Fargo Review

•June 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Loosely based on the Coen Brother classic of the same name, Fargo is a dark comedy focused on the consequences of giving in to the devil. The show opens in Minnesota and follows Lester Nygaard, a self effacing man put down by those around him. Following a chance meeting with hitman Lorne Malvo, Lester’s life is turned upside down as he chooses to listen to the devil in front of him. With his wife dead and the Chief of Police soon after, Lester must stay one step ahead of Deputy Molly Solverson as she tries to uncover the truth and bring Malvo and Nygaard to justice.

Billy Bob Thornton’s portrayal of Lorne Malvo contained the perfect level of malevolence and intensity: his every scene making my heart race while leaving me wondering whose life he would ruin next. Thornton’s powerhouse performance ensured that the show’s pace pushed on relentlessly, the repercussions of his actions increasing tensions in the show. Allison Tolman’s take on Deputy Solverson, meanwhile, was a direct contrast to Malvo. She was the epitome of good in a society tainted by Malvo’s influence. Her compassionate performance provides one of the only lovable characters in the show, and an easy comparison can be drawn to Frances McDormand’s Marge Gunderson in the 1996 original. Given that the series focuses on the extent to which an individual can be pushed to commit inhumane acts, it comes as no surprise that Martin Freeman’s Lester Nygaard is a key character. His evolution from an unassuming person into a bold and manipulative killer is slow but intriguing and Freeman’s performance is sublime.

While the actors, and their performances, are a key driving force in the show, they by no means detract from the powerful script crafted by Noah Hawley. His ability to establish a strong set of characters and to lead the audience down the story’s dark path is gratifying. One of my favourite aspects of Fargo was Hawley’s references to the original film, which he linked through not only the use of the same setting but the inclusion of Stavros Milos’s discovery of Carl Showalter’s hidden money. Another allusion to the original film, and one that made me incredibly happy, were the parallels in the pregnancies of both Molly Solverson and Marge Gunderson and their conversations with their respective husbands, as they provided a moment of humanity in an otherwise brutal story. I am not exageratting when I say that Fargo’s visual landscape was breathtaking, Dana Gonzales and Matthew J Lloyd’s cinematography emphasising the beauty and isolation in a Minnesotan winter. The overall ambience of the show was reminiscent of the calm before a storm and this feeling intensified as the story unfolded in each episode.

Fargo is, without a doubt, one of the best television shows I have seen and I highly recommend it.

Written by Roxy Simons.

Pompeii Review

•June 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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“No Warning. No Escape.”, says Paul W.S. Anderson’s new film poster. If there was a warning before the film I would have run as fast as I could and looked for the escape exit. The new production of The Three Musketeers’ creator is entitled Pompeii, and tells the story of slave-turned-gladiator Milo (Kit Harington) who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning). Kiefer Sutherland gives a decent performance as corrupt Roman Senator Corvus, Cassia’s betrothed and the antagonist Milo must overcome as Mount Vesuvius erupts and Pompeii crumbles around him.

Paul W.S Anderson has never shown himself to be a great cinematic filmmaker. He is an artistically uninspiring director who, from time to time, is able to craft good entertainment. When it comes to Pompeii, however, the poor quality goes hand in hand with gaping from boredom at the screen. Since the eruption of the volcano itself was less than exciting, the writers: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler and Michael Robert Johnson, enriched the plot with the love story between Milo and Cassia, which, in my opinion, hardly remedied the situation. A lack of passion and chemistry between both the characters and their actors, coupled with there being nothing interesting or engaging about the relationship, left me feeling cold. This was exacerbated by Kit Harington’s acting, which was poor in a way that speaks of unsuitability. Being Jon Snow on Game of Thrones suits him very well. Being a gladiator? Not so much. Emily Browning’s performance was okay, but somehow felt forced.

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The actual explosion of the volcano happens all too late. The pace of the film goes wrong. Instead of showcasing the various forms of destruction, the director treats it as a mere background to the history of Milo, Cassia, and Corvus, and what it does show is disappointing. Great flood waves, flying rocks, clouds of dust, and a sea of molten fire are only computer modified accessories that barely deliver on the previously implied promise. Despite the reported cost of $90 million the picture fell through as a boring and cheap, artificial production. I might have been impressed with these effects in a video game or on TV. On the big screen, unfortunately, they didn’t impress me at all.

It often seems like the writers of Pompeii didn’t pay enough attention while writing the script. As a result Pompeii resembles Conan the Barbarian, Gladiator and the TV series Spartacus, and an outcome that is easy to predict. Suffering from the lack of its own originality, Pompeii is exposed as a computer tracing, an artificial and under developed project. The only thing that kept me interested in the film was the score composed by Clinton Shorter. It was sad to see Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale Agbaje (Atticus), and Carrie- Anne Moss (Aurelia) in such a weak film. I have always thought of these actors as talented individuals, but Pompeii proved to be both a waste of their talent and a movie where they decided not to waste any by using it. I hope they never take roles in such a movie again. Summing up, Pompeii was the worst film I have seen this year!

Written by Maggie Gogler.

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

•June 1, 2014 • 2 Comments

Bryan Singer’s most recent contribution to the X-Men franchise, Days of Future Past, has just come out in cinemas, and what a wonderful return it is. Following his work on X-Men and X-Men 2, Singer took up the mantel from First Class director Matthew Vaughn, tying in the portrayal of the mutant’s past selves with the characters and events of the original trilogy. Adapting the  Days of Future Past storyline, the film presents us with a bleak future in which Mutants and carriers of the X-gene alike are persecuted by Sentinels and the surveillance state. The X-Men, unable to defeat the Sentinels, resort to travelling back in time in order to prevent the events that created the dystopian future, specifically Mystique’s assassination of Bolivar Trask. It is up to Wolverine to reunite the estranged friends Xavier and Magneto and save the future.

From the offset, the film kept up a relentless pace and maintained an effective balance between action and dialogue. In addition, the character development in the film was gratifying, especially Mystique’s transformation into a character with her own agency and sense of self. This allows Singer to provide the audience with a strong female lead in an otherwise male dominated film, the importance of Kitty Pride being perhaps the only other exception.

While a bit disappointing, the lack of female cast in no way created a lack of chemistry on screen. The relationship between Charles and Erik, especially, provided some of the most memorable moments in the film. This was emphasised by the chemistry between McAvoy and Fassbender, and made wonderful by the reprisal of Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian Mckellen in their roles from the orginal trilogy. Adding another impeccable performance to that list was Peter Dinklage, who produced a portrayal of Bolivar Trask that truly resonated with me. The true breakout character of the film, however, was Quicksilver.

Evan Peters’s Quicksilver stole the show. Without quite being able to describe why, I feel as though Peters became the character and lightened the tension of the movie while also adding dimensions to the relationships between the other characters. It is obvious why he has become the breakout character of the film. The ‘time in a bottle’ scene, especially, was so well crafted that it is the most memorable scene for me. The choice of song and cinematography were wonderful, and the lyrics, in particular, add a dimension to the relationship between Erik and Charles, foreshadowing their future conversations.

The plot was well executed throughout the film, but I would have preferred  less emphasis on the importance of Wolverine. While I understand that Wolverine is the most well-known of the X-Men, and that Hugh Jackman does a great job of portraying the character, it seems that the production companies are trading in on his popularity and are thereby decreasing the visibility of the other characters. In fact, it was only through further research that I discovered who the new mutants were. The time used for the scene of Wolverine’s awakening and subsequent fighting could have easily been used to show more of the future and given lines to the new mutants. Moreover, I was disappointed that Kitty, who is an amazing character in her own right, was relegated to a supporting character rather than the starring role she played in the original comic storyline. Also, the film makes it unclear how a person whose abilities allow her to become intangible, is suddenly able to facilitate time travel.

Ignoring these grievances, Days of Future Past is a brilliantly crafted super-hero film and is a must-watch in my opinion. The film is out in cinemas nationwide.

Written by Roxy Simons.

In Conversation with the singer- songwriter Hugh Keice

•May 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Hugh Keice, born in Seoul, is a singer- songwriter who frequently travels to the UK and Europe to perform his incredibly interesting music. He earned an MA in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2010. In the same year he released his debut mini- album entitled When Summer Holds The Rain, which contained 5 songs and was independently produced by Hugh’s eponymous record label. His childhood was filled with Schubert and Bach’s music as well as art. Although he was into drawing from his early years somehow he found his way towards music, even after a few unexpected ups and downs, he firmly pushed forward and has become a professional indie artist. His clean voice and unique sound, which blends funk, blues and soul with a hint of folk, drew me into his musical world immediately. His music combines a bit of John Mayer, D’Angelo, Incubus and is mixed with his own sound. It is hard to place Hugh’s music into one particular genre. He once said “I don’t want to pigeon-hole my music into any genre”. In my opinion it’s important to give yourself freedom when it comes to the creative process of making music and that’s what Hugh does. He experiments with various sounds  to create a one of a kind melody.

In a cafe in the backstreets of London, we caught up with the charming Hugh to hear his story, while he was here in London to perform an acoustic set and to participate on the panel of the Think in Music – Artist Talk at the London Korean Cultural Centre. We asked Hugh how it all began.

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Hugh: When I was 13 years of age I attended art class. I did a lot of drawing and I was very interested in being creative. At that time I listened to a lot of classical music, however, and one day a friend of mine introduced me to a different kind of music which was heavier than I expected. So I started to listen to bands such as Deftones and Rammstein and after a while I got myself my first guitar. After graduation we formed a nu-metal band that drew from Korn and Linkin Park. It was a lot of fun, but all of us went our separate ways and I went forward with my solo music career. That’s how it all started really.

To which Maggie replied with a laugh “You should have played in a metal band”

Hugh: I should have.

VOTA: So how hard do you push yourself when it comes to music?

Hugh: I was meant to be a musician. I believed in playing music. I used to play in Hongdae nonstop, then I started to write my own songs and music. Sometimes I even wondered if people would like it or not, but I guess they did. Even when I went through a tough time or was in a bad place I still pushed myself forward. It is important not to stop.

VOTA: How long does it take you to write a song?

Hugh: Sometimes I write instantly on the spot and sometimes it takes months, it all depends. The songs “Flowers, Life and Everything Else” and “Dancing in The Rain” were actually written on the spot.The best ones were written on the spot.

VOTA: In what ways does the place where you live, or places you have lived, affect the music you create or your taste in music?

Hugh: It comes naturally because you are exposed to different cultures, and different vibes. It affects you in various ways, your attitudes, and the way you think. So I guess the places I’ve been to affected my music somehow too.

VOTA: K-Pop, K-Pop everyone talks about K-Pop whenever I meet Koreans. Do you feel pressured by the huge wave of K-Pop and what’s the music scene in Seoul like when it comes to indie musicians?

Hugh: K-Pop was a huge opstical. Apart from Ballad singers and idol bands, there was absolutely no place for rest of the contemporary music in South Korea. However, nowadays, you can tell that it’s more balanced than the old days.The indie scene survived despite its difficult condition and, now, there are people who actually care about indie music. I used to think I could do K-Pop too but in the end I thought to myself “I like to have creative control over my music”. So I stick to indie music.

VOTA: What guests artists have you played with that were really memorable?

Hugh: I would like to mention Peterpan Complex. I used to be in a crowd when I was a teenager. Years have passed and I got a chance to tour with the guys which was great. They are funny and professional. They inspired me in some ways.

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                                                          Hugh Keice at the London Korean Cultural Centre

Listening to Hugh’s story about the K-Pop wave, his struggles as a musician and how much he had to, and still has to invest to carry on as a musician is truly inspiring. When you think of other indie artists, who went through difficult times and never really recovered from it, Hugh is living proof that you can overcome many problems. Of course he lost his confidence once or perhaps twice when he had to battle with untrustworthy people, when he lost the money and when he faced ‘no way out’ situations, nevertheless, he never looked back he just used past experiences and progressed as an artist.

We talked a lot about his inspirations too. He said that he gets his ideas from “Every bit of my life. I don’t want to sound like a Hipster, but it’s true. Simple things can inspire easily. The moodiness when I walk down the streets or sometimes having a pint with friends.” This is the part I didn’t expect to hear, but I am glad I did. “I remember when I had a hard time, when I had to do various jobs with detestation to write, I had no time to make music. I had to take my mind off things somehow, so I watched Secret Garden and started playing music. Just like that. So I guess the show inspired me to write music too.” To those who don’t know what Secret Garden is, it’s a Korean TV show which tells a story of a rich man and a stunt woman. We are guilty of watching it too.

We were very engaged in listening about the creative process of making music and his latest EP Whale Song Omnibus, which was released last year and mastered in the UK. When we asked about the unusual title for the EP’s Hugh said that the name for the album came up when he was on his way to a meeting with a designer. He had to think of something and came up with Whale Song Omnibus. He thought of the songs he had written, some of which had been drawn up three years previously. It took a long time, so he felt that the name of the album summed it all up. Hugh talked about how interesting and strange the creative process is, especially when you try to write and sing in another language. When comparing his first EP When Summer Holds The Rain with the latest one he bravely admitted that when he sat down and listen to it he felt like he improved sound wise and language wise. He was also very excited when he talked about his upcoming EP Why Can’t You Luv MeWe can’t wait to get it in our hands on May 22nd! Don’t forget to get your copy!

We chatted for a while but, unfortunately, it was time for us to end the interview. It was such a great pleasure talking to Hugh. We hope to see him soon in the UK again.

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Interviewed by Maggie Gogler & Jackie Tatham

Editor: Roxy Simons.

Pictures courtesy of the artist and Jackphotography

 

 

 

PATiENTS, DEAD BUTTONS and ASIAN CHAIRSHOT in London

•May 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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                                Asian Chairshot, Dead Buttons and PATiENTS

For the past few months I have been going to various concerts around London and, no matter where I went, I always ended up seeing Korean musicians. Each and every time I was blown away by their performances. This time was no different. Club Radio Free Europe decided to present us with three of the loudest and talented rock acts that are currently pushing their way up the music ladder: Asian Chairshot, PATiENTS and Dead Buttons. The gig took place at the AAA Archangel Venue in London.

Before starting the show I had a chance to chat with some of the guys. I found them professional, funny and very charming. Yes, I actually said that, they were all very charming. They know how to keep a good and healthy relationship with their fans. This doesn’t really happen often in music.

The first act that hit the stage was the punk band PATiENTS with Sumin Jo as the lead singer, JaeHyuk on drums and HyuckJang on keyboards. It was their 5th gig in the UK and what a smashing one it was. They kicked their performance off with Hybrid, which sounded as if thunder hit a rock with all its power. This was an absolutely superb track with a powerful guitar riff combined with keyboards and a fast drum beat, it was an explosive song for sure. To the person that said you cannot mix piano in rock/punk music you need serious medical attention. I am so glad the guys have managed to do it! It sounded fresh and original. The second song they played was R.I.P which was flawlessly followed by Let’s Drive Let’s Go. I’m not sure how long I shacked my head for but I was left with neck problems and was physically drained. The last time I felt like that was when I went to Download Festival in 2010 and jumped like crazy to Rage Against the Machine. Sumin’s vocals proved to me that he is a good live performer. The only problem I had with the band’s gig was the technical issues with the sound. It seemed like the venue didn’t really prepare well for the show. There were moments when I couldn’t hear Sumin’s voice. But I guess musicians face this kind of problem each time they play in small venues. So, after the third track there was a forth one All the Patients Let’s Go! followed by Sipalsegi and Idiots vs Psycho. Idiots vs Psycho was definitely my favourite one, I felt like a psycho myself on that floor. I have to admit HyuckJang’s abilities as a keyboardist left me speechless. His fingers moved like the speed of light. PATiENTS performed 8 songs, ending their gig with Kids of Ash. Their performance grabbed me by the throat and totally drove me into a trance. I thought to myself “what are Dead Buttons and Asian Chairshot going to bring to the table next?”

patients 1                                                                     Sumin Jo (PATiENTS)

KWAM                                                                      Hyuckjang Kwon (PATiENTS)

After PATiENTS there was time for Dead Buttons to jump on stage, and guess what, they did it with a big bang! There is only two words to describe the guys: PURE AWESOMENESS! Although there were a few sound problems. They started with Want It and a strong drum beat. Even though the lead vocalist has great vocals it was, somehow, overpowered by the loud drums and guitar. However, when they turned the sound down I could clearly hear Jihyun Hong’s incredible and clean rock and roll voice. The second track, Muddy Water’s cover, Got My Mojo Working rocked my socks off. For a second I thought I would lose my head from all the head banging. “Too much fire” someone shouted in the crowd! Listening to Witch made me think of Glastonbury Festival. It was such a good tune! The power of KangHee’s drumming was astonishing! It was like watching Motley Crue’s drummer, Tommy Lee, in action for a while! The song Baby, Please be Yourself was a fusion of country and rock. It made me think of the country music super star, Johnny Cash. Jihyun Hong broke his string after rocking out too hard on the guitar, I was reminded of the classic moment when Jimi Hendrix broke and burnt his guitar at the London Astoria in 1967. The only difference was Hong didn’t set his own instrument alight (how disappointing). The atmosphere softened when the guys played another cover, this time by The Sonics Have Love Will Travel.  I am seriously not able to write more because they were just too good! I think I will have serious withdrawal symptoms from Dead Buttons. They played four more songs Go Away, Nothing But You, Tired of You and finished their gig with Hangover. When the crowd demanded an encore they were forced to play another track for the hungry fans. I absolutely loved every second of Dead Buttons’ show.

It was done, it was finished and I was devastated until Asian Chairshot kicked off with their performance with Sun followed by What Should I Do? Their sound incorporated 1970s rock with a dash of hypnotising and psychedelic music. The band showed off their talents all the way through the set. Youngwon’s voice was impressive with his well executed high notes. This was shown when they played the song Lullaby. After slowing down the pace they returned to their original sound with a cover of Nirvana’s Breed. This led to a lot of headbanging on my part. The guys played three more songs: Lord of the Basement and Boat Song ending with their latest track Petrifaction which told the story of Kaywan, the drummer, breaking up with a girl. Even though I wasn’t able to understand the lyrics of the song I could feel the passion and emotion in it. It was very well performed. The three bands’ show was marvellous. It proved that Korean indie music is a force to be reckoned with. I hope this means that it will open the door to more talented Korean artists. I look forward to seeing the guys again, but this time in South Korea.

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                                                                       Dead Buttons

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                                                                      Asian Chairshot

Written by Maggie Gogler

Pictures courtesy of Jackphotography

 

Noah Review

•May 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Even if you aren’t religious, you certainly know the story of Noah. God gave the bearded old man a message that a deadly flood is about to wipe out all life on Earth. Despite the ridicule of others, Noah works hard to build the Ark. After finishing his monstrous boat, he takes his family together with animals- dinosaurs, unfortunately didn’t fit, into the Ark. So when the great water comes, Noah is forced to sail for months. After a while he finally lands on top of Mount Ararat, and is able to re- populate the world. That’s it, simple story right?

To those who expect Noah to be a faithful reproduction of the biblical story, you will probably leave the theater with a strong downturn of the jaw. The new, multimillion production from Darren Aronofsky- it cost over 130 million dollars and is a typical Hollywood adventure fantasy – fairy tale with some teary and dramatic scenes. The story coincides with the history described in the Book of Genesis just a little bit.

The protagonist (Russell Crowe) is not only chosen by God to fulfill His wish, the valiant Noah also has to fight the force of darkness represented by the murderer of his father, the brutal king Tubal – Cain (played superbly by Ray Winstone). Interestingly, in the film adaptation, Noah is helped by the Watchers to build his giant boat, fallen angels which have served the people in the form of a pure light until the expulsion of man from Paradise, when they were sentenced to Earth’s barren existence. Noah and stone creatures? It’s an awesome idea if you ask me. With their help it must have taken him just a week to build the Ark.

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The film could have been more intriguing if Aronofsky decided to focus more on the emotional battle of Noah, who struggles between his love for his family and obedience to God. Unfortunately, Noah, at times is dangerously close to the adventures of John Rambo. The most important questions loom somewhere in the background. And to add a bit of melodrama to the film, the two youngest sons of Noah are deprived of having a wife, and as a result, one of them, Cham (played by, a quite promising young actor, Logan Lerman) turns against his father. The film’s absurdity reaches its high when Naameh, played by Jennifer Connolly, ‘professionally’ diagnoses Ila’s pregnancy (Emma Watson), Noah’s eldest son’s wife. Naameh, like an experienced pharmacist, reaches for a homemade pregnancy test. Seriously? This scene, literally, made me giggle like crazy.

Noah, in spite of various ridiculous scenes, isn’t a bad movie. To a large extent the production is rescued by actors – above all, the great Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah. You have to put a sizable plus next to the name of Russell Crowe, whose sometimes frugal, sometimes dramatic performance captures the inner struggle of Noah very well, who, in the face of failure is almost driven to the point of madness. Noah has been receiving decent reviews, but it is difficult to expect it to be a movie that in a few years will be remembered as an outstanding production. It seems like Aronofsky wanted to bring universalism into Noah’s story and show that the battle between good and bad is a part of every human’s life, however, the end result is quite trivial. The down to earth cinematography by Matthew Libatique didn’t disappoint. As well as the film score, which was composed by Clint Mansell, who scored the music for all of Aronofsky’s previous feature films, and was performed by Kronos Quartet. The visual effects were great and the acting was even better. Now I know what Darren Aronovsky spent £130 million dollars on. Is it worth going to see Noah? I think it is, you won’t be bored for sure.

Written by Maggie Gogler

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In Conversation with Asian Chairshot (아시안체어샷)

•May 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

asianchairshotAsian Chairshot: Heenam Son (Guitar), Youngwon Hwang (Bass and Vocals),  and Kyewan Park (Drums) 

“Korean rockers Asian Chairshot combine explosive guitars, bass and drum work with vocals melodies that are uniquely full of surprises”- MUSIC WEEKLY ASIA

I wish you could have all seen my face when I heard Asian Chairshot’s scorching Mask EP for the first time. I think my jaw dropped so law that it almost hit the ground. I am not afraid to say that I am absolutely obsessed with their sound. What great music they play! Just look at their live performance from 2013. Their energy is simply mind blowing on stage, bass and drums are so explosive and Youngwon Hwang’s strong and impressive vocals totally amazed me.

Asian Chairshot is a relatively young band, formed in 2011 in South Korea and as a newcomer it really boasts of exceptional talent and charisma. The rocking trio’s tune is a mix of psychedelic music with a hint of garage rock. Which, in my opinion, is an indelible tune! The band has definitely caught the attention of local music critics who have quickly established Asian Chairshot as a band with a great future. I am not surprise they were nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song at the 2014 Korean Music Awards. Well deserved! It is also worth mentioning that in 2013 the guys recorded their first full length offering entitled Horizon, which was produced by the one and only, Smashing Pumpkins’ guitarist Jeff Schroeder. The album will be release by the end of this month. I literally can’t wait to buy it!

Asian Chairsot has just kicked off their 2014 UK tour. I will be going to see the guys in London. They’re worth seeing! We were delighted when we got a chance to interview the band! They are awesome!!

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VOTA: Youngwon Hwang, Heenam Son and Kyewan Park did you all grow up wanting to play music? How and when did the whole making music thing come about?

Kyewan Park: We’ve all been playing music for more than 10 years now. Youngwon previously played in an indie band in Japan. Heenam used to be in a modern rock band and has done session work too. I used to play in a punk band.  We’ve all been big music fans since we were teenagers and that made us want to start learning how to play music. We started playing music together as Asian Chairshot in 2011.

VOTA: What is the hardest thing about being in a band?

ACS: Money stuff! We don’t make a lot of money from music and things like touring, recording albums, and making music videos are expensive. So I think the financial side of things is definitely the hardest part of being in a band.

VOTA: How would you describe your music?

ACS: It’s rock music with bits and pieces of other styles mixed in. We hope it’s able to touch listeners in some way and make them feel something deep inside.

VOTA: To those who can’t speak Korean could you tell us what your songs are about?

ACS: Our brand new single, Petrifaction is about Kyewan breaking up with a girl. Our song Girl is about a female ghost. Lord of the Basement is about the feelings and emotions of someone who is a loser. The songs we write are about a wide range of things.

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VOTA: In 2011 you released a digital EP called Chairshot followed by Mask in 2013, what was the creative process like for these releases?

ACS: We practice a lot regardless of whether we have shows coming up or not. During these practices we also jam on new material. The songs on Chairshot and Mask were created by jamming together and making new music out of those jam sessions.

VOTA: In 2013 you also recorded your first full-length album entitled Horizon which was produced by Smashing Pumpkins’ guitarist Jeff Schroeder. How did the recording sessions go and when can we expect the album to be released?

ACS: The recording sessions went great! Jeff was awesome to work with. He’s a really good producer and gave us many good ideas. He actually played guitar on some of the songs too.  And the engineer who worked with us, Ryan Grostefon, helped make the songs sound much richer as well. We feel really lucky that we were able to work with both of them.  The album will be released on May 28 and is called Horizon. We’re really looking forward to it coming out.

VOTA: You have performed at various Asian music festivals and now are playing in the United Kingdom. What do you expect from touring in the UK?

ACS: This is our first time playing in the UK and also playing outside of Asia. So our expectations aren’t very high. We know we’re a small band still and very few people know us in the UK. But we’ve had fun at the shows we’ve done in the UK so far and are doing our best to make a good impression with listeners. We’re hopeful that this tour will be the first step towards making Asian Chairshot better known in the UK. That way when we come back for our second tour a few more people will know us. And when we return a third time even more people will know us. And things can keep growing that way.

VOTA: One of the View of the Arts’ readers asked us to ask you the following question: If you guys were to describe yourself in 3 words, what would you say?

ACS: Um … let’s go with “passionate, awesome, and cool!” Will that work?

VOTA: What are your thoughts on the music industry in South Korea?

ACS: I hope that the music industry in South Korea continues to grow and that artists from all genres, not just K-pop, get the opportunity to receive attention from music fans both at home and overseas.

VOTA: How did it feel to be nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song at the 2014 Korean Music Awards?

ACS: That was really cool! We weren’t expecting to be nominated because we hadn’t released a proper full-length album yet. I hope we can get more nominations for Horizon and win one of the prizes next year!

VOTA: What are your hopes for the near future?

ACS: I hope that we can keep playing cool music and let more people know about our band. For the immediate future, we’ve played a few shows in the UK so far and have more gigs this week in Sheffield, London, and Bristol. We hope we can meet some cool people and make some new friends at those concerts. And after our UK tour we’ll be playing at the Music Matters festival in Singapore and doing a few shows in Malaysia too.

HERE ARE THE BAND’S REMAINING TOUR DATES:

May 9 London @ AAA
May 11 Bristol @ Pam Pam
May 12 London @ Pipeline

Interviewed by Maggie Gogler

Guest Editor: Jackie Tatham

Picture courtesy of the artist.