Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with The New Investors

The fifth annual Zandari Festa is taking place in Hongdae from September 30 –
October 3. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

The New Investors 2

For this installment, we’re speaking with Glenn Müller, vocalist and guitarist for infectious alt-pop band The New Investors from Copenhagen, Denmark. Now let’s get to his answers!

1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2016?

We’re excited to play our first gigs outside of Europe. We have heard a lot about the music culture in Asia and especially in Korea so we’re very excited to experience it with our own eyes and ears. One of our friends has been to Zandari Festa twice and told us it’s completely insane in a really fun way. He also told us how friendly people are and how enthusiastic everyone is about good music.

2) What can people expect from a New Investors live show?

People can expect a happy surf party where they will experience a band full of summery, beachy energy and sparkling with joy. We really hope people will be ready to party and dance with us.

3) For fest-goers not familiar with The New Investors yet, what should they know about you?

They should definitely check out our music online in advance so they can sing along to our songs as they are quite catchy. If they don’t have the time for that they should be aware that we’re from Copenhagen, but our music sounds like it comes from a much warmer climate.

4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2016?

We’re looking forward to meeting and partying with a lot of nice and cool people and music lovers and to experiencing the Korean music scene. We definitely want to check out what the Korean scene is all about to get new inspiration. And we’re all very excited to try some delicious Korean food.

5) If you can go drinking with another Zandari Festa act, who do you want it to be?

Brilliant question! We haven’t really had the chance to check out any of the other acts so far. So any recommendations are much appreciated, we love surprises. Even though most of us are not that much into reggae NST & The Soul Sauce looks like a bunch of fun guys that you definitely want to hang out with. The Barberettes look promising, and Buiret seem like they really have something seriously good going on.

 

 

Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with Hays

The fifth annual Zandari Festa is taking place in Hongdae from September 30 –
October 3. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Hays

For this installment, we’re speaking with Aleksandr Polovtcev, frontman for alt-rock band Hays from Vladivostok, Russia. Influenced by rock music of various flows, Hays create their own style in which electrifying guitars entwine with emotional tunes. Hays have opened for famed acts Keane and The Rasmus in the past. They’ve also released several singles, a couple of EPs, and put out a full-length album in 2012 called “To the Roots.” The group are working on their sophomore album now. Now let’s get to Polovtcev’s answers below!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2016?

This will be our first tour to Korea. New places, new friends, new experiences through music – this is probably why we’re in music in the first place. It will be very exciting to see the reaction of the locals to our music and our performance, as we’ve never performed in Asia before. It will also very interesting to check out local acts and venues.

What can people expect from a Hays live show?

I don’t think that there’s something particular to expect. I really hope after we all get together at the venue – the band onstage and the crowd in front of it – it will feel like a proper rock festival and we are all going to have some fun out there. We’ll give all we have, and hopefully, the audience will get songs to remember.

For fest-goers not familiar with Hays yet, what should they know about you?

We are loud. The crowd should be ready to rock.

Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2016?

We want to get to know the people there – other musicians, promoters, and fans, of course. Zandari brings together musicians from many different countries with who you can share experiences, play shows together, and learn about each other’s music scenes.

If you can go drinking with another Zandari Festa act, who do you want it to be?

Oh, so many awesome bands are going to be there. But if we have to choose some, let’s say Harry Big Button because they play classic Korean hard rock with impressive experience, Swiimers because we really enjoyed their single “Woodstock,” Uhnellys from Japan because they have have a very original style, and Unchained from Busan because I think we seem to have some genre resemblance. But honestly, we’d love to get a beer or a few with as many musicians as possible.

Last Day But Still Plenty of Music To Enjoy: Pentaport Day Three

Sunday’s Pentaport Stage opened with a beautiful performance by Peterpan Complex. Jihan Jeon connected immediately with the crowd with his creative dancing. This proved to be especially true during “First Love” as he struck the pose of the accompanying video playing on the big screens and danced his way through the haunting melody.

peterpancomplex
Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

Over on the Dream Stage, Janabi ended their set with a powerful cover of “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. Fromm followed and was met with a small number of spectators because of scheduling delays on the Pentaport Stage. But that didn’t stop her from delivering a solid set of soulful alternative pop rock as more people slowly began to arrive. Backed by a full band, the singer-songwriter’s melodies carried well through the hangar-style Dream Stage area.

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

Japanese band Spyair’s energetic performance on the Pentaport Stage was a definite highlight of the day. The guitarists had blocks up at the front of the stage upon which they climbed atop of to shred, much to the crowd’s delight. Vocalist Ike ran all over the stage and out in the lanes set up through the audience allowing him to better connect with all in attendance. He was very appreciative of the crowd and clearly impressed. And speaking a few phrases in Korean definitely helped further endear him to everyone.

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

The Koxx was up next on the Pentaport Stage and sounded great on tracks like “Oriental Girl” and “Trouble Maker.”  Frontman Hyunsong Lee’s played with fantastic energy and the audience loved the streamers that exploded from the stage towards the end of their set.

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

Two Door Cinema Club kept the good times going on the Pentaport Stage by opening with a pair of fan favorites from 2010’s “Tourist History,” “Cigarettes in the Theatre” and “Undercover Martyn.” The band graciously limited lesser known new tracks from their upcoming “Gameshow” album to just a few in the middle, leaving plenty of room for the older tracks people were more familiar with. Overall, the simple stage setup of large digital displays rounding out the back of the band and well constructed set left the audience energized and happy.

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

British act The Vaccines were tasked with closing out the Dream Stage. Lead singer Justin Young shed his guitar and gestated emotionally with wild eyes throughout “Wetsuit” from 2011’s “What Did You Expect from The Vaccines?” His stage presence throughout the show was strong but met with mixed reactions from the crowd due largely to his intensity and seriousness. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, The Vaccines still turned in a moving set with enigmatic vocals and lots of raw energy.

Pentaport Stage headliners Panic! at the Disco started things off with “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” from their latest album, “Death of a Bachelor,” before launching into the well-received “Vegas Lights” off of 2013’s “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!” Vocalist Brendon Urie was very thankful throughout the concert and told everyone how he had been trying to come to Korea for 11 years. Finally receiving his wish, he and his backing players wowed all with an excellent cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was delivered with great passion, and to their credit, only a few notes were a touch off.  More covers surfaced later with a playful medley of Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” and AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” before Panic! at the Disco wrapped things up with their biggest hit, “Victorious.”

Those who caught the last shuttle buses for the night had the chance to enjoy local heroes Love X Stereo on the Cass Blue Stage before leaving. Anchored by Annie Ko’s powerful vocals, the Seoul band sounded fantastic. They even brought in Hongdae drummer extraordinaire JD Lee to work the computer and add some drums and then were joined by Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio’s Jinkyu Kim on guitar towards the end of their set. It was an awesome way to end a great weekend of music out in Incheon!

Still Lots of Musical Goodness Left: Pentaport Day Two

Day two at Pentaport was just as packed with big acts, and the crowd filled out as weekend punters flocked in to soak up the sounds and the sun.

I started my day with very high hopes for At the Drive-In, five Texans who first gained real prominence in 2000 before abruptly splitting up and going on to create The Mars Volta and Sparta. At the Drive-In did not disappoint, offering up a thrilling display of pure rock ‘n’ roll.

ATDI

Turning out seven songs from their final landmark album, “Relationship of Command,” they performed with an intensity that matched their distinctive brand of noisy post-hardcore. By the second song, which began with the greeting of “Good morning, Korea!” vocalist Cedric Bixler had already smashed the mic stand in two. Bouncing off anything he could find, he sang “Enfilade” while crowd surfing and proved that fire extinguisher spray is indeed heavier than air during “Cosmonaut.”(Note: I hope the young woman who caught the microphone tossed into the sky with her head was okay.)

Bixler went on to share some great news with the crowd by informing everyone that At the Drive-In were going to be recording new tracks in Seoul during their stay!

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

And as amazing as At the Drive-In were, there was lots more fun to be had throughout the day. Korean electronica three-piece Idiotape were typically awesome, blasting out live crescendoing drum fills that gave way to bob along chorus beats. From the crowd pleasing tracks from their award-winning “11111101” 2011 debut album to the newer “Don’t Go” from this spring’s “Re” EP, they had the crowd packed with a train of people revolving in and out of the Dream Stage tent as they gasped for air. A party band that can lure even the stiffest necks into bending, their visual show – rife with political innuendo ahead of Liberation Day – had everyone entranced.

The inflatable swimming pool, which I may or may not have snuck into only to discover it was actually open to the public, provided a refreshing cool down before the night’s headliner. I share this as a note to future fest-goers who should come prepared to get wet.

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

A fest can never go wrong closing out its main stage with a performance by Weezer. While a little more static than I’d hoped, there wasn’t a moment when they let the crowd slip out of their grasp.  Kicking off their set with the sunny “California Kids” from their eponymous album that came out this spring, the alt-rock superstars played a total of 18 tracks including mash-up medleys and even a Kim Kwang-seok cover! The concert was like a giant college party sing-a-long as we all embraced our inner geeks by strumming air guitar and shouting along to the encore of “Buddy Holly.”

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

The Epic Rock Adventure that is Pentaport: Day One

The Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival has been bringing some of the biggest international names in rock to Korean shores since 2006. And this in turn, of course, guarantees a brilliant lineup of local acts to help round out the bill each year.

Taking place at Incheon’s Songdo Pentaport Park, the festival grounds are about a 10-minute walk from the train station and this either meant a dash under the stinging heat of the sun or wait around in it to catch the free shuttle service on offer. Inside, aside from vendors selling hover boards and sugar drinks, a ring of stalls laid out a decent selection of food and cocktails. One thing they do need to work on is making sure there are a few options for vegetarians.

Like most outdoor music festivals in Korea, Pentaport is incredibly family friendly. It’s a safe and fun environment where you can pitch a tent with a decent view of the mainstage and lounge about having a few drinks between friends. And as one friend put it, the benefit of the Cass monopoly on beer is that you are unlikely to get too carried away drinking.

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

I arrived at the tail end of Galaxy Express’ set on the main Pentaport Stage, which is like arriving at your favorite restaurant when they are closing up. It sucks and it makes you damn hungry. In this case for some rock ‘n’ roll. Fortunately, seasoned local metalheads Crash were on hand to belt out their eclectic mix of heaviness in the Dream Stage tent against a backdrop of flaming skulls.

The highlight of the day was without a doubt Run River North who performed on the Pentaport Stage while the sun was still up. This six-piece folk-rock band has a sound that is reminiscent of Mumford and Sons with at times the melodic nature of The Head and the Heart. With a violin and keys and a spring in each step, these Korean American guys and gals know how to put on a show. “Run and Hide” and “29” from this year’s “Drinking from a Salt Pond” album were both standouts, but I wasn’t disappointed by any of the nine tracks they performed. The inescapable conclusion is that they were made for that blue sky summer’s day.

Between songs they joked in broken Korean about the few Korean expressions they knew.  One thing they had somehow picked up during their short stay in Korea was the obligatory selfie with fans at the end of their show. Let’s just say they knew how to ingratiate themselves.

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Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

Main stage headliners Suede came out noticeably looking their age and a little stiff in their stride. I was quite prepared for something of a lackluster performance until vocalist Brett Anderson managed to almost tear off his sleeve and expose his well-maintained chest within just the first couple of songs. Opening with “When You Are Young” from their most recent album, “Night Thoughts,” and moving through a number of their anthems including my personal favorite “Animal Nitrate” from their 1993 self-titled debut and even an acoustic rendition of “She’s in Fashion,” they played a total of 19 tracks while the crowd sang along in unison.

All in all, a brilliant first day.

Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with Peonies

The fifth annual Zandari Festa is taking place in Hongdae from September 30 –
October 3. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Peonies 2

For this installment, we’re talking with Jodi Setiawan from Peonies. Peonies are an indie pop trio from Jakarta, Indonesia. Inspired by surf pop, post-punk, and twee-pop, they combine a jangly guitar sound with catchy synth and layered vocals to create wonderfully sunny sounds. Now let’s get to Setiawan’s answers below!

1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2016?

This will be the very first festival we play abroad actually, so that’s why we’re so thrilled about Zandari Festa. We want to feel the fest’s atmosphere and also see the crowd! We’re very sure the crowd will be awesome.

2) What can people expect from a Peonies live show?

Joy. I hope the three of us can take people on a joyful ride.

3) For fest-goers not familiar with Peonies yet, what should they know about you?

We’re an Indonesian trio who will bring a tropical breeze to your four seasons country.

4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2016?

Enjoy the music of course! We want to see, watch, and meet talented musicians from all over the world. And learn about anything we don’t have at home.

5) If you can go drinking with another Zandari Festa act, who do you want it to be?

There are so many artists we’re just discovering now because of Zandari Festa. I think we would like to drink with Diealright. Oh and with Swiimers too because we think they could teach us how to swim.

Back From Their US Tour, …Whatever That Means Are Releasing Their New 7″ Tonight in Seoul

It’s been a busy summer for Seoul punks …Whatever That Means. July started with World Domination Inc. – the label managed by …Whatever That Means’ Jeff Moses (guitar/vocals) and Trash Yang Moses (bass/vocals) – releasing a punk comp titled “Them and Us 2: Korea’s Punks at Thunderhorse Studios.” A week later, the imprint issued Full Garage’s “Vinyl Suit” 7”. And the month ended with …Whatever That Means putting out a split 7” with American punk act Burn Burn Burn called “Blowing Minds & Melting Faces” and touring in the States in support of the album.

...Whatever That Means 2016

Now that they’re back in Korea, …Whatever That Means are hosting a joint 7” release gig tonight (Saturday, August 13) at Club Sharp in Seoul as part of World Domination Inc.’s Second Saturdays concert series for them and Full Garage. We caught up with Jeff and Trash a few days back to talk about everything that has been going on with …Whatever That Means of late.

You played nine shows in ten days all over the American West Coast, how was the traveling?

Jeff: Everyone else got to sleep a lot, and I did all the driving! There were several days where it was just like, wake up, drive for eight hours, get to the venue, and we were on stage 30 minutes later. So it was stressful at times. But I mean, that’s touring. I wanted it, and I knew it was going to be like that.

It had been almost five years since your last US tour. What were your expectations going back?

Jeff: It’s always exciting going back somewhere for the second time. When you pull into a town, and it’s like, “I remember when we ate there, and it was really good, we know the promoter…” So this time was cool because for most of the shows, either they were promoters we worked with last time and really liked, or they were people that Burn Burn Burn hooked us up with and vouched for. So it was a lot less stressful in that way going into it. It was just exciting to go back, and for every show there were some people who’d seen and remembered us from the time before. And just kind of growing that, I don’t know, saying “fan base” sounds douchey, but yeah, building those relationships.

What was the best club or city of the tour?

Trash: The Kraken in Seattle.

Jeff: Kraken was one of the best shows. The Redwood in LA was fun too. It was our last show, and it was a Monday night. So we had no idea what to expect. But there was a really good crowd there. It was the most fun I had on tour. I think just because it was finally all over, and I didn’t have to wake up the next day and drive. Our gig in Corvallis was great as well. It’s where Oregon State University is. We performed in this small coffee shop, and there were like 40 people in there. And the whole front wall is glass, so there were people lined up on the sidewalk watching too. The two promoters for that show were the same people we went through on our last US tour. We stayed at their house, they cooked us food – it was awesome.

Trash: We’re going to definitely go back to all three of those places if we decide to play in the States again.

Jeff: For Corvallis,we played on a Tuesday both times we were there. And the shows were both fantastic even though it’s a Tuesday, which is crazy. We went to bigger places like Portland on the weekend and it was like, “Eh, it’s ok.” I think next time we’re going to hit up some of the bigger cities during the week and hit the smaller towns on the weekend just to see if we can blow it up even more that way.

World Domination, Inc. has been very busy lately. What has been the most challenging aspect so far?

Jeff: Working with Trash! I love my wife, but she is one of the most undisciplined people I know. She’s not lazy, she just doesn’t get anything done.

Trash: Working with Jeff is challenging too! He is really pushy.

Jeff: It’s the only way to get things done! We’ll have a goal, and I do as much as I can because I have lot more time than she does, but then we get to a point where nothing can move forward until she does something. And I will remind her over, and over, and over, and then she gets mad at me and says “Stop pushing me, I’ll get to it.” We argue and then it’s two weeks later and it’s still not done. There are projects that we’ve been talking about for years that have never happened because we get to that point and then it just fizzles. But she worked really hard on all the graphic design work that needed to be done before the tour. She did the artwork for our 7” and the new 7” that we put out for Full Garage. And she did all our merch and Full Garage’s merch too. And everything for the “Them & Us 2” compilation we put out in early July. She only had like three weeks to get it all done while she was working fulltime, tutoring at night, and doing a tattoo apprenticeship.

What are your plans for World Domination, Inc. in the second half of 2016?

Jeff: We got the Seoul 7” release show this weekend. And for October’s Second Saturdays we’re organizing an acoustic show on our rooftop. So far it’s …Whatever That Means, Skasucks and Angie from Wasted Johnny’s. We’re going to try and get one or two more bands. At our apartment in Sinchon, we can be as loud as we want whenever we want. After that, we’ll have Still Alive 8 which is our yearly Halloween show.

Trash: And we’re working on the subtitles for the Fat Wreck Chords documentary.

Jeff: One of the guys who did the Descendents documentary is also working with the Fat Wreck Chords documentary so we’re doing the translation for those subtitles. So we’ll have a Second Saturdays show where we screen the Fat Wreck Chords documentary and all the bands will play cover songs from Fat Wreck Chords bands. And we’ve got new songs we’re working on. Hopefully this winter we’ll be back in the studio recording something else.

7 inch cover

It’s been a couple of years since your last record. How was it doing a split 7” with Burn Burn Burn?

Jeff: It was cool. I mean the whole thing just took a long time to get everything done. Every time we’ve recorded it’s been a completely different process. With our “Sixty-Eight Twenty-Two” album, we recorded the whole thing at home. And this time we decided to step it up a little bit. We still did all the recording ourselves, but we kind of bounced around to different places. It’s definitely the highest quality recording that we’ve had up till now.

Trash: I hope we can keep making our albums sound better and better.

...Whatever That Means live 10 by Jon Dunbar

Trash is more prominent in vocals on the new EP, which adds a great balance to Jeff’s vocals. What brought about the change?

Jeff: I write all the songs and when working on them I hear them in my head with my voice. On the last album, I really enjoyed the songs that we took turns on. So I tried to do a little more of that. It’s kind of more about having her voice in my head sometimes when I write. It’s been a process learning how to write songs for someone else. But it was definitely a conscious decision to have Trash’s vocals be more prominent on our new songs. Plus over the last few years I have had a lot of problems with my voice. I was blowing out my voice a lot. We were really worried we wouldn’t be able to tour anymore. Like can my voice handle singing ten days in a row? So I wanted to write songs for her to sing, so that I wouldn’t have to sing everything every night.

After yet another Seoul live club closing, Second Saturdays has found a new home at Club Sharp. How is the new club?

Jeff: I love it. It’s nice just having a shitty basement covered in graffiti with a stage that’s not tall enough to stage dive off of.

Trash: It’s cool because the owner is not about making money. The owner wants to actually support the scene.

Jeff: Back when Second Saturdays were at Spot, it was so easy to get people to come in because there are always lots of random people hanging out at the park. At Ruailrock, you would still get some random people, or people would be wandering around and they’d find it. At Club Sharp, you know people have decided to come, which makes it a little bit more difficult. But luckily a decent amount of people have been deciding to go there. At Ruailrock, if you had 20 – 25 people, it felt like the room was full enough to have energy. Here you need about 40 for it not to be people spreading out, standing around. If you’ve got 40 people, then you can have a good amount of energy. We only did a couple Second Saturdays here before we left on tour. We didn’t do that many. So, we’re just getting started again.

Saturday’s show has several other great Hongdae bands joining you for the release party for your new 7″. Who are you most excited to have on the bill?

Jeff: Every band is so different and so good. Dead Chunks are playing first and it might be their last show, and I hope everyone shows up at the beginning and stays till the end. Unfortunately, when we set things up we didn’t realize that the concert fell on the same weekend as Pentaport. We were like, “We’ll do our release at the Second Saturdays after we get back,” and then the week before we left, we were like “Fuck, it’s Pentaport that weekend and Weezer and At the Drive-In are coming. Damn it.” But this is Weezer’s third time in Korea. So don’t pay 130,000 won or more to go see Weezer again, pay 15,000 won see lots of awesome groups and get two records.

Trash: Yes, if you want to see a cool show with friends then come to Club Sharp this Saturday!

…Whatever That Means will be playing an album release party for their new “Blowing Minds & Melting Faces” 7” on Saturday at Club Sharp in Mangwon. The concert will also include performances from Full Garage, The Geeks, 57, and Dead Chunks. Doors open at 8:30 pm and cover is 15,000 won. Everyone who attends will be given a free copy of …Whatever That Means’ new 7” and Full Garage’s “Vinyl Suit” 7”. For more information, check out the gig’s Facebook event page here.

Second Saturdays Poster

Pentaport Still Going Strong 11 Years In

As we all power through one of the hottest summers Korea has ever seen, the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival is set to rock as hard as ever this weekend. Boasting one of its strongest lineups in years, the fest’s 11th edition will include sets from headliners Suede, Weezer, and Panic! at the Disco along with not-to-be-missed performances from the likes of Irish electro/indie group Two Door Cinema Club, Japanese electro-infused metalcore act Crossfaith, and seminal American post-hardcore band At the Drive In. As well, the bill is stacked with talented locals including 10cm, Nell, Galaxy Express, Rux, Idiotape, The Koxx, Crash, and Inlayer and so many others. Seriously, there’s no shortage of great music to be found in Incheon this weekend!

We spoke to a few of the Korean performers about the event to remind us all why Pentaport, from the major global names to the local legends and up-and-comers, is remains one of Korea’s not-to-be-missed festivals! Check out what they had to say below.

Love X Stereo vocalist and synthesizer player Annie Ko (Sunday night at 12:50 am on the Cass Blue Stage)

Can you introduce your band and the kind of music you play?

We’re Love X Stereo and we’re an electro duo.

What are you looking forward to the most about playing at this year’s Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival?

We’re looking forward to the night time. Our show is taking place after midnight, so it’s going to be magical with all the stars and the crowd. Also, we’re going to perform a song we’ve never played live before and we have a special guest joining us as well so we’re very excited.

What other acts should people make sure they see at the fest?

Weezer, At the Drive In, and Two Door Cinema Club.

Boys in the Kitchen guitarist Sungmin Kang (Friday afternoon at 12:50 pm on the Dream Stage)

Can you introduce your band and the kind of music you play?

Our band has four members and our music style is garage rock. We usually play gigs in Hongdae and sometimes in Itaewon. We had the opportunity to perform at many competitions over the last year and won some of them, which has been really exciting.

What are you looking forward to the most about playing at this year’s Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival?

Last year, we won second place in the Pentaport rookie competition so we got to play at the festival. But this year we were invited as normal artists. We’re playing a bigger stage this time around so we’re really looking forward to that. Playing this festival is also really cool because we get to meet many people from all over the world.

What other acts should people make sure they see at the fest?

Two Door Cinema Club! When we first started our band, we all really liked them. So all of s will be watching them play on Sunday. Come join us!

NST & The Soul Sauce flugelhorn played Jeongseok Oh (Friday night at 2 am on the Zippo One Love Stage)

Can you introduce your band and the kind of music you play?

We’re the eight-member reggae band NST & The Soul Sauce. Our band features drums, bass, percussion and melodica, keyboards, guitar, violin, flugelhorn, saxophone, and singing too. We make groove music, and are going to make people dance when we come they come to see us play. The focus of our band’s message is “consciousness.” That’s very important in reggae music.

What are you looking forward to the most about playing at this year’s Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival?

I’m looking forward to seeing people shouting, dancing, and not throwing garbage on the ground.

What other acts should people make sure they see at the fest?

There are lots of good bands for people to experience. But because we’re a reggae band I’d love to see more reggae music at the festival in the future. I hope to see great reggae musicians like Burning Spear, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, and Earl “Chinna” Smith come one day.

The Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival takes place from Friday August 12 – Sunday August 14 at Songdo Pentaport Park in Incheon. A one-day pass is 130,000 won, a two-day pass is 180,000 won, and a three-day pass is 220,000 won. For more information, check out the festival’s website here.

Pentaport Poster

Still Two Weeks Left to Apply For Zandari Festa ’16

The fifth edition of Zandari Festa is set to take place in Seoul from September 30 to October 3. And for any homegrown talent and overseas acts interested in applying to play at Korea’s largest music showcase festival – guess what … you still have a few weeks left to apply!

Zandari

This fall’s fest will feature 150 acts gigging in 10 Hongdae clubs. Artist applications are being accepted from musicians from all around the world until July 31. It’s free to apply and past artists have included K-pop acts, thrash metal bands, and literally every musical style in between. The English Zandari Festa ’16 application form can be found here.

The lineup for Zandari Festa ’15 boasted bands from 15 different countries including Lightcraft from Jakarta, Indonesia who had an amazing time at the affair.

Lightcraft @ Zandari Festa ' 15
Lightcraft @ Zandari Festa ‘ 15

“We’d never played a show in South Korea before, so to pop our cherry at Zandari Festa 2015 was just perfect,” says Lightcraft vocalist and guitarist Imam Wisaya Surataruna. “We met some of the loveliest people one could ever imagine meeting in one’s life and played to an audience that were just so supportive.”

Having toured in places like India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Canada in the past, the group knew they wanted to make the most out of their short visit to Korea for Zandari Festa. In addition to playing their official festival showcase, they also attended some of the event’s daytime conferences and made their way to the official after party that closes out the festival each year. Meeting as many people as they could, their networking efforts paid off and helped paved the way for Lightcraft to earn an invite to the Liverpool Sound City festival this past spring.

“The gigs that we played were unforgettable as well – to have South Koreans approaching us for selfies after our set was pretty cool,” says Surataruna. “The conference was great too, as we managed to meet very important folks in the industry, with one of them being the man behind Liverpool Sound City. It eventually led to us being given the opportunity to play that festival, which was a milestone in our journey. And the after party was amazing too. Free drinks, and a who’s who of the South Korean and international music scene, and you’ve got yourself a party to remember for the rest of your life!”

Lightcraft have nothing but praise for Zandari Festa and Surataruna says the band definitely would recommend for other international groups to hop on a plane and travel to Korea to participate in the festival.

“We’ve already spread the word to our fellow bands in Indonesia and Southeast Asia about performing at Zandari Festa. Let’s hope they’ve heeded our words. It’s a wonderful festival that will only bring about a whole world of good for any act. In fact, we would love nothing more than to play Zandari Festa again if possible!”

Seoul’s Used Cassettes are Zandari Festa veterans. The rock ‘n’ roll quartet participated in 2012’s inaugural bash, and have returned each year since.

“Used Cassettes came up in the Seoul DIY scene so ever since we heard about the festival we wanted to be involved,” says guitarist and vocalist Danny Arens. “We all really dig the international vision of the Zandari organizers. That first year we helped put together a Loose Union showcase at Zandari which is a great memory. The festival has come a long way since then. It’s nice to have such an influx of international bands coming into our stomping grounds in Hongdae.”

Used Cassettes @ Zandari Festa '14
Used Cassettes @ Zandari Festa ’14

The group released their sophomore full-length album, “Rock n Rills,” globally in May and the offering has netted the guys some pretty damn impressive press from the likes of first-rate music publications like Spin, Under the Radar, and Impose.

Fully aware of the benefits that can come from exposing more listeners around the world to your music, like Lightcraft, Used Cassettes also encourage overseas groups to take part in Zandari Festa and experience Korea’s indie scene.

“I do think it can be beneficial,” says Arens. “Ask any band who has toured in Korea and they’ll tell you that Korean audiences are amongst the best in the world. Koreans are awesome. Come out.”

Zandari Festa ’16 is accepting applications to perform until July 31. The English application form can be found here.

And here’s a highlight video from last year’s fest.

Patients Return to the UK With New Songs and a New Drummer

With catchy hooks, aggressive riffs, and a punk energy that lights up the stage, a Patients show is never to be missed. They’re taking their exciting blend of drums, bass, and keys underneath punchy lyrics to the UK for the third year in a row for a tour that starts today. Just before setting off from the peninsula, bassist/vocalist Sumin Jo and keyboardist Hyuckjang Kwon sat down with Korea Gig Guide to talk music: where it comes from, where it’s going, and why it’s always fun but never easy.

(2016) Patients 3

How did you get guys together?

Sumin: Four years ago, I was playing with Patients, and Hyuckjang was playing with another band. We used the same practice studio back then. I thought his style would be good for Patients as at that time we had no keyboard, just guitar.  So I asked him to join. And we got a new drummer earlier this year. His name is Soowon Choi. Hyuckjang knew him and recommended him to me. From the first moment we played together, it sounded great! We’ve been playing together for five months now.

Hyuckjang: He adapts very quickly. He is a great drummer.

Your sound has developed a lot over the years. What brought about these changes? Can you describe your current sound to new fans?

Sumin: When we first started, the band members liked 1970s classic punk rock and 1990s punk rock, so we modeled our sound after those styles. Over time, we studied more as musicians. When we released our first album, we were satisfied with our development. But we also wanted to develop a more unique sound that we could call our own. Around then, Hyuckjang joined Patients. We went to the essence of punk rock music and did what we wanted. Hyuckjang, Soowon, and I all have different tastes and we draw from all of those when making music. That is Patients’ sound today.

Hyuckjang: When I joined Patients, we were working on our second album, “18.” I wondered how we could make a rocking sound without guitars and we talked a lot about it. We wondered whether to use the keyboard to make heavy sounds or to create unique sounds. We tried lots of different things and were happy with the results on the album. Recently, Soowon has joined and brought his own sound and we have been trying to integrate electronic punk music with that. Before it was more of an analog sound, and then we had more of a digital sound. Now our sound is really close to the electronic keyboard sound we were imitating and paying respect to. You can look forward to seeing how our sound has developed on some new singles we’ll be releasing soon. We have two new songs right now called “Space Call Girl” and “Game Boy Game Girl.” We’ll be playing these songs during our upcoming UK concerts and will be recording them after our tour.

How do you expect Patients’ sound and style to grow in the future?

Sumin: The only thing that will not change is that we’re going to do whatever we want to do. That will never change in terms of attitude. I don’t know how our sound will change. I don’t think that far ahead. Ultimately, Patients is Patients. We don’t think about genres or styles because … well, that’s not our style!

Your music is marked by a lot of raw punk energy. After over 10 years of playing on stages in different parts of Asia and the UK, what inspires you to keep up that fiery energy?

Sumin: In my head, I’m still young and immature.  And I think I’m still like a teenager with my love of music. So I feel like that kind of energy comes out naturally. I don’t count the years, I just live as usual. I do what I like as soon as I find something, you know?

You’ll be touring in the UK for the third time from May 25 – June 5. What are your expectations for this tour?

Sumin: It is first time going overseas with our new drummer so I’m sure we will have fun.

Hyuckjang: I’m looking forward to going to Angels, a strip club in Liverpool!  Also, we’re excited about playing for audiences in the UK – they’re really great and welcoming.  And we’re excited about drinking lots of great British beer too. But we’re not looking forward to the food.

What are the biggest challenges you expect to face?

Hyuckjang: Traveling between cities with all of our gear is a bit challenging. I use an 88-key keyboard. It was like dragging a coffin around when we went to Liverpool last year. I looked like an undertaker, not like someone carrying music equipment. Actually, as we were traveling between London and Liverpool people were asking why I brought a snowboard with me!

What should new fans expect from a Patients show?

Sumin: They can expect to see something they’ve never seen before. If they come with an open mind and heart, I’m sure they’ll have a great time.

Some crowd favorites are “Sipalsegi,” and “Idiot vs. Psycho.” Can you tell us a little about their inspiration, etc?

Sumin: For “Sipalsegi,” I thought about how “chung” (affection) and “han” (resentment) are big big characteristics in Korea and wrote about them in the lyrics. As for “Idiot vs Psycho,” when I was young, I always fought with our former guitarist. I fought with him seven days a week, all night long. Back then, I wondered “Is he a psycho? An idiot?” and I started writing the song while thinking about that. It’s about the battle between people that don’t understand each other.

What is your songwriting process?

Sumin: Often one member comes to practice with an idea and then we work together to complete it. Hyuckjang mainly makes the arrangements for the music and melodies. The words and emotions tend to come from me and Soowon creates a lot of the rhythms.

What is your favorite song to play live?

Sumin: “Space Call Girl” because it’s one of our new songs. But I like all of our songs.

Who are your favorite bands in Hongdae at the moment?

Hyuckjang: National Pigeon Unity, Trampauline, and 57.

Sumin: I like all of those acts too, but I’ll choose some different ones. I’m going to say Heynam Sin and Patients, DTSQ, and AKUA.

And who are your favorite UK bands?

Sumin: Sex Pistols, Inspiral Carpets, and New Order. I like the Manchester sound and classic punk rock.

Hyuckjang: Pink Floyd, The Cure, and Iron Maiden.

And non-UK bands?

Hyuckjang: The Australian band The Griswolds, Pollock from Spain, and Metallica.

Sumin: There are too many too list!

You recently added Club Steel Face to Steel Face Records and your Steel Face Rooftop 3639 space. How is the club doing?

Sumin: Hongdae has big, wonderful concert halls like Sangsang Madang and Rolling Hall. There are also small clubs like Badabie too. I was thinking that it would be great if we had a tiny and stylish performance space that had a great sound system like the ones in concert halls.  That’s the kind of place we thought we’d love to play in. And that’s why we decided to make Club Steel Face. The club is doing well. I like that we have a place where all our friends can perform in a really nice space. Club Steel Face was recently written about in the US magazine Paste, which was really cool to see. Come check it out!

Here are Patients UK tour dates:
May 25 Chester @ The Live Rooms
May 26 Manchester @ Night & Day Cafe
May 27 Whitchurch @ Percy’s Cafe Bar
May 29 Liverpool @ Liverpool Sound City (Cargo Stage)
May 31 London @ Windmill Brixton
June 5 Worthing @ Bar 42

Patients 2016 UK Tour