THE PUNK TORCH: MAHO
---By Don Quan Translated
by Annie Liu
People who pay attention to the music
scene will know punk band Maho. They have been around
since 2000, which makes them one of the most durable
acts in the south. Though they've endured an almost
Spinal Tap-esque rotation of band members, Maho's founder/vocalist
A-Chang still fronts the band with the same indefatigable
spirit and attitude as always.
The current lineup includes A-Chang's
brother, A-Fang , on guitar, PoPo on drums and Wei Yu
on bass. While this is likely the longest-running configuration
of the band, Wei Yu recently left to serve his mandatory
two-year army service (a circumstance that has interrupted
the careers of many a promising band in Taiwan). However,
the group will continue to write and record and play
live shows on the occasions when Wei Yu gets leave.
A-Chang says they don't want to find yet another bassist,
as they all "get along quite well with this one".
A-Chang is partial to The Clash, Bad
Religion and Brahman, while A-Fang prefers Sonic Youth,
The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. The band has taken their
melting pot of influences and molded a sound that will
never be mistaken for anything else. "We're not
a rock and roll band. We're punk."
The band has recently released an EP
to back this claim. Simply titled "One"(?),
it has three songs, sung in Chinese, about A-Chang's
observations on the ups and downs of life (a common
theme in punk). This is the first commercially available
release from the band.
Maho has assumed an elder-statesman
status in the south, as they are the organizers of the
Music Orgy festivals, which are held several times a
year in Kaohsiung. These shows feature established bands,
up-and-coming acts and first-timers. Since the Taiwanese
musical climate is not very warm to underground bands,
their motive is to help as many artists as possible
to get exposure. Can you be any more punk than that?