Interview with ChthoniC

With a brand new image, ChthoniC returns this year with the final part of the trilogy started by 2005’s Seediq Bale. Takasago Army sees the band further polishing their sound, yet retaining the musical edge that made them so special in the first place, the oriental elements. We talk to Jesse to find out more.


HMT: Hi Jesse, how are things going for yourself and the band? ChthoniC recently performed for the first time at the Download Festival. What was the response like?

The response is great we didn’t expect this high energy from Download since we are the only Asian Band and we play at 11:30 am in the morning ha ha ha

ChthoniC will be releasing the sixth album in July, entitled Takasago Army. It is the continuation and the final chapter in a trilogy which began with Seediq Bale. Would it be possible to tell us more about the concept behind Takasago Army?

The Pacific War broke out after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and more than 200,000 young people from Taiwan, which was a Japanese colony at the time, were drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army. Having grown up under the education that encourages Japanization, many of them joined the military to prove that they were not “second class subjects” of the Japanese Empire. Among them, the Takasago Army, consisted of the Taiwan’s Aboriginal peoples, were especially brave on the battleground, and had won respect even from the Japanese. A squadron of mostly Aboriginal Taiwanese soldiers was even completely annihilated during a mission, and many Taiwanese also served as pilots in the kamikaze suicide attacks. Today, there are still relics of fortified airplane garages to be found across the country, reminding people of those kamikaze bases that once existed during the Pacific War period.

Japan left Taiwan after World War II, and the Allies trusted the territory of Taiwan and surrounding islands to China, which was under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime, and former Taiwanese soldiers who fought for Japan, became “traitors” all of as sudden. Some of them hid their identities, while others were drafted by the KMT with lies to fight against the Chinese Communist Party army in the Chinese civil war in China. In Taiwan, people grew impatient with the KMT regime’s authoritarian rule, its takeover of farmlands and crops, and were upset about the currency reform that led to the most severe inflation in Taiwan’s history. In 1947, the Taiwanese revolted against the KMT regime across the country, and the regime responded by sending troops from China and violently cracked down on the uprising, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and elites. The historic event was later known as “The 228 Massacre”.

Some of those former Taiwanese soldiers who fought in the Pacific War were urged to come down from the mountains to fight the KMT troops by the militia. However, due to the large difference in number, the militia was completely annihilated in the Battle of Puli (a town in the middle of Taiwan) at the ‘Sing Ling Temple’.

The recent release of the Takao music video recently was also received warmly, with more than 15 000 views over a few days. It was mentioned that the band took 26 hours straight to record the video. Compared to the previous music video for 49 Theurgy Chains, which was more tiring?

Well~ making music video is never easy, i cant tell you which one is more tiring because its different and we dont feel tire because we want the fans to know more about the music and the story behind it think every thing is worth it !

The video also sees the band working with Chuang Chih-Wen this time round. What was it like working with him, and how is the experience different from filming the previous music video?

He is very hard working and he study the band well, he knows what we want and what he wants, he make the video looks not just cool but also very artistic in his own style .

For Takasago Army as well, the band had well-known enka singer Yu Tien and award winning female singer Chia Yia Wen providing guest vocals on the album. What was it that made the band decide to have these 2 artists on the album?

when we were writing the songs, we found out that some of the parts we need to find someone who can deliver the sound that can really the feeling of Freddy’s lyrics so we name a few of them and then we listen to their songs thats how we decided

How did the collaboration come about, and what were their responses when the band asked them to guest on the album?

They are of cause shock ha ha~ but after we explain the songs and the melody they were very happy to take the job , and they did a fucking great job!

Since the last album, the band adapted a new image, dropping almost all the black and white face paint, choosing to go for a more tribal image instead. This album sees the band completely dropping face paint. What is the reason behind the new look?

First of all we are not Scandinavians and we don’t write about Satan , second we dont want to be call black metal anymore , and the Tribal makes more sense to all of our music when we play live now, it is very traditional and most importantly it’s from Taiwan

The album is produced by Rickard Bengtsson in Sweden. What was it like working with him, compared to the previous album where the band worked with Rob Caggino?

They are completely Different in personality and also work different in every way , Rickard is a very detail kind of guy he knows who we are and what we want from the first time he listen to the new tracks and immediately understand what kind of sound approach we should be , we have learn a lot from him and he also really enjoy the break time story of Taiwan.

At the recent Hammer Fest, the band announced that Takasago will not only be the most brutal composition the band has ever written to date, but also will further explore the concept of “oriental metal”, and it is evident from the music video of Takao. Will this be the direction the band be heading from now on?

We change everytime we release a new album I don’t know what the new sound will be like in the future but i think one thing will be remain thats the Oriental parts thats what we do best apart from the American bands and the European bands.

Once again, the band has recorded 2 different versions of album. How will fans from outside of Taiwan be able to get the Taiwanese version, seeing how hard it is to get a copy outside of Taiwan?

You guys can purchase the Taiwanese version from this website http://ciongzo.com/products.php

Also, will there be any special editions of the album that fans of the band can look forward to?

Sorry we dont do this kind things to rob the fans

The band will be touring with Arch Enemy in Europe this winter. Will there be more shows to be confirmed in support of the new album? Can Asian fans expect to see ChthoniC soon?

There will be a big show later this year in Taiwan, we will announce it when time comes

We have come to the last question, the last words are yours!

Stay true to yourself and know who you really are!!

Related articles:
Album Review: ChthoniC – Takasago Army
Interview with ChthoniC
Views from the Pit: ChthoniC live in Singapore
Album Review: ChthoniC – Mirror of Retribution

ChthoniC on the internet:
Official website
MySpace
Facebook
Twitter
Spinefarm Records

©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | Clarence

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: