This year Taiwanese metal horde, Chthonic will release its seventh studio album “Bú-Tik“, the follow-up to 2011’s Takasago Army. Nearly 100 people volunteered to be the model for the new album’s cover. This week bassist Doris Yeh took time out to bring us up-to-date on the new record, the band’s new app, “Rhythm Crusher” and some background on her instrument of choice.
2013 looks to be a huge year for Chthonic. The new album comes out this summer and you have just released your own game app, “Rhythm Crusher” for iPhone and iPad. Let’s start with the app first: Tell us about the inspiration for Rhythm Crusher, how it came together and so forth.
“The main members of production team in the app company love metal music a lot. When they decided to do a rhythm game of app, they got in touch with us and we immediately made a decision to do it!”
For those of us without an iPhone or iPad, can you explain the premise of the game?
“It’s a rhythm game that requires the fast and correct reaction to hit every note according to the melodies and the rhythm of Chthonic’s music. It brings you lots of satisfaction if you hit most of them correctly. The manual of the game points out more details:
“Rhythm Crusher is an all-round winner, with engaging solo play mechanics featuring 12 chapters and 12 of Chthonic’s greatest hits. The game can be played with friends over Bluetooth, as the battle mode opens up a plethora of competitive options for everyone participating. Most notably are the numerous attack abilities and the devastating interference mechanics. Using special interference abilities, players can obscure opponents screen temporary, truly a crushing yet satisfying feeling when timed perfectly. Chthonic – Rhythm Crusher challenges the status quo of the rhythm game genre and pushes the envelope further than any of its predecessors.”
“Yes there was a worldwide competition held in Japan, all the game players can find challengers at that time, we had great time with all the players. The winner is a Japanese fan, but he still couldn’t beat down our vocalist Freddy.”
So I take it you guys will fill a good amount of your idle time on the road playing the game?
“Vocalist Freddy and guitarist Jesse take this not as a leisure but a real competition, they waited to challenge everyone even when we’re recording in Sweden. Crazy guys! :D”
The new album, your seventh, is due out in June. What can you tell us about the new record? Is there a title yet?
“This album title is ‘Bú-Tik‘ which is the pronunciation of Taiwanese word ““. This word has many meanings, and our meaning for this word is very close to self-defense, righteous violence, and armed spirits.”
How does it compare sonically to Tasakgo Army which you hailed as the band’s best album when it was released.
“The music production of Bú-Tik is very close to Takasago Army which we are quite satisfied with it. The structures of songs of Bú-Tik are a little bit different from Takasago Army. Songs of Bú-Tik are more fluent, smooth, and natural. Also everything is doubled this time! the heaviness, the emotion and the story!”
“Yes, like what I have mentioned above, they are all about self-defense, righteous violence, and armed spirits. They are all Taiwanese historical events which can reflect the idea of the album title. But the fans will find out there are more stories hidden behind these events, and they will find out it’s still connect to the earlier three albums when they listen to the end. They will learn the whole album is about the insanity of Tsing-Guan who has been locked at Mirror of Retribution for millions of years. (Tsing-Guan is one of the main characters of our earlier 3 albums.)”
You changed your songwriting approach for the last album. Did you follow that approach again or did you revert to the way the band used to write for previous records.
“Yes, we followed the same approach, it’s just like following the nature. Since we have done that for Takasago Army, this time we were more fluent and more improved. So, I would say the writing procedure is like the upgraded version of Takasago Army.”
“‘Defenders of Bú-Tik Palace’ which is the song that explains the connection to the earlier three albums. ‘Next Republic’ which is the song for our friends and the heroes we admire.”
Metalholic is getting ready to release its article on the Top Female metal bassists. Of course you’re on that list. How did you come to make the bass your weapon of choice?
“My dad is a bass player, he collected some basses for years. When I formed my first band at high school, I choose to play bass because I can get one from home for free.”
Who influenced your style of play, or do you attempt to emulate a particular style?
“Actually none. I have no attempt to follow anyone’s style, it’ not quite right to my personality, I think the Experiences are the only teacher for me. :)”
Are there other female bassists that you particularly like that others should be aware of?
“Kim Gordon, but I think many people know her a lot already? :D”
Bass: ESP – Andromeda (5-string signature bass)
Amp – head : Ampeg SVT 450
Amp – cab : Ampeg SVT 410HLF
Effects – MXR M80 BASS DI
Do you play any other instruments?
“I played piano when I was 5. I played it for 10 years.”
Besides making “Rhythm Crusher” the number one app in the world, what are Chthonic’s other world domination goals for 2013? Will there be a return to North American shores this touring cycle?
“We’re going to release our 7th album in this summer, and then after the festival show at Download festival in the UK, we’ll launch our Asia tour from this August. We are arranging shows in the North America in winter, will announce the schedule soon. :)”
Tell us something about Doris Yeh that most people/fans might not know: A hobby, or passion for something outside of music and family…
“I like to ‘shop’ flowers and plants at pot plant auction…”
Finally, our totally random and pointless question of the week: “If you look into your soul, what color are you?”
“Silver inside but Purple outside.”
Famous last words?
“‘Dream big’ won’t make you a great person, ‘Do it’ will.”