Xie Yugang MONO is one of the
hardest working bands I know; it seems like you’re always releasing new albums
and travelling around the world. What led you to pursue this new personal
project when you’re so busy with MONO?
Taka I write music pretty
much every day, but there are songs that are formed completely different to
MONO. Meaning there are songs that are not bands' sounds. Behind the Shadow
Drops was born from them.
We all have limited times in
our lives, you know, so I started to feel like it was time for a new challenge.
I wanted to try things like touring by myself and using some visuals at my
shows. I wanted to start a new journey and experience new things.
Of course since I will be
working simultaneously with MONO, I became the double the amount busier, but it
feels very worthwhile. Life is about constructing it yourself, musically and as
a person. I think this will allow me to grow further as a human being.
Xie Yugang MONO’s music gives me the impression that it’s absorbed many classical
music elements, but Behind the Shadow Drops sounds very open and fuses many
different elements together. In addition, there are some differences between
each of the songs song on this album; were these works done at the same time or
created in different periods?
Taka The oldest song on the
album is three years old, but most of the songs were written last year. I write
most of MONO's music in the daytime, and for Behind the Shadow Drops I look at
night sky and moon and write them late at night.
I wrote all the songs
using 'night' as a theme. The basic concept
for the album involves many types of nights, from sleepless nights, manic
nights, sad nights, merciful nights, longing nights, praying nights, hopeful
nights, loving nights, joyful nights and silent nights.
What inspired you to write the
Echo Library album?
Xie Yugang It was due to the Echo Library
itself. This is a library that my wife Linlin has been running for four years
[in Dalian]. Last autumn, I wanted to do some of the music that was right for
playing in this library so I moved my instruments and a recording device to a
room inside the library and made this album.
But the library was closed due to a
variety of reasons in June this year before the album was released, so it is
now actually about all the memories from the Echo Library.
Behind the Shadow Drops is your solo band; do you want to continue
Taka I want to keep on
trying a lot of things. This time, I'll be performing by myself, but I will be
using visuals at the shows which were created by
Japanese director called Zakuro & Kaka. His visuals are truly amazing. I don't know what I
will do in the future yet, but I think having a few other players will be good.
I will just decide as I go. I want to express myself freely.
Your album is really beautiful; what do you hope that the
crowd feels while listening to your music live?
Xie Yugang I don't know what the music will be like to listen to live. I hope people
can use this music as a river or a pool, where they can float and swim freely. Of
course, if you can't swim, you can also grab a life buoy.
China has always been so great for us; does living in
China affect the way you work and write as a musician?
Xie Yugang You'll always find more negative things when you stay in a
place for too long, that’s why we're glad when we visit a new country. Although I know that this is largely a superficial
impression, because it’s inevitable that we'll find more problems with a place or country when we've lived
there for a long time. So in my
place of life, whether it is love, happiness, disgust, hate, all of this has
become my work and creative origin.
Taka Both of us have been writing music for 20
years now. How do you look back on your career as a musician? Is there anything
you’d do differently?
Xie Yugang In fact, looking back at my
musical path, it’s been a learning process – and that’s still the case. It’s
always pleasant for me to accrue knowledge, but of course not all experiences
are good. I used to work in a shipyard for nine years
and I found that I couldn't put my heart into it except to earn a living.
Sometimes I also think about what would I do if I did not choose to do music.
The answer seems to be very simple: I may not do anything, and I may not be
happy without music.