Seoul-based rock band Dead Buttons are set to light up the stage at Hongdae’s Prism Hall tonight (Sunday, April 27) as part of the Command 27 comeback show ahead of their first UK tour. After playing at “the largest metropolitan music and arts festival in the UK” on May 2 – 3 that is Liverpool Sound City, they’ll be sharing the stage with Korean indie act Patients across England. Despite being relatively young, the band is not unfamiliar with performing on foreign shores. Less than two months after debuting, Dead Buttons were already performing in Tokyo at the Japan-Korea Punk Festival. They are confident those who can make it out to their shows will not be disappointed. See the bottom of this article for a detailed schedule of their upcoming shows.
First coming together in fall of 2012 after Lee returned from compulsory military service, Dead Buttons was originally a three piece but eventually settled on being a duo in the summer of 2013. With a diverse range of musical influences permeating their sound from stoner metal to blues and country, punk rock is the adhesive that holds it all together. While drummer/vocalist Kanghee Lee hails from Paraguay, guitarist/vocalist Jihyun Hong is also the guitarist for the hardcore act Combative Post and was previously involved in Sweet Guerillaz and Oi! Resolute. The band hit the studio at the end of 2013 to record their eclectic sampler EP, “Whoever You Are”.
Check out this live performance of the last and in my opinion the catchiest track off their EP recorded for Balcony TV.
Korea Gig Guide was lucky enough to be able to interview Kanghee and Jihyun in advance of their UK tour. Enjoy!
How did you guys start making music together?
Kanghee Lee: I was looking to join a band after finishing my army service. When I met Jihyun, we discovered we had a very similar taste in music so we decided to start a new band together.
Could you tell us the story behind your band name?
Kanghee Lee: I like a lot of bands that have the word “Dead” in their name. I started calling us “Dead Buttons” as a temporary name. But at some point we decided just to use it as our actual name.
Jihyun Hong: I liked the name because if reminded me of cool acts like Dead Kennedys and The Dead Weather.
Your sound is pretty eclectic and dynamic. Which influences does each of you bring into your music and which ones would you say are most dominant?
Jihyun Hong: I think the biggest influence on our sound is Mississippi blues and country music. We’re both also influenced by punk rock, stoner metal, and psychedelic music.
Tell us about the process of recording “Whoever You Are.” Given that it’s a pretty diverse collection of tracks, was there an overarching vision or did you just go for it?
Jihyun Hong: We recorded the album pretty fast. We wanted to just do one-take of each song, so the whole EP was recorded in only five hours. “Whoever You Are” is kind of a homage or a tribute album to all the different musicians that have influenced us.
You guys are playing the Liverpool Sound City festival this year. What are you most excited about?
Jihyun Hong: This will be my first time traveling and performing outside of Asia. I’m really excited about getting to play in new venues with new bands for new audiences. After Liverpool Sound City, we’ll also play shows in Bristol, Southampton, and London with Patients. Our May 9 London concert at AAA will also feature Asian Chairshot.
Kanghee Lee: I think this tour is going to be a lot of fun and a great learning experience for us.
Do you have a message you’d like to share with British fans before you head overseas?
Kanghee Lee: You don’t know us yet, and we don’t know you either. But I promise you’re going to freaking love us after watching us play and we’re all going to be good friends. All of our shows in the UK are going to be a lot of fun, so please come hang out with us.
Thank you for your time and good luck with the tour!
Dead Buttons will play at Prism Hall tonight as part of the Command 27 comeback show. The show kicks off at 7pm and also includes The Monotones and The Veggers.
Here are Dead Buttons UK tour dates:
May 2 – Liverpool, England @ Heebie Jeebies (Liverpool Sound City)
May 3 – Liverpool, England @ Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)
May 7 – Bristol, England @ The Hatchet Inn
May 8 – Southampton, England @ Unit Club (WTFest)
May 9 – London, England @ AAA
May 10 – London, England @ Astbury Castle