Meet Ming & Ping. They are an electronic duo of identical twins from Hong Kong living in one of my favourite cities in the world – San Francisco. I became fascinated with Ming & Ping after a particular EQ favorite turned me onto their great 80’s tinged electronica and with one listen to their fantastic album "Causeway Army" I instantly became a fan. I think you’ll like this lovable duo as much as I do. Make sure you check them out on MySpace and visit their incredible website where you will get a feeling how this creative duo are seamlessly merging art, music and diversity into one very sexycool package.
EQ: Hey guys – Now we know you guys are twins…How do we distinguish who is Ming and who is Ping?
Ming: <laughs> I am Ming. Before we formed as a duo, we actually looked quite similar. Our producer Bao convinced us to have more unique colors and style. So I am Ming and I usually wear more black and magenta colors.
Ping: And I am Ping, I wear more light colors like white and blue and silver. This is the idea that our producer come up with to help form our image public. But now, we dress like this always – quite natural for me to buy white trousers at the store or an electric blue tie, you know? Hehe.
So tell us about your new video "Legends Of Nothing". What’s it all about?
Ping: <laughs> So the "Legends Of Nothing" video is the vision of our producer. When we wrote the song, we were only thinking about very abstract images and Bao helped us to create this scene to represent our ideas. Ideas like the in-between space of sleep and wake and inside/outside. So we made a very stressful feeling video to represent that kind of struggle for control!
Legends Of Nothing
What’s been the reaction so far from "Causeway Army"?
Ping: I think reviews have been wonderful, but most of all we feel wonderful about this collection of songs – it’s very personal for us and the sound is quite like we imagined!
Ming: This album was also the greatest challenge for us because this is first time we released a CD by ourselves, like self-released… We spend time with our producer to do business and money things and we make sure to do the indie record label process in our own style. So I think good reception for our new album is such a reward for us!
Who came up with the brilliant cover design. Did you have fun doing that photoshoot?
MING: <laughs> OK if you go to our producer’s website (baovocreative.com) you will see the creative process for "Causeway Army"! Even the little sketches he made of our album cover! Bao is all-knowing of our ideas.
Ping: We also work with so many beautiful artists on that photo shoot! A really brilliant collaboration I think!
You obviously are influenced by 80’s music. What acts from the 80’s really inspire you?
We list David Bowie and Pet Shop Boys for style. New Order, Erasure and Eurythmics for programming… Beautiful lyrics by Howard Jones, Stranglers and Gary Numan. Also we love Book of Love and Bronski Beat. And of course Prince and Madonna!
What’s it like being an electronic act based in San Francisco? Would you live anywhere else? Do you get back home to Hong Kong much?
Ming: San Francisco is amazing – I mean not because of music, but because of the people. I think this is where we feel most creative and free. And because we feel freedom and love in the diverse community, we can make songs like we imagine with a lot of inspiration! I think many bands here also feel this way, making wonderful songs without a lot of pressure to have a cool image to match your city. Am I going to get in trouble for saying that?
Ping: Unfortunately we don’t get to Hong Kong as much as we would like. We actually love this city as well because we feel a strong connection to Asian-American culture. It’s quite an honor to be a part of new Asian-American arts. Very satisfying.
What can one expect from a live Ming & Ping show. Lights, drama, action?
Ming: <laughs> I think people want us to play some more live shows and we are trying really hard to do that. We actually have quite an elaborate stage show, so it is difficult to bring our cast everywhere with our self-released budget. If you have an ideas for us to play on tour, please share! <laughs>
Ping: Instead we try to make more video and photos, so we travel by internet instead. We hope to bring our stage show to the East Coast this year, so if you have a chance to come see us, we will be honored to make a spicy dance party for you!
So you’re filming a new video for "Beautiful Things" right? Tell us about that.
Ping: Yes! We’ve already filmed the footage for the "Beautiful Things" music video and now we working with a very talented animation company called "The Farm" in Chicago to create some animation to mix with live our footage! The Farm is lead by great artist called Tim Sepulveda.
Ming: It’s going to be a beautiful, modern "Take On Me" style!
What’s artists are hot in the Ming & Ping Dynasty right now?
MING: Right now on our playlist we have the new Cut Copy album – very inspiring and great energy. Also, the new M83 CD and the new Goldfrapp CD. Actually, we listen to everything from Mute Records!
PING: We also listen to our classic favorites like Prince, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Michael Jackson and Madonna. You know, great pop/dance music!
That’s it guys – Any parting words for EQ readers?
MING: Oh sure! We like to say "thank you" to everyone finding our website and joining our email list and to everyone who have us on MySpace and sends us lovely messages! We hope we can make more music and bring our show to your city, so we quite appreciate when you support us.
Ping: We also quite appreciate EQ for support. Finally, thank you to our producer and our very amazing collaborators for making wonderful images and videos for our music!