Interview with YELLOW MONSTERS

interview - 20.05.2012 19:56

KoME had an opportunity to talk with YELLOW MONSTERS about their North American tour and recent release WE EAT YOUR DOG.

Firstly could you introduce each other by telling a fun fact about each member?

Guitar/Vocal: Yong Won Lee

Yong Won has an excessive amount of energy all the time. He is always writing songs or doing something. He always tries hard, up to a point where other members worry about his health. He is a very polite, quiet and modest person, but when he gets on stage, he turns into a monster! He is YELLOW MONSTERS' energizer.

Bass: Jin Young Han

Jin Young is the opposite of Yong Won. He never worries about anything. He only focuses on something he is really interested in. He is very creative. So he comes up with crazy and creative ideas. He is the idea bank of YELLOW MONSTERS. His hobby is food shopping.

Drum: Jae Hyuk Choi

Jae Hyuk is the oldest brother of YELLOW MONSTERS. So he is always responsible. He is a perfectionist when it comes to work, actually on everything. So Jae Hyuk is in charge of all business work for YELLOW MONSTERS.

You all had been members in different bands before, how did you all meet and create YELLOW MONSTERS?

We were all in different bands for a long time. And like any other bands, we went through all kinds of drama. And I think at one point, we were thinking the same thing: "What are we doing? Why are we just posing and not doing our own music?" And I think that led us to make YELLOW MONSTERS. "Let's stop posing and go back to where we first started music!" We told ourselves to never become a type of band who wants to be #1 on the chart when they don't even try.

It’s been two years since the band was created and you have had some opportunities to perform overseas, what has been most memorable memory to you from the touring?

The SEOULSONIC tour is unforgettable. It was a very valuable experience for all of us. We can't put it into words or describe it. Through completing this tour, we are now confident about trying out another tour in America. As always, it's stupid to give up when you  have not even tried. It's always better to do it than not do it.

During this tour, we performed at SXSW in Austin. Our gears didn't get delivered to the venue because of some communication problems with the club manager. So right before the show, we had to run around everywhere to get our gears and physically deliver them ourselves to the club. We even had to borrow the guitar amp from a band on the streets.

You recently wrapped up SEOULSONIC 2K12 North American tour together with 3rd Line Butterfly and Crying Nut. What feelings and thoughts has the tour left you with?

The tour felt really short. Which means that it was really fun. We have known Crying Nut and  3rd Line Butterfly for over 10 years, so we think that bands have learned and helped each other a lot throughout the tour. And even now that we are back in Korea, we keep in touch and go to each other's shows. We feel that all three bands have become closer.

There is one thing we have learned or realized from the tour: "We didn't know much about the band culture or scene in America. And all the hardworking bands in Korea can be appealing to the music market in America." We will keep rocking! 

Right after the tour you released a new mini-album, We Eat Your Dog. What’s the story behind the name?

It doesn't literally mean that we are going to eat your dog. Hahaha. In Korea, the word dog is often used as a curse (similar to like bitch = female dog). So we mean that we eat people who are not even close to being a dog.

Could you tell us how the album was created, and introduce a track from the new mini-album?

We completed our album before we left for SEOULSONIC tour. The main focus of this album was the Japaneses music market. That's why we have signed an exclusive contract with the famous Japanese punk label '773 Four Records.'  Our album will be released in July in Japan, and we will be on a Japanese tour in August.

Our Korean fans love our album as well, so we are really happy.

About the tracks:
1. WE EAT YOUR DOG (Composition/Lyrics: Yong Won Lee  Arrangement: YELLOW MONSTERS)

A punk song with powerful guitar riff and sarcastic lyrics about people who are not close to being a dog.

2. CAUTION: (Composition/Lyrics: Yong Won Lee  Arrangement: YELLOW MONSTERS)

A hardcore song organized in a variety way, and the members' favorite track. The lyrics are about sarcasm towards Korean bands who are participating in a Korean Idol stars way of promotion, which is geared towards only one issue. The lyrics are about the Korean rock scene being corrupted because of those bands who are just wishing to become a one-shot superstar through media.

3. ANGER (Composition/Lyrics: Yong Won Lee  Arrangement: YELLOW MONSTERS)

We are not interested in politics but we think our country is not in a very good situation. So we wrote this song to encourage people to get together and change things.

4. ICE CREAM LOVE (Composition/Lyrics: Yong Won Lee  Arrangement: YELLOW MONSTERS)

This song is about melancholy feelings about the past and the idea that we always have regrets. It has an emotional melody.

5. K.O (Composition/Lyrics: Yong Won Lee  Arrangement: YELLOW MONSTERS)

This song is the title song. It's a sarcastic song towards those who are not brave enough to come out of SNS to present their opinions or arguments in the real world.  Very blunt lyrics with cheerful play.

6. NO RELIGION, NO POLITICS (Composition/Lyrics: Yong Won Lee  Arrangement: YELLOW MONSTERS)

Politics and religion. These are very personal and are not to be forced. YELLOW MONSTERS' belief is  no religion, no politics. The hardcore riff and shouting are very awesome in this song.
7. Nunsaram (Snowman) (Composition/Lyrics: Yong Won Lee  Arrangement: YELLOW MONSTERS)

This acoustic ballad song is for the fans. The repeating lyric which says "I like you" is very interesting.

What kind of things influence and energize you?

We tend to practice a lot. Not on our own, but together. We have a very clean practice room (laugh). 
And we watch videos of other bands performing often. There are too many awesome bands in this world!

What’s the best and the worst part of being in a rock band?

The best part of being in a rock band is being able to perform. We really love performing. Even when we run into difficult situations or problems in our lives, we can forget about them through performing. We are thankful for all the positive energy we receive from the fans.

The worst part, hmmmm, just drinking too much?

What’s your favorite venues to perform at in Seoul?

We like all the venues, but we always try to rehearse for the venue we are performing in for the first time.
Generally, the venues we usually perform at are in the Hongdae area. Club FF, V-Hall, SangSang MaDang, Rolling Hall, etc. Tomorrow, we will be performing at Prism Hall for the first time. And of course we are going to rehearse.

What does performing live mean to you?

EVERYTHING.  Performing live is all we do!

Lastly, your greetings to our readers?

We don't know when it will be, but we really want to meet you. Wherever you are watching us perform, please say hi and let us know that you guys got to know YELLOW MONSTERS through KoME. Thank you!

KoME would like to thank Michelle Kim from DFSB Kollective for making this interview possible.
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