Vocals – Freddy, Left Face of Maradou Guitar – Jesse, the Infernal Bass guitar – Doris, Thunder Tears Keyboards – CJ, Dispersed Fingers Drums – Dani, Azathothian Hands Erhu – Su-Nung, the Bloody String
Time for Metal / CyR4S: Hello ChtoniC, Thank you for taking the time for an interview with us. In the year 1995 you named your projectChthoniC after the Greek god Hades (god of the underworld).
What is the correct pronunciation ChthoniC?
ChthoniC: It pronounces THONIC. No CH.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: The media entitles you as Melodic Black Metal band. But that’s not that correct. How would you describe your unique style of music?
ChthoniC: You can call us Orient Metal. We have the elements of Melodic Death, Folk, Black and Thrash metal, especially the folk part, we’re inspired by many Taiwanese folk music, and we have some Oriental instruments to express them, in the latest album Takasago Army, we use 8 traditional instruments over Eastern Asia, like Koto from Japan, or Aboriginal hunting flute, and He-na (two-string violin)…etc in the music. As to the lyrics, we use mythology and history as the story background, and to reveal the spirit behind it.
So yes, it’s not correct to call us Black Metal, and there’s no too much time to tell people what we are just by words, so maybe just put us as Orient Metal, if you found it weird or interesting, then just google it.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: In Germany Taiwan is not known as a “Metal-nation”. Are you alone in your local market or do you share your fans with other bands in Taiwan?
ChthoniC: Well, Taiwan is not known as a Hollywood in Eastern Asia, but we have a movie director Ang Leewho won the Best Director Oscar. We are not as know as Science-nation, but we have a chemistYuan Tseh Lee, Ph.D. who got Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
We have very good crowd here, for our solo concert in Taiwan last October, there’re over 1500 fans came to our show. There’re more and more local metal bands coming out in these years, and also more foreign metal bands come to Taiwan nowadays. I think the market is getting bigger here.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: Your lyrics describe mainly historical and socially critical topics. How do you create new songs? Who among you is the creative mind?
ChthoniC: Our songs are mainly historical and mythic, not much about socially topics. Freddy Lim (vocalist) and Jesse Liu (Guitarist) are our main song writers.
Usually, Freddy will find a concept story first and then we divide the story into different chapters/songs together. And then Freddy and Jesse will pick up songs to write. Freddy mainly writes the Taiwanese melodies in Orchestras, and Jesse writes the riffs and rhythms.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: After your debut Where The Ancestors‘ Souls Gathered (1998) and some other releases, you released the album Takasago Army this year. How did your music style changed? What has influenced you in the meantime?
ChthoniC: In the earlier albums, we wrote metal songs in the first place, and think about how to mix the Taiwanese elements into those songs. But album by album, we have more natural ways to combine the 2 roots which are Taiwanese music and metal. In Takasago Army, we wrote Taiwanese folk songs first, and made them heavier and heavier to how it sounds now.
Now the most influences of ChthoniC are Taiwanese folk songs.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: At the moment you are on tour with the Swedish Melodic Death Metal band Arch Enemy. How is touring with Arch Enemy and what do you think about the European audience?
ChthoniC: Arch Enemy is very good and also a very cool band to tour with. It’s a wonderful experience to tour with them in the UK, North America and Europe for the last year, they have good crowds, we have good talks and learn a lot from them.
The audiences in Europe are so passionate and lovely, when we’re playing in France, fans love to give kisses by their cheeks, I think I need to get used to it from now on!
Time for Metal / CyR4S: What do you think generally about the German audience?
ChthoniC: We’ve been played in German for four times, German audiences are passionate but with more consistence I think (in a good way).
Time for Metal / CyR4S: Is it difficult for an Asian (not Japanese) band, not to be categorized as Visual Kei & J-Rock band?
ChthoniC: haha! Not that difficult really. I think let more people know you and know your music will be better than explain it by words.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: If you could choose a band to do a gig with, which band would you choose?
ChthoniC: For me, that would be Nine Inch Nails.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: What’s the best memory in your band history?
ChthoniC: It’s really hard to choose which one is the best. I think 2007 is officially the first step for ChthoniCto get into the international metal market, and a lot of funny things happened in that years.
We first time played at Ozzfest and Wacken Open Air in that year also, I remember we spent just 3 days to fly to Germany to play and then returned to the US. But in this tight schedule, we lost all of our instruments and gears when we transferred the flights from Frankfurt to Germany.
When we stepped to the WOA stage, me and Jesse are using other people’s guitar/bass, and our Hena player (Taiwanese traditional two-string violin) had to become the 2nd keyboard player to play what he plays in Hena.
The emotion was like sitting on a roller coaster, but luckily we did a good show still.
Time for Metal / CyR4S: Last but not least: is there anything you want to tell your fans?
ChthoniC: We will be back to Germany this summer, see you guys/gals soon!
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