The band “The Unrelentless” has announced its intention to unleash rock n’ roll mayhem on Taipei, a rare convergence that is sure to be a shot in the arm for the local music scene.
The Unrelentless is a formidable recycling of expat gentlemen players who’ve been in Taiwan for some time – with other great bands.
“It’s a transient culture here for foreigners, so there’s a limited pool of musicians. I’m happy to have just one band,” said Aussie Dave Archdall (guitar and vocals) good-humoredly. He has already found considerable notoriety touring around North America and Europe with the Melbourne band “The Sailors,” which rolled out three albums and enjoyed underground success.
‘But that’s all in the past,” Dave said yesterday. “We got back from that tour and the band imploded. I was sick of Melbourne and preferred living here in Taiwan for a number of reasons.”
So Dave returned to Taiwan, reuniting with former “Degenerators” bandmate, Canadian Duncan Cameron (also guitar and vocals), who for the previous three years had been hiding out playing in the country/bluegrass/old-time bands ASS9 and Tarry Bush.
“It was good to come back and have Duncan still here. It took us a while, a year and a half, until we could tolerate each other again, to start playing music,” Dave said. “Now Ryan and Duncan are my best friends in Taiwan. When I’m not at work I’m usually with those two guys.”
A cohesive band took shape six months ago, after recruiting the inimitable drumming talents of Ryan O’Connell, who also drums for the legendary punk band S.U.E. (Selling Us Everything).
“It’s good fun,” said Ryan, a Kiwi who decided to become a drum player when he was 11. “If you’re a musician in Taiwan, you’re doing music because it’s part of who you are; you’re not looking for fame and fortune or doing it for the chicks. I can have the urge to play anywhere,” said Ryan, who says he finds “anything humans do is rhythmical — when they do it properly.” When he’s not tapping on something, Ryan likes watching cooking shows, and describes himself as “a bit of a lazy bastard.”
The three were unable to find something to satisfy their hunger for “loud, primal rock n’ roll,” they formed The Unrelentless “with the intention of injecting some old-school debauchery into Taiwan,” as Duncan put it.
“It’s pretty clear that we share similar tastes in music with respects to appreciating loud, discordant rock and roll,” Duncan added.
“It’s very simple rock n’ roll played in very aggressive way; pure and simple, three or four chords maximum,” Dave explained. “I bring in the songs, they tell me how to play them. We play high-energy rock, with punk attitude. I call it punk because the original punk music pumped up rock. If people come to hear Green Day or NOFX then they’ll probably leave a little disappointed. But if they like Velvet Underground, Modern Lovers, The Stooges or Rolling Stones, it might appeal.”
The Unrelentless have about 10 original songs now, and on Saturday night will be performing “The guilty pleasure blues,” “Missionary man,” and a Chinese song, “Ji Ba (700).”
“When we get about 15 maybe we’ll record in about November,” Dave said, “But the more minimal the better. The kind of music we play is pretty raw, direct, so there’s no point in making it more complicated. Personally, I’d like to use one of those dictaphone recorders so you can hear all the dirt.”
“We’ve had a few gigs in the past few months, but they’ve been low-key,” Dave continued, “like being called to fill in at the last minute at the Underground. This is the first time we felt ready to have our own show. Now we’re ready to play wherever anyone will have us.”
Ryan waxed enthusiastic about “doing a mission around Asia, or going home with these guys and doing a tour of Australia, Canada. That’d be absolutely awesome,” he said. “I think we’re a rocking good time.”
WHAT: The Unrelentless band, with opening act “Good Cop, Gay Cop”
WHEN: Saturday, 10-12 p.m.
WHERE: Bliss Bar & Music Lounge
No. 148, Sec. 4, Xin Yi Rd. Taipei
Tel: (02) 2702-1855