Get Sweaty with Galaxy Express on September 5

Just a few weeks after I was bounced through the crowd during their Busan International Rock Festival set, I was sitting down for a coffee with Galaxy Express vocalist/guitarist Park Jonghyun to discuss the band’s new album, rock ‘n’ roll antics, and upcoming album release show. “Hi, I’m Jonghyun, the most handsome guy from my band,” he jokes by way of introduction.

Tom and Jonghyun

Beginning his rock career in a Ramones cover band named Mowgli, Park was first inspired to pick up the guitar as a high school student after hearing Nirvana’s seminal album, “Nevermind.” Soon after he was drawn into the sweaty world of punk rock.

“I saw Crying Nut on television and I was really shocked,” he recalls. “Then I went to their club called Drug and I was even more shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I was like a virgin in there. People were packed in the space and everyone was sweating so much. Everyone was going crazy! The electricity went out. It was a sh*t hole, but it felt so alive.”

Park has come a long way since then, but it’s that same infectious rock ‘n’ roll spirit that has inspired Galaxy Express’ own attitude. “Our first album was a DIY album. We recorded it using a small mic and an MD [MiniDisc recorder],” he told me. In fact, he can’t even remember what they called it and no longer has a copy.

Since such humble beginnings, Galaxy Express has gone on to share the stage with Crying Nut countless times, eventually releasing a split EP together in 2011 called “Naughty Boy.”

Galaxy Express,photogrpaher Manchul Kim, Korea
Galaxy Express (photo by Manchul Kim)

Now a rock ‘n’ roll powerhouse in their own right, Galaxy Express are a musical tour de force that have earned their reputation as one of the most exciting live acts in the country. Aside from their chant along melodies, the band is famous for their trademark “stacking” in which Park performs while straddling bassist Lee Juhyun’s shoulders like a human totem pole.

Having performed their stage antics around the world, I wondered what their craziest experience was? “Vladivostok at last year’s V-Rox festival,” Park explained. “Juhyun drank so much vodka the night before. When we came to sound check, he couldn’t move at all. We gave him a chair, but he couldn’t play anything. He was like a zombie. He vomited on the stage during sound check.”

But somehow the show went on. “He was amazing,” Park continued. “When we started the show, he was so normal. Right after finishing the show, he started going down the steps and he vomited on them!”

Turning to more sober matters, the band’s latest offering, “Walking on Empty” took a year and a half to record, and is a labor of love. While the initial recording was done in Chuncheon, the final mastering was done by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Park says it reflects the amount of thought and time that went into making it. Having completed their 2010 album, “Wild Days,” in just 30 days, this time they opted to take things slowly.

Being less restrained for time allowed them produce a more sophisticated work that Park describes as a “calmer, more relaxed, and more detailed” album. “We could focus our bodies and our playing.”

The band views the result as their best album to date. From the raucous “Running on Empty” which packs a familiar raw punch to the more psychedelic “Booster,” the album refuses to be bound by a single style. “All 10 tracks are different from each other. They all have their own character,” Park adds.

In addition to the Busan International Rock Festival, the band recently played at the Ansan Valley Rock Festival too. While Park enjoys playing outside with an open sky, he remains attached to the more intimate experience of playing club shows: “Small clubs are more fun because people get sweaty and it’s more sticky.”

You will have a chance to get sticky with Galaxy Express on September 5 when they perform at their official album release show  for “Walking on Empty” at Sangsang Madang.  They’ll be performing their new offering in its entirety with a session guitarist plus a number of old favorites as a three piece. “So you can enjoy the old school and the 2015 version of Galaxy Express,” Park says. Expect a set that will last at least an hour and a half.

Galaxy Express’ September 5 show at Sangsang Madang starts at 7 pm. Tickets are 30,000 won in advance and 35,000 won at the door. Goonam, The Veggers, and Fling will open the concert. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here.

Galaxy Express Poster

Zandari Festa 2015 – Five Questions with Burning Hepburn

Zandari Festa 2015 will take place in Hongdae from October 2 – 4.  In order to spotlight some of the talent performing at this year’s event, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Burning Hepburn

For this installment, we’re talking with vocalist and guitarist Wonsuk Song from the Korean punk band Burning Hepburn.

1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2015?

There are several big music festivals in Korea, but Zandari is a music festival held in Hongdae and all off the bands are participating voluntarily. These things make Zandari an exciting and highly anticipated event.

2) What can people expect from a Burning Hepburn live show?

We haven’t had many chances to play gigs recently because we’ve been working on a new album. But at Zandari Festa, we’re going to release all of our pent-up energy.

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

People who have seen us perform or have listened to our music have told up that our music is very moving. And some people have said our music is like their own life story. For anyone who is not familiar with us, please come check us out with an open mind!

4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2015?

We want to watch lots of other bands play.

5) It’s important to stay hydrated at music festivals. What’s your festival drink of choice?

Beer!

For more information about Burning Hepburn, check out their Facebook page here.  To learn more about Zandari Festa 2015, you can check out the festival’s website here and its Facebook page here.

New Generation of Ska 2015

For the second year in a row, the last Saturday of August is the most important date for fans of ska and reggae in Korea.

For nine years now, New Generation of Ska has been a declaration, a brand, and a rallying call — not to mention a ton of fun. The concert series, started by Ryu Jinsuk in 2006, upgraded to a free street festival last year, bringing bands from Japan as well as the Bruce Lee Band from the US. They played in the car-free Yonsei-ro street that spans between Sinchon Station and the intersection in front of Yonsei University.

Ryu Jinsuk fronts Skasucks at the 2014 New Generation of Ska Festival.
Ryu Jinsuk fronts Skasucks at the 2014 New Generation of Ska Festival.

Thanks to the personal and financial sacrifice of Ryu and his team, dubbed Team New Generation of Ska, the festival reached thousands and was voted the 9th best ska festival in the world in Ready Steady Ska’s “Best of 2014” poll. Through crowdsourcing they surpassed their original goal of 15 million won thanks to 171 individual donors, but still it wasn’t enough to cover all their costs.

“We did get more money than our initial target, but you have to remember that our members have already sunk a lot of their own personal money into this project,” said Ryu in an interview with Broke in Korea. “Honestly, because we had made such a loss on last year’s festival we had decided right from the start that this year’s festival would be on a smaller scale.”

The venue was moved indoors to EMU, a multupurpose art hall next to Gyeonghuigung and Seoul Museum of History downtown. All four levels of the venue, from the basement stage to the roof, will be used during the festival, with plans for exhibitions on ska, live painting, a flea market, and food. They decided to charge money for this year’s festival with tickets costing 30,000 won in advance and 40,000 won at the door,  but that’s still very low for 10 great bands from Korea, Japan, and America.

Anyway, it was looking to be a scaled back year for Team New Generation of Ska, until they were contacted out of the blue by Rob “Bucket” Hingley, lead vocalist of legendary New York ska band The Toasters.

“My buddy Mike Park told me about the scene there so naturally I wanted to come and check it out,” said Bucket in an interview with Broke.

Rather than bringing all six members of the band, Bucket is meeting up with Japanese band Beat Bahnhof who will serve as his backing band.

“The backing band was a matter of expediency as the festival couldn’t afford to fly the whole band from the USA as they are a non-profit and so that price tag was too high,” explained Bucket to Broke. “At this year’s edition of the London International Ska Festival [Beat Bahnhof] proposed the idea of myself playing with them in order to be able to go to Japan in September and so we were able to develop the concept and add NGOSKA to that set of dates. Serendipitously as it turned out but I will take it!”

The Toasters formed in 1981 shortly after Bucket, an Englishman, moved to New York. He brought with him a love for Jamaican music, but at the time there was little awareness of the genre. He started The Toasters as an American 2tone band, and he formed Moon Ska Records to distribute music, basically igniting the ska scene in America which culminated with several years of popularity in the late ’90s.

This year’s festival may not be as flashy as last year’s, but with a solid mix of great Korean bands including Kingston Rudieska, South Carnival, and Skasucks, as well as newcomers Respects and John Stocktone rounding out the lineup it will still be a great day.

The New Generation of Ska Fest 2015 takes place on August 29. The festival starts at 2 pm and tickets are 30,000 won in advance and 40,000 won at the door. Performers include The Toasters, Beat Bahnhof, Lazybone, Skasucks, Burning Hepburn, Pegurians, John Stocktone, South Carnival, Respects, and Kingston Rudieska.

RSVP and learn more on Facebook.

Ska Poster

Pentaport Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary with Another Memorable Outing

Written by Brian Gilbert and Nadia Arnold

There is nothing like that feeling of walking out of the subway station at the end of Line 1 and hearing music from the main Pentaport Stage pounding in the distance. Music charges the air and the electricity of the moment can be felt throughout your body. After all, this is what the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival does best: music.

Pentaport

Now in its tenth year, Pentaport remains one of the country’s top summer outings and features plenty of cool acts from around the world playing over the course of three days. From when the first indie bands took the stage around lunchtime each day right through until the final acts finished up in the wee hours of the morning, the music never stopped. As each performer took their final bow, festival goers marched to the next stage as another amazing act was just starting up. At an international rock festival of this magnitude, being able to go from stage to stage and band to band with ease is heaven. The main Pentaport Stage and the secondary Dream Stage were situated incredibly close together with the Dream Stage protected from the booming sounds of the main stage by its domed enclosure. Meanwhile, the smaller Shinhan Card Stage was great for checking out more independent acts playing their hardest as they reached out to the plethora of new fans waiting around every corner of the Pentaport grounds. Visiting these three areas amounted to all of about a 10-minute walk, leaving festival goers ample time to see as much of the array of bands as they wanted.

Penta Dream Stage
The Dream Stage (photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival/ Yescom Entertainment)

To ensure everyone had a non-stop rock experience, in addition to the three bigger stages, Pentaport added on even more in order to keep the entire grounds filled with music. In a clearing behind the back lawn of the Pentaport Stage seating area, there was a much smaller stage called the Zippo One Love Stage. Groups such as Kim Banjang and Windy City, No. 1 Korean, and South Carnival played there after their performances on the Pentaport Stage providing an awesome opportunity to see them again in a more intimate setting.

This year, there was still one more stage for people to see, and the beauty of the final one was that you didn’t even need a ticket to check it out! The Uprising Open Stage was set up outside of the venue and was free for everyone to attend. Seeing up-and-coming Seoul alt-rock trio Guten Birds playing their soundtrack to the thundering rains on the Uprising Open Stage was definitely one of the weekend’s musical high points.

Inside the gates, there were plenty of other highlights too. Saturday’s headliners, Seotaiji Band, ignited the crowd with their impressive performance. Topping Sunday’s bill, The Prodigy were probably one of the weekend’s biggest surprises for us.  The thumping sounds of songs like “Breathe” and “Firestarter” from the group’s 1997 chart-topping album “The Fat of the Land” and the title track from their most recent full-length offering, March’s “The Day Is My Enemy,” must have been heard many kilometers away from the venue!

Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival/ Yescom Entertainment
The Prodigy (photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival/ Yescom Entertainment)

Larry’s Pizza from China were an energizing wakeup call late Saturday morning on the Shinhan Card Stage. Hongdae regulars Maan put on an absolutely incredible show Saturday afternoon – even if it only lasted for 18 minutes! And Annyeongbada played a great ethereal set following Seotaiji on Saturday night.

Each year at pretty much every festival, concert goers say things like “How will they top this?”, “Nothing will be as good as _____,” etc. However, we all know there’s always something extraordinary to look forward to next year. More and more people will line the streets and more and more music will pound into our eardrums as long as Pentaport keeps lighting up Incheon one weekend a year with some of the best music the planet has to offer. Congrats on your tenth birthday Pentaport, we can’t wait to see what you present to music fans over the next decade!

Photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival/ Yescom Entertainment
(photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival/ Yescom Entertainment)

Zandari Festa 2015 – Five Questions with Shima Shima Electric

Zandari Festa 2015 will take place in Hongdae from October 2 – 4.  In order to spotlight some of the talent performing at this year’s event, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Shima Shima Electric

For this installment, we’re talking with bassist Natsuki Hirano from Japanese bass-and-drums rock duo Shima Shima Electric.

1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2015?

We want to perform around the world and we want people from all over the world to know about our band.  Zandari Festa is Korea’s largest showcase festival and features many great Korean and overseas acts so we feel really honored to be performing there.  We hope we can learn lots of things from all the other bands we’ll meet and play with.

2) What can people expect from a Shima Shima Electric live show?

We have only a bass-and-drums setup, but the deep and profound sounds we create will make you think that there’s more than just two of us playing!  Since both of us sing, we’re also able to use our voices to add more depth to the music.  I think the thrilling sounds of our bass-and-drums-driven songs will excite people at Zandari Festa who are seeing us for the first time.

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

Yoko and I started Shima Shima Electric in March 2012 and released our first music video in June 2012 for our song “Space Pusher.”  In July 2014, we put out our full-length debut, “Kagakuno Kodomo.”  We’ve collaborated with Yuji Katsui from the popular Japanese band Rovo in the past, and in March of this year we did our first American tour.

4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2015?

If we have time, we would like to eat Korean food and experience Korean culture.  This will be our first time visiting Korea, so we’re looking forward to walking around the streets and meeting Korean people.  In Japan, many people love Korean dramas, study Korean, and are very interested in learning about Korea.  We want to be able to speak Korean one day.

5) It’s important to stay hydrated at music festivals. What’s your festival drink of choice?

While we’re in Korea for Zandari Festa, we want to drink baekseju.  A friend gave us some before and it was so delicious!

For more information about Shima Shima Electric, check out their Facebook page here. To learn more about Zandari Festa 2015, you can check out the festival’s website here and its Facebook page here.

Zandari Festa 2015 – Five Questions with Romantiqua

Zandari Festa 2015 will take place in Hongdae from October 2 – 4.  In order to spotlight some of the talent performing at this year’s event, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Romantiqua

For this installment, we’re talking with drummer Anton Brinza from Seoul spacey instrumental rockers Romantiqua. How to describe the group’s sound? Well, imagine Earth is being invaded by aliens and pitched in its final battle for survival. Romantiqua is there belting out a sonic serenade to our final moments. No one really knows if we’ll survive this moment, but it sure as sh#t feels epic! The band recently released a new recording and last month played both the Ansan Valley Rock Festival and Jeju’s Stepping Stone Festival. Now let’s get to Brinza’s answers!

1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2015?

For musicians like us who play in Hongdae frequently, Zandari Festa is like the best slice of pie in the shop. It’s an exciting weekend in Hongdae, when the indie music center of the country becomes even more lively, engaging, and approachable than it normally is. Somehow, given the chaos of clubs and timetables and people and energy, it’s always a relaxing weekend.

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

The answers to all of life’s problems.

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

We’re an instrumental band on the Gogol Records label. Even though we’re labeled as a post-rock group, we straddle a fine line when it comes to the expected post-rock sound. There are a lot of different influences going on in our music, and some people aren’t really comfortable calling us post-rock. If we’re doing it correctly, then someday we hope to earn the label “Romantiqua-rock.” Or I prefer “Romantiquaesque.” Even if it takes twenty or more years, that’s sort of what all artists strive to attain. Also, one of our members has a love affair with chocolate, and a lot of people think that two of the band members are foreigners, but there is only one.

4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2015?

Zandari provides the perfect opportunity to check out new bands, or established bands that you’ve heard about but never had a chance to see live. The timetables may look chaotic, but the festival is actually organized so well that there’s never much of a problem. The long sets that all of the bands get really make it manageable. And with more international groups and promoters coming every year it’s becoming a really great place to network.

5) It’s important to stay hydrated at music festivals. What’s your festival drink of choice?

Romantiqua’s Romance Tips, #42: If you see a pretty girl or an attractive fellow with a cocktail, ask what they’re drinking. Claim that you’ve never tried that particular drink before and that you’re dying of curiosity. Take a sip when they offer, act impressed. Flirt accordingly. This is also effective, to a certain extent, when you’re low on cash!

For more information about Romantiqua, check out their Facebook page here.  To learn more about Zandari Festa 2015, you can check out the festival’s website here and its Facebook page here.

Zandari Festa 2015 – Five Questions with Djang San

Zandari Festa 2015 will take place in Hongdae from October 2 – 4.  In order to spotlight some of the talent performing at this year’s event, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Djang San

For this installment, we’re talking with China-based French artist Djang San. With 30 albums and a number of accolades under his belt, Djang San has long been involved in Beijing’s underground music scene and has been churning out a rock-y blend of folk-inspired crossover music for well over a decade. Now let’s get to his answers!

1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2015?

This will be the first time I play in Korea and also the first time I go to Korea. I am looking forward to discovering Seoul and the underground music there as well as Korean music culture. As I live in Beijing, I’m hoping to come back to Korea again for more festivals in the future.

2) What can people expect from a Djang San live show? 

Something they have never heard or seen before; a mix of present and past, rock music, jazz music, folk, and more – all put in a blender. Add to that influences from Hendrix, Zappa, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Radiohead, Joy Division, and Nirvana played through a 2,500-year-old electrified Chinese instrument and you’ll have a small idea of what the music of Djang San can be like live on stage.

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

Originally from Bordeaux in France, I came to China for the first time in the year 2000 and I have recorded over 30 albums, mostly doing cross-over stuff between Eastern and Western music based on Chinese instruments, but I have also recorded albums of electronic music, experimental music, rock music, and jazz. I also have a project as a one-man band, using loop machines and all kinds of synths as well as guitars and Chinese instruments. Using those machines and devices I can play folk, electro, and experimental music.

In early 2000, I became one of the first foreigners in China to write folk songs in Chinese inspired by the Beijing folk underground. In 2009 I became probably the first musician to record jazz standards using an ancient Chinese instrument called the zhongruan which I have been playing since 2002. In 2014, I was nominated for “Folk Singer of the Year” by China Radio International. And in 2014 and 2015 I created my own self-designed electric zhongruan and my own electric pipa thus extending even more the possible use of these instruments into modern music.

I have played a lot of festivals in China over the years including Midi, Zebra, Croisements, and many more.  In January 2015, I started my own music showcase event called The Beijing Underground Showcase.

4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2015?

I’d like to explore Seoul of course, and I’d like to play a few more gigs in town as well. I think it will also be a great opportunity to meet new people, musicians, artists, and a new audience too. I’d also like to party and am looking forward to attending some of the Seoul parties people have been telling me about.

5) It’s important to stay hydrated at music festivals. What’s your festival drink of choice?

Whiskey, gin tonic, water … if you want me to say the name of a famous drink brand, make them pay me first!

For more information about Djang San, check out his Facebook page here and website here.  To learn more about Zandari Festa 2015, you can check out the festival’s website here and its Facebook page here.

Ansan Valley Rock Festival Ends with Some Messy Noisy Fun‏

By Jeff Moses and Trash Yang Moses

Have you ever thought that Boryeong Mud Festival would be a lot more fun if it was a music festival? Well in late July the Ansan Valley Rock Festival gave a glimpse of what that would be like. After two days of non-stop rain, thousands of people marching between the three stages, food vendors, and camping sites turned the once green field into a massive mud pit. Despite the fact that a large number of fest-goers were camping in these conditions all weekend, spirits were still high when two of this year’s biggest draws, Motörhead and the Foo Fighters, closed out Ansan’s main Big Top Stage on Sunday.

Ansan Mud
Photo by Trash Yang Moses

In the 1970s, Motörhead was once voted the worst band in the world in a poll that ran in NME magazine. Four decades later, crowds of people were filling up the lawn in front of the Big Top Stage more than an hour before the legendary act were scheduled to start their set. The band hit the stage at 7:15pm, and just to make sure everyone knew exactly what was about to happen, bassist and vocalist Lemmy Kilmister informed the crowd, “We are Motörhead. We play rock ‘n’ roll.” The crowd went nuts, and with that, the group kicked off a raging hour-long show with the song “We Are Motörhead” from their 2000 album of the same name. Their set included other greats like “The Chase Is Better than the Catch” and “Over the Top,” but noticeably missing, as it was at Japan’s Fuji Rock a few days prior, was “Killed by Death.” However, Motörhead made up for it by ending with their two biggest hits, “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill.”

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Photo by CJ E&M

After Motörhead, most of the crowd moved over to the Green Stage to check out British electronic music act Rudimental. Those who stuck around at the Big Top Stage were surprised to see an enormous Foo Fighters banner drop to cover the entire front of the stage during the band’s extensive setup.

KS8_7671
Photo by CJ E&M

More than an hour later, the banner was raised and the Foo Fighters dove into their ninety-minute set with one of their most beloved tracks, “Everlong” from 1997’s “The Colour and the Shape,” a song that was their closer for years. As expected, Dave Grohl who suffered a broken leg after a fall during a gig in Sweden last month sat center stage in his newly constructed throne which was fittingly topped with a Korean flag. However, that took nothing away from energy of the show since despite being seated, Grohl still played his guitar, headbanged, and thrashed around while belting out his lyrics.

KS8_7699
Photo by CJ E&M

The band performed songs from all eight of their studio albums including “Something from Nothing” and “Congregation” from their most recent release, last year’s “Sonic Highways,” along with crowd favorites like “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” and “All My Life.” Unlike years ago, the Foo Fighters do a lot more than just play through their hits these days. There was an extensive amount of jamming on a lot of the songs with extended intros, solos, and bridges. They even covered parts of tracks such as Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” while introducing each member of the group (except, funnily, Dave Grohl). This might not sound great to a lot of people, but it really added a lot to the show.

DSC_5827
Photo by CJ E&M

After the expected talk of how great the crowd was and coming back to Korea to play again, the Foos wrapped up their concert with “Times Like These” and “Best of You.” The latter featured a massive crowd sing-a-long during the “Oh” portion of the track before fireworks started exploding to celebrate the closing of the fest’s main stage.

fire
Photo by CJ E&M

 

 

Zandari Festa 2015 – Five Questions with Lightcraft

Zandari Festa 2015 will take place in Hongdae from October 2 – 4.  In order to spotlight some of the talent performing at this year’s event, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.

lightcraft Band Photo

For this installment, we’re talking with vocalist and guitarist Imam Wisaya Surataruna from Lightcraft out of Jakarta, Indonesia. Formed in Kuala Lumpur back in 2004, Lightcraft mixes melodic vocals and harmonies with at times understated piano and guitar riffs as well as driving electric rhythms. They build their music out of emotion, and the melancholy which pervades their dreamy vocals combined with the instrumentation behind them makes for a truly ethereal experience. Now let’s get to Surataruna’s answers!

1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2015?

Well, it will be a first for us to be flying off to Seoul, so that is exciting enough for us! However, the most exciting aspect of being able to perform at Zandari Festa 2015 is the opportunity to play our first ever show in South Korea. We’ve played in India, Canada, and Singapore this year so far – we’re also playing in Malaysia later this month – but the thought of being able to play in South Korea in 2015 never crossed our minds, especially at a festival as massive as Zandari Festa and to a completely new audience, so we can’t wait!

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

Expect something different, and be prepared to be soothed and lulled by our songs. Of course, we’d like to tell people to be prepared to be blown away, but let’s just see how it goes, eh? Also, compared to our recordings, our live sets are more energetic and more dynamic, so it’ll be a completely different experience.

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

Lightcraft is an indie-rock/dream-pop band from Jakarta, Indonesia, but we were formed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during our university years. We grew up as a band there before we returned home to Jakarta. We have released one EP, two albums, and a mini-compilation cassette, and some of our influences include Snow Patrol, Coldplay, Doves, Elbow, Starsailor, Mew, and Sigur Ros. Check out our SoundCloud for samples of our music, or head on over to our YouTube channel to see videos of us playing live. We’ve played festivals and shows in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, and Canada, but this will be our first time performing in South Korea, and hopefully we can please all of the fest-goers at Zandari Festa with our show!

4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2015?

We will definite be going sightseeing around town, seeing as it’ll be our maiden visit to Seoul! However, our main aim is to check out as many bands as possible. We’ve been listening to some of the bands that will be playing Zandari Festa 2015 and they are really, really good! We heard that Sssighborg will be performing – well, they told us about it, actually – and we shared a stage with them last year in Singapore at Baybeats Music Festival 2014, so it’ll be great to see them again. We’re also hoping to make new friends as well, and make as many amazing memories as possible from our short visit!

5) It’s important to stay hydrated at music festivals. What’s your festival drink of choice?

Hot tea and water before and during our set. It’s essential to maintain our singing voices and keep our performance levels as high as possible. After that, we’ll definitely be grabbing a few pints of some Korean beer and some soju to celebrate!

For more information about Lightcraft, check out their Facebook page here.  To learn more about Zandari Festa 2015, you can check out the festival’s website here and its Facebook page here.

Still Time to Apply for Zandari Festa 2015!

Seoul’s annual Zandari Festa is the largest music showcase fest in the country, and since launching in 2012 has rightfully sat high on autumn’s list of things to do for many indie music fans in Korea.

zandari_logo_fin

Zandari Festa 2015 is happening in Hongdae from October 2 – 4. For any musicians out there, Zandari Festa is accepting applications from acts until July 31. The festival is open to all performers regardless of nationality or musical style. Want a shot at playing? Just fill out the English application form here. Something very cool about Zandari Festa is that while many international music showcase festivals charge acts to apply, Zandari Festa doesn’t.

This year’s event will feature over 200 Korean and international bands performing throughout Hongdae in more than 20 different venues. And just like past editions, fans can access all of the shows with one wristband.

Korean post-rock/post-hardcore hybrid band Apollo 18 have played at every Zandari Festa that has been held so far. The group’s bassist, Daeinn Kim, is a big fan of what Zandari Festa is trying to do.

“I think Zandari is a big party,” he says. “It’s kind of like Korea’s SXSW. Zandari is only a few years old now – and is still growing up – but I think it’s going to become a very famous fest in Korea.”

When asked why Zandari Festa is good for Korean and international bands, his answer is simple.

“Famous bands, not famous bands – every band can play at Zandari. All musicians can enjoy this cool festival together.”

Crying Nut played at the first Zandari Festa and returned to perform again last year.

“It’s very, very fun,” says accordionist Insoo Kim about the event. “I got to hang out with lots of musicians and music industry people from all over the world at Zandari Festa 2014. I had a great time with people from England, Germany, and also Russia too. But I think I drank too much last year!”

As part of Crying Nut, Insoo has toured in Asia, North America, and Europe and has performed at large club-style festivals like SXSW in Texas and CMW in Toronto. And even with having played at those renowned outings, Zandari Festa is still tops in his books.

“I think it’s the ultimate city festival in the world,” he says. “All bands and musicians are considered equal and are treated like friends. And for musicians and music fans, we have the chance to make new friends from all around the world during Zandari Festa.”

Zandari Festa 2015 will be accepting applications until July 31. For more information, visit the fest’s official website here.

Zandari Festa 2015 Poster