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Formed in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city, Fire Ex. has gone for two straight decades from strength to strength, politically charged anthem after another. Known as much for their social activism as they are for their soaring, anthemic take on the pop punk genre, Fire Ex. band members Sam Yang (vocals, guitar), Orio (guitar), Pipi (bass) and Ke (drums) have since forming in the year 2000 championed causes near and dear to the millennial generation of Taiwanese.
Over the course of their five full-length albums, the band has never shied from themes on both personal and political issues. When the Sunflower Movement kicked off in in March of 2014, Fire Ex. penned what would come to be known as the anthem of the tens of thousands of protesters. That anthem, “Island’s Sunrise,” further cemented Fire Ex.’s already unassailable reputation as a “band of the Taiwanese people.” The song, also gained the band an award for “Best Song of the Year” at Golden Melody Awards.
Fast forward to 2019, Fire Ex. released another socio-political power anthem “Stand Up Like a Taiwanese,” taken from the title of the latest album. 2019 was also when Fire Ball Fest, a two-day rock, punk and metal extravaganza festival curated by Fire Ex. took place at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium, which was well-acclaimed by fans around the world.