On Sunday night Underworld will be the scene of an all-heavy metal DJ party.
“Because it’s fun,” said Dizzy Ha (哈其昌) whose Back 2 the Future (B2TF, 回到未來) party crew has staged two surprisingly well-attended Sunday bashes at Underworld in two months.
More like because they can. Fellow B2TF member and Triple Six (666) guitarist/Underworld sound engineer Chiu Sheng (秋生) wants to hear metal played really loud.
“There’s no place to listen to metal [in Taipei],” Chiu Sheng — real name Wang Yuan-kang (王元康) — said earlier this week in an interview at Ha’s apartment. “You can listen to it at home, but not really loud because your neighbors will call the police.”
There’s an intriguing hook: Wear a heavy metal band T-shirt and get in free. Otherwise, cover is NT$3,200. If anyone is “retarded enough” to pay that much to get in, Chiu Sheng said, Underworld’s owner will treat them to a new (unopened) bottle of whisky and a pack of (expired) cigarettes.
Last Sunday at Rock Shop (小間搖滾), a hipster T-shirt shop in Ximending (西門町), the owner said she had already sold six heavy metal T-shirts for the party.
“The way we let you get in is EXTREME,” Chiu Sheng said. “If you’re not wearing a metal T-shirt and you don’t want to spend money … if you are bleeding — you can get in.”
He added: “That’s very extreme.”
On a recent Saturday night at Underworld, I asked if a Led Zeppelin T-shirt would work. Chiu Sheng furrowed his eyebrows for a second, then said (in English), “NOT HARD ENOUGH!”
Elaborating on this concept the other night at Ha’s apartment, I threw a few band names at Chiu Sheng.
Guns N’ Roses? “None of us likes Guns N’ Roses.” AC/DC? “OK.” [Chiu Sheng makes a peace sign with his fingers] Warrant? [Frowns.] “They’re a hair band.” Skid Row? Poison? [Distressed look.] “Skid Row, Warrant, Poison, Cinderella — they’re are all pretty much the same: they’re all hair bands.” What about Tool? “Ok ah. They’re pretty hard. When they’re hard, they’re really hard.” Metallica? Megadeth? “OK ah.” Rage Against the Machine? [Chiu Sheng was wearing a Rage Against the Machine T-shirt at the time. He thinks for a few seconds] “Almost there.” Then: “WE WANT PURE!”
What: Night of the Living Metal
Where: Underworld (地下社會), B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1). Call (02) 2369-0103 or visit www.upsaid.com/underworld for more information
When: Heavy metal DJs spin Sunday from 8:30pm to 1:30am; bar closes much later
Entrance: Free for anyone wearing a heavy metal band T-shirt; NT$3,200 for everyone else
On the Net: back2thefuture.tw/blog. Go to www.flickr.com/photos/morelax/sets and click on links marked 回到未來DJ to see photos of previous B2TF events
The DJ lineup includes Chthonic (閃靈) guitarist Jesse “The Infernal” Liu (小黑), defunct death-metal band Manum frontman Tong Tzu-chun (童子軍), and Exploded (Fuck) Soda, which is Chiu Sheng and Triple Six drummer Joe Chou (周家強).
“We’re not sure if a lot of people will come this time. We’re never sure,” Ha said. “But we don’t care. We just want to put on a fun party.”
Metal Gate possesses what is probably the most extensive selection of heavy metal albums, T-shirts and related paraphernalia in the Taipei area. It recently moved from its bedroom-sized storefront at The Wall (這牆) to a much larger location at 81, Tayou Rd, Taipei City (台北市塔悠路81號). Tel: (02) 3765-1861 X19.
Many stores in Ximending (西門町) sell heavy metal T-shirts. Rock Shop (小間搖滾), is at Room 36, 3F, 72-1 Xining S Rd, Taipei City (台北市西寧南路72-1號3樓36室). Another store on the first floor of the same building also sells metal T-shirts.