[Riffraf Magazine] Indie Spotlight: Love X Stereo (2013.10.12)
Indie Spotlight: Love X Stereo
by Elford Alley
October 12, 2013
In Riffraf’s Indie Spotlight, we feature talented indie artists from around the world who create music, record, and tour without the support of a major label or financial backing.
A rising star in the Korean indie rock scene, Love X Stereo combines dance beats and a love of 90s alt rock. They will embark on their first American tour this fall, promoting their new EP, Glow.
Today, we’re talking with lead singer Annie Ko about influences, underrated albums and preparing for their upcoming tour.
You’ve described your sound as 90s alt rock infused with dance music. Is it difficult to find the balance between those two styles?
To be clear, our music is more alternative rock than dance. We’re using various dance beat to make alternative music sound more unique. So you can easily find hints of punk, grunge, shoegazing, etc. in our music. Maybe others might disagree, but we believe our music is more “rock” in that way.
What are some of your biggest influences, music or otherwise?
Mostly 90s alternative, 80s new wave/synth pop and 80-90’s electronic music. But really, we get influenced by any type of music from blues to psychedelic. Whatever is good, we take in without any prejudice.
Do you think being an independent artist offers more freedom in what you write and record?
We get to write, record, mix, master, produce, design, and sell the way we want to. That’s a major plus. But in order to do that well, we need to dedicate a lot of time and energy. So honestly, it’s really not that easy.
What’s an underrated album everyone should listen to at least once?
In Korea, we think “My Bloody Valentine” is surprisingly underrated. The critics really hate them here. Mainly because you really can’t hear the lyrics clearly (both in their albums or on their shows). We think Shin Joong-hyun is seriously underrated in both Korea and overseas. He’s the pioneer of Korean psychedelic rock, and one of the best guitarist of all time. This legendary rocker recently received a specially-crafted tribute guitar from Fender Musical Instruments Corp. And if you know his music well enough, you can easily find out that The Black Keys were heavily influenced by this man’s music.
What has been one of your strangest and/or most interesting gigs?
We think our upcoming gigs in The States and Canada will be very, very interesting. It’s still kinda hard to believe that it’s all happening. We’re bringing our best sound possible.
You guys will be embarking on your first US tour this fall, what are some of the unexpected challenges of planning a tour?
Everything is so challenging. We don’t have management to handle all the details, so it’s pretty tough from top to bottom. Until we finally take off, guess it’ll be challenging all the way.
What was the songwriting process like for the new EP Glow?
We didn’t have much time to think, actually. We’re changing our live system completely for this tour, and we’re producing our new EP album at the same time, so time is of the essence. But the new songs are the best ones we ever created so far! Very excited.
We hope this tour will help us break through, and enable us to meet our new fans all around the globe. We’ll keep on making quality music and none stop performing to engage the world. You’ll see us in your neighborhood very soon!