Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Noizze talks with Freddy Lim of Chthonic - Interview

This Interview was conducted by email before the political elections in Taiwan for Legislator of Taipei's 5th District, of which Freddy Lim was running for.

Noizze: Hi, I hope you are well and thank you for this opportunity.

I first of all would appreciate it if you could elaborate on the New Power Party's policies, politically in fighting for Taiwanese Independence?

Freddy Lim: We have proposals on many aspects. In terms of deepening Taiwanese democracy, we urge for the amendments to the current referendum law, lowering of the thresholds for recalling elected politicians in Civil Servants Election And Recall Act and lowering legal voting age to 18 years old so that people can participate in the formation of public policies. We also call for reforms in the Legislature for greater transparency, which allow Taiwanese citizens to oversee their representatives. On other aspects, we propose greener industrial policies and economic policies that fulfill social justice and fairness. Last but not least, we have to assure that Taiwan can remain its state of independence, liberty and democracy, and become a country that can interact with other international actors in a normalized fashion.

Noizze: The move to being politically involved is a strong one, how do you feel about it? So far so good?

Freddy: It’s been tough. But I’m also moved by the support I received from a lot of people, and feel urged to do better.

Noizze: Do politics play a big part in your music?

Freddy: Chthonic’s music is based on Taiwanese history, legends and myths. We don’t refer to political events directly, but none of us shun away from expressing our political affiliations.

Noizze: Will your election change and/or affect your music in any way? Eg. Perhaps make your songs more political?

Freddy: It won’t change our ways of creating music, but the touring would not be as intensive as it used to be.

Noizze: What is the relationship, generally, between politics and music? For example black Metal has a philosophically anti-society stance but do you feel that this also has a relationship to politics?

Freddy: Different genres of music, or even different bands, can have varying relationship with politics. I think musicians are not restrained from nor obliged to involve in politics, as long as it all happens naturally. After all, everyone has a number of identities; one can be a musician, a husband, a mother, or most importantly, a citizen. All one has to do is to combine these identities and express concertedly.

Noizze: We also saw Chthonic's 20th Anniversary in the gig at Liberty Square.Were you excited?

Freddy: It was full of excitement and tension. But after 20 thousand people showed up at the square, that felt fabulously awesome.

Noizze: Did you do anything special for this awesome event?

Freddy: We had Oriental Orchestra, two Taiko drummer, and our former Erhu player Su-nong to join us at the event. New Power Party also had speeches to express their political idea before the gig started. We also invited on stage a former Premier of Executive Yuan, who talks with an innate growling sound of a death core band, and sang along with the current mayor of Taipei city. The crowd also brought Ghost money and spread them at the famous square of “Chiang Kai-Shek memorial hall.” That was quite a scene to behold. In Taiwanese folk tradition, Ghost money is for the dead to rest in peace. In this occasion, the younger generation of Taiwan are hoping KMT party can rest in its history and disappear from Taiwanese politics.

Noizze: How does it feel to still be going strong all this time?

Freddy: I think music forms die out with time, but positive thoughts and ideas that progress constantly can hardly be outdated as time passes by. I believe Chthonic can keep on going strong because our thoughts stay close to the people.

Noizze: Do you feel your music or the metal scene has changed much over this time?

Freddy: We used to write the metal parts first, then add in oriental elements. But over the 20 years, we became more immersed into the stories we wrote and turned into writing Taiwanese traditional melodies first, then present them in metal arrangements. I think this transition represents a more matured Chthonic, which we all love to see.

Noizze: What would you like for the future of Chthonic?

Freddy: Let us kick those KMT assess first on January 16 first. Then we can think about our next step.

Noizze: We like to finish on something random, so if you could contact anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

Freddy: Dalai Lama. We’ve already meet him twice and always find tender yet resolute power in him.

Noizze: Thank you so much for your time, we really appreciate this. We wish you all the best.

Freddy won his campaign and has been elected to government in Taiwan. He defeated veteran leader Lin Fu Yang of the KMT party by more than 6000 votes. We all at Noizze congratulate you and wish you all the best in what you're doing for Taiwan! 

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