Covered in body paint, half black, half white, and with a shaved head, Macgregor Wooley, lead singer of alternative hard rock band Doublewide, stepped on to the stage at the Lost Lagoon party in Wulai in August of last year and blew the crowd away.
The stark paint highlighted his wide, crazed eyes, and the pounding intensity of Doublewide’s music provided an outlet for his powerful voice.
Wooley does it again tomorrow night when the group performs at Roxy Vibe, with all-girl street punk band BB Bomb (BB彈) and instrumental noise artists Collider. Doublewide is also headlining Perpetual Motion’s River Bash, which takes place from May 29 to May 31 in Pingling (坪林).
Wooley and guitarist Tristan Newman (one of Perpetual Motion’s organizers) have worked on Doublewide’s sound for more than two years, but have had to start over when group members either left the band or Taiwan. After going through three drummers, they hooked up with Jon Snowdon a year and a half ago.
“I’ve never met anyone I’m more on the same page with as Tristan,” said Wooley. He added that Snowdon has the same sort of vision as the duo.
With the newest member, Nick Chen (陳信伯),19, aka Kid Nicky, (formerly of Johnny Fatstacks) on bass, they are free to focus on the music.
“We’ve been labeled a metal band and we are so not,” said Wooley, who also plays in New Hong Kong Hair City and Into the Void. “We’re hard rock, which is an anomaly among the foreigners.” He said playing this genre of music is cathartic. Newman agrees: “You can take all that pent up excess emotion from your life and pour your heart out.”
In rehearsal, Newman said they push the envelope and play as hard as they can.
“Life is annoying and frustrating — you have angst,” said Wooley. “Most people don’t get to hit things or scream at a wall or jump up and down, but we go into a room twice a week and Jon gets to hit things and we get to jump up and down.”
The group’s songwriting process begins with Newman’s guitar riffs, which the quartet then arranges. Wooley adds vocals and lyrics which he said, “basically end up being me chastising people” with a theme revolving around the “entire Earth being influenced and controlled by people’s ignorance and fear of maybe being wrong.” Both he and Newman cite anti-establishment comedian Bill Hicks as a major influence.
“We’re not a household band,” said Newman. “We do what we want … We might take you on a ride you didn’t expect because we have no boundaries.”
WHAT: Doublewide at The Hard, Fast, and Heavy show along with BB Bomb (BB彈) and Collider
WHEN: Tomorrow from 10pm
WHERE: Roxy Vibe, B1, 155, Jinshan S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市金山南路一段155號B1)
ADMISSION: NT$350, includes one drink
ON THE NET: www.myspace.com/doublewidetw
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