Asian 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!!
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.
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.