Also known as 五 月天 (literally meaning “a day in may”), Mayday is one of the most popular alternative rock bands in Taiwan and beyond. The band has been active since 1997 and have been praised as “the zeitgeist of Taiwanese youth” because its music focuses on themes like dreams, love, loneliness, and growing up. Their goal is to be the Chinese version of The Beatles, and I say that they’re pretty close.
Chenzi actually isn’t too into them because she thinks their name is stupid. Boo!
Mayday started out as guitar-loving high school students. Vocalist Ashin, dubbed the “Prince of Our Hearts,” along with Monster, the guitarist, and a former drummer named Youda started a band called So Band. Masa, Stone, and Guanyou joined later. As they went through college, they performed in various pubs and, eventually, the Formoz Festival where they coined their name Mayday, which is Masa’s online name. When they sent out demo tapes of their music, Rock Records executive Lee Zong Sheng saw them as “the ones who would usher in the sound of the future” and gave them a record deal.
Their first hit was 志明與春嬌 (Peter and Mary) , which was sung in their native Taiwanese dialect. Since then, they have only flourished in the Asian music industry, despite setbacks such as military duty. Up until now, they have performed on stages around the world and written music for various famous artists.
Now most importantly, why do I like them? They give me the same feeling I get when I listen to David Tao (go back to my first recommendation and check him out!). I love their lyrics because, I can relate to them. They deal with feelings all of us adults-to-be face. Their lyrics are poetic but have simple meanings, and Ashin’s simple voice and boyish charm only complement them. I also feel that they go beyond the boundaries of performer and audience. From listening to their music, I sense their personalities and I feel close to them.
Here is the video of their first hit, Peter and Mary:
Here’s a website with translations for every album up until now. Generally, I don’t like reading through translations, but you learn a lot about what goes through Ashin‘s head when you read them. It’s really intriguing, so even if you understand Mandarin or Taiwanese, you should take a look at that website to get a taste of Taiwanese culture and Ashin’s sense of humor. For example, the translator realized that Ashin occassionally puts off that he sucks at math, because whenever the lyrics involve numbers, he just craps it up and leaves it the way it is.
I would also like to say, they are amazing live. This is why I love rock music, because it sounds great when it’s performed live. As you know from the picture, they’re touring this year. They’ve toured in Japan, China, Taiwan, Canada, and etc before, so keep your eyes open!!
Credit: Wikipedia, http://www.onedayinmay.net/
Video Credit: mcorange @ YouTube
Picture Credit: Your face…actually, I don’t know.