“There are a lot of elements in our songs: loops, shoegazing guitars, and [many other things]. Other bands maybe just play one style: nu metal, punk. They're pure punk or pure metal. But we have a lot of elements in our music,” says Shine, Shine, Shine, Shine's bassist Remi Chu (朱育磊), brimming with confidence that the band's mix-and-match approach makes it stand out from the run-of-the-mill groups that play Taipei's spit-and-sawdust live music venues.
Shine, Shine, Shine, Shine's music is a hodge-podge of influences. Dixen Chen (鄭煜璋), on guitar, name checks Japanese techno groovers Boom Boom Satellites while iKicks (杜秉鴻), the band's drummer, derives inspiration from both the Foo Fighters and M83. Adding to the variety, vocalist and keyboardist Meu (彭詩昀) says Fatboy Slim and Alanis Morissette are some of her favorites.
The band combines all of these disparate elements because, as iKicks says, “only having guitars is boring, and it's the same with only electronics. So, we thought, if we combine the two, we'd get great [music].”
As it turns out, they were right. The electronic loops and 1980s keyboard melodies, while low-tech, give the band's music a naive, innocent tonality. But before things get too camp, distorted guitars buzz saw through fast, energetic riffs. Meu's fairy-like voice sings over it all, distinct in its sprite quality. It would all fall to pieces, however, if it wasn't for the capable song writing.
College friends iKicks and Cheng initially started the group last October in order to “start something creative.” Soon afterwards, they found Meu who added her “special” voice while Chu joined at the same time. Finally, Debra (彭薇年) entered the fray in April to help out for this year's Spring Scream. Since then, her “true heart” and blazing guitar have become full time members. The quintet exudes an easygoing charm that finds its way into their music.
The band members harbor aspirations to tour internationally. They admit, though, that it's difficult to make it big as a band from Taiwan. “Taiwan is so small.” Remi said. “And our crowd is only in Taipei. Besides from [The Wall, Underground, Riverside Music Cafe, the Living Room] we really don't know how to [get our music to more people]” laments iKicks.
The group has gone online. “We have MySpace, and the Blog (blog.yam.com/shineshineshineshine), [so] we can put our songs on the Internet. And [they] can be spread to the whole world,” Remi said.
However difficult it is to build a reputation and make it big for a band in Taipei, the members of Shine, Shine, Shine, Shine are giving it their best shot. They've already got an EP out and have played the big indie festivals Formoz and Spring Scream. On stage, their colorful T-shirts and Meu's tiny stature give the crew an immediate presence. But most importantly of all, its music strikes a fresh balance between pop accessibility and sonic innovation. With this in mind, the crew's star can only continue to, well, shine.
What: Shine, Shine, Shine, Shine and Creamy Harmoo
Where: Underworld at B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei (臺北市師大路45號B1)
When: Tonight at 9pm
Further info: For more details and upcoming performance dates visit www.myspace.com/shineshineshineshine