Formed in 1995, the Taiwanese band CHTHONIC, now under the Universal Music/Spinefarm Records banner, features a blend of unique oriental melody and heavy metal music. CHTHONIC has released eight albums recounting stories of struggles against authoritarian repression that have touched fans around the globe. Throughout the years, CHTHONIC has toured the world, and performed in various world-class music festivals, including Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic in Japan, Wacken Open Air in Germany, Ozzfest in the US, and Download in the UK. With over five-hundred performances in more than thirty countries, CHTHONIC has topped music charts in both Taiwan and Japan and enjoys a broad fanbase around the world. Additionally, the band recently won Taiwan’s own Grammy — the Golden Melody Award – in the Best Music Group category.
Beyond their musical impact, CHTHONIC has also focused their interests and strengths on social and political concerns both past and present within Taiwan. The band’s in-depth lyrics have historically focused on accounts of the country’s inhabitants fighting against repressive regimes in history that textbooks refused to tell in addition to their public displays of support for social movements and human rights activities, including last year’s Sunflower Movement and this year’s student protests against the Ministry Of Education’s adjustments in high school curriculum guidelines.
Beyond CHTHONIC, Lim also serves as the lead vocalist of a band that he formed with former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman, Metal Clone X, which has released two albums in Taiwan and Japan. Lim has also organized two of the most well known music festivals — the Formoz Festival and Megaport Festival — with participation from the likes of Muse, Megadeth, and Moby and was behind the Say Yes To Taiwan and With Justice We Cure This Nation concerts that focused on public issues such as transitional justice.
Lim was one of the co-founders of live houses including Zeitgeist; this year, he launched the most successful crowdfunding site in Taiwan called Free Bird. In addition to music events, Lim has served two terms as chair of Amnesty International Taiwan, a board member of the Memorial Foundation Of 228, and has been active in human rights activities. Freddy has been honored with the President’s Award by Taiwan’s National Cultural Association, and founded New Power Party, a new political party in Taiwan. In less than one year of its founding, the New Power Party has become the third largest party in Taiwan besides the two major political parties. In June, Lim announced his bid for legislature.
Twenty years after the band’s founding and seventy years after the end of World War II, CHTHONIC has decided to hold a Formosa Defenders outdoor concert in Liberty Square in Taipei on December 26th, 2015. The concert will feature all of CHTHONIC’s classic songs, and the finest presentation of its unique oriental metal style, while blending in the ideas and spirit of anti-repression and bringing about change to the nation that CHTHONIC has always stressed in its music. It will be CHTHONIC’s largest scale outdoor concert, and fans from around the world are invited to take part.
The remaining four members of the band — bassist Doris Yeh, guitarist Jesse Liu, drummer Dani Wang, and keyboardist CJ Kao — have been supportive of Lim’s ideas, as well as his decision. Therefore, the band collectively decided to hold the Formosa Defenders concert to show their determination to send Lim into the parliament to change Taiwan and change the world.
CHTHONIC chose the Liberty Square as the venue for the Formosa Defenders concert, because it’s a temple built to worship the dictator Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] who later went into exile in Taiwan after being defeated. This well-known location represents the authoritarian regime of the old times that the band references regularly in its music, and also the venue for many social movements. It is, thus, the most suitable location for CHTHONIC’s twentieth anniversary concert.
The Formosa Defenders concert is supported by various music companies and travel agencies overseas, which helped to arrange a special concert itinerary for fans abroad. Those who participate will be able to take part in a special tour hosted by CHTHONIC novel writer Vader Chiu of historic places referenced in the band’s lyrics as well as an exclusive meet-and-greet with CHTHONIC and a Christmas Eve party. Further details will be released soon.