The "Super Band" of the Chinese pop music scene, comprising Lo Ta Yu, Jonathan Lee, Emil Chau Wakin and Chang Chen Yueh attended a press conference for their upcoming pop concert on March 11, 2009. [Photo: sina.com]
The "Super Band" of the Chinese pop music scene, comprising Lo Ta Yu, Jonathan Lee, Emil Chau Wakin and Chang Chen Yueh, will kick off its first tour on the mainland on April 18.
All the band members are sought-after singer-songwriters, who have millions of fans. Lo, 54, is well-known as the Father of Taiwanese pop; Lee, 50, is the author of hundreds of popular love songs that have made pop stars of Sarah Chen, Sandy Lam, Sylvia Chang, Chao Chuan and Jeff Chang; Chau, 48, has been in the spotlight since the mid-1980s and has released more than 40 albums; and 34-year-old Taiwan rock and hip-hop music star Chang is very popular with the youth.
The four came together in Taiwan last July to form the band "Zong Guan Xian", a name that come from one of Taiwan's main railway networks which runs through the island from north to south.
The common story about why the four established musicians got together, is that they were all working for Taiwan's Rock Record Co. Ltd. and when the company began suffering financial setbacks, the boss Sam Chung-Tan Duann decided to leverage the combined talents of the four to revive the well-known record label.
Although millions of fans are enthusiastic about the newly created band, speculation is rife about whether it will actually make money.
"Sam believes that being in a band, we can create better songs," says Lee. "I dare say few people can write better love songs than I do..
"Writing songs and singing is the way we make a living. We focus on the creating. Whether people will like it and buy it, is their decision."
"We want to improve ourselves and create better songs for our fans. By being together, we will be more critical of one another's creations," says Chau.
Reacting to the speculation about the band being viable, Lo says, "Are we going to make money? Well, we are not the first to be asked the question. Many years ago, people asked the same of The Three Tenors.
"We hope to bring out the best Chinese pop music album of the 21st century."
Chang, the youngest, will take on the drums. Known for his 1998 hit song The First Experience of Love (Ai Zhi Chu Ti Yan), Chang has his own band Free Night and much experience of band performances.
"I enjoy collaborating with the three pioneers of Chinese pop music. We have a real chemistry going when we rehearse together. Good music is our common goal," he says.
"Since it is a new band, we will perform not just our own songs of the past 30 years.
We have created some 25 songs aimed at giving audiences a taste of our unique styles as well as a sense of the band."
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