Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with Jujumo

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.

jujumo

For this installment, we’re talking with Makoto, guitarist and composer from Japan’s expressive rock duo Jujumo. They use catchy riffs and passionate melodies which come together for a beautiful sonic experience. Now, let’s get to his answers!

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

This is our first time going to Korea. We hope to see many music lovers at our showcase and during the festival.

What can people expect from a Jujumo live show?

Stories like a picture book will appear in front of you. You will smell it, touch it with your mind, and roll over the language.

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

Please check out our music on iTunes, and check our Facebook and web site.

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

We hope to see new blooming art from Korea. And we hope to eat delicious food too!

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

Earip, EE, Light And Noise, Lass from Poland and more!

Radio blah-blah

Former heresiarch Grand Poobah at the Korea Gig Guide Shawn Despres has been back in Canada for about a year and a half now, and for much of that time he has been hosting a weekly radio program on CFMU called “Sounds From the Korean Underground.” Definitely one of the best ways people not living in Korea have to learn about the Korean indie scene.

On last Sunday’s show, because I happened to be back in Canada visiting family, Shawn was nice enough to invite me to join in. The result was an hour of us blathering and playing some of my favorite Korean music — mostly from the 1970s and 1990s. It was a lot of fun.

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You can listen here on Mixcloud. And for people who like to listen to music online, I recommend you check in regularly on “Sounds From the Korean Underground.”

Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with An Honest Mistake

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.

an honest mistake

For this installment, we’re talking with Darren Teh, guitarist and lead vocalist of the Malaysian pop-punk band An Honest Mistake. With a blend of hard hitting and melodic riffs and vocals, they bring an impressive energy to their music. Combined with their fantastic stage presence, they’re sure to be a big hit at the festival. Now, let’s get to Darren’s answers below!

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

We’re super excited because this will be our first time in Korea and we’ve always wanted to play there. We’ve heard of the giant festivals that happen in Korea all the time and this is a perfect opportunity to experience that. On top of that, we’re just really excited to meet everyone there. Especially the bands and the amazing delegates that will be there to share their knowledge and expertise.

What can people expect from An Honest Mistake live show?

Expect a lot of sing-a-longs and lots of movement. If you’re not jumping or headbanging, it’s not an An Honest Mistake show. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that’s for sure. But you’ll find out about those at the actual show! You’ve got to be there to witness it and be a part of it.

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

We’re a four-piece pop-punk band from Malaysia. We’ve got three albums out already and we’ve got a new track that will be out in early September. We’ve played festivals in Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, India and of course Malaysia. We used to have a female co-lead vocalist and a violinist but we’ve moved on to a different phase of the band now.

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

We want to catch as many local bands as possible and connect with them. Getting to know the delegates will be one of our plans too. Apart from that, we really just to take the opportunity to explore the city a little bit. We’ll be doing a few extra shows prior to the festival as a warm up, so that’ll be good as well.

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

We’re already friends with Love X Stereo, so we definitely want to go drinking with them. To be honest, I’m just looking forward to getting to know everyone. I’d like to hang with as many people at the festival as we can.

Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with Masafumi Kawamoto

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.

For this installment, we’re talking with Japanese singer-songwriter Masafumi Kawamoto. Zandari 2016 will be his first performance overseas and he is anxious to share his music with new audiences. Check out Masafumi’s answers below!

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

I am excited because everything will be a new experience for me and Korea is a country I’ve really wanted to go to.

What can people expect from a Masafumi Kawamoto live show?

You can enjoy rock music even though I am not a band, but rather a solo singer with a guitar.

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

I play acoustic rock. I am cool and very, very friendly.

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

I would like to try Korean food, especially Shin ramen.

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

Everyone, including all the staff!

Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with Tirikilatops

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.

Tirikilatops

For this installment, we’re talking with Super Bodreong from UK act Tirikilatops. Composed of British and Korean musicians, the group’s unique brand of “Avant Garde K-Pop” is wild and a lot of fun. Now let’s get to his answers!

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

We are excited to be performing at Zandari mainly due to the fact that we hope to bring smiles to as many people as possible and we have heard that Zandari is a super cool and super fun festival! Plus it is on singer Bom Carrot’s home turf! So there’s going to be family and friends and new friends! That’s exciting!

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

Fun and free fruit and vegetables! We exist to spread happiness, earworms, and dada!

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

We are a musical collaboration between Korea and the UK. Bom Carrot, the singer, is Korean and I’m from the UK. We also have a revolving door of extra performers from Korea and the UK, namely, Kangcoo, Sea Robber Potato, Grass Face Wilson and Kangcootwo. We are not yet certain who will grace the stage with us at Zandari, but it will be one of them for sure. We make music that is quite hard to define. It has been described as “Avant Garde K-Pop” and also “What the hell….?” Both descriptions are fitting.

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

Our aim is to see as many cool bands as possible whilst drinking lots of makgeolli!

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

Patients! We saw them play in Manchester and they were great. They are super friendly guys too, so we expect a few bottles of soju in their company would make for a jolly evening.

Zandari Festa 2016 – Five Questions with Mateusz Franczak

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.

mateusz

 

For this installment, we’re talking with Polish multi-instrumentalist and improviser, Mateusz Franczak. Franczak has performed at festivals such as Jazz Fest Berlin, c/o pop Festival, Tzadik Festival Poznan, Narracje – Festival of Artistic Visual Installations, New Tradition – Polish Radio Folk Festival, Off Festival, and Open’er Festival. Now let’s get to his answers!

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

I am really excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2016, because it will be my first solo concert played at such a huge festival and so far from home. I’m sure it will be a great experience and musical adventure. Also I’ve never been to Korea before!

What can people expect from a Mateusz Franczak live show?

My live show is an intimate experience, performed, as it is, solo; just me and my listeners. I try to make my music feel familiar, comfortable, protective, while at once intoxicating and dangerous. I want my audience to share in a rare, intimate experience.

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

I’ve been making music for more than half of my life. I started playing in punk rock bands, but I was inspired by so many genres, that after a few years I was recording not only punk, but also jazz, experimental and even rockabilly albums. I’m permanently associated with such bands as Daktari, HOW HOW and Giorgio Fazer. After many years of playing and gaining experience in different bands, I’ve decided to record my own solo album titled “long story short,” which was released on the independent imprint, Too Many Fireworks Records.

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

I would like to see as many bands and musicians as possible. I’m really excited and eager to meet new people, learn something new and of course, learn about the Korean indie music scene. Who knows what will happen during Zandari Festa – maybe a new international music project?

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

With all of them – one drink definitely won’t be enough.

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!

IDIOTAPE_002
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