Probably amongst those who are followers and lovers of the Korean indie/rock scene you can hardly find a person who hasn’t heard the name "Galaxy Express." This band has been representing the origin and soul of the Korean underground scene for years and always deliver high-enegy, charged performances.
Galaxy Express has already been to the US in 2011, but this year they are returning once more to show Americans their rock 'n' roll passion.
Galaxy Express' tour starts on the 9th of March.
Before their tour, the band has answered numerous questions from different magazines and bloggers.
Please read their interview for “Korean rock is real” and find out what the guys think about Bruce Lee, Girls Generation and each other.
I know that you’re preparing to play at SXSW for the second time and to tour some other American cities. How do you feel about returning? What is your goal for this tour?
Jonghyun: We can’t wait for the tour to start! We had a great time at SXSW last year. There is music everywhere during the festival, and an amazing energy in the city. We’re really excited to play at SXSW again. We’re looking forward to visiting all the other cities on our tour too. This will be our first time playing in all of them, so we’re excited to do a bit of exploring and meet new people.
Our goal for this tour is to enjoy ourselves! Touring in another country is always like going on a musical adventure. We’re excited about experiencing new places, discovering new bands, and making new friends. We’re exciting about eating lots of delicious tacos and hamburgers too!
Will you be playing any new songs during your American shows? Do you have anything special to share with the public this time?
Jonghyun: I don’t think we’ll be playing any new songs during our American tour. We’ll start work on our next album after we come back from the United States.
Juhyun: We want to make our shows in America a bit more psychedelic this time. We want to add more of a traditional Korean psychedelic feel to our sets. We want to do deeper into the songs and try and show another side of our music.
Is there anything different about Korean and American audiences? How do you feel while playing in Korea and playing in US?
Jonghyun: Being onstage makes us feel alive. We love playing gigs everywhere! Playing in Korea is fun because people know our music and come to our gigs to scream and dance around. Playing in America is fun because we’re in a new place and playing to new crowds. It makes us work even harder to try and impress everyone.
You mentioned previously that you got acquainted with some bands at SXSW. Do you think they will they come to your shows this time?
Jonghyun: We toured North America last year with two other Korean bands. We met some other acts during SXSW, but only had the chance to talk with them briefly. We’re playing more gigs during this tour and we’re really excited to meet and make friends with American bands and groups from other parts of the world.
Which bands do you want to see this time at SXSW?
Juhyun: We’ve been really busy so we haven’t had time to go through the whole SXSW lineup. Personally, I want to try and watch Fiona Apple, Electric Eel Shock, and Kasabian. Our schedule is going to be pretty busy during SXSW, though, so I don’t know how many other gigs we’ll get to go too.
What are the three keys to a successful show for Galaxy Express?
Jonghyun: First, everyone needs to be excited and wild. Second, we have to concentrate and pay attention to what we are doing. We like to do crazy things while we play. In the past, we’ve had accidents and have hit our teeth on microphones and hurt our ankles while jumping around so paying attention is definitely important! Third, there needs to be good communication between all members of the band, and between the band and the audience. That way everyone can enjoy the gig and energy together.
Last year you released a split EP called Naughty Boy with Crying Nut and also sang Sanullim’s 무지개. What can we expect from Galaxy Express in the future? Any other crazy projects like “Wild 30”?
Juhyun: We’ll start working on our next album after our American tour.
Have you ever considered collaborating with other bands? And if yes – with which ones?
Jonghyun: We’ve done live collaborations with other bands before. We’ve played songs together at concerts with Canada’s Inward Eye and with Korean bands Apollo 18 and Art of Parties. It’s always fun to jam with good friends onstage. We’d love to do something with Girls Generation. But we don’t actually want to play music with them. We just want to watch their dancing legs!
If you could sing with whomever you wanted to, who would you choose? And why?
Jonghyun: I can’t think of a person I want to sing with. I read that Bruce Lee was a really good dancer. If we could choose anyone to work with, we’d pick Bruce Lee. He could dance while we played. Girls Generation can come dance too. It would be a big party.
As far as I know, this year Galaxy Express will celebrate your sixth year of being together. Do you remember your first thoughts about each other when you first met? And what do you think of each other nowadays?
Juhyun: I thought Jonghyun was crazy. I thought Heekwon looked like a soldier.
Jonghyun: I thought Juhyun was going to be a bad guy. He looked dangerous, almost like a gangster.
Heekwon: I’ve known Jonghyun since middle school. The first time I saw Juhyun was when I watched a video of Galaxy Express. He had black and yellow hair in the video. He looked like a strange and crazy person.
Jonghyun: Now Juhyun looks younger than when I first met him! We’re all good friends and partners now. Galaxy Express is like a brotherhood. We love each other like family.
Let’s imagine that you are elected as official ambassadors of the Korean rock scene with unlimited possibilities. How will you represent the Korean rock scene to other countries? What should other countries know about Korean rock?
Juhyun: Korea’s rock music scene is small. A lot of the bands are friends. There is a lot of passion in the Korean rock scene. Everyone is hungry to share their music with more people, but it’s not a business-driven scene. There are no rock stars here. But there are many musicians with pure rock ‘n’ roll hearts
What are some “must listen” Korean rock/indie bands that newbies to the Korean rock/indie scenes should pay attention to? For readers living in or visiting Seoul, what clubs should they visit first?
Juhyun: People should watch a gig at Badabie and have some drinks at Gopchang Jeongol. For bands to listen to, I’d recommend that people start with Galaxy Express, Crying Nut, Telepathy, Apollo 18, Pavlov, Jambinai, and Seoul Electric Band. There are lots of other good Korean bands to check out too.
And the last one question. What is a random fact about Galaxy Express that nobody knows?
Jonghyun: Heekwon looks a big, strong guy but he’s actually really sensitive. He’s cries a lot when watching TV dramas and sad movies.
Thanks a lot! I can’t wait to hear more from Galaxy Express in the future!
Jonghyun: Thank you for interviewing us! And thank you to everyone who reads this interview. Here are our USA tour dates. If you live near where we are playing, please come see us. Let’s have some wild and crazy fun together!Tour dates:
March 9 Houston, TX -- Super Happy Fun Land
March 10 San Angelo, TX -- The Deadhorse
March 13 Austin, TX – (5:20 pm) Bernadette’s Bar (Indie Radio Rocks the World 2)
March 14 Austin, TX – (2 pm) Zen Japanese Restaurant (Slab x Slab Fest)
March 15 Austin, TX – (6 pm) Aussie's Grill & Beach Bar (WeAre78704.com/Elevated Minds Music present: Music Madness)
March 16 Austin, TX – (1:45 pm) Casa Chapala (Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Does! Does! Does! Showcases)
March 16 Austin, TX – (4 pm) The Grackle (Grackle Rock!)
March 16 Austin, TX – (11 pm) Soho Lounge (Official SXSW Showcase)
March 17 Austin, TX – (2:30 pm) Tom’s Tabooley (Freddie Steady's 12th Annual Frontier A Go Go Rock & Roll Hootenanny)
March 17 Austin, TX – (7 pm) Pearl Street Co-op
March 19 San Antonio, TX -- The Korova (The Big Spill 2012 Festival)
March 21 Denton, TX – Ol' Dirty Basement (J&J's Pizza on the Square)
March 22 Lufkin, TX – The Factory
March 23 Hot Springs, AR – Low Key Arts (The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival)
March 24 Dallas, TX – Double Wide
March 25 Austin, TX – Red 7about.me/GalaxyExpressFacebookMyspaceTwitter