The youthful, fresh-faced girl sitting at the cafe table, wearing a simple white cotton shirt and no makeup is friendly, open and disarmingly nice. It’s like expecting to meet Wednesday Addams and getting a young Christina Ricci instead. Her companion — tall, dark and as lanky as Nick Cave — embodies an infinitely cool bass player persona.
They are the voice and backbone of My Skin Against Your Skin: Andrea Huang (黃盈誼) and Yu Si-lu (尤世儒), both formerly of popular band Rabbit Is Rich (兔子很有錢).
Stripped of her heavy, almost Gothic makeup and glittering gowns, Huang seems more vulnerable. On stage she’s gained notoriety for whipping her hair maniacally and growling out terse, emotively dark lyrics to the raging punk-indie sound of her band. In person, her speech is often punctuated by pauses that belie a more thoughtful disposition.
Rabbit Is Rich disbanded last year when an artistic riff divided the group. “After we played together for two years, we tried to write new songs, but we found a creative difference between our guitar player and us, so we decided to leave the band,” said Huang.
Rabbit Is Rich was “just for fun” said Yu. After several years together “we wanted to focus on the music.”
Their current band name was inspired by a short film/advertisement for YSL called Your Skin Against My Skin, said Huang, who “found the mood so sexy and mysterious.” The songs of My Skin Against Your Skin share these traits and are a natural progression of both Huang and Yu’s artistic maturation. They’ve gone past punk riffs and screaming vocals to multi-textured, more soulful music.
With a shared creative vision, they searched for a guitar player, auditioning seven over two months. They tried all kinds, said Huang: “We didn’t want to limit who auditioned, [they] didn’t need to fit in any kind of music style — that’s too confining.” They were more concerned with finding someone that would want to try new things.
WHAT: My Skin Against Your Skin with 2 Acres Plowed
WHERE:Brickyard, B1, 507, Jhongshan 2nd Rd, Cianjin Dist, Kaohsiung City (高雄市前金區中山二路507號B1)
WHEN: Tomorrow from 9:30pm
ADMISSION: NT$350 for men, NT$150 for women, with an open (free) bar from 9pm to 11pm. After 11pm the price of admission includes one drink
After choosing guitarist Michii Hayashi (林盈一), and a new drummer, Da Ye Lang (程湛文) in January, the band came up with new material very quickly. “We make [the music] together, we jam in the practice room — it’s very spontaneous,” said Huang.
Her focus is on the story behind the songs. “We want our music to be like the raw footage of a movie or like a sound track,” she said, referencing Little Miss Sunshine, a darkly moving comedy about American beauty pageants for children. Their intention is to write 10 songs that “feel like a fast car,” said Huang.
Future plans include recording an album and doing more overseas shows. My Skin Against Your Skin will play in Hong Kong in December. “If anyone would like to help us do overseas gigs, please contact us,” said Huang. For now they are touring Taiwan, with a show tomorrow in Kaohsiung at Brickyard, Sept. 4 in Taichung at 89K, and at the Rock In Taichung Festival on Sept 5.
The new material resonates more intrinsically than the group’s previous songs.
“It is a deep trip to understand yourself — love, dreams, courage, the conflict between dreams and society — this point between the two ... You should listen to this voice in your mind,” said Huang.
“We are confused and face problems, the conflict between dreams and real life — you don’t encourage yourself so you don’t
feel confident in yourself,” she
says, leaning her petite frame over the table for emphasis, her eyes taking on the same strange luminescence that they do when she is performing. “Everyone should listen to themselves.”