One thing Touming Magazine has in common with all the bands they have shared the stage with over the years is that they would likely consider themselves accomplished musicians. Yet that’s another thing that sets Touming Magazine apart — a near total lack of ego and pretension. Even though they have cultivated what is arguably the most rabid grassroots fan base of any alternative band in Taiwan, they still don’t consider themselves musicians at all.
“I’m not a musician,” says guitarist Vincent Chang (張盛文), not being deliberately self-deprecating for the sake of appearing humble; merely making a statement of fact. “I’m a music lover.”
“We all suck at music,” Hom continues, drawing earnest agreement from the rest of the band. “In my generation, all the kids who play music, some of them are well-trained. You play with them and they’ll talk about a lot of theory. But we don’t talk about that. We just play. And when we play, we don’t care about how bad we are. We just want to have fun.”
The next album? It’ll come when it comes, and not a moment sooner. There’s no major label to appease, and the rent? The day jobs cover that. The music is as far removed from monetary or commercial concerns as it can possibly be. That’s what makes what they do art. And for now, Touming Magazine develops at its own pace, the way it always has.
■ Touming Magazine plays with 88 Balaz Seeds (八 十 八顆芭樂籽) and headliners Eastern Youth (Japan) this Sunday, January 19th, at The Wall, B1, No. 200, Roosevelt Road Section 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Doors open at 19:00 and the show starts at 19:30. Tickets are NT$1,200 in advance, NT$1,400 at the door.