All posts by Tom

Zandari Festa 2017 – Five Questions with Browsing Collection

The sixth annual Zandari Festa will be taking place in Hongdae from September 29 – October 1 with 140 international and domestic acts. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions.

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For this installment, we’re talking with Carolina Karlsson (drums), Mimi Brander (vocals, guitar), Moa Lenngren (guitar, vocals) and Nora Lenngren (bass, vocals) of  Swedish rock act Browsing Collection. Their Zandari Festa showcase will happen on Friday, September 29 from 8 pm – 9 pm at Club FF. Now, let’s get to their answers!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2017?
Moa: First and foremost, we are very excited to get out of Europe and play for a completely new audience! We’ve never been to Asia before and look forward to showing you guys our music.

Mimi: Yeah, who doesn’t want to play in South Korea? It will be amazing!Nora: We’re also very curious about getting to know the people and what they are listening to. We hope they are more into hard rock music than Swedes are!

What can people expect from a Browsing Collection live show?

Mimi: It would be quite exciting for you to come and see us without having any expectations. So expect nothing!

Carolina: Except some super awesome energy, head banging and heavy riffs.

Moa: And we also like to kind of improvise and go bananas! So, you actually never know what you’ll get from a Browsing Collection show.

Nora: That’s correct. Like that time we played so loud the whole speaker system collapsed, or the time my bass frequency shattered the glasses in the bar.

Moa: Or when I shook my head so hard I lost control and fell all the way back into the drum set.

Mimi: So as I said, don’t have any expectations!

For fest-goers not familiar with Browsing Collection yet, what should they know about you?
Carolina: We’ve played together since we were little kids, and we do everything by ourselves! Like recording and producing our own music, filming and editing our own music videos, arrange photo shoots and design our own merchandise. Besides that we put a lot of effort in writing meaningful lyrics about making the world a better place.

Mimi: We also have a great sense of humor!

Moa: Yeah, you should see when we have our annual ‘Browsing taco night’.

Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2017?

Nora: We’d like to check out other bands of course, get inspired by different cultures, meet new people and get new valuable contacts.

Mimi: Hopefully we’ll eat some nice Korean food, too!

Moa: And I can’t wait for the beer as well!

If Browsing Collection was a cocktail, what would it be and why?

Mimi: It would probably be more like a shot of Fireball! Fast, hot and will make you lose your mind!

 

Zandari Festa 2017 – Five Questions with Ego Function Error

The sixth annual Zandari Festa will be taking place in Hongdae from September 29 –
October 1 with 140 international and domestic acts. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions.

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For this installment, we’re talking with Minjung Kim, vocalist of local Seoul act Ego Function Error. Now let’s get to her answers!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2017?

Zandari has allowed us to step forward every year since 2013, so it’s not just a showcase for us. We’d like to say Zandari is a vitamin for us.

There have been a lot of cases in which Korean independent musicians like us are able to perform overseas such as when we played at Midem 2016 or toured Japan last year. We think the trigger for this was definitely Zandari Festa.

When we hang out with musicians and delegates from many different countries in Seoul during Zandari Festa, we feel like we are facing an enormous, energetic surge from around the world. We are convinced that all the musicians, regardless of their nationality, will cause an explosion in Hongdae with their energy and performances this year as well.

What can people expect from a Ego Function Error live show?

Ego Function Error simply means ‘crazy person’. All you need to do is just have fun and jump at our show. Let’s go crazy together!

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

We are a psychedelic punk rock band. We are willing to protest and stand up against against things that are wrong in this society like sexual discrimination or stereotypes. But instead of punk rock’s typical three-chord playing, we choose a psychedelic way to spread our messages.

Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2017?

Attend the after party. It’s definitely something that everyone at the fest should go to. It’s filled with so many great people and has an amazing vibe. During Zandari, we’re going to put all of our energy into meeting and hanging out with passionate and talented friends from all over the world.

If Ego Function Error was a cocktail, what would it be and why?

A long island ice tea, which is sour, sweet and strong!

Zandari Festa 2017 – Five Questions with Eyre Llew

The sixth annual Zandari Festa will be taking place in Hongdae from September 29 –
October 1 with 140 international and domestic acts. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions

For the next installment, we’re talking with Jack Clark, pianist and drummer for Eyre Llew from the UK. Now let’s get to their answers!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2017?

This is our first time performing outside of the UK and Europe so we’re excited about experiencing Korea’s music culture. We’re grateful to play a festival like Zandari where people love and appreciate great music.

What can people expect from a Eyre Llew live show?

We combine a mix of emotional drones/swells with sudden explosions and heavy guitars. One member plays drums and piano simultaneously and another member plays violin bow on his guitar, which creates an atmospheric back drop that creates a really unique experience.

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

We’ve been a band for three years and have been working on our first ever album over the last two years which is coming out on the 19th October. We like to make emotional and atmospheric pieces of music and are hoping to score for film in the near future. Right now we’re just touring as much as possible, and will do a UK/EU tour in November and December.

Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2017?

Experience Korea’s music culture as much as possible as we’ve all never been to Korea or this far east. Eat some food and meet some great people.

If Eyre Llew was a cocktail, what would it be and why?

I don’t know much about Korean cocktails but I know of soju. Here we drink a lot of wine, so let’s go with that. We’re like a fine bottle of wine with a wonderful flavour to it.

Zandari Festa 2017 – Five Questions with Sax Machine

The sixth annual Zandari Festa will be taking place in Hongdae from September 29 – October 1 with 120 international and domestic acts. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Sax Machine

For this installment, we’re talking with Guillaume Sené (saxophonist) and RacecaR (MC) from French/US trio Sax Machine. Now let’s get to their answers!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2017?

Guillaume: We are very excited to play at Zandari Festa 2017 because it will be our first time in South Korea!

What can people expect from a Sax Machine live show?

Guillaume: Our live shows are very improvised. Each show is a unique experience.

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

Guillaume: Sax Machine is three people; two French horn players playing saxophone and trombone and recording live loops with their instruments and effect pedals, and an American rapper.

Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2017?

Guillaume: We would like to discover South Korean culture.

If Sax Machine was a cocktail, what would it be and why?

RacecaR: This cocktail would be one part improvisation, one part participation, one part excitation,  and one part anticipation. It is called “Speed of Life”.

 

Zandari Festa 2017 – Five Questions with Pseudo

The sixth annual Zandari Festa will be taking place in Hongdae from September 29 – October 1 with 120 international and domestic acts. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions.

Pseudo

For this installment, we’re talking with Jonathan Lyte, vocalist and guitarist of Canadian punk band Pseudo. Now let’s get to his answers!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2017?

We’re particularly excited about this show because it will be our first ever festival. We haven’t played any yet in North America, so to break into the festival grid in Korea is our biggest reason to be excited!

What can people expect from a Pseudo live show?

People can expect a fairly short set – a finished-before-it’s-even-had-a-chance-to-start kind of set. It’s fairly fast paced and energetic with nice relaxing pauses between songs.

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

They should know that we are way more friendly than we look. We seem angry or upset most of the time on the outside, but we’re pretty shy and want people to know they can approach us freely.

Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2017?

I’m personally stoked to see Wasted Johnny’s, among many of the other awesome bands my friends have pointed out to me since the festival began announcing its lineup. Besides that, we’re going to be doing some serious catching up with some friends that we haven’t seen in a while. Zandari is the perfect meeting time for all of us!

If Pseudo was a cocktail, what would it be and why?

Is a mojito a cocktail? I’m sorry, none of us really drink, but in my heart I feel like it would be a mojito. Not too bitter, not too sweet, but still enough for you to realize way too late that you have had nine already.

 

Zandari Festa 2017 – Five Questions with Full Garage

The sixth annual Zandari Festa will be taking place in Hongdae from September 29 – October 1 with 120 international and domestic acts. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions.

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For this installment, we’re talking with Keunyoung Lee, vocalist and bassist of Seoul punk band Full Garage. Now let’s get to his answers!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2017?

We played at Zandari Festa last year for the first time. It was so fun. It felt like the whole Hongdae area became a rock festival town.

This year we’re excited to have free beers at Zandari HQ, meet musicians who we’ve never met before, and also meet old friends who are playing in bands at different venues in Hongdae. I believe this year’s fest is going to be even more awesome than last year!

What can people expect from a Full Garage live show?

Full Garage is a punk rock band that plays fast beats with pop melodies. If you like ’90s melodic hardcore or punk rock, Full Garage will be good for you.

We don’t have any songs that last over three minutes. Three minutes is too long for us, so we always finish every single song in two minutes or less. So a Full Garage show is fast, simple, and short and includes plenty of pop melodies.

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

Full Garage was formed in 2013. We’re still a young band. Before Full Garage, I played in a melodic hardcore punk band called Gumx. If you were a kid in ’90s and listened to punk rock at the time, you’re going to love us.

4. Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2017?

I want to hang around in Hongdae holding a beer. I’ll be saying hello and stopping to talk with friends I meet on the street. Then buying another beer and moving to the venue where my favorite bands are playing. On the way there, if I meet another friend I’ll stop again and talk and laugh with them again.

5. If Full Garage was a cocktail, what would it be and why?

We are not like any kind of cocktail. Instead, we’re more like a small 330ml bottle of cold IPA.

Zandari Festa 2017 – Five Questions with Farewell Dear Ghost

The sixth annual Zandari Festa is taking place in Hongdae from September 29 –
October 1 with 120 international and domestic acts. To spotlight some of the event’s performers, Korea Gig Guide is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions.

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For the first installment, we’re talking with Farewell Dear Ghost from Austria. The final schedule is not yet out, but check back to soon to see when and where Farewell Dear Ghost will play at Zandari Festa. Now let’s get to their answers!

Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2017?

It’s our first time in Korea ever. You always get excited about first times, don’t you?

What can people expect from a Farewell Dear Ghost live show?

We’re always striving for emotional release and some kind of energetic dynamic that is permanently present when we perform on stage. We’re not afraid of fist-in-the-air anthems, raising our voices and our bodies to create some sort of feeling of unity. That’s something we’re always looking for.

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

They should know that we play our little hearts out for everyone that comes to celebrate with us. I guess, our music is in a way trying to break boundaries, introducing different genres to each other and having them all dance around together. That all somehow adds up to a sometimes exaggerated, but always honest and emotional live performance.

Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2017?

We’d love to explore the sheer infinite possibilities Seoul has to offer. Coming mostly from the rural side of Austria, we’re not really used to huge towers, millions of people meeting in the heart of the city center. It’s going to overwhelm and maybe scare us a little bit. But we cannot wait to let the city operate on us.

If Farewell Dear Ghost was a cocktail, what would it be and why?

A nice, but pretty tough question. Preferably, we’d describe ourselves as a Pina Colada. Sweet and sticky at the same time and you’re not really sure whether you should taste it. But once you do, you experience inner warmth and something that you’ve never felt before. So you’re off for thirty more.

Galaxy Express set to rock SXSW this weekend

South Korean indie legends Galaxy Express are set to the ram their infectious garage-meets-stadium rock back into Texas this Friday and Saturday for this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival. Performing as part of the K-Pop Night Out showcase and doing a second showcase on their own, Galaxy are gearing up to shred some Texan eardrums.

It’s been nearly three years since the band last played abroad, so SXSW audiences can expect a show fueled by an extra dose of that rock vitality they have enamored fans with around the world.


This award-winning three piece also have other exciting plans in the works, including  new music. They released a brand new single on March 11 called “The Way,” and I’d been told they were hoping to record another track each month. The songs will eventually make up their fifth full-length album.

“Yeah, we’re just going to write them as we jam,” explains bassist Juhyun Lee. “We just decided that if we can record like this, and make one song a month, it’d be great.

“Of course the sound will feel different every month. It’s not something we have a clear plan for,” says Juhyun. “We just want to capture the feeling of the moment. So I expect each month the songs will have a different feel to them. Summer will be hot so the summer tracks will likely have a hot feel to them.”

More pressing then their plans to record, the band is excited about getting back Stateside. This will be their fourth time to play SXSW but their first overseas show since 2014 as Juhyun’s 2013 marijuana conviction made international tours more challenging.

But they are more than excited to spread their wings again. I asked them how they felt about heading back this year. Rather than having a grueling tour schedule, they are happy to focus on the SXSW shows only this time, and to check out other acts during the festival.

“Well, we’ve got Korean friends living in Austin so it’s like we’re going to meet family for a celebration,” says guitarist Jonghyun Park. “We get to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while.”

“This time we don’t have other shows to perform so we can cruise around and check out the place properly and enjoy SXSW,” says Juhyun. “The whole place is abuzz and the streets are literally filled with music.”

I wondered if there was a major difference between Korean and American audiences, and what excites them about the SXSW audience.

“In the States, there’s always these young guys who come to our shows and bow their heads in front of us,” Jonghyun explains, imitating some thrashing fans up the front of a show.

“One guy explained that when he was an exchange student in Korea, he saw us perform. He came to our SXSW show. When we asked him why he liked us, he explained that it’s because we make so much noise,” adds Juhyun.

“So, we thought, these guys are crazy! But I guess they also think we’re kind of crazy. So it means we go crazy together!” laughs Jonghyun.

“South Korea and the Trump country [USA] are both in a similar situation at the moment,” Jonghyun explains, referring to former President Park Geun-hye when I asked about what it will be like to play in an America under Trump. “We’re all the same at the end of the day.”

“Because of Trump, I’ve heard that there are many angry Americans. If many of those angry people make their way to our show, won’t it be fun?” he adds with a laugh. “We can let off steam together!”

And after the show? Putting aside rumors the guys like to take a dip at the local nude beach, I wondered how they will unwind after another sweat-drenched performance.

Juhyun has it all laid out: “After you’ve had a lot to drink, there’s a rice noodle restaurant where you can cure your hangover and then there’s also a Thai massage joint.”

“It’s been a long time since we played there. I hope those who came to see us last time will make it out. I wonder how it’ll feel to meet those people again,” ponders Jonghyun. “And they could also see us differently, of course.”

While not all of the members are so confident in using English, it doesn’t seem to phase them. They look forward to rubbing shoulders with fans.

“We use body language and just hope we get the right amount of change,” jokes drummer Heekwon Kim.

“Yeah, we communicate with our music,” adds Jonghyun.

Here’s Galaxy Express’ schedule at SXSW:
March 17 Austin, Texas (9:30pm – 10:10pm) @ The Belmont (K-Pop Night Out)
March 18 Austin, Texas (1:00am – 1:40am) @ Barracuda Backyard

I Wear* Experiment Return to Korea this Weekend

I Wear* Experiment are bringing their dance beat-fueled electro pop back to South Korea this weekend. Having played Zandari Festa 2016, the Estonian trio are performing sets of their self-described “sex, darkness and synths”-driven sound in Seoul on Friday and in Busan on Saturday.

I Wear* Experiment have made quite a name for themselves in recent years, performing across Europe with a number of major acts, getting picked up for a film soundtrack, and making it into the top 10 of Eesti Laul, Estonia’s national song contest for Eurovision. Their show packs cinematic soundscapes into a visual experience that you won’t want to miss. Korea Gig Guide got to interview the band ahead of their Korean shows.

How does one wear an experiment?

It means standing by your beliefs and truths without compromise which is an experiment in itself because it always leads to new and exciting experiences. We feel that in a lot of areas and especially in music it is becoming more and more rare for artists having the courage to wear and express their true colors without succumbing to the pressure of being likeable.

Tell us about releasing your first full-length album Patience last year and how your sound has developed since 2012.

As it is our first full-length release we really took the time and put in effort like we had never done before. It was also a first time we worked together with a producer. It was a very big learning experience and in the wind of that we are already working on the next release.

Our sound has become more electronic and we have learned how to “melt” the different sounds together. With Patience our aim was to leave no stones unturned and try to create the best possible sounding album we could. Through trial and error we learned a lot and now while creating new songs I feel we can improvise and experiment even more.

What’s the indie scene like in Estonia?

It is very strong and getting stronger by the year. The last two decades have been great for the indie scene. The shift has been from singing in Estonian to more and more artists turning to English and a more polished and mainstream sound influenced by Brit pop and shoe gaze. You should definitely check out Vaiko Eplik, The Boondocks, Röövel Ööbik, Junk Riot, Levski and Ans. Andur. The recent years have seen a revival in the influences of funk and electro.

I Wear* Experiment performing the title track from their 2016 album Patience for the Eesti Laul song contest.

What was it like performing at Zandari Festa 2016?

It was very cool! We could feel the vibe of Seoul in the festival, which made it special. The first show we played at Zandari was at club Steel Face at noon. We had never played a show this early and we were a bit worried, but the place was packed and people reacted to our music, which is always great. The second show in club Veloso was in the same spirit, people reacted straight away and we had a good energy exchange with the crowd.

Are you excited to be heading back to Korea?

We are very super excited. We all, including the sometimes grumpy technicians, fell in love with the city, the people, the food and soju. When leaving the hotel after the last night of the festival, several of us had tears of sadness for having to leave combined with tears of happiness of how overwhelmingly great time we had had.

What can audiences expect at your upcoming shows?

We always give as much energy and emotion from the stage as possible. We have our excellent crew with us who are the best in Estonia, so we are bringing our full production.

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I Wear* Experiment play Club Freebird in Seoul on Friday, Jan. 6, and will be supported by Silica Gel, Asian Chairshot and DTSQ. They also play Vinyl Underground in Busan on Saturday, Jan. 7, with support from Leaves Black, 3 Volt and 57. You can pick up advance tickets here for the Seoul show here  and the Busan show here.

Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with Ooberfuse

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 is asking a bunch of acts five simple questions.

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For this installment, we’re talking with Cherrie Anderson, vocalist and Hal St John, vocalist, synth player and guitarist for electro-pop band Ooberfuse from the UK. Ooberfuse will play at Zandari Festa on Sunday, October 3 at 7pm at Club Ta. Now let’s get to their answers!

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

Hal: There is an energy in emerging music that refreshes in ways more traditional genres fail to do. We are so excited to be performing at Zandari Festa and hope to give the audience an amazing unrepeatable musical experience and also to be uplifted and inspired by the other acts performing. When like-minded people from multiple cultural backgrounds assemble together united by a common love of music magical things can happen.

2) What can people expect from an Ooberfuse live show?

Hal: Some reviewers have observed how layered synthetic sounds come to life when we bring these into interaction with emotionally charged vocals. We hope to touch our audiences with accessible contemporary sounds incorporated into well-crafted pop tunes.

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

Hal: We take the very best from contemporary Western pop music and infuse it with Eastern exuberance. Our music has emerged from the cultural melting pot that is the hallmark of a cosmopolitan city like London. We take the very best of British songwriting and fuse this with oriental flavours.

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

Cherrie: This will be our first time in Korea so we are very excited to experience Korean culture and music. We will be checking out Korean bands and musicians, and hopefully meet like-minded people and make new friends.

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

Hal: Dead Buttons, Love X Stereo, Paranoid City – to name a few!