*멤버들 소개 부탁드리겠습니다.
-기타리스트 ‘토비’, 보컬/신디사이저를 맡고 있는 ‘애니’ 그리고 베이스를 맡고 있는’ 솔’ 입니다.
*러브 엑스 스테레오라는 이름은 어떤 의미가 있나요?
-특별한 의미는 없고 토비씨의 예전 밴드 이름에 러브를 합쳐서 만들었는데 그 중간에 두 가지를 뭉쳐줄 수 있는 X (엑스)를 넣어서 러브 엑스 스테레오가 되었습니다.
* 세 분이 함께 음악을 하게 된 계기는?
토비-밴드를 하고 있다가 여자 보컬이 필요했었는데 지인을 통해서 다른 곳에서 밴드활동을 하던 ‘애니’씨를 소개 받았고 솔의 경우는 베이스 실력이 뛰어나서 눈여겨 보던 차에 그 쪽의 밴드가 활동을 접으면서 자연스럽게 같이 하게 되었습니다.
*러브 엑스 스테레오가 추구하는 음악은?
처음에 펑크 음악을 하고 있다가 너무 이미지가 펑크 쪽으로 치우쳐지는 것이 싫어서 셋이서 정말 좋아하는 음악을 생각하게 되었습니다. 어느 한 쪽으로 치우쳐지기 보단 새로운 음악을 위해 노력을 하고 있지만 기본적으로 90년대에 유년기를 보내서 얼터너티브 음악을 기반으로 하고 있습니다.
*9월 말부터 공연을 시작하셨나요?
원래는 9월부터 공연을 할 예정이었으나 공연비자가 쉽게 나오지 않아 10월초부터 공연을 시작했는데 너무 아쉬웠습니다.
*현재 토론토 공연까지 오기 전에 에피소드는 없나요?
뉴욕 CMJ 페스티벌의 쇼케이스를 하고 토론토에 왔는데 조금 아쉬운 점이 있었어요 이제 시작이라는 생각으로 하고 있습니다. 토론토 인디 위크 공연이 끝나면 바로 또 뉴욕으로 가게 되는데 어제도 오면서 솔이 운전을 많이 했는데 자면서 운전하고.. (웃음)
*러브 엑스 스테레오가 이번 CMJ 페스티벌에 초청된 부분에 대해서 반응이 뜨거운 데 초청을 받게된 배경이 어떻게 되나요?
당연히 현재 기획사가 없으니 저희가 모든 것을 다해야하는 입장이기 때문에 다른 곳의 도움을 받는 것은 생각하지 않고 있습니다. 물론 기획사의 컨택이 없었던 것도 아니고 영입 제의도 있었습니다. 아무래도 저희가 하고 싶은 음악을 하고 싶었습니다. 지난 신시내티에서 열린 공연을 통해서 CMJ 페스티벌에 초청을 받았습니다.
*모든 곡이 영어로 되어 있는데 이번 페스티벌에 선보이실 새로운 앨범에 대해 간략한 소개 부탁드리겠습니다.
지난 곡들 보다는 좀더 정제된 음악 더욱 발전된 음악을 선 보이려 했고 또한, 이번 앨범은 러브 엑스 스테레오가 글로벌 밴드로서의 모습으로 보일 수있도록 많은 심혈을 기울였습니다.
*사실 모든 노래가 영어 가사로 되어 있는데 K-POP 이나 한국의 대중 음악에 대해서는 전혀 관심이 없거나 진출할 계획은 없으신가요?
억지로 K-POP 이나 대중 음악에 뛰어들 생각은 없습니다. 사실 저희 노래 중에 한글 가사로 된 ‘부끄러워요’라는 곡이 있긴 하지만 딱히 현재 상황으론 생각하고 있지 않습니다. 그렇지만 기회가 오고 또 그 상황에 음악적인 영감이 있게 된다면 자연스럽게 해 볼 수 있지 않을가란 생각은 합니다.
*추후 이 번 페스티벌 이후 공연 계획은?
내년에 밴드 ‘로큰롤’ 과 북미 서부 공연이 예정 되어 있는데 기회가 된다면 토론토에서도 한 번 할 수 있으면 좋겠습니다.
*마지막으로 TR 가족분들에게 한 말씀 부탁드리겠습니다.
인디밴드 많이 사랑해주시고 저희 러브 엑스 스테레오에게도 많은 관심 부탁드리겠습니다. TR 캐나다 화이팅.
Love X Stereo Arirang Radio Kpop Interview Questionnaire
Q: When did you first decide being a musician was the career you wanted to have?
A: Annie > Since 5.
Sol > Since junior high.
Toby > Since high school.
Q: What inspires you song lyrics and sound when writing music?
A: We get inspired by our surrounding at the moment. People we meet, songs we listen to, books we read, movies we see, everything on the news, etc. But mostly we like to create sound whenever we feel like it. It’s an instant thing, and we do it right away.
Q: Is the song ‘Storm’ based off real life experience? Did you have someone come into your life beautifully, cause a storm and leave you a wreck?
A: ‘Storm’ was inspired by the tsunami that hit Japan years ago. It’s not about that particular incident at all, but it did inspire us indeed. Actually, we didn’t think much about the lyrics, but we did like to present a 90s inspired, techno feel sound for a change.
Q: Annie has anyone ever compared you to Lillix or T.A.T.U? When I first heard ‘secrets’ I thought you voice was similar to Lillix.
A: Annie > That’s so cool. We love Lillix. They are super pretty J
Q: I noticed most of your songs re in English. Why is that?
A: Annie writes lyrics mostly, and she says English comes out first. That’s as simple as it gets. If the song comes out in Korean, then the song will be written in Korean. She used to live in LA when she was young, she listened to all these songs from the 70s and the 80s, so probably that’s the reason why English comes out first.
Q: 부끄리 워요 talks about Jumping Jack and falling down a rabbit hole, which reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Was that you intention? Is that the direction you wanted listeners to go in?
A: “부끄러워요” is the title J
Yes. “The Jack” is actually a Korean pop artist. He is a one-eyed (like pirate eye) rabbit character that does great pop art. The song is a theme song for him. “부끄러워요” means “I’m embarrassed”, and it’s his catchphrase. Whatever you ask him, he’ll say “부끄러워요”. Very mystical character he is.
Q: Why and how did the name LoveXStereo come to be?
A: We like the word “stereo”, so we added “love”, and “X” adds a meaning into it. It means, love goes both ways from one another.
Q: What is the country you would like to visit the most? Individually? As a group?
A: We’re wrapping up our North American tour right now, so everybody is in love with The States. Other than that, we haven’t been here and there yet, so couldn’t tell much about it, but we are so ready to tour the world J
Q: If you could define LoveXStereo with 1 song what would that song be? Why?
A: Probably “Soul City”. That song made us who we are right now. That song gave us a lot of opportunity. Didn’t think it’ll be like that at the moment, but people usually really like “Soul City”, so that song itself shows very well of who we are.
Q: I know 3 members are from Skrew Attack. What was the transition from Skrew Attack to LoveXStereo like?
A: “Skrew Attack” is a punk rock band from the late 90s. We felt that the name “Skrew Attack” was holding us back. We wanted to start fresh, start something new, something we haven’t done in the past, something interesting and fun. The transition was smooth, just went with the flow.
Q: Do you guys live together when you are not traveling?
A: >> No comment. J
Q: Who is the one who is almost always late for band activities and leaves early?
A: We have a humble studio in Seoul, so we meet every day. We don’t think about late or early that much.
Q: Who is the messiest member?
A: Toby is the cleanest. That’s for sure. J
Yes or No (to the members)
Q: There is almost always one person in the group who acts like a mom. Yes or no? If yes which member is the mom?
Q: I have moments when I practice my rock star signature? Yes or no? If yes which member does this?
Q: I have moments when I want to pull out a members hair? Yes or no? In what situations?
A: Annie > Yes. I wanted to kill Sol when he was still sleeping so hard when he was supposed to get on the van with us for a show in an island. Toby tear down his window just to wake him up. lo
Q: I always have a song in mind when I want to seduce someone with music? Yes or no? What song?
A: No. But people usually really like “Free Ass” whenever they see our show. Sexy song… lol
Last few questions?
Q: Future plans? Goals for the year?
A: We are currently wrapping up our North American tour right now. We are coming back for another tour next year. We got invited to perform at SXSW 2014, and it’s gonna be a hell of a year! Please stay tuned for more music, and great news from us!
Q: How do you want people to think of Love X Stereo? How do you want to be remembered?
A: We want to make a “grand” sound at our shows. We would like to be a “grand” “respectful” “amazing” band that should contribute in the music world always. Hopefully it works at well in the future!
LOTS OF SEOUL: LOVE X STEREO PLAYS CHICAGO FEATURED
Written by Kendall Guimond
Love X Stereo performed at the Elbo Room on November 3rd to a shockingly small crowd that didn’t appreciate them as they should. Love X Stereo is an electronic rock band based in Seoul, Korea. Love X Stereo’s music is electronic music based in alternative and punk rock from the 90s, think Alanis Morissette with a Ratatat-esque synthesized beat. The lead singer of the band, Annie Ko, has a soft and easy voice that could rival any 90’s and 80’s female powerhouse. Their song “Soul City (Soeul City)” sounds like it could soundtrack any modern day “Dawson’s Creek,” while “Lose to Win” and “Fly Over” highlights Ko’s vocal talents.
Electronic rock is definitely coming into popularity and hearing a band from South Korea take the genre and make it entirely their own is an experience you won’t find equal to. Not surprisingly, Love X Stereo’s music often confuses Korean audiences, though they have a strong expat (foreigners living in Korea) community following, and some of those fans adoringly came to the Elbo Room to see Love X Stereo perform live.
Like any new band, exposure is key. Love X Stereo has a unique sound, an album you can put on and cruise to. If they chance to swing back through Chicago, grab some friends and head to see them. Not every day you get to see a South Korean band playing electronic rock in the Windy City. Check out their website here:
Interview with Annie of LOVE X STEREO
LOVE X STEREO from Seoul, South Korea is currently on their first North American tour, rocking their way around the East Coast and Midwest, having already made stops at the CMJ Music Marathon and Indie Week Canada. Tonight they’ll be in Detroit with Tinder Tiger, St. Zita, and Young Punk:
Tuesday, Oct. 29th at Small’s in Hamtramck, Detroit
Sunday, Nov. 3rd at the Elbo Room in Chicago, IL
Monday, Nov. 4th at MOTR in Cincinnati, OH
Saturday, Nov. 9th at The Loft in Boston, MA
Sunday, Nov. 10th at McGann’s in Boston, MA
Drawing influences from from 1970s Korean psychedelic folk rock to 80s synth-pop, to 90s alternative rock and punk, Front woman Annie Ko recently spoke with Elise of the Asian Music Show about Love X Stereo’s current tour and the government shutdown, punk rock roots, and upcoming musical pilgrimage to Chicago to see where the Smashing Pumpkins used to hang out and play shows. Hear the full interview below.
Interview with Annie of LOVE X STEREO recorded on Oct. 26, 2013
Elise Yoon: WDBM East Lansing, I’m Elise here for the Asian Music Show, and I’m currently joined by Annie Ko of Love X Stereo of Seoul, South Korea
Annie Ko: Hi!
EY: Annie thanks so much for speaking with me today. So, you guys are currently on tour here in the US, how has it been so far?
AK: Umm, it’s been real fun, all of our members except me have come here for the first time, and it’s actually our first tour in the States, so it’s really interesting and we get to meet a lot of people and [go to] cool places. It’s been real fun.
EY: I was going to say you have a very American sounding accent…
AK: Oh, I grew up in L.A. I wasn’t born there, but yeah I lived [there] for six years when I was young.
EY: Does that time in your life have an influence on your music?
AK: Well, I guess so, cause most of our lyrics are in English, so that explains a lot.
EY: So there’s currently five of you together on tour right now, who is in the band?
AK: Our guitarist is Toby, and our bassist is Sol, and our drummer is Kyosun – well our drummer is a session member.
EY: And you brought along your sound engineer?
AK: Yeah, we brought our sound engineer Yoon Taec, Jeong Yoon Taec.
EY: And then you play synthesizer?
AK: Yeah, well I have two synthesizers on stage, if we could afford a lot, I would do more, but yeah, right now we have two.
EY: How are you guys getting around on this tour?
AK: We rented a car and our bassist and our drummer [are] driving all the way, they are [the] only ones who have driver’s licenses, who can actually drive.
EY: And how did you bring all your instruments and equipment from South Korea?
AK: Half of it we brought from Korea, and half of it he bought here, which is way cheaper than in Korea.
EY: Now, is this your first tour outside of Korea?
AK: Yeah, it’s our first tour, like ever! Cause in Korea there aren’t that many places that you can perform in unless you have a huge name, so, mainly we stay in Seoul and, you know play there, but you know, being on a tour, it’s our first time ever, so it is really cool.
EY: And what do you guys think of America so far?
AK: [All the] other band members were saying that everything is so big here, like, even the sky is big…
EY: Yeah, even our towels are big. Now have you guys been doing any sort of sightseeing or anything like that?
AK: I don’t really like sightseeing that much but I heard some members went to [the] Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge. Well, I think just walking around Manhattan itself is just sightseeing, don’t you think?
EY: Yeah, definitely, I absolutely think so. So anyway, so far on this tour you’ve performed at Indie Week Canada, you did a show in [Washington] D.C., and you even a show for Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, on Randalls Island in New York…
AK: That was so weird! It was definitely a weird moment [that] we’ll never forget.
EY: Why is that?
AK: Cause, um, there were a bunch of old ladies, Korean ladies, and well they were sitting down and just, you know, [didn’t] know what to do. Which is a similar response [that] we get when we’re in Korea, cause our lyrics [are] in English so most of the Koreans really don’t know how to react [to] our music. So when we perform in Seoul, most of our fans are all foreigners or [ex-patriots] living there.
EY: Yeah, I was actually going to ask if a lot of your fans were ex-pats.
AK: Yeah, a lot of ex-pats actually, most of our fan base is all ex-pats, and that’s the reason why we wanted to [come] here in the first place, cause we thought our music could be more abroad, more than [it is] in Korea, and it will work outside first. Mostly, in Asia in general, I think they like to have a certain look, they want a band that has a certain image, and it’s not similar [to] us.
EY: Yeah, I definitely feel like your music fits in really well with the scene here in America
AK: Yeah, I can feel that already, cause we are getting warm welcomes and really good response even though the crowd wasn’t that big, but you get to meet a lot of very important people in your life, and I can feel that already so I think it’s good to be here.
EY: Now, you guys were invited to play at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York this past month
AK: Yes, It was really cool, it was awesome.
EY: Did you guys have time to check out any of the shows at the festival?
AK: Yeah, I did, we went to [the] Arts & Crafts, and after that we went to Santos Party House to check out a lot of bands, and it was really cool cause the sound system is very different from what we have in Korea, and even if it’s a small venue or a big venue, the sound was so good, so I was really impressed.
EY: Now you guys also played at Indie Week Canada in Toronto, Ontario how was that show?
AK: Oh, it was so weird. I wish I couldn’t say this, but yeah, we had to drive almost like ten hours, thirteen hours to get to Toronto in one day and the venue was kind of, I mean it was OK, but nobody seemed to listen to the music. They were all about the beer, I think it’s very interesting, but if we had another chance, like a bigger venue or someplace very music-oriented I would definitely want to go back cause we so little time there. We had to come back right after the show, and do another show in New York so it was really hectic.
EY: So you drove from New York to Toronto and back to New York?
AK: Yeah… in one day.
EY: Wow. How long did it take you to plan this tour, and what was that process like?
AK: Well we started actual detailed planning when we got accepted for [the] Midpoint Music Festival, which we couldn’t make because [our] visa[s] didn’t come out. It was like hell. I heard that the officer handling the P1 visa was switched and [so the process was] slowed down a lot. And additionally we’ve got holidays and government shutdown. Though we missed Midpoint, and we are very sorry about that, that’s why we wanted to do a little show in Cincinnati. We’re going to go there on November 4th.
EY: You’re listening to Impact 89FM, if you’re just tuning in I’m speaking with Annie, front woman of Love X Stereo from Seoul, South Korea. Now you guys create dark and dancy synth-pop music, who are some of your musical influences?
AK: Our influences [are] basically music from the 90s. We love that era, we grew up in that era, so mostly alternative, punk, techno, whatever kinds of music you [could] listen to in the 90s, we’re probably very much influenced by that.
EY: What are you listening to right now?
AK: Right now I’m listening [to] a lot of Nine Inch Nails. And I hear a lot of Pearl Jam these days, not intentionally, but I heard Pearl Jam came back and all I hear is Pearl Jam in the States right now.
EY: How did the band initially get together? How did you guys meet?
AK: We met as a punk rock band… Well Toby is a first generation Korean punk rock kid, so he started [in] the punk scene in [the] late 90s. He made a band called Screw Attack in 98, and I joined the band in 2005 and we did a lot of pop-punk, punk rock, but we decided to change our name and do something very new, so we switched our name in 2011 and that’s Love X Stereo, and from there we went on, and we’re here.
EY: Who are some of the specific artists that influence you?
AK: Umm, New Order, and all these bands from the 90s like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, we [are] very much influenced by this Korean psychedelic [music] in the 70s, and synthpop in the 80s. We loooove New Order, we [got] to see their show last year I think, and they are pretty old guys you know that right? They are in their 50s? 60s? I don’t know, they’re pretty old and they still, you know, know how to make young kids dance. At the end of the day I was jumping around, I didn’t know I was jumping, so that was pretty impressive.
EY: So that was in Seoul that you saw them?
AK: Yeah, it was in Seoul. They came, I think last year, they came with [the] Smashing Pumpkins.
EY: Oh OK, I didn’t know the Smashing Pumpkins were still together…
AK: Last year, I think, they came to Korea, it was their third time in Korea. Well I saw their first show in 2001, I think. It was a really great show cause [the] Smashing Pumpkins, right at that time, they announced that they were going to break up, and it was kind of a last show for them. They wanted South Korea and North Korea to unite, and that’s the reason why they stopped by Seoul, and yeah, it was the best show that I have in my memory right now.
EY: And back home, how often do you guys play live shows?
AK: Mostly two a week, yeah we [do] a lot of shows.
EY: And inn Seoul, where do you guys usually play live, like do you usually play in Hongdae?
AK: We usually play in Hongdae area like other rock bands, but we want to expand our, what do you call it? We’d like to play everywhere so we don’t have any, um, prejudice or whatever to…
EY: …To a particular neighborhood?
AK: Yeah, basically we play everywhere in Seoul.
EY: What is your songwriting process like?
AK: Mostly our guitarist Toby writes a cool guitar riff. We start from there and we write songs all together, but just one song which is called “Free Ass” that [lyrics came first], which is very unusual.
EY: And do you write the lyrics?
EY: So you just released an EP, called the GLOW EP on September 26, what was writing this like, what was the process like?
AK: When we first started planning this tour we thought we needed another album cause our songs were, we had a good set but we needed more songs so we just thought, you know, it might be better to release a new album and go to the States and promote it within our tour. And so basically we wrote, recorded, produced, mixed, mastered, all in one month.
EY: So do you guys produce your own music then?
EY: So where did you record this EP?
AK: We have a little studio of our own in Seoul, so we recorded it there. And yeah, I mean it was, I wouldn’t do that again, like making an album in a month, it’s just not… But I’m pretty satisfied with the product and it’s really cool cause I think the songs are OK and um, two DJs helped us out for the remix tracks and it was so good. And then hopefully maybe mid-November, I think, our music video will come out, so I’m pretty excited about that too.
EY: Yeah, your music really, it lends itself to being remixed, do you ever perform live with DJs?
AK: Usually [it’s] just our band, but we’d love to perform with DJs if we had a chance, but you know it’ll take a lot of time and practice to do that, cause you know…
EY: So it was recently announced that you guys are going to be playing at South By Southwest next year in Austin, Texas – very exciting – are you guys going to be performing by yourself, are you playing shows with other artists, are you doing any sort of showcases?
AK: Umm, I think we’re with SEOULSONIC…
EY: So then are you guys working with DFSB Kollective?
AK: Yeah, uh well they didn’t actually, you know, officially announce it, but I’m pretty sure that we’re going with them, and yeah, those guys were really good to us cause we had a lot of visa issues. They handled a lot, they currently are our distributor online, so yeah we have good relations right now.
EY: Did DFSB Kollective help you plan this tour that you’re currently on, or did you guys do that yourselves?
AK: Planning the tour was kind of a different thing, I did all the management, like booking, but they helped us out with CMJ Korea Remix Showcase and yeah, we are good friends, and we owe them a lot actually.
EY: So, when you come back to America next March for South by Southwest, are you going to planning on, you know booking other shows to do like a full tour around the country?
AK: Probably, yeah, cause you know, those plane tickets [aren’t] cheap, so it might be wiser to have the opportunity to do another tour [on the] west coast I think. So I’m guessing we might go to L.A., and maybe… the whole area in California, I guess, that’s what I’m guessing right now, like in my mind.
EY: And so South by is a obviously this huge international music festival, are you guys planning on checking out any other artists while you’re there?
AK: Oh yeah, definitely. And like, if we have time to see [them], I will check out every club if I can!
EY: So you guys are going to be here in Michigan Tuesday, October 29 in Detroit, then after that you’re heading to Chicago, Cincinnati, and Boston, so is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to on the rest of this tour?
AK: We always wanted to go to Chicago cause that’s where the Smashing Pumpkins came out, so we want to check out… some clubs if we can, just to, you know, feel the vibe. And I’m pretty excited about Boston too cause my brother lives there and it’s a pretty cool deal to see my sibling overseas and he’s going to watch my show. It’s really, really awesome.
EY: Now, is this going to be the first time that your brother will see your band perform?
AK: No, no, he’s seen us before, but you know, it’s pretty surreal that we’re here and he gets to see it here.
EY: So is there anything else that you want to let to our listeners know about this tour or Love X Stereo in general?
AK: Please check our Facebook and Twitter, you can find out where our local show is happening, and check out our new EP GLOW, it’s on iTunes and bandcamp. And I hope you guys like our sound, and thank you for the warm welcome, we love USA so far!
EY: You can check out Love X Stereo from Seoul, South Korea, they’re going to be playing live at Small’s in Hamtramck, Detroit on Tuesday October 29thdoors are at 8 and the music starts at 9. They’re going to be performing with Tinder Tiger, St. Zita, and Young Punk. It’s an 18 and over show, and you can find some more information at smallsbardetroit.com
AK: Thank you!
EY: Thank you so much for talking with me today, have a great rest of your tour!
AK: OK, bye!