Back from Beyond
ROCK IS king and always will be for local star Paul Wong Koon-chung of Beyond band fame.
He obviously thinks the louder the music the better.
The guitarist and vocalist is going to treat concert-goers at the Hong Kong Coliseum tomorrow and Wednesday to the sound of his music.
He said Hong Kong people had the wrong impression of rock music, which they saw as being underground and alternative.
'But this is not true. What I'm playing is pop music - maybe my music is different from the average Canto-pop, but it's definitely not alternative,' said the 38-year-old, in an interview at his To Kwa Wan studio.
The rock icon, with shoulder-length hair and dressed in a long-sleeved T-shirt and tight jeans, thinks rock has evolved over the years.
'In this era, it's hard to define what rock is. It's more an attitude than a music genre,' he said.
'Actually, I'm not concerned about what type of music I play. Maybe because my music is more aggressive and direct, people see it as rock.'
What he does care about is whether his music is good, and whether he can express his thoughts and feelings through it.
Since Beyond took a break three years ago, Wong has been actively developing his solo music career. He released his debut solo album, Yellow Paul Wong, early last year, followed by his second album, Black And White, later in the year and an EP, Common Root, this April. He also formed a band, Hann, with three other musicians.
Having done hundreds of gigs, Wong said the first Beyond concert at Caine Road's Caritas Centre in 1985 was one of the most memorable .
'It was a great musical experience. We played for almost three hours. People refused to leave until the venue was closed and the staff kicked us out,' he recalled.
He thinks live performances show how good musicians and bands really are.
'I really enjoy playing live and interacting with the audience,' he said.
To make his upcoming concerts special, Wong has taken up the role of music director. He has come up with a song list that he thinks will make them unforgettable evenings for the audience and himself.
The concerts will feature Hann as well as Beyond's Steve Wong Kai-keung and Yip Sai-wing. Jan Lamb Hoi-fung and Anthony Wong Yiu-ming will also be guest performers.
He said after the concerts he would put aside his solo career for a while. 'Next year will be Beyond's 20th anniversary, and I will devote all my time to the anniversary concert.'
Tickets at $380, $180 and $80 available from Urbtix.