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Plenty of fizz

Updated: 2013-09-13 00:41
By Chen Nan ( China Daily)

Together for more than a decade, Taiwan rockers Sodagreen can still pull in sell-out crowds. Chen Nan chats to the band members about why their new album focuses on Beijing in fall.

Taiwan pop-rock band Sodagreen has been a unit for more than 10 years, but the musicians still have enough pull to sell out all their concerts. Their latest shows are no exception.

Plenty of fizz

Sodagreen presents Autumn Stories of Beijing to a full house at Starlive in Beijing. [Provided to China daily]

Showcasing their new album, Autumn Stories of Beijing, they are performing six shows in the capital. Instead of playing large venues, the band has chosen to perform at live music venue Starlive, which has a capacity of 1,000 people. All tickets sold out within 10 minutes.

"I really enjoy the sound of our music being overlapped by the fans' screaming and singing," says guitarist Liou Jia-kai.

Lead vocalist Wu Tsing-fong agrees.

"I love the intimate interaction with the fans," he says. "We were so close that the fans can touch my feet."

Like their feverish performance onstage, the six members are animated and talkative offstage. Dressed in white and squeezed together on a long sofa, they talk quickly, joking and laughing with each other. Their interaction is like a can of soda, bubbling and fizzing.

The soft-spoken Wu, 31, known for his high-pitched, feminine voice, has a talent for poetic songwriting. Bassist Shie Shin-yi is the only female member in the band. She has neat short hair and speaks with a calm drawl. Drummer Shih Jyun-wei grew up listening to rock performers, such as Bon Jovi. Keyboard player Gong Yu-chi received classical music training and can play viola and violin. Liou and Ho Jing-yang, both acoustic guitarists, have been part of the indie music scene in Taiwan since the early 1990s.

Their latest album is about Beijing in fall. A few years ago when they came to the capital to perform, they had lunch at a Peking duck restaurant located in a narrow hutong.

It was a chilly day, and after lunch, the band walked around the hutong, discovering hidden parts of the city.

"Wherever we go, we sit in the car and watch the city through the windows. But that day we got time to walk for a while and we saw a different Beijing," says Wu.

In his eyes, Beijing, like Taipei, is a modern city. "But unlike Taipei, Beijing is always changing."

"If choosing a season to symbolize Beijing, we couldn't think of a better one than fall. It's a season between summer and winter, changing and alternating."

"Human beings are complicated animals. We expect new things but when the new replaces the old, we miss the old ones," he adds. "The whole album is full of such emotions, conflicting and captivating."

The album is the third chapter in the band's Vivaldi Project. Sodagreen plans to record and release four concept albums based on the four seasons.

They started in 2009 in Taipei, with their album Daylight of Spring. They then traveled to London to make a rock-themed album, Summer Fever. After the Beijing-inspired album, they plan to go to Berlin to finish the project.

"We spend lots of time together and we talk nonstop. Maybe someone will think of a new idea for the next album tomorrow as long as it's fun and belonging to Sodagreen," says Shih. "We are lucky to have the ability to keep on surprising ourselves and the fans."

Contact the writer at chennan@chinadaily.com.cn.

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