Főoldal » Interjúk, KPop » Messgram Interview (English)

Messgram Interview (English)

Before their show in Budapest on the 22nd of August, which will be their first ever show outside their home country, we arranged an interview with Seth, the bassist of South-Korean rock / metal band MESSGRAM and he told as about the band, the Korean rock & metal scene and their influences. (magyar változat)


SoundOfJapan: Please introduce the members and tell us about the band’s history.

Seth from Messgram: Hi, I’m bass player Seth answering the questions. Messgram is five-piece modern heaviness band hailing from South Korea.
Messgram was first started by drummer Soojin Lee. After the disbandment of his former band, Move Your Eyes, he was seeking for members to create a new band. Guitarist Yushik who was a former member of T.V. Animals, was having a period of rest after the disbandment of his band.
Soojin and Yushik gathered and began carrying forward the project. Soojin convinced Jahnny, a former member of Move Your Eyes, to join the project and Yushik convinced me to join as soon as I finish the military service. Along with YK joining the project, we formed a band named Messgram in the winter of 2011. I remember the first practice day as Nov. 16th. YK named the band explaining that the mess in the band name means a disordered condition and the gram means a unit that gathers the mess, in other words, people with a different style and taste gathered and formed a band, a unity that organizes a mess that each individual has created.

SoundOfJapan: The band recently changed its vocalist. Could you tell us about this change and how you found the new member?

Seth: After several times of discussion, ex-vocalist YK announced that she needs more time to devote herself dealing with some other personal issues. She also confessed that she’s more interested in the musical style that vocalist fully dominates the whole attention. We respect her decision.
In fact, we were very concerned about the ‘blank period’ after YK left. I really didn’t want to waste long time finding another talented voice so we finally have thought up a kind of strategy to drag out pretty vast buzz in a short period of time. Writing ‘the new vocalist recruitment’ post on Facebook and holding Messgram cover contest at the same time was very effective. We were pretty stroked to find out that so many people had applied the contest and recruitment. We eventually chose the first-prize winner Jiyoung as our new vocalist.

Messgram with their original singer, YK.

Messgram with their original singer, YK.

SoundOfJapan: What are your main musical influences? Were you mostly influenced by western bands or by some local bands as well?

Seth: What we like is pretty much different from one another. However, we always try to combine everything in harmonized way, reflecting each member’s musical taste. I think it as a seed of brand new creation (and some conflict as well).
I can’t deny that we’re more influenced by western bands though we never underestimate Korean band music’s quality.

SoundOfJapan: Please tell us about the band’s lyrics. Who is writing them and what are they about?

Seth: I mainly wrote lyrics in the EP, ‘This is a mess, but it’s us‘. We sing about our own insight and observation from daily life, such as human’s willpower, ascendance, good and evil, life and death. These days Jahnny and Yushik are spending some time to work on lyrics as well.

SoundOfJapan: It is quite unusual for a band to travel to Europe for only one concert. How did you come up with the idea to do this ‘Hungary Tour’?

Seth: I got married with my wife who is Hungarian. We were going to celebrate our wedding in Hungary anyways, so Messgram thought it would be a good idea to have a gig and introduce some Korean band music while we stay.

SoundOfJapan: Is this your first time playing outside Korea? And do you plan to come back to Europe for more concerts in the future?

Seth: Yes, we’ve never thought that we would have our first abroad gig in Europe actually. So excited to have fun with totally new audience! And of course, we wish to have more chances to play in Europe again.

Messgram 2015: Yushik (guitar), Seth (bass), Jiyoung (vocals), Soojin Lee (drums), Jahnny (prog. / vocals)

Messgram 2015: Yushik (guitar), Seth (bass), Jiyoung (vocals), Soojin Lee (drums), Jahnny (prog. / vocals)

SoundOfJapan: Could you tell us a bit about the other two Korean bands that play with you in Budapest, NATY and GBSG?

Seth: NATY is a heavy metal band formed in late ’80s. They kept evolving to deliver powerful but well-refined sound. GBSG has two girl members and two guy members. Their musical style is based on modern rock, punk, emo, and so on. It would help you understanding more about them if you imagine Story Of The Year or One OK Rock having female vocalist.

SoundOfJapan: When it comes to Korean music, most people only know about the K-Pop scene, which seems to dominate the country. How difficult it is to work outside the idol industry?

Seth: Indeed K-Pop has taken the largest portion of Koreans’ music consumption. Huge companies such as SM Ent., YG Family have their own ‘manufacturing’ system to train, manage and promote idol groups. Well, I would say that it’s definitely not easy to create quality contents without those financial and environmental supports, just like other places in the world. Now K-Pop has a swarm of loyal fans all over the world, but we also know that there must be way more people who want to listen to other kinds of music as well. Many Korean bands are trying their best to reach out for these kind of listeners.

koreanrockwave2015SoundOfJapan: Could you tell us a bit about the history and current state of the rock and metal scene in Korea? How many bands are there and how about the fanbase?

Seth: As other countries also have been through, there were always early-adopters of western mainstream music. Many listeners had followed these pioneers importing the worldwide tide, so did many Korean bands. People used to compose and love heavy metal in late ’80s, and then alternative music boomed out to overwhelm ’90s. KoRn, Linkin Park, Slipknot and many other nu metal bands recorded great hits afterward. Now there are hundreds of bands which have various kind of musical style from minimalistic garage rock to electronic metal. The scene is small but it’s complicated. The only thing I can clearly say is that bands which play light music tend to have more fans.

SoundOfJapan: There are a few Korean rock bands that managed to gain some international attention, like Cherry Filter, Pia or Nell. What do you think it takes for a band to break into the international market?

Seth: In my opinion, having unique musical style is the most effective way to promote the band. All the bands you mentioned above have a sort of unique vibe. I believe it as main factor.

SoundOfJapan: And the usual final question: what is your message for the fans in Hungary and Europe?

Seth: Hey guys, we always thank you for your support. Please spread some words that there are music beyond K-Pop. We also hope you to have fun with us in 22nd of August. Thank you, see you at the venue!

Info about the concert / facebook event / Messgram fb

Tags: ,

Szólj hozzá

© 2002-2018 SoundOfJapan+ · RSS · Japán és ázsiai zene + szubkult · Facebook: SoundOfJapan FB