The Orient Express: 'We never really split up'

The Orient Express: 'We never really split up'
The Orient Express.

Legendary. Classic.

These are terms often used to describe Taiwanese 90s pop rock quintet The Orient Express and their frontman Jack Yao Ke-Chieh.

But Yao, 45, would prefer that he and his band members blend seamlessly into the current Mandopop scene.

In a phone interview with LOUD from his Taipei home, the father of one said with a chuckle: "I hope we are not referred to as pioneers.

"The word 'pioneer' makes us sound really old. Of course, age-wise, we are certainly not young. But I believe our passion and enthusiasm easily rivals that of today's youthful bands."

As much as Yao is reluctant to admit, The Orient Express - which include drummer Tiger Kuo, 49, bassist Sheng Tze-Chen, 49, guitarist Yang Zheng-Hua, 48, and keyboardist Hou Zhi-Jian, 46 - were among the first Taiwanese rock outfits to achieve mainstream success.

They scored hits such as Red Red Youth Comes Knocking and Charging In Front Of The Sun in the early 90s while Yao gained prominence for contributing vocals to inspirational stadium anthem Never Look Back, alongside Dave Wang and the late Chang Yu-sheng.

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