Not content with being a singer, MP and political activist, Chthonic frontman Freddy Lim has added podcast host to his CV. Inspired by the outbreak of COVID-19 in mainland China, Freddy was inspired to launch Metalhead Politics alongside co-host Emily J Wu to talk music, politics and Taiwan.
You’re a singer and an MP already. why did you decide to start Metalhead Politics?
Freddy Lim: “China had the earliest outbreak of COVID-19, but its government tried to cover up information, spread misinformation, and even arrest people who tried to reveal the truth, and the WHO was misled by China to continue to spread misinformation, and made it so many countries couldn’t take anti-epidemic measures in time. Taiwan, as a neighbour of China, has relatively good results in epidemic prevention. I decided to share some different information to international friends, hoping to bring you different constructive ideas. In addition, Chthonic has almost stopped touring since I was elected to Parliament, so I’m taking this opportunity to frequently update fans and friends about the band.”
What can we expect in future episodes?
“People can expect more updates on Chthonic, as well as interesting inside stories that may not have been shared in the past. It will also link to the international situation we care about and share the views of Taiwan and Asia-Pacific.”
What do you say to metalheads who don’t think metal should be political?
“No music or artists should be restricted from sharing any ideas or topics. After all, anything that happens in this world is the source of inspiration for music. In particular, rock is closely related to various injustices in society. To give a voice to oppressed people, and to leave a sound of profound emotions and stories, is the soul of the artist.”
How did Taiwan’s experience with SARS inform the swift reaction to Covid-19?
“Long story short, after SARS, the government established a more efficient cross-department mechanism for dealing with epidemics, and it always stays highly cautious on the information from China or other authoritarian, untransparent states.”
What political challenges are you focusing on this year, as an MP?
“As an independent member of Parliament, to continue many works that have proceeded in my last term, such as deepening Taiwan’s international participation, LGBT rights, and transitional justice [measures to redress human rights abuses].”
How did your collaboration with Matt Heafy, on Supreme Pain For The Tyrant 2020, come about?
“When we were rearranging this song, it happened that Jesse [Black Liu], our guitarist, hung out with Matt on Twitch coincidently, so just naturally we contacted each other and did something cool together. But actually we found out that a few years ago, when we didn’t know each other, Matt and I did interviews where we shared admiration for each other’s music.”
Have Chthonic been working on any new music?
“We are at very early stage of working on new material, and it’s hard to say what it will sound like. But we have had an interesting offer from a music festival which is not for metal. So now we are also rearranging some old songs. Hopefully we will be allowed to put the videos on our YouTube to share to our fans overseas.”
Check out Metalhead Politics here (opens in new tab)