In lyrics on recent albums, Ashin has alluded to several cultural icons notably the Chinese mythical monkey-god Sun Wu-Kong, Mickey Mouse, Superman, Neil Armstrong and Che Guevara. Ashin has also cited movies and novels as inspiration for his songs including "Viva Love" which was inspired by avant-garde Taiwanese director Tsai Ming Liang's 1994 movie, Vive L'Amour and the song "Armour" which was influenced by a Chinese drama 《孽子》and Haruki Murakami's novel, Kafka On the Shore.
Formation and Early Years : So Band
Mayday evolved from So Band which was formed by Ashin, Monster and the first drummer Qian You Da in 1995 while they were studying in The Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan . They were later joined by Masa and Stone, who were attending the same school. After graduation, the members went to different universities but continued to cut their teeth performing in pubs and eateries. They were also actively involved in promoting the growing rock music trend in Taiwan . In 1997, the band registered under the moniker Mayday who described them as "the ones who would usher in the sound of the future". In June 1998, they also released the Embrace《擁抱》 compilation album for which they took on most of the songwriting, production and recording duties.
In 1999, Guan You became the band's fourth drummer and they went on to release their first full-length studio album 《五月天第一張創作專輯》under Rock Records on July 7th, 1999. Their debut received critical acclaim and gained a following among the . It went on to move more than 300,000 copies, a considerable feat for a new band in the then pessimistic and saturated music industry. The tracks "Peter and Mary" 「志明與春嬌」and "Embrace" 「擁抱」 also caught on among the youth, and became the top songs in the KTV list. "Peter and Mary" was one of the top ten songs of the year according to the The Association of Music Workers in Taiwan . In fact, "Peter and Mary" has been acknowledged by Mayday's Ashin as the "song that brought them from the north of Taiwan to the south, allowing everyone to recognise Mayday." On the 28th of August, they held their first large-scale performance called "168 Performances 「第168場演唱會」," cementing their position as one of the rising bands in Taiwan.
Release of Viva Love and People Life, Ocean Wild :
The band's second album Viva Love 《愛情萬歲》was released 7th July, 2000. Sales of Viva Love exceeded their previous album, shifting more than 350,000 copies. Additionally, Viva Love won them the "Best Band" award at the 12th Golden Melody Awards . Mayday also held a series of concerts called "Ten Thousand Youths Standing Up" in Taipei City, Zhang Hua and Gaohsiung City. The concerts were famous for having the most concert-goers in 2000.. They also released an accompanying soundtrack.
After Masa's official release from the military, the band regrouped and made a return to the music industry. To mark the event, Mayday held their City of the Sky 「天空之城」 concert on the 16th of August 2004 at the Taipei Stadium . The concert attracted nearly 400,000 fans which broke the record for most concert-goers at a concert, a record previously held by Michael Jackson.
On the 11th of November 2003, the band also released their 4th studio album Time Machine 《時光機》. Sales of the album hit more than 15,000 within two days , with Mayday seeing no decline in their popularity despite their hiatus. The Time Machine also won Mayday their second "Best Band" award at the 15th Golden Melody Awards.
In the summer of 2004, Mayday also participated in the making of an accompanying soundtrack for the movie 《五月之戀》in which they also presented new arrangements of some of their old songs. Guitarist Stone also had a supporting role in the movie.
5th of November 2004 saw the release of their critically acclaimed 5th studio album God's Children Are All Dancing/Flying Angels With A Falling Soul 《神的孩子都在跳舞》. This album used the simultaneous recording technique to create the distinctive "band" sound of their past albums and was specially recorded in Kawaguchi-to, Japan. In 2005, they also released a best of compilation album Just My Pride ，which included six new songs and favourites culled from previous albums.
Final Home Concerts :
Near the end of 2004, Mayday embarked on an ambitious worldwide series of concerts called Final Home - When We Are All Together「Final Home 當我們混在一起」. This took them round the world to America, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan. The concerts lasted for six months until early 2006. A compilation of live performances from those concerts were released in a DVD-CD format and simply titled 《Final Home》.
Not content with performing on the ground, Mayday also took to the top of the Taiwan 101 building to perform. Called the "Nearest to the Sky Concert"/"Our Heads Reaching the Sky Concert" 「史上最接近天空演唱會」, Mayday performed at a height of nearly 390.6 metres from the ground.
Continuing the Dream :
Born to Love 《為愛而生》was released on the 29th of December 2006, with Mayday organising an autograph session lasting ten hours that became the first in 2007. In conjunction with their new album and sponsored by Le Tea, they also held Born to Love 《五月天 le power 天使，為愛而生新歌演唱會》 concerts around Taiwan. Tickets to these concerts were packaged within the first edition of the Born to Love albums, and fans formed lines overnight in order to get their hands on the actual tickets that allowed them entrance into the concerts. Mayday played a total of 12 concerts, and the best performances are compiled into a DVD that was packaged with the third edition of the Born to Love album.
2007 also saw the release of Jump! 《離開地球表面》, which included several new songs, live performances from the concert tour of the same name and the promotional tune Going Crazy 《抓狂》 for the video-game Halo 3. Included also is a duet with singer Cheer Chen, Elope to the Moon《私奔到月球》. Not to be outdone by the previous year, Mayday held a concert 《突然很想見到你》on January 1 of 2008 that lasted from 1:00 AM to around 6:00 AM.
Presently, Mayday are in the midst of their Returning to the Surface of the Earth 《回到地球表面》 concerts. They have also begun planning for their 8th studio album, which is slated to be released in the later half of 2008.
*Real Name: Chen Hsin Hung
*Date of Birth: 6 December 1975
*Place of Birth: Taipei, Taiwan
*Real Name: Wen Shang Yi
*Date of Birth: 28 November 1976
*Place of Birth: Hsin-Chu, Taiwan
*Real Name: Shih Chin-hang
*Date of Birth: 11 December 1976
*Place of Birth: Taipei, Taiwan
*Real Name: Tsai Shen-yen
*Date of Birth: 25 April 1977
*Place of Birth: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
*Instrument: Bass, Guitar, Piano, Harmonica
*Real Name: Liu Yen-ming
*Date of Birth: 28 July 1973
*Place of Birth: Miaoli, Taiwan
*Instrument: Drums, Keyboards
''This is a list of the major concerts held by Mayday wihin Taiwan. It does not include campus performances, autograph cum performance sessions or year-end galas.''
Awards and Accolades
Mayday have long been regarded as one of the best bands in the Chinese music industry and have been hailed as "Asia's First Heavenly Band" or "Taiwan's Heavenly Band" by the media.
*Gui Guan Hotpot
*Ford Motor Company ACTIVA
*Uni-President Enterprises Corporation
*2003 National Games
*2004 World Youth Games
*7-Eleven Hello Kitty campaign and ibon
*Cathay United Commercial Bank Co., Ltd.
*2005 Hakka Flower Festival
*Le power Beverages
*2007 福滿多方 Instant Noodles
*2008 Taipei International Book Exhibition
On his own as a songwriter and lyricist, Ashin has worked with Wang Lee Hom on his Heroes of the Earth album. He has also written for various other artistes including Fish Leong, Aska Yang on the song Onion, Angelica Lee, Jolin Tsai, Sandee Chen and . Vocals-wise, he has collaborated with Stefanie Sun twice on Mayday's 4th album Time Machine and on the upbeat track First Day which also included F.I.R. He has also dueted with Cheer Chen on the song 'Eloping to the Moon.' A visual arts and design student in high school, Ashin has also dabbled in the design area, working notably with graphic designer No2good on a line of T-shirts by the name of Stay Real and designing a dogtag player for BenQ Music's Player. As an author, Ashin has released two books called Happy.BIRTH.day which he called a "book of rock poems" and his latest book Escape to Japan , which is a travelogue reflection on Japan.
Other Members' Collaborations
The other members of Mayday have also worked with other artistes mainly in the areas of songwriting and producing. Masa and Monster have helped with songwriting and instrument playing duties on tracks by fellow Rock Records artistes Fish Leong, Victor Huang and Ding Dang. Both Monster and Stone have also produced albums, notably Monster for Ding Dang's debut album and Stone for Victor Huang's 2007 album.