The city's very own Fab Four

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am


Band: Dear Jane
Hometown: Hong Kong
Albums: 100 (2006), XOXO (2009), Gamma (2011)
Members: Tim Wong (vocals), Howie Yung (guitar), Jackal Ng Hon-bong (bass), Nice Lai Chun-wa (drums)

The rock band Dear Jane was formed in 2003. The foursome have become quite popular locally. Young Post caught up with the boys before their concert earlier this week.

Tim: We chose the name Dear Jane because ... it's a girl's name that we like, like plain Jane. The dear comes from like a 'Dear John' letter.

Howie: I like to play ... both guitar and bass. When you're a bass player, it's easy to get into gigs. Everyone is a guitar hero and people just avoid the bass like the plague. But if you know how to play the bass, it's really easy for you to join a pickup band [at the] last minute.

Tim: Being able to play a hundred shows as we have means ... there are a lot more ways for local bands to play in public. Before people used to complain about how hard it was to form a band in Hong Kong or that there was no place for bands to play. When we started out, a lot of underground bands were coming together. There were more shows to see and we got more opportunities to play our music.

Howie: Our most satisfying show was ... the one we did last year for the release of Gamma. If someone told me that a local band could play a full-length show by themselves, I wouldn't have believed it. Before it was rare to hear that a band had the draw to be able to book a venue for a show just for them. It was always one show with five bands, or seven.

Howie: Boys Should Fight () from our first album is ... my favourite song of ours, just because it was the first song we released. I will always remember playing it, because during the time we were promoting it and trying to reach the 100-show quota in order to release the first album, we would be playing it almost every day at every show.

Jackal: In the beginning ... we just wanted to make music. We really weren't trying to do anything when we released our albums; it was more just like a personal dream to be able to make one. But when we went to the mainland to do some promotional shows at malls there, we were really surprised to hear people singing along to our songs with us. It was like, 'Wow, our music has travelled all the way here'.

Howie: We're taking a vacation ... from our normal sound on our upcoming EP. We've been making really loud music, by Hong Kong standards, and we want to try something different. A lot of our past songs dealt with serious issues. This time, we sat down and we said: 'We don't want to do anything serious, we just want to have fun.'

Howie: Hong Kong has ... a lot of great musicians. I don't know if it has to do with the pace of life in this city, but when you want to do something here, you do it furiously. So if you want to be in a band, you take whatever you have at your house and just bang on it with chopsticks until you're awesome at it. Did you see that kid on YouTube? The local bands which put on shows here are good.

Howie: Ten years sounds ... like a long time to [spend doing] anything, but it doesn't feel like that for us. The audience might not know or care that we've been together for 10 years, but I feel that everything we do next year will be an inner celebration for ourselves.