I have seriously lost count of the number of K-Indie bands that have performed in the UK in the past few months. From rock, funk, and punk to blues and soul bands, they have all showed off their talents and abilities of being good musicians. We have already had a chat with the awesome DEAD BUTTONS, now it is time to introduce to you another smashing group called PATiENTS, whose music incorporates different styles of sounds which has created a music new style called ‘hybrid punk’.
PATiENTS began their journey as musicians in 2005 as a four piece band and became the leaders of the mid-noughties in the local underground punk scene. In 2006 they released their debut album entitled Hanging Revolution, however, in 2007 the band started to perform as a trio with bassist Sumin Jo taking over vocal duties shortly before recoding their second EP All the Patients Let’s Go. In 2008 PATiENTS played their first international gig in Japan as a part of the Japan/ Korean Oi! Punk Festival. Since then the band has slowly but surely climbed up the music ladder and began a successful voyage towards expanding the indie music scene. Even after parting ways with guitarist Junmyoung Baek, they still pushed forward. Instead of adding another guitarist, they decided to change their sound by inviting keyboardist Hyuckjang Kwon to join PATiENTS in 2013.
The guys have recently finished recording a four-song EP entitled Let’s Drive, Let’s Go which will be released in the summer 2014 through PATiENTS’ own label record Steel Face Records. The group is currently touring in the UK and will be showcasing material from their new EP during the tour.
We were lucky enough to get a chance to interview PATiENTS, who is already fairly busy making and performing music.
VOTA: Let’s start by talking about your band. How did it all start?
Sumin Jo: I formed PATiENTS in 2005. At the time, I felt the world was in despair and wanted find something to make me happy. I thought that being in a punk rock band would be the best way to express myself and be happy. So I started PATiENTS and have been loving it ever since. Our goal is not only for us to be happy, but also to be able to make audiences happy as well. That’s why we keep rocking! Our band also includes Jaehyuk Lee on drums and Hyuckjang Kwon on keyboards. Hyuckjang is the newest member and joined last year. Before him, we had a guitarist in the band but parted ways with him in 2012. We thought adding Hyuckjang instead of another guitarist would help us do some cool new things with PATiENTS’ music.
VOTA: Who chose the name PATiENTS?
Sumin Jo: I chose the name.
VOTA: You have been playing music for almost a decade, what do you think makes you and your type of music unique from other artists?
PATiENTS: At the beginning of PATiENTS, our music had a classic punk rock sound. But as we grew as musicians we wanted to create something that was more unique so we decided to expand our sound by incorporating different styles into it. We now call our musical style “hybrid punk.” The great thing about “hybrid punk” is that because it’s our own genre, we have lots of freedom to do whatever we want!
VOTA: As far as the band as a whole, what are you favourite groups from the past or present. And what bands have had the most influence or impact on you all personally?
Sumin Jo: Sex Pistols, Ramones, and The Cure have all had a big influence and impact on me. We all really enjoy Beethoven too. These days, I’m really into the Korean bands Dives and Bad Trip. Both are on Steel Face Records – a label we own and operate. Dives will release their first EP in the coming months. Bad Trip released a three-song digital single late last year. People can check it out here.
VOTA: If someone had never heard of your band before, how would you describe yourself to them?
PATiENTS: As I said before, we call our musical style “hybrid punk.” We make music with keyboard, bass, and drums and mix classic punk sounds with contemporary Korean moods and emotions. But, if given the chance, I’d rather tell people to just listen to our music for themselves instead of us trying to describe what it sounds like!
VOTA: What are your lyrics about?
PATiENTS: Our past albums had more serious subject matter. Especially our 2011 Kitsch Space full-length album had some dark and heavy stories. But our songs now are much brighter. We recently finished work on a new EP called Let’s Drive, Let’s Go! The songs on the EP are about having a happy life as we hope that’s exactly what most people can have.
VOTA: Your debut EP Hanging Revolution was released in 2006, and then in 2007 you released All the PATiENTS Let’s Go followed by 2011’s Kitsch Space. What was the creative process like for those releases?
PATiENTS: In 2006, we wanted to destroy all things so that’s the theme on Hanging Revolution. We wanted to progress in 2007 and we shared our desires on All the PATiENTS Let’s Go. In those early days we’d write the lyrics first as we thought our message was the most important part of the song. After that we add melodies and riffs. Nowadays we don’t have a set creative process. We make new songs whenever inspiration hits. We own our own label so we don’t need to have any kind of set strategy on when to release new music. The only set rule we follow when making new music now is that we throw a song away if someone isn’t happy with it.
VOTA: You performed outside of Korea already, and you will be flying to the UK in May to perform at Liverpool Sound City and other cities around the country. What do you expect from your UK tour?
PATiENTS: We played our first gig yesterday at Liverpool Sound City. We really enjoyed ourselves at the show and everyone we met was awesome. Hopefully the rest of our gigs can go just as well! For this tour, we’re hoping to just play well and meet lots of other musicians and music fans. If that happens at every show, this will be a very good first UK tour for us.
VOTA: As far as releasing new music, what are your plans for PATiENTS?
PATiENTS: Our new Let’s Drive, Let’s Go! EP will be released in June in Korea through Steel Face Records. But we have copies of it with us in the UK so people here get the first chance to own the CD. We’re proud of the album and hope people enjoy it. We’re going to start working on our next full-length album soon as well.
PATiENTS’ music can be streamed here
PATiENTS’ TOUR DATES:
May 7 Bristol, England @ The Hatchet Inn
May 8 Southampton, England @ Unit Club (WTFest)
May 9 London, England @ AAA
May 10 London, England @ Astbury Castle
Interviewed by Maggie Gogler
Guest Editor: Sophie Elwood
Pictures courtesy of The Artist