Introducing: Taiwanese band I Mean Us on taking a trip to an alternate future and their latest album 'Into Innerverse'

Introducing: Taiwanese band I Mean Us on taking a trip to an alternate future and their latest album 'Into Innerverse'

I Mean Us is taking us on a trip to a dream-like, alternate future and we're enjoying the ride. 

Characterised for its gentle vocals and inciting melodies that all eventually lead to a crescendo of emotions and instruments, the Taiwanese outfit makes music that feels like a dream that you'd want to relive over and over again. 

While the mythical four-piece often get placed into the genre of dream-pop or alternative pop, the 'You So' hitmakers are much more than that, with every release painting a vivid picture. 


"We want to show our audiences sceneries or imaginations that can’t be described with just words, we also hope our music can be a form of escape, people who listen to our music can remove themselves from reality momentarily, and sink into a world of their own," I Mean Us tells Bandwagon

Comprising Mandark (vocals, keys), Vitz (guitar), Hank (bass), and PP L (drums), I Mean Us was formed in 2015 with the help of their former bandmate Zhang Chun.

Since their inception, the band has grown to become one of Taiwan's most exciting acts. Through the years, I Mean Us has performed on stages all across the world and won an array of accolades. 

Most recently, the band released their latest album, Into Innerverse. Spanning eight tracks, the record takes listeners to a distant future where emotions are scarce and limits are boundless.

While they're busy on tour immersing everyone into their dynamic soundscape, Bandwagon caught up with I Mean Us to talk about their musical beginnings, the ins and outs of their creative process, and the story behind Into Innerverse. 

Hi I Mean Us! How did each of you get started in music and find yourselves as part of I Mean Us?

Mandark: I used to take classical piano lessons when I was young, but I only really started making music after I went to Tainan National University of the Arts to study Applied Music. Subsequently, I got to know Vitz during my fourth year in university as she was an exchange student, and she roped me in when we were both living in Taipei.  

Vitz: I started playing the electric guitar after I joined a school club in high school, and also started playing in bands. Then I started writing music with a band called 'Triple Deer' when I was in university and got to know Zhang Chun during a band performance. After that, he invited me to form I Mean Us. 

PP L: I joined the music club in high school and started on the drums. I continued playing from there. When I Mean Us were in the preparation stages, the guitarist for the band 'Reversing into Garage' recommended me to them. 

Hank: I also started playing music after joining the music club in high school, and Zhang Chun was one of my juniors in the club. In 2015, when my previous band was on a hiatus, I really had too much time on my hands, and it was at the time that I heard Zhang Chun was preparing to form I Mean Us. So I complained to our mutual friend Kai (the guitarist for 'Reversing into Garage') and told him I heard Zhang Chun is forming a new band, tell him to contact me, I’m really bored”, and so naturally, I joined the band.

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Tell us about the group dynamic and what the band’s music-making process looks like. What is the core philosophy that drives the band’s musical and creative process?

We are the kind of band that can’t complete the arrangement while jamming, most of the time, the person(s) who wrote the song will take the lead and complete the majority of the structure, and the other band members will join in during the arrangement. 

The songs that we wrote for this album coincidentally were all based on the concept of separations. 

Tell us more about your latest album Into Innerverse. What story does the record tell?

We imagined that human emotions will become a rarity in the future, so much so that they could be an object to be exhibited in museums. The crystal balls you see in our visuals represent the vessels that carry human emotions.

With our sounds and thoughts, we create, collect, and anticipate to explore the vast and beautiful spaces within ourselves, cut through the unknown and embrace our borderless imaginations.

What track off of Into Innerverse do you guys hold a personal connection to and why?

Mandark: 'UNICODE', for me it’s like the words that I wish to leave behind after I pass on. 

Vitz: 'Muséum', this song is dedicated to a mutual friend that passed away. Capturing and presenting a chaotic, repetitive dream is something really fun to do. And the middle part of the song really took a lot of effort to complete, it’s a song that is pure and rich at the same time.  

PP L: For me, it’s 'Run Ran Run'. This song was also written for a friend that has left us. Initially, I didn’t really get the meaning behind the song, but as we played it a lot more times, I feel like I got to know the song better. It’s like, life is actually really simple, and we’re all just racing and competing against ourselves. You don’t have to keep comparing yourself to others, just be yourself.

Hank: I think it’s 'I Dot Car' for me. The way the song portrays the freedom of youth, the recklessness, and the brazenness really moves me. As we age, all these feelings will come to pass, so this song is a reminder that it all exists. 

You’ve performed at several festivals across the region, what has been your favourite live performance yet?

Our time at SXSW was very memorable. It was our first time performing to an English-speaking crowd and performing our songs which are all in English. We really liked the vibes and atmosphere in Texas, it felt as if the entire city became a carnival for bands. 

As for Asia, we really liked the vibes at Zandari. Before we went to Zandari, we actually performed a couple of times in Korea and got to know some Korean friends in the music scene. And the showcases will always gather a bunch of delegates from all over the world, and we kinda spot familiar faces after participating for a few years. It definitely felt great, being in a foreign land yet it doesn’t feel foreign at all, it made us feel like we were a part of the music scene there. 

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What are some of your dream stages/destinations to perform at and why?

We’re really looking forward to playing in Thailand, because we actually have a lot of fans there, according to our backend data on Youtube, and we also really wanna have Thai iced tea and feel the passionate Thai crowd firsthand. 

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What has been the most memorable moment of your musical journey so far?

We’re really happy when all of us get together, no matter for work or just some casual meet-up. Although we can’t say that our journey has been a smooth-sailing one.

We were really moved when we won the Best Alternative Pop Song award at the Golden Indie Music Awards last year. It was really memorable to have won that recognition, and having that opportunity to thank everyone that helped us along the way also means a lot to us. 

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Where do you hope to see I Mean Us in the next five years?

We hope to be able to have continuous breakthroughs in our music releases and make music that we’re proud of and really satisfied with.

What are some of the band’s upcoming plans for the next year?

We’re gonna have live sets and performances in Taiwan, and we also have a couple of interesting collaborations right up our sleeves. Stay tuned!

Listen to I Mean Us' Into Innerverse here.