先一拍的實驗精神

──椰子樂團
:::

2011 / 11月

文‧林奇伯


獨立樂團拓殖新境,廣大歌迷衷心應和,是台灣樂壇這10年 最引人入勝的一頁風景。再有實驗性、再前衛的音樂,只要風格獨特,不必有主流唱片公司操作,也能受到樂迷喜愛。「椰子樂團」就是不斷自我挑戰的代表。


椰子位於台北市師大附近的工作室裡,近20把電吉他擺滿一整面牆,略為凌亂,似乎還留著前一天工作到深夜的痕跡。

椰子樂團的編制特殊,只有3名團員,分別為主唱兼鍵盤手季欣霈、吉他手韓立康和鼓手賴聖文。成軍不到一年,只發表過3首單曲,但已引起矚目,因為三名團員都不是新人。

主唱季欣霈是畢業於台大會計系的高材生,高中就有組團的經驗,上大學後開始參加大大小小的音樂比賽,並和師大附中的學長組成「APAY樂團」,開始在live house 演唱。

幸運的是,成軍不久就在2003年被資深音樂人林暐哲發掘,2004年發行首張單曲〈藍色〉,同年獲得「海洋音樂祭最佳人氣獎」;2006年推出首張創作專輯《主唱大人》,清亮的嗓音風靡了無數樂迷,之後卻因吉他手、鼓手入伍服役,貝斯手考上研究所,樂團面臨了團員4缺3的窘境,不得已宣布解散。

告別樂團後,季欣霈經歷了一段人生低潮,曾想過放棄歌唱與創作,但她轉而用音樂紀錄在現實與理想中拉扯的成長,將從失望、絕望,到再次擁抱希望的人生體驗集結成歌,2008年重新出發,發表《生活》與《小世界》兩張專輯,創作量豐碩。

追尋她的附中學長五月天玩團的風氣與腳步,季欣霈依然相信她的搖滾明星夢可以成真。

「這些年,我始終覺得還沒有把自己想實驗的音樂呈現出來,幾經陣痛式的調整,終於又找到兩位夥伴,算是可以再開始玩玩自己滿意的後龐克音樂曲風!」

外型有些神似日本女星廣末涼子的季欣霈,長相甜美、有著淺淺的酒窩,具有當偶像歌手的本錢。但「椰子」想當音樂領航者,而不是只以漂亮臉蛋取勝的偶像。

不過,玩「後龐克」曲風的樂團很多,但要玩出風格卻很難。硬要比喻的話,「椰子」之於季欣霈,就像阿密特之於張惠妹,是一種創新,和往前踏一大步引導歌迷品味的使命感。

首波單曲〈綺夢〉就大膽戳刺許多人將夢想當做從現實中竄逃的「藉口本質」,迴響熱烈。季欣霈唱道:「越是鼓噪不安,越是期待快點睡。在夢裡百無禁忌,你意猶未盡,想再拗個點心;天亮之後,你會在我胃裡。」

這首歌採用了台灣樂壇首見的獨特編曲方式,先由吉他以「速彈」技術拉開序幕,像是急於墜入夢境的人;在第一個八拍後,聽者以為歌聲就要開始之際,硬是再拖長8拍,讓迫不急待的情緒更被激起,整首歌洋溢既甜蜜又充滿陷阱的感受。

「椰子的英文Coconuts直接譯音『摳摳那』,你要聽我的甜美,我偏要摳摳你的痛處,」季欣霈笑說。

樂團的精神就是集體創作,每一首歌都先有曲子,然後由3名團員反覆激盪,創造出「流暢、旋律感強烈、熱血吵鬧」的獨特風格。

椰子不亂築空中樓閣,除了計畫明年發行專輯外,也希望能成為台灣第一個「風格音樂製作團體」,像知名歌手黃耀明在香港的「人山人海工作室」一樣,以獨立精神為主流歌手製作專輯;目前也已和電視歌唱節目出身的創作才女歌手徐佳瀅、魏如萱進行專輯合作。

「椰子不是瞎熱血,而是要展現一種活出哲學性和藝術性的青春!」季欣霈說。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

The Coconuts Experimental Attitude

Eric Lin /tr. by Geoff Hegarty and Sophia Chen

The growth of the independent music scene and the enthusiastic support it receives from its large number of fans has become quite a striking element of Taiwan's rock music development over the past decade. Bands producing experimental or avant-garde music, usually heavily individualistic in style and lacking any commercial support from mainstream record companies, have been able to attract a diverse and expanding number of fans. With their emphasis on experimentation and challenge, the band Coconuts is a good example.


Inside Coconuts' somewhat shambolic studio near National Taiwan Normal University, 20-plus electric guitars hang on the wall.

The band comprises three members: lead vocalist and keyboard player Ji Xinpei, guitarist Han Likang and drummer Lai Shengwen. Established less than a year ago, the band has released only three singles, but has already attracted attention-perhaps because its three members were already familiar faces on the music scene.

Lead vocalist Ji Xinpei is in fact an outstanding graduate of National Taiwan University with a major in accounting. Ji gained her first experience of playing in a band when she was a student at the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University. She took part in a number of music contests during university, and with some of her fellow senior-high-school alumni, set up a band called APAY, which gave her the first experience of playing live in front of an audience.

In 2003, not long after the band started, their talent was discovered by musical producer Will Lin, and their first single "Blue" was released in 2004. In the same year, the band won the honors for Viewers' Choice at the Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival. Their debut album The Lead Vocalist was released in 2006, the singer's vibrant voice winning them countless fans. But afterwards when both the guitarist and the drummer were called up for military service, and the bassist won admission to a graduate institute, they were forced to disband.

After saying farewell to the band, Ji experienced a low ebb in her life. She considered giving up singing and writing music, but eventually she used music to help herself face reality. The disappointment and despair turned to hope, and became the inspiration for new songs. So in 2008, she restarted her career and released two albums Life and Little World.

Aiming for a future like her senior-high classmates Mayday, Ji believes unconditionally in her dream of becoming a rock star.

"Over the years, I have always felt that I haven't really been able to make the kind of music I want. After going through some rather painful transformations, finally I found two partners to help me kick off with some post-punk material."

With her cute dimples, Ji looks a bit like Japanese actress Ryoko Hirosue. There's no doubting her potential to become a successful pop singer, but the Coconuts want to be known as the best musically, not just pretty faces.

The song "Dreamer" tries to deflate the dreams to which so many become addicted in order to escape from reality, and has gained an enthusiastic response from fans. Ji sings: "The worse I feel, the more I want to escape to sleep / In dreams there are no restraints / You're hanging around waiting for a bite / After dawn, you'll be in my stomach."

The song features some unique musical arrangements not heard before in Taiwanese rock music. Fast guitar riffs kick off the melody, like a person falling into the dream world. But after the first eight beats, just when listeners are expecting the vocal to begin, surprisingly there's another eight-beat break, leaving one longing for more. It's a sweet song, but full of traps and surprises.

"A transliteration of 'Coconuts' into Chinese conveys a meaning something like: unveiling the scars-you listen to my sweet voice, yet I want to touch your pain," says Ji. "Coconuts doesn't want to make loud music for loud music's sake: we want to show a philosophical and artistic side to life and music."

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