Mayday Interview with MTV Chinese

By way of introduction, the interviewer notes that it’s been two years since Mayday last put out an album. They came over from the mainland the day of the interview, and they were late, but they were also polite, apologetic and accommodating. Still, like all idols, they knew how to evade some questions and push their album on others. The interview took place on January 26, 2007 (so not the *most* recent news, but whatever).

Some of the answers were so funny, I opted to do something I rarely do for news: translate, rather than paraphrase. The original is here.  [One other note: Because it seems like it just keeps coming up, I am hereby making the editorial decision that from now on – unless otherwise noted – if I write, “Ashin,” I mean the lead singer of Mayday, and if I write “Shin,” I mean the lead singer of the Shin Band.  So there.]

1. Ashin has written songs for exactly how many different artists, and is there anyone he wants to write a song for?

Ashin: (Laughing) At the present I have no way of getting in touch with this fan, so I’m not sure if she’s asking about Mayday’s Ashin, Shin Band’s Ashin, or that Japanese (苦命) Ashin. I’ll just answer what I know, which is the Shin Band’s Ashin. (The rest of the band protests: ‘enough!’) [ed.: Either he’s friends with Shin and joking, or he just mocked Shin for not writing music. Hmmmm.] Fine, as you all know, I’ve written many songs, for Ken Chu, Richie Jen, Emil Chau, Jolin, Stephanie Sun, Victor Wong, Fish Leong, Wang Leehom and Genie. [ed. He forgot a few, I think, at least as far as lyrics are concerned.] Is there someone I really want to write for now? No, because Mayday’s new album is already out.

2. Do Stone and Guanyou talk to each other about their experiences as fathers?

Stone: Actually, Guanyou’s wife has already had their baby, so he’s very happily sharing his joy, usually I listen to him speak. I just got pregnant (the others: ‘What? Are you sure you’ve got that right?’) No… I mean my wife just got pregnant, so I’m still just starting to prepare to be a father.

Masa: Speaking of experience as fathers, that brings us to our new album, “Born to Love,” so Monster can now speak of his experience as a father, because this album is like his child. Monster, speak a bit. (The others: ‘wow, he’s good at changing the subject’)

Monster: This album is Maydays’ first new album in two years, during these two years Mayday has tried out lots of different ideas, because we’ve toured in many different countries, so we’ve taken ideas from all these different places and put it into the new album, we hope that we can have a more international, global perspective.

3. Does Ashin eat special food, or does he apply SK II [ed. Women’s face cream]? How does his face always look so young?

Masa: Actually, he doesn’t apply SK II, and he doesn’t eat special food: he eats SK II.

Ashin: I don’t know, this question is hard to answer.

Masa: Actually, this isn’t just chance. There’s an old saying that one needs to hide the negative and add the positive, so we drink a few negative things, like almond tea chrysanthemum tea, and this way we can save our faces. [ed. Knowing Masa, there’s some wild joke in here, but I don’t have time to find it. Apologies…]

4. If Monster sees a girl he likes, how does he express this to her?

Monster: If it’s me, I can be very shy. Because I’m the shy type. (Laughter) I’ll very shyly say, “Can I have your phone number?” (The others: Wow, that’s shy!)

5. Has Mayday ever fallen out, and then gotten back together?

Ashin: Mayday has not.

Masa: (Laughing) Because our contract has clear language, if we break up, the fine we have to pay is huge, so if we had a falling out, we’d never let the company know.

Ashin: We should say, we really haven’t. (The other four agree)

6. Does Guanyou sing rock songs to his daughter?

Guanyou: When I’m holding my daughter, I’ll hum some songs for her, actually, though I’m not quite sure what I’m humming.

Masa: I’ve heard him, isn’t it Sammi Cheng’s song, “眉飛色舞?” (the five start teasing each other)

7. Do Monster, Masa and Ashin have girlfriends they’re interested in marrying?

Monster: I’m currently the spokesman for all relationship questions. Because Guanyou and Stone are married, the other two had a bit of a shock. These two have no girlfriend they plan to marry, and no plans to get married in general. Which of the three unmarried members these two are, we leave you to determine. [ed. My guess is that Ashin must finally be thinking of marrying his girlfriend of many, many years, but speculation on these matters is pretty pointless.]

8. Will you go on a world tour this year?

Monster: Whether or not we do, we first have to complete our Taiwan tour, because inside every copy of Born to Love there is a concert ticket. We have a total of eight concerts. This is in order to encourage fans to buy legitimate copies of the CD, so we hope everyone can take part. [ed. Damn. He evaded that question quite nicely, and it was the one that all of us Mayday fans in the “far flung regions” category were most interested in.]

9. If Mayday lost a member, would you split up?

Ashin: (laughing) If we lost a member, we’d be “Aprilday,” and then if we lost another, we’d be “Marchday,” and so forth. If we were down to a single member, we’d be “Guanyou.” (The five laugh). But actually we can’t be without any member. Our fans don’t need to worry, even if Mayday were to disappear, you can always like 183 Club. [ed. HAH! 183 Club is a cheesy, talentless boyband. (I’m sorry, but it’s true. I’m sure some of the members are good-looking, and I’ve seen – and enjoyed – one or two members acting in Taiwan dramas, but musical talent? Nada.) The earlier joke refers to the fact that the Chinese word for “May” is actually “Fifth Month.” There are, of course, five members of Mayday. If there were only four, they’d be “Fourth Month Day,” or “Aprilday,” and so forth. Apologies if that was painfully obvious, but occasionally people who know me and not the band stop by to read this blog, and I just thought I’d save myself from explanations later.]

10. Of the members of Mayday, who has the worst habits in his personal life?

Ashin: You want the truth or a lie? Since you asked so earnestly, I’ll answer with a lie. (Laughter) Our personal habits are all fantastically good, especially Monster. So everyone now knows this question’s real answer.

11. Would you like to speak about your new song, “Angel” and its music video?

Ashin: This video is pretty different from the environment we normally see, blue skies, white walls, beautiful ocean, a romantic song. I’m sure that when in school, most people played the game called “little master and little angel” [ed. Nope, no clue.] The little master is taken care of by the little angel, this is the background of this song. In each person’s life, there is an angel who is part of him/her. I hope everyone can believe that there are angels in this world.

12. Now talk a little about “A Thousand Centuries.”

Stone: This video has an expansive background, because we found a special place in Tunesia, just like the background I like in Salt Lake. Salt Lake used to be part of the sea, because the earth’s crust changed, so the sea evaporated. Just as time brings major changes to the world, people’s hearts and loves will still remain in the world.

Ashin: If everyone has heard Wu Bai’s song “Love you ten thousand years,” well, sorry Brother Wu Bai, we have 100,000 years on you. Because a century is 100 years, 1,000 times 100, that’s 100,000 years. [ed. actually, wouldn’t that mean that they’ve got 90,000 years on Wu Bai?]

13. Does Mayday have any new hopes for the new year?

Ashin: January 6, we started our eight concerts in Taiwan, and we hope that each of the eight concerts will be great, and that we can sing some different songs and make ourselves happy.

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