Going by their gothic dressing on the cover of their second album, Cherry Boom isn’t associated with the Chinese term “guai guai”(goody goody) by too many people, even if that’s the name of the album. But they’re not trying to be intentionally obtuse, and the 4 Taiwanese girls gave the UrbanWire the chance to discover more about them.
Formed in 2003, Cherry Boom is a Taiwanese rock band, that consists of Zha Zha (vocalist), Xiao Qian (bassist), Gua (guitarist) and Da Tian (drummer). Signed on by Universal Music in 2006, the quartet released their first album, Dear Prince that same year.
In May 2007, they released their second album, Guai Guai
Now, onto the explanation for the second album’s unique title, The Chinese word “guai” usually describes someone as very obedient. But when used consecutively, the phrasing appears pretentious as if that person is overdoing the good and cute routine.
So rather than act in such an irritating and petulant manner, Cherry Boom wish to portray their real selves through their music. So the girls opted to call the album Guai Guai, as a form of rejection to that goody-two-shoes moniker, explained Xiao Qian.
The lack of agreement as to which genre Cherry Boom belonged to was an issue that bothered them initially, and which inspired them to write “Se Cai (Colours)”, another song from their latest album. However, they later decided they didn’t want to limit and compromise their songs just to fit it into a certain genre, opting instead, to write songs that best represent them. So “it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand or don’t like our songs. As long as we have a space to present our colours, we‘ll do our best”, said Xiao Qian.
It’s just as hard for them to agree on a favourite song from the album, Zha Zha said that she likes “Qi (7)” because it was written based on her thoughts, imagination and real life experience. She added that the song also conveyed one’s innermost thoughts and what we want to tell our friends. Gua fancies “Ting Yuan (Garden)” because it’s the first time she got to use an acoustic guitar to perform rock music, while Xiao Qian prefers the title track because it’s simple and lively. But she warned that listening to the song too many times can leave a person in low spirits.
Moving away from the album, the girls revealed some quirky bits about themselves.
When asked if Cherry Boom was as rebellious in real life as their music suggested, Xiao Qian revealed that Gua once had a fierce fight with her family because of music, and they even wondered “why is she still so rebellious despite already being a grown up”. Yet, if not for this rebellious streak in her, perhaps Cherry Boom wouldn’t have come into existence.
On the subject of fights, Cherry Boom claimed that they are very democratic when it comes to settling disputes and making decisions. If they have differing opinions, like for example when Xiao Qian wants to use an acoustic guitar for a song, but Gua insists otherwise, preferring instead to use an electric guitar, both will be asked to record a demo of their ideas and present it to the group, which culminates in a vote on whose version to use. Zha Zha quipped, “This shows we’re very strict with our music!”
Being a talented group that composes its own songs, the members of Cherry Boom shared their secrets behind their success as songwriters. For Xiao Qian, she needs peace and quiet, which means no music and no TV at all. Oh, and maybe she’ll light a candle for illumination purposes. For Zha Zha, there’s no better time to compose than midnight, as she says the thoughts come naturally to her at such hours. Gua, on the other hand, has no preference with regards to time, because she revealed that she can’t compose a song on the spot. Rather she needs a situation to draw inspiration from, for example, if she just had a fight with someone, or if she just got scolded, she would immediately pen down her feelings, which ultimately leads to a song.
Even though Cherry Boom haven’t collaborated with any other singers or groups to date, the girls revealed that Wu Yue Tian (Mayday), whom Da Tian is a great fan of, would be the one they would love to work with. They believe that there’s a lot they can learn from the ones they believe have set the benchmark in the Taiwanese rock scene.
On a parting note, if the girls weren’t given a recording contract, what would they be doing instead? “Playing the guitar”, answered Gua without hesitation. The others laughed before saying that they would probably still be a band, and going around places to perform like they have been doing.