Source: Time Out Hong Kong
Hold Your Middle Finger (揸緊中指)
As consulted with the Commercial Radio of Hong Kong (香港商業電臺 881903.com), the Cantonese to English transcription of the interview does not breach copyright law.
Interviewer: Jessica Tse
Interviewees: LMF members
Date: December 2, 2009
Interviewer: Welcome to the show, what a sturdy band.
Interviewer: Our colleagues are very excited.
Interviewee: Phew. (Meow) (Yeah)
Interviewer: What a scratch voice. Okay, welcome LMF to Hit Hot Music. Let’s check out who are with us today. Say your name one by one; LMF members at the radio show are…
Interviewee: From the left? I’m Kit; I’m Kevin; I’m Jimmy; I’m MC Yan; I’m Davy; I’m Phat; I’m Prodip.
Interviewer: Obviously there are seven of you, although on the poster there are nine of you. Many fans said they are happy because LMF is reuniting for a show. But they thought there used to be 12 members in LMF. Do you guys wanna answer this question? Speak freely; no precedence needed.
Interviewee: 12-member LMF was a long time ago. In 2003 there were only ten of us.
Interviewer: Back then you had Sam Lee with you?
Interviewee: Yup. But Sam has been our mysterious guest all the time.
Interviewer: And this current squad included the nine core members? But DJ Tommy and Wah are not with us today.
Interviewee: Wah has to work today.
Interviewer: Many fans would ask this. What is coming up with the reunion? Other than concerts.
Interviewee: A new song indeed.
Interviewer: Hold Your Middle Finger (揸緊中指)?
Interviewee: As well as a tour.
Interviewer: Sit closer to the microphones. Do come forward because we are here to share with the fans. On our forum we saw questions posted by the fans. And each and every of you have been through something in the music scene in the past ten years. Who actually came up with the idea to suggest LMF to re-emerge and perform a show?
Interviewee: A friend of ours – let’s keep him anonymous – suggested that we help him for one show in early 2009. But I told him since we were disbanding already, why the need to perform at a show all of sudden? We gotta put in a lot of effort and ask others to help out. But hey, what would you offer me in return? He was trying to tame us; he said the boss has got a lot of money. Wow, I said great, since the offer is lucrative. Despite the lengthy discussion, the show eventually called off. Ended up to be the show offers no money; he deceived us. But anyway, he got us to gather together for a meal. We have not been seeing each other for many years, and we knew the show has been screwed up. So we came out and had meal together again to discuss if we want to perform a show. It is make or break – it is either we move on, or we go home after the dinner…
Interviewer: And each of you doing your own stuff again?
Interviewee: Yup. But we found out everybody wanted to play music. That’s how we got to carry on.
Interviewer: But that discussion was in early 2009. Do you have to set your schedule carefully since you guys have been busy with your own work. How did you all nail down the date to January 2, 2010?
Interviewee: The preparation started about half year ago. We started to meet up with event organisers, and our main target is to prepare for a concert tour, which is fun for us. January 2010 is a schedule we happened to arrange; in fact we are going to perform our first show in Singapore this week. And Hong Kong is the second on schedule.
Interviewer: You guys must have been excited. Since you are not meeting up for many years and a first reunion would be performing in Singapore. How’s the rehearsal going on? How’s the status?
Interviewee: Our status? (Jimmy Choking) Starting up the fire.
Interviewer: What’s wrong, Jimmy?
Interviewee: We’re simmering up. (The fire shouldn’t be too strong, so that you would not be choked.) It’s as if a petroleum-lit cooker.
Interviewer: Have your all been playing music well again? When you jam again you guys are reigniting the old-day excitement in music? I mean after separation for all these years…
Interviewee: The fire is burning better.
Interviewer: Absence makes the heart fonder?
Interviewee: Better skills. (No video games over there.) (Laughing) That’s one of the reasons though, and we have to focus on jamming.
Interviewer: In the past there were some distractions?
Interviewee: Video games are more interesting. Video games for four hours, and we kept half an hour for jamming.
Interviewer: Well, the entire industry knows about it. Does Davy call the shot when it comes to rundown of the show? And the selection of songs.
Interviewee: Members have a say. But in fact we have only more than ten songs performing here and there, we are in fact merely rearranging the songs’ sequence.
Interviewer: Seems like there is no difficult task for your band?
Interviewee: Well, the first few days were tough, for I have not been playing guitar for four to five years. Prodip and I suffered because our fingers had blisters. And we have to practise the songs at home.
Interviewer: He has aliens helping him? (Laughing)
Interviewee: I hope so. (Laughing)
Interviewer: One finger then you can talk to the other world. What does ten-year anniversary mean to every member? Prodip should share first.
Interviewee: We have been doing our own work since 2003. And many members have never seen each other for many years. In the past my music instrument part was minor; for this show I have to listen to LMF songs repeatedly to prepare for it. Our jamming session last night was quite tidy.
Interviewer: So it turned out to be, last night was the longest jamming session in these years.
Interviewee: Exactly. All this while I have been playing three or four songs; it is rare to play more than ten songs.
Interviewer: And you have to explode it one-off.
Interviewee: The significance for me is that I feel like I am a band member again.
Interviewer: Finally found yourself your identity.
Interviewee: Exactly. Other than my alien identity.
Interviewer: And followed by… How about Phat?
Interviewee: The happiest thing is that all brothers can come together again. I have the greatest feeling on this part, when we are jamming our songs again so that we can go on a tour. Those are the good old days in the past. It has been halted for several years, but it is coming back and about to take place again. It will be a good show, and it will be sensational. When we’re playing we have a feeling that we’re back to our positions again.
Interviewer: It’s coming back!
Interviewee: Yup. That’s a strong sense of this coming back.
Interviewer: But you have several identities. You are playing with LMF and 24Herbs at the same time. Any difference between the two? In terms of your mentality.
Interviewee: When I am with LMF, I do what I should do. Same goes the role I have with 24Herbs.
Interviewer: And the difference between the two roles?
Interviewee: The difference is that… (Yo and Hey-yo) (Laughing) That’s it. It’s hip on one side and hop on the other.
Interviewer: Only you can tell the difference though. But is there a big difference between the two?
Interviewee: The difference is that LMF is a genuine band. Everything is built up from scratch with your music. But at 24Herbs they are deejay and several emcees – which makes the group hip-hop. Whereas LMF materials are always burning and tougher. And it is great to lead the emotion of the fans. You will see audiences playing stage dive and mosh pit at LMF shows.
Interviewer: Your conversation makes me feel like I want to fly to Singapore for your show. The sensation is returning.
Interviewee: That would be great.
Interviewer: How about you, Davy?
Interviewee: Quite happy. Because we have not met up for years to have meals, jamming and chatting together.
Interviewer: But you guys didn’t try to call up each other for a gathering?
Interviewee: Nope. I am really into my own world. Basically I met up with all of them because of this show. I have not met with Prodip and MC Yan for four to five years. Not that we always have meals and hang out together.
Interviewer: And no SMS?
Interviewee: Nope. I rarely go out and I usually stay home. I only go out for meals and I will go home after eating.
Interviewer: But won’t you miss each other?
Interviewee: Men missing each other? (Laughing)
Interviewer: Apparently a female host can’t understand the psychology of men.
Interviewee: He will be afraid. (Hey I miss you) (Laughing) And we knew each other for too long already.
Interviewer: How about MC Yan? Would the show be kind of surprising? After such a long split.
Interviewee: Surprising? Well, these years I have been requested to perform karaoke songs. An opportunity to play live music never comes by easily in Hong Kong. It is a rare opportunity to play live music and the content is about what’s happening in Hong Kong.
Interviewer: Quite related to the society?
Interviewee: Most Hongkongers would understand our content.
Interviewer: So it’s a rare opportunity to play live music on the stage and convey your messages.
Interviewer: How about you, Jimmy?
Interviewee: It’s a returning and it’s fun. In the past we went for tour and it was fun. So this time round we will run a tour again, and the first venue is Singapore.
Interviewer: On which date?
Interviewee: On the sixth.
Interviewer: This Sunday?
Interviewee: Yup, just a few days later. So we’ll depart the day after tomorrow. And we are excited about it.
Interviewer: How about you, Kevin?
Interviewee: I am very happy. It has been six years. When I saw Prodip and Davy playing guitar in front of my drum set – it is kind of strange – as if we have not seen each other for years. And Jimmy is playing as well. When we were first playing music I was 21 years old, but I am now 33 years old. I am getting more mature I guess.
Interviewer: But you still look young, still a 20-something guy.
Interviewee: Thank you. (Buy her drink)
Interviewer: For me and the fans, Kevin, you are not standing in front. Have you thought of the band reuniting again? Or you knew they will come back one day?
Interviewee: Never thought of it.
Interviewer: Is it a surprise? Or you are rather reluctant?
Interviewee: I like playing band, and I have been enthusiastic.
Interviewer: But you are not the man who gathers other friends; you’re standing behind them.
Interviewee: (Cuz’ he’s a drummer.) Yup.
Interviewer: How about you, Kit?
Interviewee: It is important to be happy and fun. And the younger fans are now old enough for our shows. Some said they are following our music since Primary Six.
Interviewer: Their mothers didn’t allow LMF music?
Interviewee: Nope. They were not allowed into the show venue, since the government protects our people very well.
Interviewer: So when the young fans are there, what LMF would want them to see? Any surprise or anything tougher?
Interviewee: We have fewer members but our music is tidy.
Interviewer: January 2 show is set at Star Hall. The tour starts with Singapore and followed by Hong Kong. You’ll be playing the same rundown?
Interviewee: Hong Kong’s show has more songs to offer. When we tour in Malaysia and Singapore, the shows are shorter over there at their clubs. Those are not conventional concert venues, and the show will be shorter. It is Hong Kong shows that require us to play longer. (We have more things to lament about Hong Kong). You gotta change more clothes and set up your hair.
Interviewer: Speaking of which, how about talking about Hong Kong music industry? LMF has its own attitude in music. While you guys have not been collaborating for some time already, your members are still active in Hong Kong music scene. How do you see today’s Hong Kong music industry?
Interviewee: (Godfather) (MC Yan) Yesterday there is no Hong Kong music industry either. Speaking of today, perhaps Hong Kong music industry would have something to be seen in the future. When we were writing our songs, we observed the society and the music industry, we tended to observe from a distant point of view. Scrutiny is somebody else’s job. We observed and wrote something. But we realised this: we spoke too soon. The roles in our songs are only appearing now. For those who have thought that our lyrics are finger-pointing at you, you have to relax a bit, for such roles are coming up now and in the future.
Interviewer: How about exposing their names?
Interviewee: Not necessary.
Interviewer: LMF members are now in our studio, and on the desk there is a list of politicians meant for the morning talk show.
Interviewee: Why all the question marks on their assistant names? They can’t afford to hire personal assistants? Or they don’t dare to take up the job?
Interviewer: And they are looking at the news clip. By the way, we are listening to your new song Hold Your Middle Finger (揸緊中指). Fans would like to know if you are going to release an album or a single? How are you guys going to publish your music work?
Interviewee: Free download; that’s what we most eagerly want to do. For the time being I don’t have a concept to release a CD. I don’t exclude the possibility of this: we’ll go for one-year tour, collect the feedback and decide if we want to release a CD.
Interviewer: What prompts the idea of free download? Since you can still charge when fans download your song. Why is it free?
Interviewee: Back to the simplest idea. You write and produce a song, because you want others to listen to it. The only way for your music to go further is to invite others to listen to your song. If you want to reach out to more people, why not inviting others to listen (for free)? Which is still better than selling your songs. What you earned from selling songs can’t actually cover your production cost. It depends on your target. It is either you want more people to know your songs, or you release a CD to earn that tens of thousand of Hong Kong dollar.
Interviewer: It is not making money, in any case.
Interviewee: Not making money.
Interviewer: You can’t even cover your cost, so why not allow others to listen for free so that the song can reach out further?
Interviewee: Yup. I did an interview the other day. My point of view is that music is free in itself. You have a mouth and that’s it. But why everybody works on music and they want to sell it? And you are usually selling out yourself first.
Interviewer: Godfather is great. Other than the song Hold Your Middle Finger (揸緊中指), your band will be going on a world tour. Do you wait for one year before releasing more singles? Or you already have them scheduled?
Interviewee: There will be more new singles coming up, and the release will be one by one. Maybe we won’t follow the industry’s procedure.
Interviewer: Godfather, what is the industry’s procedure about?
Interviewee: Deceiving in nature. (Laughing)
Interviewer: How is it deceiving?
Interviewee: It is not that valuable but they bloated it. And it is a bubble. Speaking of music industry, if you want to make it your career, everybody sees it as a sunset industry. Hong Kong music industry is a sunset industry. Since the industry is not run by the smartest people, why not play music and have fun?
Interviewer: Can godfather share an idea?
Interviewee: I don’t have a religion actually.
Interviewer: Would you teach us as to how to run the music industry so that it can be rescued?
Interviewee: Teaching requires a fee. (Laughing) Firstly, the music industry has to die off in front of our very eyes. It has to die and Hongkongers have to witness its death. When its death is confirmed, then we can come up with new ideas.
Interviewer: Other members have any suggestion regarding MC Yan’s idea?
Interviewee: It is a matter of good death or not. (When our guru says something we will be very solemn) (Laughing)
Interviewer: LMF fans surely like their attitude and ideas. So remember, January 2, 2010, LMF Reunion Show at Star Hall in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong. But hey, you will disband after reunion?
Interviewee: Yup. (Laughing)
Interviewer: Same as farewell shows of some artists.
Interviewee: We are as if The Wynners.
Interviewer: After the show you guys will do your own work again.
Interviewee: We perform when it comes to occasions such 15th or 20th anniversary.
Interviewer: So fans out there, don’t miss the show on January 2. Thank you, LMF members.
Interviewee: Thank you.