t expect in a million years, wow, being able to win an award, we were very happy.”
But Golden Melody or not, songwriting and creating music will always be an important element of Monkey Pilot’s lives. Lead vocalist Tang Ni shared how he started writing songs in the first place:
“I see it as an journal, sometimes if I have some emotions that come up in my life I’ll write them down, or turn them into songs. (I started) when I was 24,25, that’s when I really started writing songs.”
Given Monkey Pilot’s sunny and laidback personality, it was no surprise to me that they were familiar with many parts of Australia, with Tang Ni saying that he had previously been to Melbourne and Brisbane. The friendly band even wanted to give a shout out to their friend Simon in Brisbane, so Simon, if you’re reading this, here you go!
“I have something to tell Simon, our good friend. At Sanyang we would always Jam and play together, we hope that he’s doing well over there and wish that he would come back soon! “
While the funny boys wish their friend Simon can come back and visit them soon, I have an even better proposition; for them to come and visit Australia’s sunny shores in the near future! I have a feeling they’ll really enjoy themselves!