Chthonic’s bassist Doris Yeh may have been cause for some of the hypnotized stares at Bloodstock, but most of the attention has been for their twist on symphonic black metal in recent times. Taiwan’s next best thing still have plenty in store and Doris was as humble as could be when discussing the success of the band with SoundShock’s Lily Randall.
So this is your first Bloodstock, but it’s not your first UK festival is it?
Doris: No we did Damnation Festival, Hammerfest and Download last year.
How are you finding Bloodstock in comparison?
Doris: Ah, well I think the fans are really great because we don’t have these kind of festivals in Taiwan and there are not really many metal bands so it’s so nice to see so many people that like this kind of music get together.
So is metal not very popular in Taiwan? Where did you get your influences to be in a band like that?
Doris: Actually the metal community is getting a lot better in Taiwan over the past ten years. I was in a band when I was in high school. My dad is a bass player so I was influenced by him and I was able to learn at home for free so it was natural for me to become a bass player. Ten years ago, in Taiwan so many people were into metal music so my band members gave me music like Megadeth and Slayer and then I met the guys from Chthonic so I joined.
How does it feel knowing that you are popular in other countries like the UK?
Doris: When people use the word popular I really cannot feel it relates to me. I won’t treat myself as a star or something; I will treat myself as a musician. Actually its very interesting that I don’t know if I am or famous or not famous but I enjoy every minute of it with fans, friends and people who love metal music. That’s the most important thing for me.
Where is your favourite place to play apart from Taiwan?
Doris: There are a lot; the UK is always good and also in Japan the fans are really extreme when you’re playing. When you do the signing session they seem shocked to meet us! They are always very polite and give special personal gifts so I think it’s very sweet.
Apart from playing, what’s your favourite thing about festivals? I see you’re enjoying a tasty beer there!
Doris: [laughs] Yes! My first tour in my whole life was Ozzfest five years ago and at that time Jagermeister was the sponsor, so many bands got free Jagermeister every day. Now it’s like a habit for us to drink Jagermeister before every gig for me to relax. That influenced me a lot.
I see you are endorsed with ESP. How did that come about?
Doris: Actually I was endorsed by Ibanez after I played Ozzfest but before that I played ESP so after a couple of years ESP endorsed me. They give me two basses every year, both limited and original and I use them depending on different songs, both four and five string. I have my own signature custom bass now which is awesome. I have so many basses all over the world for studio and for playing live.
So what’s next for Chthonic? Are you writing a new album?
Yes we have been writing our new album since the beginning of this year. When we’re on tour we still keep writing songs. We hope that early next year we are going to hit the studio and by May the new album will be out.
Interview by Lily Randall.