Romanitqua will be holding a special album release concert on Friday night (May 23) at the newly opened Club Freebird 2 (formerly 500) in Hongdae for their debut full-length album, Revenge. Formed in 2010, Romantiqua solidified their lineup in the fall of 2011 with the addition of drummer Anton Brinza and since then have worked hard to establish themselves as one of the Korea’s premier instrumental rock bands.
Boasting a dozen dynamic cuts, Revenge was recorded between last fall and this spring. The album includes re-recorded takes of the three tracks from Romantiqua’s 2013 When and Where EP. It also features guest vocals on two tracks – Apollo 18’s Kim Dae-inn on “Drink It until It’s Gone” and Hollow Jan’s Lim Hwan-taek on “Only One Slight Eternity.”
Anton Brinza answered a few questions for Korea Gig Guide about Revenge and this weekend’s release party for the disc.
How do you feel that Revenge builds upon When and Where?
This album paints a more complete picture of what Romantiqua tries to give our listeners. When and Where was a very optimistic collection of songs. It was hopeful and inspiring. But where there is hope and inspiration there must also be struggle, doubt, and desperation. We try to convey this depth of experience in our music, and Revenge gives a more complete picture. As songwriters, we’re also storytellers. Even without vocals, these songs each tell a story. The stories vary in their topics and emotions by extremes. And that’s really what Romantiqua is all about. It’s in our name. Who has had a romance without its ups and downs? Without pain and pleasure alike?
Listening to the finished album, what are some of the things you like best about Revenge?
The album sounds great. We wanted to capture our live sound as best as we could, and we got pretty damn close. Every song stands strong on its own, but there is also a real cohesion amongst all the songs. It feels like a complete work, and not just a collection of our material. The best thing for us, though, was probably the recording process itself. We learned so much along the way, just about how to get exactly what we want out of the studio and the resources available to us. It’s already made us excited for the next album.
Are the versions of “Boris Aurorialis,” “Cold Night,” and “Play What’s Not There” on Revenge any different from the originals? Why did you want to work them into your full-length debut?
Structurally they’re the same, but they’ve each been completely re-recorded, and they sound a hell of a lot better. We wanted to include them because, thematically, they are important to the structure of the album. With Revenge, there’s a very obvious central theme being presented, and it’s kind of a loaded idea. There are a lot of different ways to think about or to seek revenge, and this album isn’t about a singular, retributive revenge. Those three songs, with their more positive spin, offer the other side of the sword, so to speak – the softer side. And they help the overall flow of the album, which presents a more accurate Romantiqua. They’re not the only positive songs on the album, but they’re an essential part of the story.
You guys decided to include some guest vocalists on Revenge. Why did you choose to do this?
We did this to push ourselves and to show that there are no boundaries in Romantiqua. Just because we don’t employ vocals all the time doesn’t mean we’re against them or anything like that. It’s a choice we make because we feel it benefits our music. The vocals we’ve used on this album, similarly, benefit the songs. We often discuss the inclusion of various instruments, and also visuals, into our music. These guest vocals have just been the first step.
What do you guys have planned for Friday night’s album release show?
We’ve got some great supporting bands lined up. Wasted Johnny’s, Hellivision, and Knockdown will be playing. There may be other special guests performing as well. There will be a raffle for free guitars from Young Chang Music. It’s going to be a party for sure.
Romantiqua have kept a relatively low profile for the first half of 2014. Will that be changing with the release of Revenge?
Absolutely! Our focus this year has been on the album. We’ve got it where we want it, and now with it finished we plan to hit the circuit hard. So look out for Romantiqua. We’re like a charging bull out for revenge.
Romantiqua play on Friday night at Club Freebird 2. The show starts at 9 pm and Wasted Johnny’s, Hellivision, and Knockdown will all play opening sets. Tickets are 20,000 won.