RICEMAGNET
.TAIPEI | HONG KONG
.alternative. indie. folk. rock.

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RICEMAGNET - BAND MEMBERS

Yi-Ching Chung
Guitars / Lead Vocals

Yi-Ching Chung started playing music in 1991 and was the winner of various singing competitions in Victoria. He was featured on cable television in Vancouver as the finalist of a singing competition.

Influences include: Our Lady Peace, Radiohead, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Andy Mckee, Jimi Hendrix, Maroon 5, U2, The Queen, Beatles

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David Ma
Guitars / Bass / Vocals

David Ma started playing bass in 1996 and attended the Bass Institute of Technology at the Musicians Institute, Los Angeles, in 1998.

David Ma was the bass player for Whalebone, Cyan VIII, Helter Skelter, Charisma, Popcorn and DSC for various periods and has performed in schools, bars and concert halls of Hong Kong, China, Korea and the USA in front of audience sizes ranging from 3 to 3,000. He was the outstanding bassist for the 2000 Warehouse Band Competition for the work with Cyan VIII and has also played on several albums of mainstream artists and television commercials in Hong Kong.

Influences include: Chris Isaak, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mr Big, Guns N Roses

See www.davidmabass.com for more details.


REVIEWS

Interview with David Ma of RICEMAGNET by bc Magazine, issue 260, 17 July 2008:

"Raw and Unplugged
bc Unplugged returns with three original bands: RICEMAGNET, Hungry Ghosts and Red Star Rising. Check them out at The Wanch (54 Jaffe Road. Wanchai, 2861 1621) on July 17. The gig starts at 9:30pm and entry is free.

Formed in 1999 and based both in Taipei and Hong Kong, RICEMAGNET describe their music as “Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Wu Bai & China Blue”. Translation: a mash-up of sharp guitar, hoarse vocals and some personal and heart-melting lyrics. The band is David Ma on bass and vocals with Yi Ching Chung on guitar and vocals. For bc unplugged, David Ma will play with guest drummer Eric Ng.

You are based here while Yi Ching Chung resides in Taipei. How does the band work?
Our band is always experimenting with different combinations and the ‘Hong Kong chapter’ of the band is usually me covering vocals and guitars with Eric Ng as guest drummer. We have to re-arrange the songs and strip them down, particularly for an unplugged setting, but this way, Yi Ching’s songwriting craft actually shines more. Yi Ching writes all the songs and my inputs are arrangements and sometimes lyrics.

Tell us something about the songs?
The End is an old song from 1999 and will be in our upcoming EP. It is about the sad realization of the end of a relationship. Also check out Eric’s signature groove on Losing. We are quite lucky to have recruited this veteran of rock whose credits include Chyna and Danny Summer’s Visa Band and who has been helping to shape our sound from 2007.

Any favourite unplugged albums?
Baja Sessions by Chris Isaak and Mr Big’s Unplugged Live at the Hard Rock. They represent the two ends of the spectrum – the most primal and the most technical in acoustic guitars. Also the two releases from local singer-songwriter May Ip, who moved to Canada but was active in Hong Kong in the mid-’90s. She inspired me to become a performing musician.

What, for you, is the essential element in an unplugged gig?
An open heart to match the heart of our music. Acoustic music requires the audience to pay attention and get involved emotionally."

The above interview can be found on bc Magazine's website, and see review of the gig below:

Review by Nick Bookman, RICEMAGNET at bc Unplugged at The Wanch, 17 July 2008:

"Well, it’s that time of the month again. It’s bc Unplugged # 2 at The Wanch. Thursday, 17-7-08. Only three bands on the bill tonight, as opposed to five on the debut show. We’ve got RICEMAGNET, Hungry Ghost and Red Star Rising. Nice Oriental connection with the names - “Rice”, “Hungry Ghost” and “Red Star”. Good sort of interconnecting vibe. I’ve arrived early at The Wanch. About 20 people inside. It’s not as frisky as Session # 1, when the US Navy showed up to support their shipmate in his set of scintillating strummage, but I’ ve got a good seat by the door where I can mumble inanities and scrawl irrelevancies. All part of the job. Young Bjorn from Beijing is opposite me. He’s a rock scribe there,on a brief holiday in Hong Kong. I wonder how his review will turn out. We seem to be writing at different times about different things… Meanwhile, “Life Is A Bitch” by The Bastards is on the jukebox. Cool!!!

All the bands will play about 45 minutes. Up first are Rice Magnet, a power trio comprising Dave Ma on vox/gtr, Ken Ling on lead guitar and Eric Ng on drums. I’m wondering where Simon is. Not like him to miss his own magazine’s showcase. I’m writing this down as he walks through the door. Co-Incidence? Cause and Effect? Wishful Thinking? Instant Gratification? “You’ve missed about 10 seconds of the show, mate”!” Dave has a deep, sonorous voice. I’m thinking a little bit Nick Cave, some Pete Murphy (Bauhaus), but the style is more nu-gothfolkdelic with a touch of Southern rock in the guitar solos, bit of Allman Brothers Band perhaps. Meanwhile, Steve Cray sidles up and remarks on the singer’s sort of similarity to Elvis. Whatever, it works. Steve also likes the way Dave treats his vocals, using effects and overdubs of sorts to create a choir sound. Something like that, I was kind of drifting off in an ethereal bliss at the time. A shorthand review of the set would be in a similar style and mood to Reign Lee, albeit more macho and muscular. Songs include “End of the Affair” (the opening song), “Mood”, “Losing” and “The End” from their debut CD “Never Let Go”. There’s a Chris Isaak cover, “King without a Castle” and a new tune called “Forget”."

The full interview can be found on the bc Unplugged website. For photos of the gig, also see bc Unplugged.

Review of RICEMAGNET's Never Let Go, by Ben Sin from Beats Magazine, November 2007:

"RICEMAGNET's new album, Never Let Go, is a strong rock effort from top to bottom. Mixing Mandarin and English lyrics, this Taipei / Hong Kong based band specializes in slower alternative rock, with a sound that resembles early 90s styled Red Hot Chili Peppers. "These Painful Words", the best track on the album, is a five minute anthem with sharp vocals and even sharper guitar. Well worth a listen."

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