First of all: Congratulations for three outstanding albums. Could you please outline when the story of Seraphim begins and why you have chosen a Christian name for your band?
Well, Jax & I play metal music for such a long time in such a "non-metal country", hehe...
When I've heard the voice of Pay, we asked her to join us for a new concept of new metal band. After a phone call, she was so "easy to cheat" and joined in the band, at that time, her operatic vocal became the symbol of the new band. Pay is a Christian, we found the name SERAPHIM from the Holy Bible and we use it as the name of the band! That's the story!
How difficult is it to transfer your Mandarin lyrics in English. Those two languages have absolutely nothing in common. Do you change the meaning of the lyrics or do you try to transfer the original intention to the English songs?
It's really difficult to transfer from Mandarin lyrics in English, I've tried to transer the original intention to English, I don't want to change the meaning of those lyrics, that's why it was that difficult!
What is your opinion towards to the two languages. From my point of view the Mandarin songs sound much more better.
I agree with that! Personally, I rather like the Mandarin songs, as I use Mandarin when I wrote them. Maybe it's a basic origination.
Did you ever think of composing a song in your Taiwanese dialect. Wu Bai once did this?
I am never thinking about that! Iit's has a big meaning to us.
Your new album is simply entitled 爱 (Love). As far as I understood the mandarin lyrics all songs deal with love. Is it a concept album? Could you please tell us something about each song?
It's the first concept album for SERAPHIM, but it didn't have any story about it, maybe it was some feeling from me when I wrote the songs...
So here are a few words about the songs:
This is a short intro with acoustic guitars, opening this long concept album. We use 3 beats & 5 beats combinations in each 8 beats bar, a kind of special perfom style for acoustic guitar, it was written after all songs except "The End".
The album title, "Ai", is the word for "love" in Chinese. Every single song on this album tells of "the love of Seraphim" in different ways. "Tears" tells about the tears of love, just like the lyrics "who's gonna shed the teardrops that fall in loneliness?"is that you? maybe it's me...
A speedy tempo with melodic guitars riff in this song, also make change tempo in guitar's solo part. "Tears" is the typical style of Seraphim's music.
We use middle-eastern style of sitar with heavy power chords background to make the song more weird, open with a lonley night-singing at the beginning of this song. After listening to this song you may judge "The love will resurrect?".
A kind of a hard tempo change style before guitar solos part is one of important part of this song, the duet guitar solos of "Resurrect" are my favoites on this album.
The duet of operatic female vocal & male death vocal that first appear in this album. It is the dialogue between an angel and the devil. The harmony duet guitars opening for this song building a strong song's structure in the beginning, this song is talking about if you are eager to be loved. You have to know about how to love and implementation. I only have a humble mind that longs for love & implementation, and you?!
This song is the first attempt to write in mid-tempo within a sadly atmosphere. Love usually instigates everyone's break in the abyss of despair. Love is a game, easy to start, hard to finish.
A typical high speed power metal style of Seraphim's music. Crazy double bass drums and powerful guitars picking rhythm make this song explode in ordinary people's mind while everythime listening at midnight. You can find out the melody from Pachelbel 's Kanon in the end of this song, very interesting things with such heavy music background...
No matter how difficult to separate the love, but you just can't take...
A sentimental ballad with clear male vocal appearing in this song. It's also the fist attempt to write this song with clear male vocals. And actually, I couldn't image what this song -between the operatic female vocal & the clear male vocal- would sound like, when I wrote it. Finally it seems not bad...I think.
"Walk alone leisurely, don't let ters down before your eyes, I'm staring at you in a hush, there's oly sadness", yeah, it's the love of mine.
08.In The Air
A blaming mistake from the sceaming beast tells love will disappear in the air. We use a harpsichord in at the beginning of this song, trying to make it sound more emotional. We also use the different repeat chapter to make some change for this song, pretty cool idea!
Love is gone when you're listening this instrumental.
The first song written fot this album, many chapters and just a little repeat for this song. The progressive tempo at the chorus section sometimes makes me go insane, our lead vocal - Pay usually complained about this, very hard especially to a classical opera singer...but I love to do that... :)
"It's you , makes my courage disappear, I can't recall before I was in love".
A musical recitation of words, the song main sturcture are acoustic guitars and a solo cello, you may just listen her angelic singing, that is enough!
A typical epic closing. I try to make this song slower, although it is standing on the most important part of this album. I use a modulation when the song's going to the chorus, a minor key direct to a major key, one of my favorite technique of songwriting. Sounds good?! hehe...
Complicated chapters and the variety of this song that makes every band member hating me a lot, but I am still interested in it.
An instananeous love turn into an eternal fate...who knows?!
Yeah, it's the end of this album, continuing the music from the previous song with acoustic guitars in the background again. Pay's lyrical singing without a word, an interactive opus to the intro.
14.My (In Chinese)
Same as "My" in English, but this track is came form our new vocalist - Quinn Weng, her first recording piece of her lifetime! Just check it out! You'll find out how amazing it is!!
Wow...Thanks for detailed presentation of your latest album. Did you already make some videoclips or -recordings?
We have taken some live recording when we played in Beijing. Maybe it was released in DVD format in the future.
How did you find your new singer Quinn?
Quinn used to sing for some "project" as a part time singer, we'd met each other a year ago, when we started looking for a new singer, my frined reminded me of Quinn's voice. After dicussing it with Jax we start to reach her to join in SERAPHIM.
Unfortunately I haven't heard her voice, yet. Is her singing comparable with Pay's style?
Bascially, they're not the same style for thier perform, Pay had a high-tone and strong singing style, Quinn is more soft & gentle, and more dramatic I think...they are totally diffierent, but they are both a good singer of SERAPHIM!!
Pay left Seraphim some months ago to study in Germany. Do you still have contact to her? And what will happen in the future after Pay finished her classes. Do you plan to work with Quinn and Pay on vocals?
Yes, although Pay was left the band, but she's still our best friend! I don't have any idea about Pay was going to do after her classes finished. Maybe she will stay singing in operas everywhere, or maybe she will become a teacher...we'll see...And I think Quinn will work with us in the future.
Speaking of vocals. The rough male parts are quite uncommon in your progressive,
melodic style. Who sings them and why did you include them?
It just orginated when I wrote the song. Jax likes to scream all the time, so we tried to use this in our songs, and it sounds not bad. So I ask Jax to work hard for his voice...
Besides 3,5 hours of music on three albums, I also discovered an extremely thick booklet in the Chinese editions. They almost don't fit in my cases. Are the pictures and the visualisation of the album as important for you as the music itself?
Yes, they are. We hope that everything is good for SERAPHIM, no matter if the songs or the booklets. It was a first image of a band, isn't it?!
You already recorded six albums (three albums and each in two languages) with an impressive playing time Don'¦t you ever sleep? Or is it so easy for you to compose quite complex music?
Hehe! Six albums, very interesting description! We just work hard for it, one album per year is our goal.
Is it complex? I didn't make it complex yet.... :)
I heard you are already working on your 4th album. Please allow me to ask a personal question: Do you have other jobs besides Serpahim? :)
Actually, we're just prepare to think about the 4th album, didn't working on it yeat... For me, I have a recording studio, Quinn needs to study in school from September on, Jax works for some commercial advertisement music, Simon is a saleman and Lucas works for high-tech company that I don't really understand.
How difficult or easy is it to play Rock and Heavy Metal in Taiwan? Actually I know only two real metal bands (Seraphim and Chthonic - which seem to be quite successful).
It's difficult to play metal music in Taiwan, most of media don't support such "noise". So you have to find your own way to promote yourself...but, maybe the music market outside Taiwan is our final destination!
How was -in a few words- the development of Metal in Taiwan?
Although most of people in Taiwan usually listen to pop music, I think many metal manics love metal music, no matter how hard it could development!
How is your acceptance abroad?
I think there's no different in the world, we'd get the same response, the same feeling no matter when we play in which city! People gave us their passion when we were on stage. Metalheads are all the same!
And how is your acceptance especially in China? I hope the strange behaviour of Beijing towards Taibei does not influence the fans in Mainland China.
Don't worry about that! We just play our music in China, we didn't talk about other subjects...
And actually, we had played in Beijing in 2001, and recently used to be there for th 2nd time I think they love our music more than before, that's great!
Yes, I remember you just came back from the Chinese tour. Please tell us your impressions from the concerts? How many people attented the concerts and how are Chinese metalheads. Where did you play the concerts?
We got the "heavier" response from those people in China, those metalheads bang their heads all the time..that's great to see that! We played in Shanghai & Beijing with 300-400 people attending the concerts.
Once again, speaking of China: Did you hear some of their bands like Black Panther?
I'm sorry that I don't know their bands too much. I only know they are fighting for their music in China. And maybe it's more difficult than our fight.
Some weeks ago you played your first concerts in Germany. Nothing was like it should
be, ending with that disaster in Duisburg (you remember my angry mail :) ). Are you afraid to come back to us after this experience?
No, we are afraid of that. As I said before, we'll love to play in Germany, no matter how big the gig is and how many people will come. We will play the best we can, when we are in Germany next time!
How do you manage to go on tour? On the one hand there are the expenses and on the other hand (in Europe) a rather insufficient support. In Asia your support seems much more better.
We've contact to many festival and websites, some of them can help us to manage it, of course, our Russian & Japanese label gave us a big help for the tour, maybe we should give more focus on Europe.
許世晃, 非常感谢. Thanks a lot for answering all those questions. Please end this interview with your own words. Keep on rockin' and 加油 !!!
Thank to Lex and Metalglory! Metal Forever!!