Freddy Lim of Chthonic isn't your average death metal band frontman. He's also a member of the Taiwan's Parliament.
Taiwan has been struggling to establish an official independence from China for decades. The political history of this rift is deep and somewhat complex and I won't delve too far into it here. However, it's fair to say that Lim and Chthonic have been one of the loudest voices in that fight. Lim feels strongly enough about this issue that he ran successfully for office in 2016 and won a second term in 2020.
Chthonic doesn't keep their feelings on authoritarian regimes separate from their music, with songs like "Supreme Pain for the Tyrant" and "Next Republic."
As tensions have ratcheted up between China and Taiwan lately, HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver decided to feature the conflict on last Sunday's show. During the segment, Oliver referenced Lim in his coverage.
Oliver was riffing on how Taiwanese Olympians can't compete under their own flag but rather have to fly the pseudo-official made up flag of Chinese-Taipei. (This all due to an agreement made with the IOC during the 80's so China didn't get their panties in a bunch.) Oliver then features a stage rant from Freddy Lim during the 2012 games where Lim talks about "Chinese-fucking-Taipei." The video is cued just a bit back for context.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Addresses Taiwan
Although Oliver doesn't bring it up right there, he notes that Lim is a member of Taiwanese Parliament later in the video at the 16:50 mark.
At the time of this writing, Freddy is still fighting the good fight for Taiwan's independence, calling out political rivals that are targeting lawmakers like Lin with threats of ousting them from the government.
Lim is also also a master organizer when it comes to music promotion. You may remember an eyebrow-raising (and possibly jealously-inducing) story seven months ago about how Taiwan pulled off a 90,000 person music festival in the middle of a pandemic. Lim, the founder of the Megaport Festival, cited the citizens' willingness to cooperate with mask mandates and distancing protocols that showed "the high level of democracy in Taiwan’s society.”