The largest Indie music festival in the world ended its 27th year of bringing music and culture to a mass audience. South by Southwest is a set of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring (usually in March) in Austin, Texas.This year sawan intrepid contingent of Korean Indie/Alternative bands display their musical wares to a questing audience of thousands, which, hopefully, garnered at least the modicum of attention required to help them reach even greater heights in their collective climb(s) up the ladder of musical success. Of the fifteen bands (For a complete list, check out seoulbeats.com/2014/01/korean-artists-showcase-sxsw-2014)that were confirmed for this momentous foray into the belly of the beast, a standout name has to be one of Korea’s Rock & Roll mainstays: Crying Nut.
10 Magazine buttonholed these mavens of melody just prior to their departure and threw a few questions their way…
1. When did you start writing/playing music? Why do you play the kind of music you do? What/who inspired you to play that kind of music?
Park Yoon-sik: I started to play electric guitar when I was 17, and started writing songs when I was 22. I like to play punk music because it has a lot of youthful energy. I was inspired by people like Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, Tim Armstrong from Rancid, and Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins.
Kim In-soo: I don’t know why I play the kind of music I do. Sometimes I’m not even sure what genre of music I’m playing. But I want to try playing all of the genres I like, so it’s all good. I’ve been inspired by The Pogues and Goran Bregovic. When I first heard both of their music, I thought that there must be so much good music in the world that’s not rock music.
2. What do you like best about being a musician?
Park Yoon-sik: Since I make songs and play them for a living, I get to hear a wide variety of music. I think that if I wasn’t a musician, I’d only get to listen to popular songs which would be kind of boring. But I love music and I get to play the music I like. Another good thing about being a musician is getting lots of free tickets for other people’s shows. But unfortunately, I usually have to pass on the free tickets because I’ve got shows to play as well.
Kim In-soo: I get to play music I love and can use it to communicate and connect with other people.
3. What do you like least about being a musician?
Park Yoon-sik: Having to miss a lot of gigs I want to see because they are happening at the same time that Crying Nut is playing.
Kim In-soo: Our schedule changes from week to week, which can make it hard to make plans with family and friends.
4. How have people reacted to your music during your past overseas tours? Why are you excited about playing at SXSW in March? What expectation do you have for SXSW 2014?
Park Yoon-sik: We’ve gotten a lot of positive reactions to our music during past overseas tours. We played at SXSW in 2012 and it was a lot of fun. In 2012, the police came to our official SXSW showcase; the concert was held in a wooden building and they were worried it may collapse because of all the people jumping in there. Hopefully we can get people to go just as crazy this time around.
Kim In-soo: I’m hoping we can build some stronger relationships with overseas bands and musicians during this year’s SXSW.
5. What do you think are the biggest differences between the Seoul’s indie scene and overseas indie scenes?
Park Yoon-sik: I don’t know how Seoul’s indie scene is different from other indie scenes. Being an indie musician is challenging, no matter what country you live in. To me, I can order beer and play for people at venues in every country we’ve been too, so things seem similar. We couldn’t smoke inside the clubs in the US, so I guess that was one difference.
6. How hard is it for your band to make an album? What do you consider your best album?
Park Yoon-sik: It’s tough, but we enjoy it! Making an album is hard because we do everything ourselves on our albums. We handle the recording, the mixing, the selling, etc. I really like our fifth album the best, 2006’s “Milk Cattle at the OK Corral.” We made that album right after we were discharged from the army. I also really like 2002’s “Secondhand Radio.” When we were making that album, I had a bunch of things I wanted to say. It was a troubling time for me.
7. What do you try/want to say in/with/through your music?
Kim In-soo: Keep your hopes up and try to have some fun, even if life is tough.
8. What other Korean bands do you like? Why do you like them? What are your favourite venues to play here?
Park Yoon-sik: I like the band Mukimukimanmansu. They are adorable. One of the girls, Muki, recently got married to my friend. I was disappointed because their wedding happened while we were on tour in Japan so I couldn’t go.
Kim In-soo: I really like Galaxy Express. They have deservedly done a lot of overseas touring over the past three years. They play raw, rough, straight up rock ‘n’ roll. My favourite venues are DGBD and Sangsang Madang.
9. Do you think the Korean indie scene will continue to grow? Do you think Seoul can one day become a famous music city like L.A., NYC, Seattle, Manchester, etc.?
Park Yoon-sik: I’ve visited some famous music cities while on tour, but our schedule was really tight while we were there so I couldn’t see why they are considered to be famous music places. I live in Korea. To me, Seoul is the best music city. And yes, I think the Korean indie scene will continue to grow. There’s a lot of talent here and people are working hard to create more opportunities for themselves both here and overseas.
10. Do you have a final message to share about your band with music fans around the world?
Park Yoon-sik: Please eat a big breakfast and drink lots before coming to a Crying Nut show!
Kim In-soo: Rock ‘n’ roll will never die!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://10mag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Michael-Berry.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Michael Berry’s musical odyssey has taken him from the dizzy heights of Canadian independent radio and print media to the disparate nooks and crannies of the Korean musical realm. [/author_info] [/author]