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Wayne Is So Sad

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I sat down with them, minus drummer Lao Wai, at a park in Tien Mu to discuss their upcoming album and get their thoughts on the local music scene.

Who are you?
Andy: My name is Andy, and I’m vocals.
Wayne: I’m Wayne and I’m the guitar player.
King Kong: I’m King Kong, and I’m the guitar player.
Joe: I’m Joe, and I’m the bass player.

Wayne Is So Sad

When did you guys start?
Andy: We started in March of 2009.

There’s a little confusion with the name of the band. Are you called “Wayne Is So Sad” or “Andy Is So Sad”?
Andy: It’s called both.

Why both? It says “Wayne Is So Sad” on the CD.
Andy: I say it’s called “Wayne Is So Sad”, and Wayne says it’s “Andy Is So Sad”.

What were you guys doing before Wayne Is So Sad?
Andy: I was doing nothing.
Wayne: I was in the military.
King Kong: I was studying.
Joe: I was studying too.

Sorry. I meant, what other bands were you in before playing in Wayne Is So Sad?
Andy: Me? My first band was called “Spunka”. It’s uh, yeah… it’s a band. That’s it. Then I started Wayne Is So Sad.

Man, I saw Spunka ten years ago. Were you in the band then?
Andy: Yeah.

What about you guys?
King Kong: Mimosa. It’s a screamo band.
Joe: No Order.
Wayne: The Deported. I played with Fall of this Corner, Children Sucker and Angry Young Men.

So, I mentioned that I saw Spunka ten years ago, and, it seems to me, the scene has changed a lot in the past ten years. How do you guys see the change in the punk rock scene in the past decade? Has it changed much? Has is evolved? Has it devolved?
Wayne: I think there are a lot more young people playing music, and that’s really cool. Ten years ago, there weren’t as many live houses, and you wouldn’t see many kids walking around with musical instruments. Now, it seems there are a lot more people involved with music here. It’s pretty great.

It seems to me that there are fewer bands now. Is that right, or have I just been out of the loop lately?
Wayne: Fewer bands?

Well, I just remember from before that you would go to a show and there would be like Children Sucker, Fall of this Corner, Semi-Con, Spunka, Da Ji Shan… It seemed like you could find a pretty decent punk rock show on any given weekend.
Wayne: I think you’re just out of the loop.

OK. That makes me feel sad.
Your album was produced by Mass Giorgini of Sonic Iguana fame. How did you decide to work with him, and were you a fan of his work before he started working on your album?
Andy: Our manager, Trix, just approached him and he said yes. I love Anti-Flag and Screeching Weasel.

What are some of your influences?
King Kong: Fugazi.
Joe: The Ramones.

The Ramones!!!
Joe: Yeah.

Wayne!!!
Wayne: Anti-Flag, Against Me, Rancid, and the Ramones.
Andy: Rancid, Ramones, Johnny Cash, Darkbuster, and Against Me.

When you listen to your own album, can you hear the influences you mentioned in your songs? I think song number five sounds like it has some Darkbuster influence in it.
Andy: The fifth song is from me. I wrote it. I might have been listening to a lot of Darkbuster when I wrote it.

It sounds like a drinking song.
Andy: It is a drinking song.

You’ve started recording on your next album. When will it be released?
Andy: It’s already finished. I’m not sure when it will be released. We’re discussing it now. We’re thinking sometime in May.

Will it be on the same record label?
Andy: Yeah. Chngin Records, and it’s being mixed and mastered by Xiao Song.

How will it be different from I love you?
Andy: I think it’s a lot better. You should ask Wayne.

Wayne, how’s the new album?
Wayne: It’s cool. The first album has a much more straight ahead, punk rock beat to it. This one is a little bit slower and we put a lot more into it.

Did you do a lot more experimenting in it?
Wayne: No, it’s still punk. It has a slower tempo, kind of like Ramones speed. It’s more rhythmic and detailed.

Who writes the songs?
Wayne: Andy and I write the songs.

What are some other punk rock bands in Taiwan that you guys really like?
Andy: I like Touming Magazine and Hang in the Air.

Hang in the Air is Lai Q’s band. They’re great.
Andy: Yeah, they’re really cool. And maybe I like Go Chic. Their shows are really good.

Go Chic are currently in China and they just played a few dates in North America, including: South by Southwest. Do you guys ever think of touring outside of Taiwan?
Andy: Yeah, we applied to North by Northeast, in Toronto, but they rejected our application. The judge came to Taiwan and watched us, the Looking Glass, XOXO, and some other bands.
Wayne: The judge watched one song of ours and then walked out. He didn’t pick us.

Who did he pick?
XOXO and the Looking Glass.

Wayne, which bands in Taiwan should I be checking out?
Wayne: Touming Magazine and that’s it.
King Kong: Touming Magazine, Hang in the Air, and my other band, Sleaze.
Joe: Touming Magazine and Sleaze.
Andy: I forgot to mention that I really like a street-punk band named, No Order.


*At this point in the interview, we broke off and started talking about the good old days. We spoke a lot about the old scene which included bands like Reproduction, Fire Extinguisher, Semi-Con, and Broken Flowers, and what those guys are currently up to. Reproduction were amazing and they have a lot of influence with the punk bands of today. It was pretty long, and we were just kind of shooting the shit, so I’ve omitted this part of the interview.

Are there any specific punk rock venues in Taiwan where you prefer to play?
Andy: There aren’t any punk rock venues in Taiwan. They’re mostly a mix of indie, metal, and punk.

Are you guys breaking up anytime soon?
Andy: No. Did Wayne tell you we were breaking up?

He told me you guys were finished.
Andy: No, I might have to go into the military soon, but we’re not breaking up.

When is your next show?
Andy: April 22nd and the Underworld with The Shine & Shine & Shine & Shine.

What are your goals for the future?
Andy: We really want to go China. Our new album is coming out, and it would be great if we could go on a tour at the end of the year.

Where can people buy your albums?
Andy: You can buy it at pretty much any record store. There’s a place in Shi Da called the Waiting Room.

Wayne Is So Sad

Why do you play punk rock music and what does punk rock music mean to you?
Andy: I play punk because it’s simple, strong and it’s not confusing. It’s like breaking someone’s neck and screaming into their ear.
Wayne: Punk is fast and it allows me to sing whatever I want to sing about with feeling embarrassed.
Andy: King Kong is an emo kid.

Emo Kid!
King Kong: Bu shi!

Do you like emo music?
King Kong: I like the nineties stuff: Fugazi, Alkaline Trio, Jawbreaker, the Promise Ring, and the Get Up Kids. I like fast music now. I love Ashen.

Why do you do it, Joe?
Joe: Punk rock is simple, fast, and it allows us to say whatever is on our mind.
Andy: I actually don’t think we play punk. You know, we just want to play very simple music.
Wayne: It can be cheesy.
Andy: We can be very honest in our lyrics. We want people to know what is on our minds. I don’t think that’s necessarily punk, we’re mainly a rock band.

You wouldn’t call yourself a punk rock band?
Andy: Maybe we can start a new genre.

Wayne, why did you say “cheesy”?
Wayne: When we’re doing a show, we get entertained by the crowd just as much as they get entertained by us. We like to show off.

What do you guys write about?
Wayne: Complaining and being depressed.
Andy: Love songs about girls not loving me. Girls are evil.

Yeah, I think so too. They have different brains than we do.
Andy: What’s that all about?

Are any of you married? Any steady girlfriends?
King Kong: I have a girlfriend.

Is she crazy?
King Kong: She’s a very good woman. She’s very nice.

What’s the best show you’ve ever played?
Wayne: Touming Magazine at the Wall. There were a lot of people there.
King Kong: Every time we play at The Checkered Record Club in Tainan we have a really good time.

What’s the worst show?
Joe: It was in Kaohsiung. Nobody came because everyone was watching Touming Magazine at another venue.

OK. I’ve run out of questions to ask. Thank you for doing the interview. Is there anything else you would like to say before I end it?
Andy: I love the Internet.

Wayne Is So Sad

Jeff Curran is a veteran of the Taiwan music scene, having paid his dues, and then some, as guitarist in The Deported, as well as numerous other bands (Abandoned Machines, Auto De Fe, The Freeloaders, etc.) He's punk as fuck, but sweet in the heart. He'll speak his mind, and then he'll buy you some popcorn.


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