Posters at The Factory in Lufkin, TX
Galaxy Express recently returned back to South Korea after completing their second American tour. And it seems the guys don’t want to stop! So we'll probably hear about their plans for a third US tour sometime in the next 12 months.
But for now let’s ask the band what it was like being in the United States and what some of their best memories from the tour are.
So here are the ‘Korean rock is real’ US tour follow-up questions for Galaxy Express!
You played nearly 15 gigs in a very short amount of time. Wasn’t it tiring? How did you keep your energy level up?
Jonghyun: We did 17 gigs while we were in the United States. Our gig in San Antonio for The Big Spill Festival was canceled because there was a tornado that night. But we added two more shows to our schedule once we got to the U.S. One show was in a small town called Leander, Texas and the other gig was in Austin before SXSW started. We also did a live performance on a TV program called Austin Underground and we played live on San Antonio radio station KSYM 90.1 FM. So we had 19 performances in total during our tour. It was awesome! I wish we could have played even more.
Juhyun: Everyday was filled with new surprises. We met new people, saw new things, heard new music, and made new memories. The whole tour was really exciting for us. Keeping our energy level up was never a concern.
Austin Underground TV interview
What has left the strongest impression on you during this tour?
Heekwon: All the people we met! Everyone was so kind to us. We feel so incredibly lucky to have encountered so many amazing people. We accidentally left our hi-hat stand in San Antonio. We were trying to pack up all of our equipment really quickly because there was a tornado coming, and we forgot to grab our hi-hat stand. When we played in Lufkin, Texas a member of a cool band called Social Bliss bought us a new hi-hat stand. We were very surprised by his kindness.
Jonghyun: The final show of our tour was awesome. It took place at The Mohawk in Austin, TX. We made a lot of good friends during our tour and many of them came to watch us play at our last gig. The energy in the room was fantastic. We were almost crying.
Live at The Mohawk in Austin, TX
You mentioned that you’d like to see some other bands playing during SXSW. Did you have time for that and which bands did you see?
Jonghyun: We only had time to watch a few bands play at SXSW because we had a busy schedule during the festival. We watched Jimmy Cliff, Kasabian, and Neon Trees.
Official SXSW showcase at the Soho Lounge in Austin, TX
And a small blitz-questionnaire:
1. Best town amongst those you visited in the US?
Jonghyun: Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was really beautiful there and they kept telling us how Arkansas was better than Texas. It was funny to hear.
Heekwon: Denton, Texas. We played in the basement of a pizza shop there. The pizza was really good! Denton is an old town. People told us that the music scene there is growing. We heard there’s a big jazz festival there every year. I’d love to check it out one day.
Jonghyun at The Mohawk in Austin, TX
2. Best venue for rock’n’roll?
Juhyun: The Mohawk in Austin.
Jonghyun: The Soho Lounge in Austin. We played our official SXSW showcase there. It was a great night. The room was packed. The police actually came because there were too many people there.
Heekwon: The Deadhorse in San Angelo, Texas. It was a really big place and had a big stage too. We got a great reaction from the crowd. We sold many CDs and T-shirts there.
Live at the Deadhorse in San Angelo, TX
3. Best audience (where)?
Juhyun: The audiences in Dallas at Double Wide and The Deadhorse in San Angelo were really good.
Heekwon: The audience at The Factory in Lufkin, Texas was awesome too. There were people of all ages there, so it was like a family show. Everyone was really friendly and there was a great energy in the venue that night. The audience at The Mohawk was fantastic as well.
4. Best place to drink?
Jonghyun: In our motorhome! We rented a motorhome for the last week of our tour. We’d have a few drinks in there each night before going to bed. It was a great way to unwind after playing.
5. Best place to eat?
Heekwon: The County Line in Austin. The BBQ there is so good. We ate like angry animals while we were there. The pizza at J & J's Pizza On the Square in Denton, Texas was really delicious too.
A hungry Heekwon waiting for some Texas cooking
6. The thing that surprised you most of all in US?
Jonghyun: Being mentioned in the New York Times' SXSW review. We were so excited when we heard that the newspaper wrote about Galaxy Express. We were shouting and jumping around. We couldn’t sleep and were talking about it all night.
Heekwon: You and Juhyun couldn’t sleep! I was happy and excited, but I still slept really well that night.
7. Best new acquaintance?
Jonghyun: The guys in Duke, The Blind Pets, Max and Social Bliss, and Kristin from the website American KPOP Fans. Kristin made a party for us at her house after the final gig of our tour. It was a fun night!
8. Best anecdote that happened to you during this tour?
Jonghyun: Our gig at The Big Spill Festival in San Antonio was canceled because of a tornado! That would never happen in South Korea because we don’t have tornadoes.
9. Best idea (thought) that came into your minds during this time in another country?
Juhyun: We need to keep doing this again and again and again!
Juhyun loving life on the road
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