TYNT and THE NOVEMBERS: A Cross-Cultural Musical Collaboration

Last Updated on 2023-10-28 by a-indie

TYNT is an electronic rock band that stands out in the Hong Kong music scene.

Their music reflects their feelings about living in Hong Kong, which leads to music with a dystopian edge.

They recently created a new song called “Blue Moon” with Yusuke Kobayashi, the vocalist of THE NOVEMBERS, a band that expresses dystopia in Japan.

This article is a mail interview with TYNT, not only about the band, but also about the Hong Kong music scene and their collaboration with THE NOVEMBERS.

What kind of band is THE NOVEMBERS for TYNT?

About TYNT

Artist:TYNT Interviewer:yabori

Thank you all those at A Indie for the thoughtful questions! We are HANZ (Vocalist), BUNNY (Guitarist) , RUFF (SYNTH) and STEVEN (SYNTH BASS) from HONG KONG, and we are happy to make your acquaintance!

The musical style and concept of the band

– TYNT is from Hong Kong, but what kind of place is Hong Kong? We have an image of a million-dollar night view and skyscrapers, but what is it like in reality? Also, on your Spotify profile, you described Hong Kong as a “dystopian city”. Please tell us why.
I think the common impression people have of Hong Kong is the Pearl of the East; a busy metropolis of commerce and business. With its vibrant streets bustling with crowds and neon lights illuminating its iconic skyline, the outside sees an image of luxury and wonder.

However, as with many other metropolitan cities like Tokyo, New York and London , there is always a flip side to the glamor. The city is fueled by fast paced living, expensive rents and a culture that favors making money . As a result life can be tiresome and suffocating , turning people into machines , losing the meaning of life while caught between new technology and old traditions.

One could call to mind scenes from Bladerunner and Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ), whose dystopian cities are sometimes aesthetically influenced by the neon light scenery of Hong Kong. And with the recent epidemic and social turmoil that struck Hong Kong and the world , a further sense of dread and hopelessness to this strange future. We think the readers from Tokyo would understand this sentiment as well, considering we are both from extremely densely populated and futuristic urban environments with traditional Asian cultural backgrounds. Our music therefore tries to express the bleakness of the world around us , but also attempts to find hope and love within.

The history of the band formation

– TYNT was formed in 2018. How did you meet HANZ, BUNNY, RUFF, and STEVEN and decide to form a band?
TYNT is formed by 4 people who have worked and participated in the Hong Kong indie music scene for almost a decade. With HANZ and BUNNY who played in Math Rock and Metal bands dating back to 2012, and the lot working in different fields related to production ; Hanz being a film composer and music production,Steven who operates a film production company, Ruff who manages a livehouse, and Bunny who is a stage manager at various venues , stage tech for several Hong Kong indie bands and promoters and also occasional show promoter himself. The band is also supported by a loving crew and family , including sound operator Andrew , lighting designer Willy O , VJ Hongni, stage manager Sing, and a further extended family consisting of music video directors and film crew , fashion and hair stylists , and many supporting friends, whom without there cannot be the TYNT we are now.

While the group have known each other through the Hong Kong music scene for many years, it wouldn’t be until 2018 that the group would come together, centering around Bunny who linked all the different parties from his spiderweb network, which he culminated from his many years in the industry. Since then they have released an 8 song debut album SYMBOL in 2020, a 5 song EP DUST in 2022, and three singles in 2023 to date, and for the first time featuring guest artists like Taiwanese artist Mandark(from I mean us and Sweet John), and Yusuke from the Novembers on this latest single Blue Moon.

The meaning of TYNT

– Please tell us the meaning of the band name “TYNT”. It is very simple with four letters of the alphabet, but is it an acronym for something?
‘TYNT‘ to us doubles as the word ‘tint’. We wanted the name to reflect the different range of tones and emotions in our music. But to many of our friends and fans it simply is a mysterious acronym that is open for interpretation!

About why we sing in English

– I read on a website that Chinese is the common language in Hong Kong and English is used when speaking to foreigners. What is the reason why you do not sing in Chinese? Also, how did you decide to sing in English?
One of the main reasons that we choose to sing in English , is that other than we are probably more influenced by Western (and Japanese) music , Chinese (Cantonese in our case) is extremely difficult to do well due to its complicated nature. With 9 vowels, every word in Cantonese can have a different meaning if spoken in a different intonation. Therefore it is very difficult to adapt Cantonese into free-formed melodies as compared to English, Mandarin and Japanese, and still retain its lyrical integrity. Therefore it is much more comfortable for our singer HANZ who comes up with the lyrics with RUFF, to express ourselves in English.


About the Hong Kong music scene


The music culture and trends in Hong Kong

– I would like to ask you about the Hong Kong music scene. When we listen to Spotify’s top 50 in Hong Kong, we get the impression that Chinese songs, K-Pop, and songs that rank on the Billboard chart are well balanced. What kind of music is popular in Hong Kong right now?
You would be correct to say that Chinese (Cantopop and Mandopop/Taiwan pop) and K pop have dominated the top charts in Hong Kong since the 2010s. While Cantopop has always been the most popular genre for HK people, the latest pop artists are trying to incorporate K pop styled music into their songs. Before then HK music has been strongly influenced by Japanese music , which we can elaborate more in the next question. Popular Western UK and USA music is also listened to, especially amongst expats and international people. Lastly, HK indie music , which includes heavy music and other alternative genres, only has a minority audience.

The influence and interest of Japanese music in Hong Kong

– Is Japanese music listened to in Hong Kong? Also, what is the position of indie rock like TYNT in Hong Kong?
As mentioned before, Japanese music has always strongly influenced the development of Hong Kong music in the past , be it pop or band music. The legendary bands of X Japan, Luna Sea, L’Arc-en-Ciel and Bucktick , would influence the sound of both popular and underground HK musicians of the 80s and 90s. More contemporary artists like 東京事変(Tokyo Incidents),米津玄師(Kenshi Yonezu) and 凛として時雨(Ling tosite sigure) would also inspire the music styles of Hong Kong bands for the last two decades. Even though K pop has been dominating mainstream Hong Kong charts for the last several years , many people still listen to a wide range of Japanese music and subcultures , from KING GNU to YOASOBI , ずっと真夜中でいいのに。(ZUTOMAYO) and NUMBER GIRL. To conclude, Japanese music has had an integral role in the development of Hong Kong music, and has influenced us since our youth.

Regarding indie bands like ourselves , it has always been hard to survive in the local music scene , for bands, venues and promoters. Except for a handful of pop bands, it is quite certain that none of us can do this full time. Audiences for indie shows here are always fluctuating. While there was a reemergence of support for local bands in the last few years due to Covid restricting international acts, we are again back at the stage in which indie shows have to compete with international bands and many other forms of entertainment for ‘survival’. Expensive rent, unenthusiastic audiences and lack of venues, lead to a lack of shows in which local bands can hone their craft and expand their audience. And aside from a select few bands who can tour China and Taiwan and earn some extra income , there still isn’t enough opportunity for a band to live off just touring. This vicious cycle therefore makes it harder for indie bands to continue.

At the moment , we think there are probably 30-40 active indie/ pop bands that still release music and perform, which is an extremely low number given our dense population and status as an international city.

The position and challenges of indie rock in Hong Kong


– TYNT has been releasing their own albums since their debut album “SYMBOL”. Why do you release your own albums instead of releasing them from a label?
As mentioned before , a lot of the indie music scene in HK is DIY. With resources being limited and opportunities few and far between , it’s difficult for indie labels to be self-sufficient. Therefore costs like recording and promotion are usually paid by the bands themselves , and indie labels can at most try to line up show dates with other promoters for them. Therefore we find it easier to just manage ourselves , given that we ourselves have contacts and friends for recording , music video production, and live show technical support. We also often organize our own EP/ album releases annually. We are very lucky that we have such a vast amount of resources and friends to support our band! However we are not opposed to finding different international distributors/ labels in the future, but will probably stay DIY when operating in Hong Kong.

TYNT – DAI MOND Live (DUST EP release 2022)

About the collaboration with THE NOVEMBERS


The encounter and interaction with THE NOVEMBERS

– You performed live with THE NOVEMBERS in Hong Kong and are going to perform live in Japan as well. How did you first learn about them? And What made you decide to perform live with them?
Back in 2016, the Novembers played live in Hong Kong on their tour promoting their 7th full-length album ‘Hallelujah’. In the audience was a young HANZ and BUNNY, who by then had just begun their own respective careers in music. The Novembers’ alt-rock and post-hardcore infused sound left a strong influence on the two, who themselves at the time were into math-rock, metal and other alternative genres.

4 years later in 2020 and two years after TYNT’s formation, we were invited to attend the Japanese festival ‘Synchronicity’. Coincidentally a show was lined up as well, which would feature us playing alongside Black Boboi and The Novembers. However due to the epidemic all this was canceled and replaced with a livestream format.

However a line of communication was started with The Novembers, and finally it would start up again in 2022-2023. With help from the folks at ‘Exclaim Music’ (HK), a dialogue would begin between BUNNY and Yusuke Kobayashi (Lead singer of The Novembers). As a veteran band with 8 full length albums under their belt and who’ve recently celebrated their 15th year anniversary, Yusuke has been incredibly graceful and supportive to a young band like us. Eventually a 2 stop mini tour was arranged , in which the Novembers will fly to Hong Kong to play with us on the 6th of August @KITEC Music-zone , and in return we will fly to Tokyo and play with them on the 14th @FEVER livehouse Shin-daita.

We are extremely grateful to play with The Novembers, and never would have thought that after so many years we would invite them to play, and be able to share a stage with them!

The similarities and differences between TYNT and THE NOVEMBERS

– THE NOVEMBERS also produced albums with “dystopia” as a consistent theme, and created an album with a cyberpunk worldview in “Angels”. Do you sympathize with their concept as a band?
To us, the NOVEMBERS music was always something that sounded mysterious yet familiar, like a dark, dystopian world. Instrumentally, one could hear cool and distant shoegaze and post punk like tones, intertwined with heavier industrial and electronic sounds. Their 2013 album ‘Zeitgeist’ is a good example of this. With songs like Wire (Fahrenheit 154) which at times sounds like Radiohead’s Weird Fishes mashed up with Nine Inch Nails tones, and Flower of Life which has an extremely shoegaze/dreampop like atmosphere. Tracks like Xeno and Bloodmusic.1985 from their 2014 album Rhaspody in beauty and !!!!!!!!!!! from their 2020 album Hallelujah show them pushing this distortion and noise-rock aesthetic to an even further level, with riffs I would describe as the Dead Weather meets HEALTH. They also have eclectic sounding tracks like Romancé (2014) and kokoro Hitotsu Mochikirenai Mama (2015) that are simply hard to define, almost new-age sounding and genre bending.

The balance and contrast between the light and the dark side is what makes them sound like a dystopia to us, like a light shining through a dark city, caught between hope and hopelessness. Especially with Yusuke’s emotive vocals, who can convey sweet joy, cold apathy and fierce anger. Their 2020 albums Angels and In the beginning are even more futuristic sounding, with BAD DREAM, DOWN TO HEAVEN and Dead Heaven incorporating more electronic and synth elements into their industrial formula, creating something I could only describe as a cyberpunk nightmare.

The dystopia is a fictional world in which we lose ourselves in, imagining many different stories and going through a wide range of emotions. And maybe through it we can see some truth of the world around us. The way the Novembers fearlessly traverse between their different moods, is inspiring and reassuring to us. Our debut album SYMBOL, is more heavier sounding and emotive than our current sound. Back then we were discovering ourselves, and wanted to capture the frustration and the sorrow of the city, but contrast it with energy and occasionally bright optimism. Just like we are surrounded by technology, we are ultimately incomplete as humans. But there is still wonder to be found in this weird future.

The production process and meaning of Blue Moon

TYNT Bluemoon
– “Blue Moon” was produced with Yusuke Kobayashi of THE NOVEMBERS as a guest vocalist. What made you decide to invite him as a guest vocalist? And how was the production with him?
While the first demo of Blue Moon was made last year, it was not until the confirmation of the show with the Novembers earlier this year that we had the inspiration to invite Yusuke as a feature. We were finally breaking out of our shell, and wanted to collaborate with more artists outside our circle. And we thought we could invite Yusuke, and make a collaboration in honor of our upcoming mini-tour. We are absolutely grateful to Yusuke who promptly agreed, and despite a busy touring schedule managed to spare the time and recorded some touching vocals for us. We couldn’t ask for anything more, and without any question he gave us an interpretation of our song that brings a new depth and dimension to our sound.

– Did Yusuke Kobayashi write the lyrics for “Blue Moon”? The lyrics are hard-hitting, but what kind of message or theme does this song have?
We actually wrote the lyrics for Blue Moon, but Yusuke gave it his own unique and emotional interpretation. For this song, we tried to convey a dark and twisted story, talking about the obsessive nature we have in our relationships with people, materials or substances. While we never intended to make the subject matter very dark and cynical in the beginning, the direction that the instrumentals were going in was gradually getting darker and moodier. Especially after the music break and towards the final chorus, the song almost goes through a slightly schizophrenic mood change. As this type of linear and one way song structure is something that we did a lot in our old songs, we were very excited to see how Yusuke would approach and feel about the song. And since we know that the Novembers are capable of handling all types of strong emotions, we were more comfortable to make the lyrics and the feeling more dark and severe. It almost felt like by working with Yusuke, we were able to be more comfortable with our old music style, embracing the dark and emotional feelings as much as the trippy and dreamy atmosphere. It’s been a very heartfelt experience for us!

– The jacket of “Blue Moon” is an impressive one that looks like a moon and also like a fruit. Please tell us the meaning behind this unique illustration.
We were very lucky to have this beautiful cover designed by Japanese artist/designer Atsushi_Y design. Having designed posters and covers for various Japanese festivals and bands, we were very confident in his ability to create an image to represent Blue Moon that would be bold and distinct. As explained by himself, the circle in the image is influenced by earthshine(when light is reflected off the earth and making a soft glow on the lower portion of the moon), which is his interpretation of the Blue Moon. The flower in front is a Honeysuckle, a flower that contains sweet nectar. He wanted to convey a sense of mystery he felt from the song, and by combining these two seemingly abstract and delicate forms, he was able to make an almost vintage feeling image that is both abstract and graphic, alluring you in with the beautiful aquamarine-teal color tone.

TYNT – Blue Moon (feat. Yusuke Kobayashi from The Novembers)

Roots of TYNT

– Please tell us three albums that influenced TYNT’s music. Also, please tell us specifically what part of each album influenced you.
Other than the Novembers of course, here are 3 albums that we think really influenced our band and our members!

  • MEW- mew frengers: not quite friends but not quite strangers (2003)

  • I think Mew, and especially their 2003 had a really unique influence on us. As a Danish alt-rock band beginning in the mid 90s, it is understandable that they aren’t very well known now. However by chance they managed to visit Hong Kong a few times in the last decade, and as a result some of us were introduced to them and their unique dreamy sounding Alt rock, that has traces of Sigur Ros-esque post rock, but also having jangly and almost emo sounding guitars. They are another hard to describe band that ultimately falls under the genre of alt rock. Their song Snow Brigade and Am I Wry? No still gives us goosebumps till this day!

  • POND – Tasmania (2019)

  • While POND definitely has some major bangers like Paint Me Silver and Sweep Me off my Feet which are more well known, our favorite album is Tasmania, mainly because it sounds so carefree and bright, that it can always bring us back to a happy sounding place. We feel that they combined elements of Neo Psychedelia with that of Classic Psychedelic Rock, and the result is something that feels old and new at the same time. Anyways, one must be able to learn a thing or two from the band of Tame Impala right?

  • D.A.N – Sonatine (2018)

  • As mentioned before, there are many Japanese bands we could choose from that have inspired us, both old and new. A handful of contemporaries would be bands like Tempalay, The Fin, Millennium Parade and Luby Sparks; all bands who have a very unique and distinctive style. However we would choose D.A.N finally, because of their intensely cool vibe, wide range of marimba like instrumentals and delicate yet deep atmosphere. Chance is a perfect example of this ; a catchy and unforgettable arpeggiator, expansive synth pads, and moody vocal melodies. On a side note, their ANTIPHASE OF THE MOON show at STUDIO COAST (which we watched online) looks and sounds absolutely incredible!

    Message to listeners

    – Of course, I want everyone to listen to it, but is there anyone in particular who you want to listen to it?
    If we had to think of someone particular, it would have to be Masayuki Nakano of The Spellbound and Boom Boom Satellites. I know this is a bit of a cheeky answer, as Yusuke is the vocalist of The Spellbound. However it is true that Boom Boom Satellites was one of the Japanese bands/ electronic group that really inspired us back in 2018. Although we were only introduced to their music after the sad passing of Michiyuki Kawashima in 2016, their discography was a big source of inspiration to us. At the beginning , we were very unsure if we could play our music as a 4 man group without drums. Being somewhere between an electronic group and a traditional band, we couldn’t relate to certain western artists like Ratatat or Disclosure, because what they were doing was very genre specific and different to our natural style. However Boom Boom Satellites showed us that you can combine emotive guitar/band like breakdowns with electro, big beat , trip hop drums and big dancey synths , and still make it work and tell a complete and emotional story. Their music is powerful and uplifting , and is brave enough to break genre boundaries and to purely follow musicality and feeling.

    It was actually a big surprise for us to know that Masayuki formed a new band the Spellbound with Yusuke in 2021, and there is definitely some incredible fate in this coincidence! We admire Masayuki’s programming style and bass playing in Boom Boom Satellites a lot, creating a solid base for Michiyuki’s uplifting vocals and powerful guitars, and we can feel so much spirit and love in their tracks! Same as with the Spellbound, it is impressive that Nakano can bring out a different bright and energetic character out of Yusuke, combining both of their distinct styles into something new.

    – TYNT’s fans will increase in Japan as well, including us. Please send a message to the Japanese listeners.
    If we could send a message to the Japanese listeners :
    We can’t wait to share our music with you in Tokyo! Japanese culture, music and art have always influenced us growing up, and are integral to the development of much of our own art/music. We always frequent Japan as a holiday spot, but this is the first time we will be playing our music there. It’s an absolute honor to be able to support the Novembers, and to play for all of you. We hope we won’t disappoint, and are looking forward to having a crazy and unforgettable time!

    TYNT released Works

    Single“Blue Moon”

    TYNT Bluemoon
    Release Date: JUL 28 2023
    format: Mp3

    1st Album”SYMBOL”

    Release Date: APR 17 2020
    format: Mp3


    TYNT Live Information

    • Seeing the Invisible
    • Date: August 11, 2023 (Friday, Holiday)
      Time: OPEN/START 24:00
      Venue: Shimokitazawa BASEMENTBAR
      Performers: TYNT, Natsuki Fujimoto, Sho Okamoto (OKAMOTO’S), Cwondo
      DJ: IDeeez, TOMO (STYLE BAND TOKYO), Fumiya Kawase
      Ticket: ¥2,300 + drink
      Reservation method:
      Send an email to ticket@toos.co.jp with
      Your name in katakana full name
      Number of tickets you want

    • The Novembers x TYNT “Round Trip”
    • Date: August 14, 2023 (Monday)
      Time: 18:00 OPEN / 19:00 START
      Venue: Shindaita FEVER
      Production: The Novembers / TYNT
      Ticket: Advance 5000yen / Student discount ticket 2200yen

    TYNT profile


    “TYNT is an eclectic mix of electronica, shoe gaze and at times melancholic and industrial
    elements. Emotive melodies and harmonies that interweave driven and unpredictable
    motions, their music attempts to create a picture that is both recognisable and alien at the
    same time. ”

    Quote:TYNT profile(bandcamp)

    I am the editor-in-chief of BELONG Media and A-indie, and I have been writing the music blog Timeless Masterpieces, its predecessor, since 2010.

    After writing for “only in dreams” hosted by Masafumi Goto, vocalist of ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, I studied music business at a music school.

    I have been writing articles on Japanese and international music for more than 10 years.

    In the past, I was in charge of garage rock, psychedelic rock, and Japanese indie rock at a music CD rental store with over 100,000 album titles.

    With these experiences, I have published 26 issues of “BELONG Magazine,” a music magazine with the theme of “Roots Rock.

    Currently, I write articles based on SEO strategies I learned at a web production company. I enjoy watching “Kaiun! Nandemo Kanteidan”.

    My favorite quote is “Trust your own bad taste”.

    Click here to see the articles I wrote so far.
    Twitter: @boriboriyabori

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