Interview: Ming & Ping

posted November 22, 2005

by Corinne

Ming & PingHow are you?

Ming: Oh fantastic, thank you dear!

Ping: Oh thank you for inviting us for this chat.

Care to introduce yourself?

Ping: So I am Ping. Brother is Ming. We are Ming & Ping. We don't really have instruments that we are each playing because we do much the same thing in our band.

Ming: Oh Ping is the one all the time wearing the white trousers! Haha.

From “MingPing.com” to the new album, “MP2,” you have a very consistent sound. Going in to “MP2,” did you have a specific idea of what you wanted the album to sound like?

Ping: You know we just keep on making the songs after we finish our first CD so we don't quite have a different idea for our sound of MP2.

Ming: But certainly we change a lot of different equipment so our learn a little bit more about programming and layering. I think we talk about making our songs more like orchestra of electronic sound.

Ping: Also we try to work more with our voice and layers. It is most fun for me to have more vocal parts in our new album.

Will there be a tour in support of “MP2?”

Ming: Oh I don't think we have a proper "tour" but like we have many more plans for some exciting parties in more places. So like we planning to play in more different places.

Ping: It's quite exciting, I think we start more shows in the Spring of the 2006 year. We are quite excited to travel more!

Ming & Ping have quite a following online and “MingPing.com” received rave reviews. Were you surprised by the reception for your debut album?

Ming: Oh Sure! We are like "Oh My God, somebody is like us!!!"

Ping: Haha, certainly, we just make some songs for fun, we don't really plan to be a proper band or to have some listeners from around the world! It has been quite amazing for us, and believe us, we don't take this one for granted! So thank you to everyone who give us support!

Your songs seem as much focused on the lyrics as on the instrumentation. How do you approach the songwriting process?

Ming: Oh we start in many different ways. We have a lot of writing that we always doing, like in a little book. Usually we have a coffee and write some stuff on our own.

Ping: Then we play a bit in the studio to make some sounds and we connect the sounds with the words. I think our process is work for us because when we are writing a song, it is always changing.

Ming: Oh ya! We start something, and it will change all the way until we are both in love with the song. Sometimes even we record the final vocal track, and then we want to change, so we do again.

Ping: Like on our song "Shenzhen Speed" we start with Ming as leading vocal, then we do one version with my lead vocal. Then we decide we should have Ping voice as lead and then have Ming as some undertones, so we are both on that track at once!

Both of your albums have sampled video games. How do you choose which games to sample? Do you have a favorite sample?

Ping: Haha, that is all that the brother does! Playing the Nintendo or some game on the cel phone!

Ming: Ya, that kind of stuff we grow up inside the arcade. I mean, we not quite rich so we don't always playing the games, but we come and watch and listen and sometimes we have some token to play. But we don't really choose some samples, I think they just come when we make the song, I think it's called like "train of thought."

Ping: Actually, my favorite is quite subtle. I mean not quite a sample but in the beginning of the song "Concretelike" is very similar to the underground level of the "Super Mario Bros." Hehe this one just arrive to us when we start the song, we don't really choose it.

Being brothers, how do you find it working together? How do you deal with criticism from one another?

Ming: Oh you know, it's quite easy to work with Ping. I think we each make something and we are both okay if other twin changes it. I mean, if I super love something that Ping changed, then I will put it back. So I think our process is like constantly compromising.

Ping: Yes, it's quite good to work with Ming. Sometime, Ming is hard to concentrate but we always working on our own schedule, we don't really have to sit in the same room all the time, do you know what I mean? Haha, if we always in the same room I think I go crazy!

Ming: Hey man, I gonna cry! Haha no just joking you brother.

Could you ever see yourselves working apart from one another?

Ming: Oh Sure, there is one alternate version of our song "A Little Different" that is only Ping's work. It's called "Ping's Joyride Mix" Quite fantastic! But we don't have it on our album because, the pace is not quite the same. We release on B-Side soon.

Ping: And there is some lot of songs that is mostly work of Ming programming also. So I think we can certainly do some things in the future on our own. But I think we both learn a lot and always come back to our friend and producer Bao Vo for some comment and question.

Ming: Certainly Bao Vo is like involved with a lot of music of ours and our friend, so he is always involved with us even when we not working as twins, you know?

How did you get involved in playing music?

Ping: We don't really play music before, we just listen to a lot. Haha. I think we just start doing stuff with our friend, Bao Vo in 2002. And that is really first time we learn any music skills. Mostly computer skills help us a lot. I guess only 3 years ago we start programming musics and practicing some stuff on keyboard. Haha!

Name an underrated band you think deserves more attention.

Ming: I like the band Hum. Like 1990's alternative rock band. I think they are only one hit wonder but they have quite incredible work that influence a lot of our writing, especially lyrics.

Ping: Some brothers, like us... Hanson.

Ming: Hahaha, out of control!

What have you been listening to recently?

Ming: Some stuff we heard recently...

Ping: We still like Pet Shop Boys. We still like the Bloc Party. I think it's quite impressive to have guitar music be very danceable like Bloc Party.

Ming: Actually, I think we have on our current playlist, The Books, The Sea and Cake, CocoRosie. CocoRosie, so good! It's like some spicy voodoo gumbo. Haha!

If you could have written any song, what song do you wish you had written and why?

Ming: I'm not sure. I think we wish we wear some clothing first but not really write any songs. I mean, I wish I wear the swan dress to award ceremony!

Ping: Yes, I don't think we really wish we write anything that we didn't write. I certainly having super respect for some songs like John Lennon's "Imagine" and maybe Prince's "Time after Time." I think we are happy that we wrote some songs on both of our CD's, you know what I mean?

Thanks for your time!

Ming: Oh Cheers, we certainly have a fun with your hot questions!

Ping: Thank you for taking interest in us twins. We are so happy to have a chat with you and Plug In Music and share some of our thought. Thanks!