Chthonic

With: Doris Yeh
Conducted by: Baz Anderson (e-mail)
Published: 20.01.2010

Band profile:

Chthonic




Taiwan is a long long way from Europe, so first maybe you could tell us something interesting about your island that not many people over here would know.

I think the first thing I want to introduce is our Taiwanese food. It's really different than any other Asian food, the most famous is called "Stinky Tofu", and it's not stinky but VERY delicious. People here love to talk and help foreigners and you'll never get lost or injured. And the other interesting thing is when you check in the hotel room is, there're too many TV, just too many, over 100 channels are just for free.

Is heavy metal popular in Taiwan? If not, how did you find yourself getting into metal when you were growing up, and what kind of music is most popular over there?

Taiwanese love soft music more than heavy music for a long time. But the metal and rock scene in Taiwan is getting bigger year by year. My father is a bass player, so I got to know this kind of Heavy Sound when I was a little kid. After I went to senior high school, I was eager to have my own band to play rock music. But the members I found they only have heavy metal cassettes....so I started to listen to metal music and practice them. And gradually, I started to listen heavier and heavier music.

Which bands are of the biggest influence to Chthonic?

I think that might be "folk music" in Taiwan! We use a lot of traditional melody into our music as well as the instrument called "Hena" (two string violins).

Also did you as a woman have any "role models" or anyone to look up to or aspire to in the world of metal when you were younger?

I don't really have a role model to look up until now. I only want me to be a kind of people I want to be and just go for it.

Do you find that your gender brings you and the band more attention? And do you enjoy this attention, or can it be unwanted at times?

The process of playing bass in a band is very natural for me, I learned piano when I was very young, I always loved with music, no matter what kind of music it is. So maybe gender is an issue in metal scene but I never expected that I will bring anything for me in the beginning. Now I was kind of accepting this reality in metal scene and if it will bring any good effect to the band, I'll be happy to see it.

Doris


The band has five albums now, and you were over here not long ago touring for the latest one. How did those shows go, and how were the audiences?

I always Love the fans in UK. The last tour we had in UK and Scotland for headliner show was really amazing. Fans are crazy but polite in some ways, merchandise sales are good, and we got a lot of good interviews from many media through this tour. I was really exited to come back here again.

You are largely considered to be a "black metal" band, but is it correct that you don't like this label?

I think any label to the band is OK for us now, no matter if it's black metal, death metal or folk metal. Because people always look at things in different angles and we should respect everybody's opinion. But for the band, we always called us "Extreme metal from Oriental Mythology", or we called us directly "Taiwanese metal".

Trying not to use the term too much, your last album "Mirror Of Retribution" moved a little further away from the "black metal" sound of the previous album "Seediq Bale". How would you describe the band's musical progression through the years?

We don't set any limitation on writing songs. Every melody and lyrics just come out according to the concept of the album. I think we're getting better in dealing with the connection between the concept of story and songs. We can write songs from different angles of the story and make the whole concept and story more attractive.

Imagery seems to be a big thing with the band. Is it correct that the image of the band is based on ancient gods? Also, what kind of a stage show do the band put on when performing live? Do you have costumes or anything like that?

We use traditional symbols of god and ghost to be the inspiration for our face paint and outfit. And depending on different concept of the album, we'll change some "graphic" or lines. Like the latest album "Mirror of Retribution" is talking about the philosophy of Oriental Hell, so we use some cursed words with red colour and the style of face paint from traditional ghost king "Eight Generals". We don't have any particular costumes from the band the there's a famous ritual that fans will do for us, it is throwing the ghost money to the sky. It means the respect to the ghost in our culture, so the fans in Taiwan will do that to our shows every time.

You are probably asked frequently, but how did you get the name "Thunder Tears", and does it have any meaning?

My English name "Doris" is named when I was in the school. Most of Taiwanese need to have their English name when they were in English class. I have used the name for years, even naturally use it when I play the band. But the name seems very old or too normal in Western world, so all the members in the band like to put the other name in front of our English name to express our style in our music, and Thunder Tears means the sound I play is not only the deep bass sound but also with sad and deep emotion in it. But I found out that most of the people still like to call me Doris, so I accept the truth finally!

Some people might be interested to know that yourself and Freddy Lim are politically active in favour of Taiwan's independence from China. Maybe you could tell us some of the things you have done in regard to this, and also have these "political views" gotten you into trouble before?

Yes, but not only me but also our keyboard player CJ, guitar player Jesse and drummer Dani they all use their way to express their ideal in public issue. We have an public issue organization in Taiwan to push some ideal of human right and freedom We sometimes will join a talk show on TV, news or write articles in newspaper to express our ideal.

Last July, we also put on "Free Tibet Concert" in Taiwan to support the human right of Tibet, and we also import the documentary film of Rabia who is the leader of Eastern Turkestan for pursuing independence from China.

There is some trouble coming out by Chinese government and pro-China force/media in Taiwan. We're now on the black list in China just like U2, Brad Pete and Bjork, so we can't play there. The worst thing is Taiwanese pro-China media will say some bad words about us in the media, but that's only give us more motivation and courage to fight for our ideal.

Free Tibet Concert Poster


What else do you do in your spare time away from the band? Do you have any interesting hobbies?

I like reading books, buying flowers, making good food and decorate the house. So un-metal!! But I really go to a plant market every Sunday, that makes me feel peaceful.

So, back to the band. It might be early days, but do you have any plans for your next album and how it might sound?

There're some ideas come out in our minds and we start to write some melody, I can't reveal anything now but that must be another master piece of CHTHONIC!

Is the band becoming well known over here in Europe? I know you played at Wacken in Germany in 2007, that must have been a cool experience, how was that?

Playing in Wacken was definitely one of the most amazing experiences in our tour life. We lost all our gears and instrument when we transferred flight in Frankfurt airport, so when we arrived in the venue of Wacken, we could only borrow other people's instruments. But there's no Hena for our Hena play there, so our Hena player was forced to play another keyboard on the stage. So that show was the only show that CHTHONIC had two keyboards.

And the CHTHONIC fans were really AWESOME, the stage was fully packed, and they seemed like they could sing all the songs! I can't forget that scene until now.

What is your favourite kind of cheese?

I think I like "melted cheese", like the cheese on top of pizza, that's my favourite cheese!

Well I think that will do. Is there anything important I've missed that you'd like to tell the people reading this, or any last words?

No, I think I'm fine with all your interesting questions

Thank you very much for your time.

Thank you, too!


 



Posted on 20.01.2010 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More interviews by Baz Anderson ››




Comments

‹‹ Back to the Interviews
Comments: 24  
Users visited: 252  
Search this topic:  


corrupt - 20.01.2010 at 21:38  
You did it! Great job. She did respond very general to most of the specific questions though.
So did you also see the show last week (or the week before?) or did you just do the interview?
GT - 20.01.2010 at 21:44  
Interesting read. Haven't heard about this band before really. Might check them out just to listen to a folk metal band using Asian sounds
Baz Anderson - 20.01.2010 at 21:50  
Written by corrupt on 20.01.2010 at 21:38

You did it! Great job. She did respond very general to most of the specific questions though.
So did you also see the show last week (or the week before?) or did you just do the interview?

Thanks! The band isn't over here, Doris is just in London for a week doing press stuff. We were going to do this on the phone but there were problems, and I couldn't really travel down to London either. She seems like a very nice person, I'll have to see them and meet in person when they come back.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 20.01.2010 at 22:09  
Nice one, but it seems that ppl from far east has some weird opinions about metal and un metal! flowers are un metal? hehe!
corrupt - 20.01.2010 at 23:07  
Written by GT on 20.01.2010 at 21:44

Interesting read. Haven't heard about this band before really. Might check them out just to listen to a folk metal band using Asian sounds

Try their album Seediq Bale then. It's by far their most colorful and melodic one.
MétalNoir - 20.01.2010 at 23:23  
Great interview, I learned a lot about one of my fav bands, thanks!

PS: I wrote a very stupid review about Mirror of Retribution, it's one of 2009's best albums. Sorry, Thunder Tears!
Ernis - 21.01.2010 at 00:50  
Oh... and there's the Taiwan-China issue here too... it's sad actually how young people of Taiwan have been taught to hate their own fellow countrymen since they are all Chinese... now they're all "Free Tibet" "Free Turks!" "Do whatever to break China!" just because they want to see China collapsed...when all the gist is just that the previous government of China lost these territories themselves and is envious of the current government... it's one country after all, just with two rivalling governments...
SatyriconChick - 21.01.2010 at 01:29  
Great interview! Doris is very articulate and seems so friendly. Can't believe they lost all their gear before Wacken 2007, though!
Vitriolic Hate - 21.01.2010 at 04:19  
Interesting interview! that covers how the metal is in Taiwan
Hui - 21.01.2010 at 06:02  
90% metal band in taiwan are fuckin posers!!

And I fuckin hate these shit, they don't deserve to be called "metal".
DoomGuard - 21.01.2010 at 07:08  
These guys were an Asian Cradle of Filth when i saw them open for Satyricon, but i mean doing Dani's vocals isn't exactly easy i assume, the bassist was hot but thats all the interest they generated in me

nice interview though, must try the food sometime
THE_BLACK_GOD - 21.01.2010 at 13:43  
Written by Hui on 21.01.2010 at 06:02

90% metal band in taiwan are fuckin posers!!

this interview shows that you are a little bit right.
prk - 21.01.2010 at 22:31  
Written by Ernis on 21.01.2010 at 00:50

Oh... and there's the Taiwan-China issue here too... it's sad actually how young people of Taiwan have been taught to hate their own fellow countrymen since they are all Chinese... now they're all "Free Tibet" "Free Turks!" "Do whatever to break China!" just because they want to see China collapsed...when all the gist is just that the previous government of China lost these territories themselves and is envious of the current government... it's one country after all, just with two rivalling governments...


we don't hate chinese people. we think it's sad that a billion of our fellow chinese are under the control of an oppressive regime that censors heavily, cracks down hard on dissent, and brainwashes their own people. we are just as proud as chinese people are of our shared 5000 year heritage, but we find it distressing that the current chinese communist government has managed to equate themselves with chinese cultural pride as a means by which to gain the support of their denizens.
Ernis - 21.01.2010 at 23:56  
Written by prk on 21.01.2010 at 22:31

Written by Ernis on 21.01.2010 at 00:50

Oh... and there's the Taiwan-China issue here too... it's sad actually how young people of Taiwan have been taught to hate their own fellow countrymen since they are all Chinese... now they're all "Free Tibet" "Free Turks!" "Do whatever to break China!" just because they want to see China collapsed...when all the gist is just that the previous government of China lost these territories themselves and is envious of the current government... it's one country after all, just with two rivalling governments...


we don't hate chinese people. we think it's sad that a billion of our fellow chinese are under the control of an oppressive regime that censors heavily, cracks down hard on dissent, and brainwashes their own people. we are just as proud as chinese people are of our shared 5000 year heritage, but we find it distressing that the current chinese communist government has managed to equate themselves with chinese cultural pride as a means by which to gain the support of their denizens.

I believe that you don't hate... but there are young people who do... I know it, my schoolmate was from Taiwan (we studied together in Beijing) and she did speak about the tendency of people of her age who told her "You go to study in China? Why...China's lame!"
Not to mention that the territory which once belonged to ROC(Taiwan) was much larger than PRC now and, for sure, contained Tibet and Turkestan...which makes it goofy and hypocritical by this government to say "Free Tibet" suddenly...as if they'd give these areas independence had they not relocated to Taibei...
I don't say China's government is perfect...it is definitely not communist nor socialist...it's authoritarian capitalism and the country is undergoing many problems, the country is large and there's lot to handle...and me myself, I am surely annoyed when they banned youtube for several months and even gmail...but as we all know...they will eventually change...and if you compare China to the Islamic Republic of Iran, then I can personally tell China is paradise...
What is what the governing bodies should do...cooperate and unite and forget the past misunderstandings... HK and Macau are working together with China and have complete independence...Taiwan is the only one that is suddenly wishing to be so radical... I know two hard stones don't grind good flour...but I wish the best for the two Chinas...if not to become one then at least cooperate...I know there is already cooperation going on between PRC and ROC...

Sorry for the offtopic...we may continue this by PM (这样的话可以写中文).
Baz Anderson - 22.01.2010 at 12:59  
No, I don't mind, I'm reading with some interest.
Ag Fox - 22.01.2010 at 18:16  
Written by Ernis on 21.01.2010 at 23:56

Written by prk on 21.01.2010 at 22:31

Written by Ernis on 21.01.2010 at 00:50

Oh... and there's the Taiwan-China issue here too... it's sad actually how young people of Taiwan have been taught to hate their own fellow countrymen since they are all Chinese... now they're all "Free Tibet" "Free Turks!" "Do whatever to break China!" just because they want to see China collapsed...when all the gist is just that the previous government of China lost these territories themselves and is envious of the current government... it's one country after all, just with two rivalling governments...


we don't hate chinese people. we think it's sad that a billion of our fellow chinese are under the control of an oppressive regime that censors heavily, cracks down hard on dissent, and brainwashes their own people. we are just as proud as chinese people are of our shared 5000 year heritage, but we find it distressing that the current chinese communist government has managed to equate themselves with chinese cultural pride as a means by which to gain the support of their denizens.

I believe that you don't hate... but there are young people who do... I know it, my schoolmate was from Taiwan (we studied together in Beijing) and she did speak about the tendency of people of her age who told her "You go to study in China? Why...China's lame!"
Not to mention that the territory which once belonged to ROC(Taiwan) was much larger than PRC now and, for sure, contained Tibet and Turkestan...which makes it goofy and hypocritical by this government to say "Free Tibet" suddenly...as if they'd give these areas independence had they not relocated to Taibei...
I don't say China's government is perfect...it is definitely not communist nor socialist...it's authoritarian capitalism and the country is undergoing many problems, the country is large and there's lot to handle...and me myself, I am surely annoyed when they banned youtube for several months and even gmail...but as we all know...they will eventually change...and if you compare China to the Islamic Republic of Iran, then I can personally tell China is paradise...
What is what the governing bodies should do...cooperate and unite and forget the past misunderstandings... HK and Macau are working together with China and have complete independence...Taiwan is the only one that is suddenly wishing to be so radical... I know two hard stones don't grind good flour...but I wish the best for the two Chinas...if not to become one then at least cooperate...I know there is already cooperation going on between PRC and ROC...

Sorry for the offtopic...we may continue this by PM (这样的话可以写中文).
meh... dunno about Macau, but there's still a considerable amount of problem w/ HK and China. Of course, certain people won;t put it that way, but a sizeable population thinks otherwise.
Ernis - 22.01.2010 at 18:22  
Written by Ag Fox on 22.01.2010 at 18:16

meh... dunno about Macau, but there's still a considerable amount of problem w/ HK and China. Of course, certain people won;t put it that way, but a sizeable population thinks otherwise.

Well... in Baltic States lots of people and certain politicians also say there's a problem with Russia although there is not and there should not be...
Ag Fox - 22.01.2010 at 18:35  
Written by Ernis on 22.01.2010 at 18:22

Written by Ag Fox on 22.01.2010 at 18:16

meh... dunno about Macau, but there's still a considerable amount of problem w/ HK and China. Of course, certain people won;t put it that way, but a sizeable population thinks otherwise.

Well... in Baltic States lots of people and certain politicians also say there's a problem with Russia although there is not and there should not be...
well... I mainly reside in the UK these days, but I still do go back occasionally (just been there a couple days ago), and I can feel the sentiment towards the Chinese gov. By feeling I mean like the taxi drivers talk about it, it's all over the newspapers... especially political issues; on the other hand I see the gov at work as well being the opposition force, which is sad to see, especially those efforts or media adverts that are softly brainwashing ppl.
jitterjaw - 23.01.2010 at 22:39  
Written by Ernis on 21.01.2010 at 00:50

Oh... and there's the Taiwan-China issue here too... it's sad actually how young people of Taiwan have been taught to hate their own fellow countrymen since they are all Chinese... now they're all "Free Tibet" "Free Turks!" "Do whatever to break China!" just because they want to see China collapsed...when all the gist is just that the previous government of China lost these territories themselves and is envious of the current government... it's one country after all, just with two rivalling governments...


I'm from Taiwan. I don't hate Chinese at all, I've gotten lot's of Chinese friends actually. And I like some of the Chinese culture, too.
But please let me remind you guys that Taiwanese are not Chinese.
It's very simple, just like Australian, American, and New Zealanders are no English.
jitterjaw - 23.01.2010 at 22:59  
Written by Ernis on 21.01.2010 at 23:56

PRC now and, for sure, contained Tibet and Turkestan...which makes it goofy and hypocritical by this government to say "Free Tibet" suddenly...as if they'd give these areas independence had they not relocated to Taibei...


When ROC governed China, Taiwan was not a part of ROC at that time, but a colony of Japan. During ROC's governing China, the leaders of ROC, such as Dr.Sun and President Chiang have been supported Taiwan to be independent from Japan.

After WW2, just like other colonies, Taiwan has been handed over to Allies' army. And under the authority of Allies, ROC's army came to Taiwan. But soon ROC has been defeated by Chinese Communist and they escaped from China to Taiwan where should have been arranged to be independent just like other colonies.

Under the occupation, Taiwan started to be called ROC, but in the other hand, it made Taiwan to be realistic independent.

Although Taiwan's official name is still ROC, but after more-than-60-year's democratic movement, now Taiwan is a democratic nation that voted by Taiwanese people, and according to the polls, more than 80% of the Taiwanese people want to keep our independency, just less than 5% want to be a part of China.

Let me remind you again, please remember that, when ROC occupied Tibet in the first half of 20 century, Taiwan was not a part of ROC. And the Taiwanese government in Taiwan now is voted by Taiwanese, it's totally different from the ROC government which has occupied Tibet before.

The history of Taiwan is much more complicated than you know.
Ernis - 23.01.2010 at 23:50  
Written by jitterjaw on 23.01.2010 at 22:39

But please let me remind you guys that Taiwanese are not Chinese.
It's very simple, just like Australian, American, and New Zealanders are no English.

Are you personally a native Taiwanese? Descendant of the Taiwanese indigenous people who really indeed have nothing to do with Chinese and who have been living there on the island long before Chinese arrived in the 16th century or so...speak the language of them? Unless you're a Taiwanese person, then it is a fact that you are an ethnic Han Chinese after all just like the majority of New Zealanders and Australians are ethnic British and/or other European people...the indigenous peoples of Australia and New Zealand are the aborigines and the Maori...but they're a minority...just like the indigenous Taiwanese peoples are...as far as I'm concerned the majority of people on the isle of Taiwan are Han Chinese and speak putonghua...also...Britain is so far and distant from its colonies...while you are basically right next to China...

well...anyhow...if independence is what the people wish then let them have it... I just hope that there will be friendly cooperation in the future between the island and mainland as well...
Hui - 24.01.2010 at 12:07  
Http://pics13.blog.yam.com/11/userfile/d/doris0919/album/1499625f04d591.jpg
look at this pic of Doris, you can call her a heavy metal player? POSER!!! what a shame!!!
Promonex - 24.01.2010 at 13:17  
Written by Hui on 24.01.2010 at 12:07

Http://pics13.blog.yam.com/11/userfile/d/doris0919/album/1499625f04d591.jpg
look at this pic of Doris, you can call her a heavy metal player? POSER!!! what a shame!!!

You could say the same about the interviewer. Right, Barry?

Besides, look at this pic of Doris and you can imagine why I don't give a fuck about her being a poser or not
Anjana(SriLanka) - 09.04.2010 at 04:44  
Written by Promonex on 24.01.2010 at 13:17

Written by Hui on 24.01.2010 at 12:07

Http://pics13.blog.yam.com/11/userfile/d/doris0919/album/1499625f04d591.jpg
look at this pic of Doris, you can call her a heavy metal player? POSER!!! what a shame!!!

You could say the same about the interviewer. Right, Barry?

Besides, look at this pic of Doris and you can imagine why I don't give a fuck about her being a poser or not



Well ! My friend Hui and Promonex. We can not expect an East Asian band member to be like Helen Vogt or Angela Gossow. Don't think about it as a metal-extremist. Take it easy and if you can help them to stand on their feet.. Taiwan is not so democratic as US ( You know it better than me Hui my friend)
Thanks and TC

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Interviews Enslaved interview 2.5 03.01.2013 by Introspekrieg
Interviews Subrosa interview 2.5 15.05.2013 by Spirit Molecule
Interviews Tad Morose interview 2.5 25.11.2013 by Bad English
Interviews Arena interview 2.5 15.08.2012 by Cynic Metalhead
Interviews Lock Up interview 2.5 04.01.2012 by NocturnalStalker



Hits total: 11133 | This month: 74