The leader of Mayday steps out with a new Epiphone Les Paul

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

Epiphone welcomes "Monster," --Wen Shang Yi-- to the House of Stathopoulo's elite group of signature artists. Monster formed Mayday in Taiwan in 1997 and has led the band to four Golden Melody Awards for Best Band thanks to his exciting blues-based solos. Mayday is known throughout Greater China as the King of Concert and the incredible lead guitar playing of Monster has led the band all the way. To celebrate Monster's new Signature Ltd. Ed. Mayday Monster Les Paul available exclusively in China and SEA, Epiphone.com spoke to Monster about his new Les Paul and his influences.

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Tell us about designing the Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Mayday Monster Les Paul.

I previously collaborated with the Gibson Custom Shop to release the Gibson Limited Run Mayday Monster Les Paul and it was really well received. I'd like to let more fans have a chance to enjoy playing my signature guitar and when Epiphone reached out to me about creating a limited edition signature guitar for them, I gladly agreed to it.

Why is the Les Paul your favorite guitar model?

When I first started to play rock, it seems that every guitar virtuoso would own a Les Paul and that's how I came to desire owning one myself. In my high school guitar club, one day a senior brought a Les Paul for everyone to try, and that's when I found out how I loved the way a Les Paul sounds--the thickness of the sound, the warmth, as well as the expressiveness for playing rock music.

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

When did you start to play guitar and what inspired you to play?

My first time to start playing guitar was at age 15 or 16 when I began 9th grade. I saw seniors formed their own bands and that's when I realized that playing your own music could make you feel happy and free, and that's something I certainly enjoy all the time.

How was Mayday formed?

Shin (lead singer), Masa (bass) and Stone (guitar) and I met at the same guitar club in school. We later added Ming (drummer) to complete the band. After that, we wrote some songs, recorded a demo and we pretty much sent a copy to every record label. We were really lucky that famous producer Jonathan Lee from Rock Records contacted us and helped us to release our first album, and we have been playing together ever since.

Who inspired your sound? I believe you are a huge fan of the Beatles.

The Beatles are the band we have always looked up to. What they have done with their music is beyond simply expressing a feeling; their music is full of life inspirations, and their philosophical thoughts of life are still influencing people every day. The way they created and experienced their music were also inspiring to us.

Throughout your music journey as a Mayday member, how hard was it to find your inspiration and to create your music?

These days there are many unique types of music out there. There are avant-garde, fresh sounds you've probably never heard of before. We have always been pushing ourselves hard to try to create new sparkles via our works. However, during that journey, we have come to realize that there are certain core values in music that we always need to keep and to protect: the human touch and the emotions in our songs are what we can't afford to lose during the creation.

The Mayday Nowhere Tour played more than 200 concerts around the world last year. How do you keep your concerts fresh and exciting?

The Mayday Nowhere World Tour did lead us to many cities and countries around the world. For us, every concert is like the first time. We know that many fans are there for the first time to join our live concert. Therefore, we have to do our best to meet their expectations, to inspire them, and to touch them with our music. If we are able to do that, we will also be inspired in return. That's why I'm always excited for every concert and am able to keep myself fresh every time.

You also have plenty of followers in the United States. How did you achieve that?

We just hope that more people around the world could hear Mayday's music and anyone from everywhere could follow us through social media such as Facebook, YouTube or Weibo for our latest updates and music. If we are performing in the USA, we'd certainly hope you would come see our gigs.

We heard that you are currently working on a new album, anything you'd like to share with us on that?

Yes, we are currently writing songs for our ninth album. I'm looking forward to share our works with everyone soon.

Which musicians do you listen to and what kind of music would inspire you to create?

The Beatles are the band that all of us love listening to and have found inspiration from since we were young. All those messages in their songs have always been able to carry us through all the ups and downs in our lives. Every time I watch the Beatles' performances on video, I would pay particular attention to John Lennon's Epiphone Casino as it sounds sweet, that sound is inspiring to me.

Which other guitarists do you admire?

I have many guitar icons: Tak Matsumoto from B'z, Slash, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry... just to name a few. All of them have now entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Besides that, we also realize that there are many great guitarists in this world, no matter if he or she is just a regular musician or someone that simply works behind the scenes. What's great about music is that there are really no limits to where you can enjoy it as long as you share that love and understanding with the others.

Are there any other Epiphone guitar models you are interested in trying out?

I own a large number of Epiphone guitars, including the Casino and the Oasis Supernova models. I really like the quality of Epiphone and I think it provides unique sounds in performance. I am happy that now I also have my signature model for Epiphone, and I believe it will help me to create a lot great music to share with everybody.

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Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Mayday Monster Les Paul Gallery:

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

The Epiphone Interview: Monster

Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Mayday Monster Les Paul Specifications:

 

Body Material: Mahogany
Top Material: AAA Flame Maple Veneer
Neck Material: Mahogany
Neck Shape: 1960 SlimTaper™, Rounded D-Profile
Neck Joint: "Deep-Set", Glued-In
Truss Rod: Adjustable
Scale Length: 24.75"
Fingerboard Material: Rosewood with Pearloid "Trapezoid" Inlays
Fingerboard Radius: 12"
Frets: 22, Medium-Jumbo
Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA BurstBucker™ 3 Humbucker, Zebra-Coil (Covered)
Neck Pickup: Gibson USA BurstBucker™ 2 Humbucker, Zebra-Coil (Cream/Black)
Controls: Bridge Volume, Neck Volume, Bridge Tone, Neck Tone, Epiphone All-Metal 3-Way Toggle
Bridge: LockTone™ Tune-o-matic/Stopbar
Nut Width: 1-11/16"
Nut: Black, Graphite
Hardware: Gold
Binding: Body and Fingerboard
Machine Heads: Epiphone "Deluxe" Machine Heads, 18:1 Ratio
Colors: Mayday Monster Red
Includes: Custom "Mayday Monster" Hardshell Case, Hand-Signed Certificate of Authenticity, Epiphone StrapLocks
Warranty: Epiphone Limited Lifetime