Ask someone in Taipei to recommend a great local band and the common reply is that there are none—followed by a cheeky giggle—which is surprising after spending time in China, a region that takes many of its pop-cultural cues from Taiwan. That said, with a bit of digging, you'll find plenty of interesting people making great music. Young dream-pop act, Fetish People are that kind of band. Please enjoy our first DaBaoGe from Taiwan. The first (we hope) of many.
Taipei-based fine-art photographer and now good friend Li-Han Lin introduced us to Fetish People. He'd mentioned them briefly over a coffee when I arrived in Taipei and cued "You Got Me When I Stare At You" on his iPod as we moved through the MRT subway station. I knew instantly it was a band we'd like to record. The studio track reminds me of something between Asobi Seksu and The Temper Trap and (contrary to the band's plan) it turned out to be the one we recorded. I guess it was meant to be.
We first met HuaChun Hu 胡華鈞 (vocals/guitar), Dive Yen 嚴笑珍 (bass) and Giorno Xia 夏繼義 (drums) at a living-room bar called Fucking Place (操場) in Taipei's Da-an District to discuss the concept over a couple of pints and happened to walk-in on a bunch of guys from LA filming a feature documentary called "Unhung Hero". The title is self-explanatory. Guitarist HuaChun suggested the elementary school as a location and Dive (bassist and flight attendant by day) took the day off work to film.
We met again early on the afternoon of the shoot and the band treated us to Taiwanese style BBQ—one of the many Japanese influences that Taiwan has made their own—a definite highlight and time to get to know each other better. Arriving at the school, it was remarkable how receptive the staff and students were to a our band of cameras and instruments turning up and disrupting their lessons. By the time we strummed our way into the classroom, the first-grade audience were ready for "home time" and their faces begged to know how much longer it would be before they were dismissed. That relationship between their innocence and the music are what made this location great. Even the school bell mid-way through the recording seems to add to the whole performance.
Fetish People formed in July 2010 and have already recorded an EP, due for release any day now.