Asian Chairshot is no foreign band for those who have been following Korea’s independent rock music scene. Consisting of drummer Park Kye Wan, guitarist Son Hee Nam and vocalist and bassist Hwang Young Won, the trio returned to Singapore for the 3rd time and delivered an A+ performance on Music Matters 2014!
Formed in 2011, the South Korean indie rock band known for their hard-hitting mix of psychedelic music, garage rock and alternative rock caught the attention of music critics and fans alike with the release of their first EP titled “Mask”. Living up to their name, their music is as heavy as a hit with explosive guitar, bass and drum sounds that are finely topped with uniquely Korean melodies.
In a short interview with The Fifth Parlour, the band shared their hopes for the independent music scene to grow in Korea and talk about the struggles they face as an indie band. Having played in various music festivals domestically and internationally, the band found themselves maturing and constantly developing and upgrading their sounds with the experience and inspirations they had gained over the years.
TFP: Welcome back to Singapore and congratulations on the success of your recent UK Tour! It’s your third time here performing in Singapore. How would it be different from the previous 2 shows you had here?
Asian Chairshot: Our previous shows in Singapore were much longer, lasting over an hour plus. For our show tonight, we’ll be playing a shorter set – 4 songs over 20 minutes. Even though it is a shorter set, we hope the crowd would still be able to enjoy it and as always, we’ll be giving our all during our performance. Last March, we performed in Singapore for Mosaic Music Festival 2014 and over the years, we have had more and more gigs domestically and internationally. With this, we gained valuable experience and became more matured as a band.
TFP: How would you describe the music you play?
Asian Chairshot: Our music is widely described as a hard-hitting mix of psychedelic music, garage rock and alternative rock. That is correct but we also want people to feel a tinge of Korean flavor in our music that makes our composition and music unique and different. The core is still rock music.
TFP: You will be releasing your first full length album, Horizon, by end of this month. Can you share with us more about the album and what fans can expect?
Asian Chairshot: We recorded the album last December in Seoul. Fans can expect to hear an upgraded and developed sound from us in our new album. We think that this album would be more accepted by the mass and we are really proud of this album. Our new album would also show how our music has evolved and we hope the fans would love it as much as we do.
TFP: For the new album, you worked with Smashing Pumpkins’ guitarist Jeff Schroeder. How was the experience like? Was language a huge barrier?
Hee Nam: It was a great experience! I really cannot speak English though. Jedd and Ryan, the engineer for our album were just sitting in one room and we didn’t exchange any words. Instead, we focused on the music preparation and recording. There were no problems. Music became the medium of communication. Only after we’re done with it, we converse over a meal.
TFP: You have been on various shows and did a lot of gigs. What is your most memorable show as a band?
Asian Chairshot: The most memorable show would be our show at Jarasum International Jazz Festival back in 2011. That was when we were newly formed and it was our first time performing in a large-scale music festival. Over the 3 days festival, we played about four times in total and it was a really memorable experience for us performing to a large crowd.
TFP: What’s the biggest struggle you’ve faced as an indie band?
Asian Chairshot: It would be financial wise. It is difficult to find the balance between work and music. Indie rock music is not famous in Korea and it has a small market. Though we are busy as a band and have many schedules, we don’t earn much. Hence, we need to find a job to support us as well as our passion for music. It was hard initially. Recently, there’s been a better balance between work and music for the band and we hope it will get better over time.
TFP: Korea’s indie scene is getting more and more active and it is gaining more popularity internationally. What are your thoughts about it?
Asian Chairshot: Some bands which are not famous in Korea are famous in other countries and are more accepted by other countries. It’s nice to see the attention and love coming from all these countries but we hope Korea’s indie music scene can develop and prosper domestically too. That would be really great.
TFP: Share with us three random or fun facts about the band!
Kye Wan: That guy (Hee Nam) don’t speak much during interview but normally, he talks a lot.
Young Won: Even though we look very young, we are actually quite old. Especially this guy(Kye Wan)
Hee Nam: Many people question if I’m a Korean.
Check out their performance at Music Matters 2014 (1:49:14) and we hope the next time Asian Chairshot comes to Singapore, it’ll be for a full-scale showcase! May Korea’s independent music scene continue to grow and gain more attention and recognition in the future and we wish Asian Chairshot all the best for their future endeavours.