An Asian-born metalhead that dons a dinosaur costume whilst churning out erratic electronic tunes with names like Whomp-a-saurus Sex that he describes as sounding like tango dancing with cats — welcome to the wild and wacky world of Mochipet (David Wang, 汪友倫). We’ve caught up before with Mochipet, who was born in Taiwan and now resides along the cool coasts of California, but this time he talked less about his background and instead gave his fans in Taiwan a peek into life inside his purple dino suit.
To set the record straight on whether he ever changes his costume, he explains to me that they actually replicate like kombucha mushrooms in that there is always a new one coming off of an old one. It’s kind of like a Superman suit but purple, he says. He jokes that he often tries to get rid of them but it’s probably he who will be gotten rid of in the end.
Before relocating to San Francisco, Mochipet grew up in Taiwan, which explains his enchantment with the kitschy and kawaii culture of the Far East. His childhood was full of Japanese influences — his moniker actually comes from the mochi (麻糬, pounded sticky rice snacks) miniatures his grandmother fashioned for him when he was a small child — and surprisingly, what wasn’t present was music. It wasn’t until his arrival in the US that he stumbled upon music, and it was metal that he was drawn to. The genre still influences him today, but he says it’s quantum physics that plays a big part in his musical compositions now. Whether he is joking is hard to tell, and I like it better this way.
His music is a good reflection of his personality. It’s electronic, it’s hip-hop, it’s chaos — it’s a little bit of everything. When he says that it takes eclectic folks with an interest in Dada-influenced electronic music to really be able to cut loose and dance to it, suddenly I realize how perfectly the avant-garde abstraction defines both him and his music. It’s like tango dancing with cats, as he describes it, but with the eccentricity of Dada.
If the production process is anything like the art period, it must be hectic inside Mochipet’s head when he’s making music. He says it’s a lot of trial and error until he can get things to sound the way he wants.
“I have tried to decipher a formula or process for it, but I have come to realize that a bit of chaos is what makes the creative process happen. If you always know what you are going to create, then you will lose your creativity. Throwing your caution to the wind is the only way to win!” he says.
Mochipet’s unique style has in fact garnered a significant amount of attention, such as from Ellen Allien and Z-Trip, who both worked on collaborations with him. From them, he learned how important it is to create a flow and engage your audience. He said he’s worked hard on applying this to his style of playing because he’s not a DJ per se, but more of a producer who likes to spin his own tunes and creations.
Another important thing he’s learned from comes from the time he remixed a Radiohead song and subsequently received death threats from a group of cult-status diehard Radiohead fans on the net. Being who he is, he took it lightly. “Radiohead fans are way more talk and less scary than Bjork fans,” he says frivolously.
He’s excited to be back in his native Taiwan for his show at Korner tomorrow night. But not as excited as he is for his trip home.