Stream Chochukmo's new single Good Night
It feels like an age since Chochukmo - Hong Kong's indie math-rock darlings - released their debut album, The King Has Lost His Pink. Indeed, it was more than two years ago now. And after a break-up and reunion, they're finally set to unleash more experimental art rock CCM-style.
They release their new single, Good Night, on Friday May 25 and Saturday May 26 at Hidden Agenda. More info here. But you can hear it first, exclusively through timeout.com.hk.
Have a listen. Then read our interview with Chochukmo guitarist Mike Mak as talks us through the song, what it means for the band and where they go to from here.
Good Night has so many elements to it. What did you want to create?
Musically we’d like to create a carnival kind of feeling, with a hectic pace, plus a rollercoaster-style of ups and downs all along the song. The song name is Good Night, and we guess everyone expected something like a lullaby. But this Good Night is a little bit different. Lyrically, it’s generally about – regardless of bad things that have happened – just try to say Good Night, sleep and then everything will be good when you wake. On the other hand, the music is trying to describe a carnival way of spending a night, which makes it a ‘good night’.
It’s broken up into three distinctive parts, like mini-songs within a song.
This is something we always love to do – combining elements which don’t seem to relate to each other. We’re trying to create a kind of rollercoaster style, which brings people from here to there and suddenly back. We want our music to be a journey that’s stimulating, exciting and unforgettable. This is the way we love to create our music – we’re all worried about getting bored if we just stick to a similar type of song.
Good Night seems to signal a bit of a shift in intent, musically.
Yes! In The King Lost His Pink, we were experimenting with a lot of stuff that we hadn’t tried before, like sudden changes or combinations of different time signatures. For our new songs, we’re trying to elaborate and experiment more with this direction, trying to get more wild with the music but at the same time not making it too odd. We’re now trying to consolidate our ideas, while in ‘The King Lost His Pink’-stage, we were just purely experimenting.
You’ve played a few times since your comeback last year. What’s been the response, in particular, to your new material?
People are very interested with some of our new pieces, namely Good Night and Sister. Sister is definitely not an easy-listening song. We’ve been experimenting a lot with Sister. It’s really surprising that people are more interested in these weird songs, instead of the relatively poppier tracks. It’s a happy thing for us.
A lot of people loved those poppier songs like Head to Toe and Laura. Are you concerned about alienating them?
We’d never follow the taste of our audience. It’s hard to satisfy the five guys in the band in the first place. It’d be even harder to try to guess and satisfy the tastes and needs of our audiences. There’s always a huge supply of pop music, so I guess people like Chochukmo because we’re who we are – a bunch of guys doing weird music. We’ll always follow our hearts, creating music that we think is cool. We’re here to provide more choice to the audiences. If we’re doing stuff that the mainstream is doing, I guess we’re not doing what we’re meant to do…
We’ve heard you’re aiming for an album by the end of the year. What are you plans it?
This album is going to be very different. This time, we’re trying to go further with this production. We’re trying to build up a stronger production team, with a professional producer and engineer, and collaborating with some acclaimed musicians too. We’re very ambitious with this album – very ambitious.
It’s very hard for Hong Kong bands to find any real presence outside of Hong Kong. Is that something you’re actively trying to pursue?
We’re trying to get bigger in Hong Kong, gain more recognition and build a larger audience group. Labels or organisers overseas won’t notice you unless you’ve been doing something or generating some noise in your home town. Our goal is to bring our music to more places around the world. Our short term goal is to get more attention in Hong Kong and to let more people know about our music.
Chochukmo play Hidden Agenda on May 25-26. Tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org.