Ten years after forming, Korean “hybrid punk” rockers Patients continue to evolve and grow and 2015 is shaping up as an amazing year for the trio. With a newly released high-energy album called “18″ to showcase and a return trip to the UK coming up, we thought it was time for a catch up with the group, so we spoke with vocalist and bassist Sumin Jo about “18″ and Patients’ upcoming plans.
You have been together since 2005, how have you grown as a band and changed your sound?
When I started the band, I was influenced by classic punk bands from the 1970s and wanted to be like them. But over the past decade, we’ve carved out our own identity. Just copying other people’s style is not fun, so we’re continually trying new things in order to strengthen and expand our sound.
What has been the reaction since you moved to a keyboard-driven sound?
Our keyboardist Hyuckjang is like a one-man orchestra so he’s very helpful to the band! Patients want to mix future-oriented sounds with elements of classic punk and Hyuckjang helps us do this. Our old friends like the changes we’ve made. And I like that we’re doing something different from other people.
Your new album, “18,” is full of energy and great for summer. What was the main inspiration for it?
In many ways, Korean society is in pain and many people have signs of darkness on their faces. I think music is very important at this time and should help people who are searching for happiness. That’s why we wanted to put bright songs on the album. Most of the songs are energetic and sound upbeat, but some of the lyrics are a little sad. However, I hope our music can comfort people and make them feel better.
How do you feel about the album now that it is out? What is each member’s favorite track?
Releasing this album gave me feelings of pleasure and pain – it kind of felt like what I imagine childbirth must be like! My favourite song is “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!”, Hyuckjang’s is “Hybrid Future,” and Jaehyuck’s is “R.I.P.”
You have Seoul shows coming up at Strange Fruit, Soundholic Festival 2015 Exit, and Sangsang Madang what can people expect from your live shows?
They can expect awesome playing and awesome songs. We’re really excited about our new album and can’t wait to share the songs on it with everyone.
Tell us about Steel Face Records and you intentions behind setting up your own label?
Steel Face Records was started so that Patients could have the ability to do whatever we wanted to. Since it’s our own label, we have complete freedom to go in whichever direction we want. We’re open to having others join us there too. So come on, let’s move forward together!
Who else is on Steel Face?
The other bands on Steel Face now are Cockrasher, One Hundred Blossom Club, and Dives.
You are heading off to the UK shortly for Liverpool Sound City. Why are you excited to play at the festival again?
We played at Liverpool Sound City for the first time last year and it was like being in heaven! There were lots of cool groups and music fans from all over the world crowding the streets. We were really happy to be a part of that. We can’t wait to play there again in a few weeks!
How confident do you feel having already travelled there? Are you doing anything differently this time?
We explored around Liverpool a lot last year so we definitely have a good feel for the city now. We think our two shows at the festival this year will be better and stronger than our performances in 2014 because we’ve got some great new music to share. We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone at Liverpool Sound City again.
Lasting 10 years is a great effort for any band, do you have any advice for young bands coming through who want to last that long?
Being in a rock band can be hard sometimes and it can be challenging to find other band members that you trust and gel with. But when you find those people, don’t hold anything back and move forward together. Honestly, I don’t think we should be giving advice to young bands, but I do want to support them. All of us should be fighting together!
Patients will play at Strange Fruit on Sunday night. The show is being billed as a send off for Liverpool Sound City and also includes Dead Buttons and Monoban. Tickets are 15,000 won and the show starts at 7 pm.
Here are Patients’ tour dates in the UK:
May 19 London, England @ Korea Cultural Centre UK
May 23 Liverpool, England @ The Heineken Tall Ship Stage (Kaskelot) – Liverpool Sound City
May 24 Liverpool, England @ The Cavern Stage – Liverpool Sound City
When they come back to Korea, Patients will play at Seoul’s Soundholic Festival 2015 Exit on May 30 and on June 12 the group will hold a special CD release concert for “18″ at Sangsang Madang in Hongdae.
are taking their new album “18” back to the UK very shortly, and will be gracing the stages at the Liverpool Sound City for the second time. But you can catch them live at the Exit Soundholic Festival at the end of May. “18” is out now.