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Interview: Supper Moment

“Don’t create music for the market, use music to create your own market”

No matter how many times we speak to local indie-pop stalwarts Supper Moment, they
always surprise us with their humility, energy and distinct lack of cynicism. And that comes
despite them being one of the most popular bands in the scene and having worked tirelessly
to get there for more than a decade. Their continued positivity is something you can’t fake –
these guys genuinely love what they do and they love doing it together. It’s an attitude
mirrored in their music, which is consistently heartfelt, carefully curated and never phoned
in.

In November, Supper Moment return to Clockenflap – their first appearance at Hong Kong’s
biggest music festival in six years. The quartet have come a long way since then, firmly
establishing themselves as the hottest indie property in town and topping the charts
repeatedly in the years since. In the first in a series of features and interviews building up to
Clockenflap, we catch up with the boys and learn how 2017 is progressing…

You guys played your first show outside of Asia this year, a sold out performance in London. You’re one of the headline acts at this year’s Clockenflap and you’ve got a couple of other high profile shows coming up. It seems like an amazing year for you guys...
Hugh: It’s absolutely an amazing year.
Sunny: Going to London was a wonderful experience. We’ve always wanted to use our
language in different places to test whether music really has no boundaries. Although there
were a lot of Hongkongers in the audience, there were many British locals who only spoke
English and that was amazing to see.

You’ve played practically every venue in Hong Kong, you’ve got dedicated fans, you’ve topped the charts and won so many awards. What’s left for you that still excites you as a band?
Hugh: A world tour. We have a map in our band room and we put pins in it…
CK: For the countries we’ve played in.
Martin: Yeah, yeah. We want to fill that map with pins…

You’ve been playing together for over 10 years. How do you think you’ve changed?
Sunny: Wow, that’s a difficult question!
Hugh: I think the most important principle between us is one thing – respect. It might seem
cliché but…
Martin: It’s really important. We respect each other’s opinions when we jam and create music. I think we still have the same goals as we had 10 years ago. We still love music. We love staying in the band room and just jamming for hours, enjoying the product that comes out of the recording studio. We still get that amazing feeling when you hear the finished music. I think that’s the most important thing – we still feel excited when we hear our music.
Hugh: And a lucky thing is that our dreams, goals and pace are quite synchronised. That’s how we’ve been able to stay close throughout the years.

Let’s talk about Clockenflap. As a festival, what do you think it brings to the city and what
has it done to nurture the live music scene in Hong Kong?
Hugh: The festival’s most positive impact is that it increases demand for live music in the city… That and the excitement that it brings every time it comes around. If the music industry in this city is a flat line, Clockenflap creates a wave. Every time the wave comes, by exposing people to a lot of new kinds of music over the course of a few days, you reflect on whether the music in Hong Kong integrates into global music.

Can we ask what songs you’re going to play during your set at Clockenflap?
Sunny: We’ll play news songs created this year.
Hugh: Especially <<靈感床>> (Inspiration Bed) because when we started arranging that song, we aimed for a festival vibe. It’s a lot of handclapping and everybody singing together. It’s like eh-oh- eh-oh, just like that. Please do it together with us!

What advice would you give to a band who one day wants to, like Supper Moment, play on the main stage at Clockenflap?
Hugh: [Our deceased former manager] told us early on we need to be livelier when playing on stage, that the visual stimulus affects the audio stimulus when seeing a band live. When we started out, we all thought we were very hyper and that our actions on stage were already quite exaggerated. But he told us that this wasn’t the case. When you perform for an audience, your actions have to be far more dramatic than normal so that the audience can see and engage with you better.
Sunny: And another quote, from [our label] Redline, is ‘don’t create music for the market, use music to create your own market’. It’s a good advice for a new band.

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