Mayday (Taiwanese band)

Mayday (Chinese: 五月天; pinyin: Wǔ Yuè Tiān; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Gō͘-goe̍h-thiⁿ), is a Taiwanese band that debuted in 1999 with five members, Monster (leader, lead guitar), Ashin (vocal), Stone (rhythm guitar), Masa (bass) and Guan You (drums).

X06Taiwan 20061105-36.jpg
MayDay holding different parts of XBOX360 at X06 Taiwan in 2006.
Years active1997–present
Musical career
Past members
  • Qian You Da (錢佑達) (drummer)
  • Chen Yung-chang (陳泳錩) (drummer)
  • Robert (任柏璋) (drummer)

Formerly So Band, they came to be known as Mayday in 1997, with the name originating from Masa's online nickname.[1] Mayday won the Golden Melody Award for Best Musical Group in 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2012.[2]



Formation (1995–1997)Edit

Mayday evolved from So Band which was formed by Ashin, Monster and the first drummer Qian You Da (錢佑達) in 1995 while they were studying in The Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University(師大附中). They were later joined by Masa and Stone, who were attending the same school. After graduation, the members went to different universities but continued to perform in pubs and eateries. They were also actively involved in promoting the growing rock music trend in Taiwan.[3] In 1997, the band registered under the moniker Mayday[1] in order to join the Formoz Festival (野台開唱). This would become the official name of the musical crew.

Early years (1997–1999)Edit

Shortly after participating in the Formoz Festival (野台開唱), the band began to actively send demo tapes to various record companies in the hope of sealing a record deal. Their demo impressed Rock Records executive Jonathan Lee (李宗盛)[4] who described them as "the ones who would usher in the sound of the future".[4]

As a result, they signed their first record deal with Rock Records in 1998. In the same year, they also took part in the release of the Taiwan Independent Compilation Album 《ㄞ國歌曲》by indie music label TCM (角頭音樂) which included their first studio recording Motor Rock《軋車》.[5] In June 1998, they also released Embrace《擁抱》 compilation album for which they took on most of the songwriting, production and recording duties.[6]

In 1999, after their third drummer Robert from Loh Tsui Kweh Commune had left (the second drummer was Chen Yung-chang 陳泳錩,[7] the ex-member from a band called "whynot" (disbanded)), Guan You (冠佑) joined the band and completed Mayday. They went on to release their first full-length studio album Mayday's First Album《第一張創作專輯》under Rock Records on 7 July 1999. Their debut received critical acclaim, and they gained a following in Taiwan. It went on to sell more than 300,000 copies, a considerable feat for a new band in the then pessimistic and saturated music industry.[4] They were also nominated for the 11th Golden Melody Awards under the category of Best Band (十一届金曲獎最佳演唱團體獎).[8] The tracks Peter and Mary 《志明與春嬌》and Embrace 《擁抱》 also caught on among the youth, and became the top songs on the KTV Chart. Peter and Mary was one of the top ten songs of the year according to the Association of Music Workers in Taiwan (中華音樂人交流協會). In fact, Peter and Mary has been acknowledged by Ashin as the "song that brought them from the north of Taiwan to the south, allowing everyone to recognize Mayday." On 28 August, they held their first large-scale performance called The 168th Performance 「第168場演唱會」, cementing their position as one of the rising bands in Taiwan.

Viva Love and People Life, Ocean Wild (1999–2001)Edit

The band's second album Viva Love 《愛情萬歲》was released 7 July 2000. Sales of Viva Love exceeded their previous album, shifting more than 350,000 copies.[9] Additionally, Viva Love won them the "Best Band" award at the 12th Golden Melody Awards (十二屆金曲獎最佳樂團獎).[10] Mayday also held a series of concerts called Hundred Thousand Youths Standing Up 《十萬青年站出來演唱會》 in Taipei City, Changhua City, and Kaohsiung City.

In 2001, Mayday worked for the first time, on a movie soundtrack and accompanying score for the movie Migratory Bird 《候鳥》which starred Rene Liu and Huang Pin Yuan. Two months later, Mayday released their third album People Life Ocean Wild 《人生海海》, sales of which hit more than 35,000 copies after just a month.[11]

Temporary hiatus (2001–2003)Edit

In view of Masa's impending military call up, Mayday decided to take a temporary hiatus at the height of their popularity. This led to their farewell concerts titled Where Are You Going? 「你要去哪裡」from 18 August 2001 to 1 September 2001. Tuo La Ku and Japanese rock band Glay were special guests at the concert. Memorably for many fans, guitarist Stone chose the occasion to propose to his girlfriend and the proposal song was also included in the live concert album. In November 2001, the members temporarily disbanded with Masa going into the military, Stone heading to England to learn production techniques and Guan You to Los Angeles in order to hone his drumming skills. Meanwhile, Monster and Ashin remained in Taiwan with Rock Records, taking up recording and production duties for other label mates.

Return to the music scene (2004)Edit

During their hiatus, Mayday released the autobiographical documentary titled The Wings of Dream 《搖滾本事》, with ticket sales hitting more than NT1.2 million in barely three days.[12] They also released an accompanying soundtrack.

After Masa's official release from the military, the band regrouped and made a return to the music industry. To mark the event, Mayday held their City of the Sky 《天空之城》 concert on 16 August 2004 at the Taipei Municipal Stadium. The concert attracted nearly 40,000 fans, which broke the record for the most concert-goers in Taiwan, a record previously held by Michael Jackson.[13][deprecated source]

On 11 November 2003, the band also released their 4th studio album Time Machine 《時光機》. Sales of the album hit more than 15,000 within two days,[14] with Mayday seeing no decline in their popularity despite their hiatus. Time Machine also won Mayday their second Best Musical Group award at the 15th Golden Melody Awards.

In the summer of 2004, Mayday also participated in the making of the soundtrack for the movie Love of May, in which they also presented new arrangements of some of their old songs. Stone also had a supporting role in the movie.

5 November 2004 saw the release of their critically acclaimed 5th studio album God's Children Are All Dancing/Flying Angels with a Falling Soul 《神的孩子都在跳舞》. This album used the simultaneous recording technique to create the distinctive "band" sound of their past albums and was specially recorded at Lake Kawaguchi, Japan. In 2005, they also released a best of compilation album Just My Pride 《知足 最真傑作選》, which included six new songs and favourites culled from previous albums.

Final Home World Tour (2004–2006)Edit

Near the end of 2004, Mayday embarked on an ambitious worldwide tour called Final Home – When We Are All Together World Tour《Final Home 當我們混在一起 世界巡迴演唱會》. This took them around the world to America, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan. The tour lasted for six months until early 2006. A compilation of live performances from those concerts were released in Final Home – When We Are All Together 《Final Home 當我們混在一起》.

Not content with performing on the ground, Mayday also took to the top of Taipei 101 to perform. Dubbed the "Closest to the Sky in History Concert"(史上最接近天空演唱會), the Heads Touch the Sky Concert《頭頂天空昇空演唱會》 took place at a height of nearly 390.6 metres from the ground.

Born to Love and Poetry of the Day After (2006–2008)Edit

Born to Love 《為愛而生》was released on 29 December 2006, with Mayday organizing an autograph session lasting ten hours that became the first in 2007. In conjunction with their new album and sponsored by Le Tea, they also held Born to Love 《五月天 le power 天使,為愛而生新歌演唱會》 concerts around Taiwan. Tickets to these concerts were packaged within the first edition of the Born to Love albums, and fans formed lines overnight in order to get their hands on the actual tickets that allowed them entrance into the concerts. Mayday played a total of 12 concerts, and the best performances are compiled into a DVD that was packaged with the third edition of the Born to Love album.

The year 2007 also saw the release of Jump! (Leaving the Surface of the Earth) 《離開地球表面》, which included several new songs, live performances from the concert tour of the same name and the promotional tune Going Crazy 《抓狂》 for the video-game Halo 3. Included also is a duet with singer Cheer Chen, Elope to the Moon《私奔到月球》. As an additional leg of the Jump!, Mayday concluded the world tour with four Returning to the Surface of the Earth 《回到地球表面》 concerts.

Not to be outdone by the previous year, Mayday held a concert "I am suddenly missing you"《突然很想見到你》on 1 January 2008 that lasted from 1:00 am to around 6:00 am. Mayday's new studio album, Poetry of the Day After 《後青春期的詩》 was released on 23 October 2008. Like Born to Love, the new album had tickets packaged with it. The two "Concert" versions include a ticket for the In the Sky of 100000 You & Mayday concerts to be held at Chung Shan Soccer Stadium, while the "Campus" version includes a ticket for one of the campus concerts that were held around Taiwan.

DNA world tour (2009–2010)Edit

On 19 March 2009, Mayday announced their new World Tour DNA Mayday "Creates" Concert《DNA五月天「創造」演唱會》, which commenced in Hong Kong on 20 May 2009. For the tour, Mayday released two songs, DNA and Unbridled《放肆》. They cooperated with transnational teams for the world tour and added Australia as their tour stop for the first time. A concert called A.N.D – Mayday and Friends was held ten days later, including several bands from Taiwan, such as Tizzy Bac, 1976, and The Chairman, to celebrate Mayday's tenth anniversary since Ming joined the band.

Nominations for the 20th Golden Melody Awards were announced on 15 May 2009, which included You are Not Truly Happy 《你不是真正的快樂》 for Best Song, Ashin for Best Lyricist for the songs The Yet Unbroken Part of My Heart 《我心中尚未崩壞的地方》and Like Smoke《如煙》, as well as, Mayday for Best Band. The band attended the ceremony held on 27 June 2009 and returned with their third Golden Melody Award for Best Band.[15]

The concert stop with the most attention, the Taipei DNA stop set for 26 and 27 September 2009 sold out within a day. Two days later, the band added a third day, 25 September. With that day sold out within three hours as well, a fourth was added for 24 September. This broke Mayday's own record of three consecutive concerts at the Taipei Arena during their last world tour. Furthermore, Mayday's concerts at Taipei Arena was the first to end with power outages that kept Mayday from continuing to perform encores, as they were already paying heavy fines for performing after 11 pm at the venue. On the last day, the 27th, fans continued to encore around 25 minutes after the outage until Ashin sang the last song backstage and asked the fans to finally leave the venue.

At the Taipei concerts, the Kaohsiung concert stop was announced. It was held on 5 December 2009 at the National Stadium (Kaohsiung), which would allow Mayday to hold a "55555 people" concert.[16] It was Mayday's first concert at the stadium.

Second Round and world tour (2011–2015)Edit

On 29 March, Mayday announced the upcoming fall release of their 3D film, 3DNA.[17] Mayday became the very first Taiwanese band to launch their very own 3D movie, the second installations showcases snippets of their concert 諾亞方舟 世界巡迴演唱會 held over 3 years, across 40 cities , over 70 nights.

On 16 December, Mayday released their 8th studio album, Second Round (第二人生). The album was highly anticipated with pre-orders totaling 129958 in one week.[18] It has two versions, named Now Here (明日版) and No Where (末日版). They are different in their rendering of themes and song ordering, reflecting optimistic and pessimistic sentiment respectively about the fabled end of civilization by the year of 2012. This album helped them to win 6 awards from 7 nominations in the 23rd Golden Melody Awards.

In 2013, they played their first live concert in Germany.[19]

In 2014, they performed at the Wembley Arena in London for the initial stop of their "Now Here" concert tour.[20] Also, in their "Now-Here USA tour", they became the first Taiwanese band and the second Chinese artist to perform at the Madison Square Garden on 22 March. (The first one was Jacky Cheung)

History of Tomorrow and Life World Tour (2016–present)Edit

On 21 July 2016, Mayday released their 9th studio album, History of Tomorrow.[21] They won Best Mandarin Album and Ashin also won Best Lyricist for the song "Almost Famous" on the 28th Golden Melody Awards.

On 31 December 2016, Mayday announced their Life World Tour, which kicked off on 18 March 2017 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. On 2 May 2017, Mayday sang the theme song for Love Off the Cuff.

On 31 May 2020, the last day of May, Mayday held their Live In The Sky concert, fulfilling a promise made to their Hong Kong fans in 2006 when they said they would hold a concert every May. The online concert was performed at an empty Taipei Municipal Stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic. The one-hour performance of 13 songs was viewed 42.44 million times online.

Musical style and influencesEdit

Mayday's songs are written mostly in Mandarin with some Taiwanese Hokkien tracks by Ashin, who speaks fluent Hokkien in addition to Mandarin. They are popular for their student band roots, and their ability to capture the zeitgeist of Taiwanese youth in the mid to late 1990s.[22] They are often cited as one of the pioneers of rock music in Taiwan.

Mayday's early style of music was characterised by raw music production that tended towards Hokkien garage rock tunes. They were also vocal advocates on the issue of gay rights, with several songs making oblique references to the issue.[23] As they gained popularity however, the band gradually shed its hard-edged sound and moved towards slicker production and sprawling anthemic songs.

Earlier lyrics written by Ashin centred around themes of teenage angst and growing up. However, in recent albums, Ashin has alluded to several cultural icons notably the Chinese mythical monkey-god Sun Wu-Kong, Mickey Mouse, Superman, Neil Armstrong and Che Guevara. Ashin has also cited movies and novels as inspiration for his songs including "Viva Love" (愛情萬歲) which was inspired by avant-garde Taiwanese director Tsai Ming Liang's 1994 movie, Vive L'Amour[24] and the song "Armour" (武装) which was influenced by a Chinese drama 《孽子》and Haruki Murakami's novel, Kafka on the Shore.[25]

Mayday has made no secret of its admiration of the Beatles whom they cite as influencing their ideals of rock music.[26] The eighth track of their fifth album has a track called John Lennon (約翰藍儂) where the band espouses its dreams to become the "Beatles of the Chinese World" (華人世界的披頭四). Other diverse musical influences include the Irish band U2, the British band Oasis, the Japanese pop music artists Mr. Children,[27] Sting as well as the Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai and China Blue.


Ashin's collaborationsEdit

On his own as a songwriter and lyricist, Ashin has helped Leehom Wang (王力宏) write lyrics for a couple of songs in his Heroes of the Earth (蓋世英雄) and 18 Martial Arts albums. He has also written for various other artistes including Fish Leong, Aska Yang on the song Onion, Angelica Lee, Jolin Tsai, Sandee Chen, Riche Ren, Della, Alien Huang and Jam Hsiao on the song Loving Dearly. Also, he composed the song SHERO specially for S.H.E, which was chosen as the theme song for the 2010 Taipei Flora Expo. Vocals-wise, he has collaborated with Stefanie Sun twice on Mayday's 4th album Time Machine and on the upbeat track First Day which also included F.I.R. He has also dueted with Cheer Chen on the song 'Eloping to the Moon.' In 2008, he dueted with Della on her album "What I loved" and starred in her music video. A visual arts and design student in high school and at Shih Cheng University, Ashin has also dabbled in the design area, working notably with graphic designer No2good (不二良) on a line of T-shirts by the name of Stay Real and designing a dogtag player for BenQ Music's Player. As an author, Ashin has released two books called which he called a "book of rock poems". It includes photos taken by him and lyrics of the songs he wrote for the band the other artists. His latest book Escape to Japan (浪漫的逃亡), which is a travelogue reflection on Japan.

Other members' collaborationsEdit

The other members of Mayday have also worked with other artistes mainly in the areas of songwriting and producing. Masa and Monster have helped with songwriting and instrument playing duties on tracks by fellow Rock Records artistes Fish Leong, Victor Huang and Ding Dang. Both Monster and Stone have also produced albums, notably Monster for Ding Dang's debut album and Stone for Victor Huang's 2007 album.


Studio albumsEdit

Date of release Title Label
7 July 1999 Mayday's First Album
Rock Records
7 July 2000 Viva Love
Rock Records
5 July 2001 People Life, Ocean Wild
Rock Records
11 November 2003 Time Machine
Rock Records
5 November 2004 God's Children Are All Dancing
Rock Records
26 August 2005 Just My Pride Best of Album
知足 最真傑作選
Rock Records
29 December 2006 Born to Love
B'in Music / Rock Records
23 October 2008 Poetry of the Day After
B'in Music / Universal Music Taiwan
16 December 2011 The Second Round
B'in Music / Universal Music Taiwan
13 November 2013 Mayday×五月天 the Best of 1999‐2013
30 December 2013 The Best of 1999-2013
步步 自選作品輯[28]
B'in Music / Rock Records
21 July 2016 History of Tomorrow
B'in Music / Universal Music Taiwan

Live albums and DVDsEdit

Date of release Title Label
30 November 1999 The 168th Performance
Rock Records
21 December 2000 A Hundred Thousand Youths Standing Up
Rock Records
25 December 2001 Where Are You Going?
Rock Records
30 March 2004 City of the Sky
天空之城 復出演唱會
Rock Records
27 May 2005 Final Home – When We Are All Together
Final Home 當我們混在一起
Rock Records
29 July 2007 Leaving the Surface of the Earth
離開地球表面 Jump!
B'in Music
20 March 2009 In the Sky of 100000 You & Mayday
十萬人 出頭天
B'in Music
4 December 2009 D.N.A. Live!
B'in Music
29 March 2010 D.N.A World Tour in Live DVD
B'in Music
16 September 2011 MAYDAY 3DNA/O.S.T.
B'in Music


  • 168 Live (1999)
  • Stand Out Live (2000)
  • Where are you going Live Tour (2001)
  • Union Live (2003)
  • Final Home World Tour (2004–2006)
  • Jump! The World Tour (2007–2008)
  • Back to the ground Tour (2008)
  • D.N.A World Tour (2009–2010)
  • Just Rock It!World Tour (2011–2019)
  • Nowhere World Tour (2011–2014)
  • Life Tour (2017–2019)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Social IncidentsEdit

In 2019, the protests in Hong Kong has drawn global attention, including that in Taiwan. In June 2019, Stone Shi Chin-hang once replied to the netizens' comment related to the protests on his Facebook page, but his response triggered many hostile reports made by pro-China netizens to Facebook. The Facebook page, owing to the reports, was once shut down.[29]


  1. ^ a b "Hitoradio | 人物 | 歌手資料庫 | 五月天 / Mayday". Archived from the original on 19 May 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  2. ^ Jennifer Huang; Maia Huang (5 November 2013). "'Chinese Beatles' want to meet British Beatle at London concert". CNA. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  3. ^ "ÃÖÉ¢£ºÒ¡¹öÀÖ£¬ÄãÔŲ́Íå"¹ºÃÂ𣿠– ¾"²ÊÀÖÆÀ – ÐÂÎŶ¯Ì¬ – ÖйúÒ¡¹öÏÖ³¡×ÊѶÍøÕ¾,Ò¡¹ö,Éú"îÔÚÏÖ³¡". Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "台湾乐队五月天部分资料". Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  5. ^ "五月天_百度百科". Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  6. ^ "请介绍五月天?_雅虎知识堂". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  7. ^ "音速青春: 大家好,我們是五月天". Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  8. ^ "第一十六屆金曲獎完整入圍名單 音樂新聞 KingNet 影音台-影音新聞". 12 May 2005. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Hitoradio‧Hit FM -華人音樂入口指標". Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  10. ^ "中華民國行政院新聞局全球資訊網 - 第十二屆金曲獎得獎名單". Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  11. ^ 五月天看見支票不為動容 Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine(銀河網路電台)2006年12月29日引用
  12. ^ "銀河互動網路". Archived from the original on 7 May 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  13. ^ "台灣樂團五月天天空之城演唱會四萬歌迷駭翻天". Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  14. ^ "銀河互動網路". Archived from the original on 7 May 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  15. ^ 第20屆金曲獎得獎消息 2009年6月27日引用[dead link]
  16. ^ "五月天復刻「DNA」明年2月再登日本武道館". 中時電子報 (in Chinese). Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Mayday to debut their first 3D movie". Asia Pacific Arts. 29 March 2011. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  18. ^ "相信音樂官方網站". Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  19. ^ Mayday Tourdates.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^
  22. ^ "U-town音乐神话 20070428 有你在身旁--五月天-为爱而生专辑――山大视点". 28 April 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Who said Mayday was a sellout?". Taipei Times. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  24. ^ "band – discography". 7 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  25. ^ "网易娱乐频道". Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  26. ^ "五月天:摇滚的温情-人物_青年人". 23 July 2005. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Simply Rock". Taipei Times. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  28. ^ "五月天步步自選作品輯新聞". 聯合追星網.
  29. ^ DailyView網路溫度計; DailyView網路溫度計 (18 June 2019). "【逃犯條例】五月天石頭留言撐香港人 Facebook專頁即時被消失?". 香港01 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2 February 2020.

External linksEdit