One of the most superb aspects of visiting a music congress like Cologne based c/o pop – creativity’n’business is to get to know people from all over the world. Mostly they are coming from Europe, but this time we had the chance to be part of the TAIWAN EUROCK evening – the cultural programme supported by the Taiwanese Government, bringing young acts from the Asian island to Europe.
As it is quite unusual to see Taiwanese acts playing in Germany, we spoke to Geddy Lin, the head of the Eurock delegation in Cologne about the intention of EUROCK, right before the first band climbed the stage of Studio 672.
interview by Martin Hannig
entertaim.net: Geddy tell us something about your organisation Eurock.
Geddy: It’s the name of the project. We want to bring out bands overseas, to join a festival and doing concerts. We got Euro and we got Rock, so we choose the name TAIWAN EUROCK. And in Taiwan the word got also a different meaning. So it’s kind of a play on words. Our government also is part of that project. The purpose is to give the bands an opportunity to go to Europe.
entertaim.net: You bands played some gigs here in the last days. How was the audience reaction?
Geddy: Kind of surprising. The first band today, EMPTY SPACE ON A CHESSBOARD, they played quite loud, and the audience was loud. (laughs). They represent a new generation of Taiwanese musicians. And they are so young, like college students. Also the 2nd band, MY SKIN AGAINST YOUR SKIN, they are a little bit punk, a little bit rock with a female vocal. You know, in Taiwan we have a small market. If you wanna survive, make a living, make some money, we need to bring some “colour to the pop”. When I met MY SKIN 4 years ago, they made kind of more energy and more power music. But in the meantime they made an adjustment, and that’s good! They get some attention in our country right now, and it’s getting better.
entertaim.net: As you mentioned Taiwan is a small market. But in the last decades is was also economically strong. Now do you have any connections to the Peoples Republic Of China, to explore that big huge market with your bands?
Geddy: You know the Kuomintang Party (state party of Taiwan) has a very special policy about the PRC. We are not so friendly. But we have a big potential for stars for the mandarin area, and we got a lot of support from government. Every year we have a big concert with our acts in mainland China! This only works if we don’t imitate other music styles, like music from Japan. It’s very important for us to find our own creativity.
entertaim.net: Is there a big live scene in Taiwan, do you have a lot of clubs?
Geddy: It’s getting more right now, it’s rising.
entertaim.net: Like in many other countries, in Germany as well, CD sales are declining, and live music sales are rising…
Geddy: Yes, the music industry is getting down, but especially in Taiwan the market for live music raises a lot this year. And they plan to build more venues with government support, venues for 100 people or 1000 people, so in 2 years we will have a lot of opportunities. Our government helps a lot.
entertaim.net: Well, in Germany we don’t have this kind of government support for music I guess. Is this your first European appearance with Eurock?
Geddy: Actually this year it was our first time touring with Eurock under that name. We went to England and now to Germany here in Cologne. Last year it was the same case. For example, the 3 bands we had with us last year, they were becoming quite popular here! After the showcase one band got a gig here. And they even could produce their next album here! That’s why we come here again.
entertaim.net: Why did you choose the c/o pop for your activities? There are a lot of potential festivals for Eurock like Berlin Music Week or Reeperbahnfestival….
Geddy: There are a lot of festivals, but here we have the c’n’b congress which is really good for us. We got a lot of information and knowledge about our industry and about technology for our government. I learn a lot here actually!
entertaim.net: Thanks for talking to us, let’s have a great evening with your bands!
Geddy: Thank you and enjoy!