Happy rock trio Ever have a local band to thank for their success, and say, despite generally gloomy reports, Hong Kong's music scene is improving, writes Sunny Tse
Ever are ... brothers Ka-ho and Ka-kit, plus guitarist To. We decided to make our band career full-time in 2000. Without a frontman in the original lineup, drummer Ka-ho did the vocals until we could find someone to play drums or sing. But we still haven't found anyone.
In the beginning ... Ka-ho sang and played the drums. When it came to live shows, it was hard for the crowd to see him behind the drum kit. We decided to drop the drum part. Since then, we've been able to experiment more with acoustic music.
The name Ever signifies ... our determination to play music forever. Since we've given up so many things to be full-time musicians - our stable, prosperous jobs, and our time - we want to make the sacrifice sensible by making the commitment last a lifetime.
We call our music ... happy rock. We're optimistic teenagers and our happiness infuses our music. After receiving a letter from a fan, saying our music makes the crowd cheerful and relaxed, we realised how contagious music can be.
The local music scene is full of sad, bitter pop songs. We hope to provide something healthier.
We are ... fans of Beyond, one of the biggest bands in Hong Kong history. We were incredibly lucky to meet drummer Yip Sai-wing. He seemed to like our attitude and music. After playing backup for them a few times, he signed us.
Composing music is ... not hard but writing lyrics is. This is especially true for Cantonese songs because of the complex intonations of the language. It's frustrating when we have to give up a beautiful line because of a single word.
The band has ... very similar musical tastes . We are greatly inspired by Beyond, and Japanese acts like Mr Children and Sheen Ringo. We've been listening to Tokyo Jihen recently. They have very diverse styles and a lot of crazy, unpredictable ideas.
Our latest plug ... Make a Legend with Us is a song about us, as a band and as men. Each member sings his own verse. We would like to dedicate it to our fans for their unconditional support, and also invite all local bands to join hands and bring the band sound back to the mainstream market. It's our dream to relive the golden era of Beyond.
We did ... a lot of school tours. We show students the basics of music-making, like mixing and arranging. Hopefully, by realising the hard work behind every note, they'll appreciate the value of original music.
Local bands we like:
Kolor for their persistence in making great music
Luxury for their original sounds and progressive arrangements. They have great technique
Dear Jane - they know exactly what music they want and never settle for less. They sound like an American punk band
Rubberband for their intriguing drum beats and comforting melodies. They write songs that everyone can relate to
Audiotraffic for their appealing live performances. They're devoted to creating music
The local band scene is ... actually improving. Many new bands have emerged this year. We hope more people will go to band shows and experience the hype.
Kids ... don't just listen more - listen with your heart.
Meet the band
Position: vocalist/ drummer
Day job: music tutor, songwriter, record producer
Band experience: 13 years
Besides music, I like ... swimming
Best gig memory: We did a show in the cold Beijing winter. Some of the audience got really excited when we were covering a classic song by Beyond. They took off their shirts, waved them and rushed towards the stage. It must have been below zero degrees Celsius and those people were half-naked. It was wild!
Day job: bass guitar tutor
Band experience: 13 years
Besides music, I like ... cooking
Best gig memory: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the handover, a huge band show was staged at HMS Tamar. We were lucky enough to be selected as one of the bands. HMS Tamar had been one of our dream outdoor venues. The show meant a lot to us, especially when we learned it was the last public event held there before the site was closed down for redevelopment.
Day job: guitar tutor
Band experience: nine years
Besides music, I like ... reading and drawing
Best gig memory: Sometimes we tour with Beyond as their supporting act. Fans on the mainland are very passionate. They often prepare gifts for the band. When they can't find a way to deliver the gifts, they simply throw them on to the stage. I once got hit by a giant teddy bear. It was really funny.