Galaxy Express
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Galaxy Express

Shinsa, Seoul, South Korea | INDIE

Shinsa, Seoul, South Korea | INDIE
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(USA) DFSB Kollective is preparing quite the treat for North American fans of Korean indie rock. The ’2K11 SEOULSONIC North American Tour‘ is gearing up to launch its 11-stop gauntlet, and it’s boasting a phenomenal line-up!

Vidulgi Ooyoo, Galaxy Express, and Idiotape have signed on to deliver delicious music all across the continent, and they’re going to kick off their tour in Toronto, Canada for the ‘Canadian Music Week’ festival on March 10th.

Afterwards, the bands will fly to the States to perform on both the West and East coasts. Most notably, they’ll be performing at the legendary SXSW festival down in Texas, where some of the biggest names in music (like B.o.B, Pharoahe Monch, Shad, Skrillex, and Korea’s very own Apollo 18) will gather to rock thousands of music fans.

So, who are these three acts?

Vidulgi Ooyoo (translation: ‘pigeon milk’ in Korean) is considered to be one of Korea’s prime shoe-gazer bands. The rock quartet’s sound could only be described as ‘ethereal’ and ‘psychedelic’; indeed, listeners have likened their music to a haunting experience because it remains with them long after it’s stopped playing.

Galaxy Express is one of the biggest bands in the Hongdae area, and their success isn’t attributed to their rockstar looks alone. These guys can perform and rip up a stage like no other, and they’re certainly proving themselves to be worth the buzz that precedes them. Galaxy Express grabbed the trophy for the ‘Musician of the Year’ at the ‘2011 Korean Music Awards’, and they’ve definitely got more successes lined up for them ahead.

The tour’s last major act, Idiotape, stood out in the indie scene with their live drums against an kickin’ electronica base. Their music definitely brings the house to its feet, as fans sway and dance to their lighthearted music. These guys are definitely worth keeping an eye out for, as they were tapped to be one of the featured international artists for Intel & Vice Magazine’s ‘2011 The Creators Project campaign’.

Ladies and gents, you do not want to miss out on the chance to see these amazing lives on our home turf! Be sure to grab tickets for the shows in Toronto, New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Austin!

For those of you who unfortunately aren’t able to attend, the ‘2K11 Supersonic North American Tour’ has just unleashed their album through iTunes, so be sure to snag it when you can.
- AllKPop


WHY GO?

(NEW YORK USA) Sorry 2NE1, K-pop has no place in SEOULSONIC's debut North American tour. Not when there's a dynamic indie scene burning up stages and dive bars in Seoul but sorely unknown stateside. Take Vidulgi OoyoO, whose feedback-drenched guitar riffs and hypnotizing croon evoke Split-era Lush. Galaxy Express wear their post-punk influences proudly on their leather jackets. Last year, they headlined a stage at the Jisan Valley Rock Festival — Incheon's equivalent to All Tomorrow's Parties. Idiotape import sludgy and sexy dance-punk (with live drumming) straight from Seoul's club circuit. Special guests to the NY leg of SEOULSONIC include LA-based singer-songwriter Big Phony and locals Kite Operations, who segue from delicate chords to atonal freeform squalls within a single track. My advice: throw back some Chamisul and hit the Knit.

YOU WILL...

likely get hit in the face with a guitar.

become a fangirl (or fanboy). - Beacon Pass


WEEKENDER EDITION) It’s the ultimate band roadtrip. Except this isn’t your typical, Americana garage-band straight from Smalltown, U.S.A., it’s post-rock indie group Apollo 18 from the capital of South Korea.

“We’re nervous in general about going to the U.S., playing at South by Southwest (SXSW), the clubs, the venue ambiance and the people inside those venues,” bassist Kim Dae-inn laughed. It will be the first time any of the band members have stepped foot on North American soil.

This spring, Apollo 18 and four of the country’s most-buzzed underground names will enter the American scene by touring some of the most prestigious festivals this March and April, shattering the idea that Korean music holds a mere wisp of a presence worldwide.

Kim and his bandmates, Galaxy Express, Vidulgi OoyoO, Idiotape and EE will go west to make a stand for Korean music either by DIY or with corporate backing. The move records both the marked increase of local bands at SXSW (March 16-20) and the official debut of Korean music at Coachella (April 15-17).

“This (rock) sound is originally from the U.S., so if you’re in a band, it feels right to go to America and experience it firsthand, be inspired by it,” Choi Hyun-seok, the guitarist for Apollo 18, said. The three-man group managed to expand their initial festival performance into a five-state, 14 gig roadshow using only their knowhow, Googling skills and an abundance of e-mail.

Previous years have seen one or two Korean mainstream bands play at the acclaimed Texas music event, one of the largest in the country with nearly 2,000 acts. This year, a total of four indie bands will play SXSW out of the 13 Korean groups that applied.

“This will take a lot of money, so if we go, we want to go for more than just the festival,” Kim said, referring to their decision to turn the showcase into a tour. Apollo 18, ever the hard rockers, took the grassroots approach so they could customize their own schedule independently. A rental van is in the works.

Though the group was originally invited to the 2010 showcase, a lack of funds and preparation delayed the band for a year. But their determination saw a rapid comeback as fundraising and money out of their own pockets will send them on their first overseas trip.

Art performance duo EE, who will debut at the legendary Coachella, was brought to the attention of the Western industry through Seoulsonic, a now-defunct concert series that was transformed into a multi-faceted music organization that aims to be the Korean Pitchfork Media.

Parent company DFSB Kollective refurbished Seoulsonic to focus on both local and international activities through “packaged” band tours, and Galaxy Express, Vidulgi OoyoO and Idiotape will comprise its first North American venture.

The trio of bands will hit up Canadian Music Week, SXSW and hold a variety of shows from New York (The Knitting Factory) to Los Angeles (The Roxy).

“During the day, we would speak about and hear about how hip and how hot the Korean music scene was perceived overseas. But at night, perception and reality didn’t really mix too well at cocktail parties,” said Bernie Cho, president of the DFSB Kollective, a digital music distributor and promoter.

“Whenever we attended showcases sponsored and hosted by different countries’ governments, we were amazed by the live performances of international artists hailing from music markets comparable to and far smaller than Korea. Time and time again, we kept asking and were being asked the same questions. ‘Why is there no Korean night? Why are there no Korean bands here? Where is this cool Korean music people are talking about?”’

DFSB decided to take the matter into its own hands and, after studying other music promotion methods, decided to take Seoulsonic into the direction of group tours.

“Rather than have each act play on its own and get lost in the shuffle, we felt there would be strength and safety in numbers by bundling the bands together under the Seoulsonic brand,” Cho said. “All the bands represent a distinct style and flavor that show the diversity and dynamism of the AltROK scene.”

"It was never a matter of ‘if’ but more of a matter of ‘when’ Korean music acts would step onto the biggest music stages worldwide,” Cho said. “Spring 2011 seems to now answer the ‘when.’”

Previous Korean guests at the Texas festival are less optimistic about Western acknowledgement.

“Actually, there’s still not that much interest about Korea,” said Song Kyoung-kun of Gong Myoung, who performed at SXSW in 2009.

The group, who entered in the fest’s world music category, was featured on prevalent national radio network PRI during their stay in Austin, and regularly attends art markets in Europe to garner international recognition.

Though they often play abroad, Song said that many people still believe Korea to be somewhere between Japan and China, culturally. Indeed, this year’s SXSW will see nearly 20 bands from - The Korea Times


(LOS ANGELES USA) This spring, some of Seoul’s finest indie sensations will leave Hongdae to plug into America. Not only will four Korean bands play at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in March, there will be a Korean act at the renowned Coachella Festival (April) for the first time. Oliver Saria introduces you to the most popular bands you probably don’t know and takes you inside Korea’s indie music scene.

THIS MONTH, a handful of prominent South Korean music acts will tour the United States for the first time. And none of them will perform choreographed dance pop numbers with multiple costume changes. And “rock hard” won’t describe the band members’ abs, but rather what they do on stage. K-pop might be Korea’s biggest export besides economy cars, cell phones and female golfers, but an established indie rock scene is using social media to expand beyond Seoul’s eclectic Hongdae district to prove to the world that there is more to Korean music than just bubblegum ballads.

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Media and Music Conference in Austin, Texas, slated for March 16 to 20, will showcase the largest contingent of Korean acts in the event’s history. Four bands are scheduled to perform, including the atmospheric shoegaze of Vidulgi OoyoO, the electro-dance, high-energy rock hybrid of Idiotape, the wild party-rock of Galaxy Express, and the post-punk, post hardcore sonic assault of Apollo 18. Additionally, in April, the electronic performance art duo EE will be the first Korean act to perform at the renowned, days-long Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.

Vidulgi OoyoO, Idiotape and Galaxy Express will visit various cities as part of the Seoulsonic North American Tour, which kicked off in Toronto on March 9 during Canadian Music Week. Meanwhile, the ballsy band Apollo 18 plans to independently tour the South with stops in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

In other words, for the first time, American audiences from coast to coast will have a rare opportunity this spring to sample some of the best live acts in Korean indie music today. Depending on how well they’re received, the eyes (and ears) of the music world might very well turn towards Hongdae, the mecca of Korean indie.?

THE MECCA

For all intents and purposes, “Korean indie” means anything outside the mainstream K-pop idol factory that dominates South Korea’s music industry. And there’s really only one place to find it. On any given night in the arty Hongdae neighborhood of northwest Seoul, one can find a club that caters to almost any musical taste.

According to Hyunjoon Shin, a professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies at Sungkonghoe University, the music scene in Hongdae started to take off in the mid-1990s as a result of globalization and increased access to Western culture. Bands like Nirvana in the States and Oasis in the U.K. influenced a generation of young musicians; soon, rehearsal spaces, recording studios and music venues began to spring up in the area, where rent was relatively cheap. The students attending Hongik University—arguably the country’s most prestigious art school and the area’s namesake (Hongdae is short for Hongik Daehakgyo)—provided a ready and eager audience as well as a fair number of budding musicians. Hip-hop and electronica spawned an explosion of nightclubs, and soon, the expats, artists and young people came flocking.

Unlike here in the United States, Hongdae has largely escaped the “hipster-fication” that has overrun indie music hotbeds such as the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where the streets are rotten with skinny jeans and hipsters sipping on Pabst Blue Ribbon. In Hongdae, hip-hop heads, jazz fans, rockers, ravers, salsa dancers and clubbers co-exist. Mark Russell, who in 2008 launched koreagigguide.com, an English-language blog about the Korean indie music scene, notes that Hongdae embodies an interesting aspect of Korean culture that he observed during his 10-plus years as a Canadian expat there. “One thing Seoul is very famous for is clustering,” says Russell, who is also the author of Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture (Stone Bridge Press, 2009). “If you want to buy bathroom fixtures, all the bathroom fixture stores are in one part of town. And it seems to have happened with the arts as well.”

So while the concentration of arts and music gives Hongdae its unique vibrancy, it also can make Hongdae feel very claustrophobic. And bands are often eager to break out beyond its confines, driven by both want and necessity.

THE MAVERICK

It’s two weeks prior to the start of the Seoulsonic tour and Bernie Cho, the president of DFSB Kollective, the creative agency producing the tour, is “crazy stupid busy” figuring out travel visas and work permits. On top of that, DR, Idiotape’s drummer, has just given himself whiplash from head-banging too hard during a recent performanc - KoreAm Magazine


WHY GO?

(NEW YORK USA) Sorry 2NE1, K-pop has no place in SEOULSONIC's debut North American tour. Not when there's a dynamic indie scene burning up stages and dive bars in Seoul but sorely unknown stateside. Take Vidulgi OoyoO, whose feedback-drenched guitar riffs and hypnotizing croon evoke Split-era Lush. Galaxy Express wear their post-punk influences proudly on their leather jackets. Last year, they headlined a stage at the Jisan Valley Rock Festival — Incheon's equivalent to All Tomorrow's Parties. Idiotape import sludgy and sexy dance-punk (with live drumming) straight from Seoul's club circuit. Special guests to the NY leg of SEOULSONIC include LA-based singer-songwriter Big Phony and locals Kite Operations, who segue from delicate chords to atonal freeform squalls within a single track. My advice: throw back some Chamisul and hit the Knit.

YOU WILL...

likely get hit in the face with a guitar.

become a fangirl (or fanboy). - Unveiled Arts/Beacon Pass


(BOSTON MA USA) Sophia's Rock Beat is where I blog video of local Boston bands that I saw the week before. (previous Rock Beats). This week is a bit of a departure because I'm going to include video of all the bands we saw at SXSW - which is mostly non-local.

There will be a follow-up post on my thoughts on the panels that we attended and my thoughts on how SXSW could improve - from a badge-holder's perspective.

Michael and I spent last week in sunny Austin, TX for SXSW. I'm going to go in order for the 38 bands we checked out.

Wednesday, our first stop was the Boston Phoenix party where we saw a few moments of Cincinnati band, The Seedy Seeds. Then we shuffled off to the Convention Center to catch two songs of Daniel Johnston -video 1, video 2. He performed after a panel of close friends/family spoke about his career - I found his songs to be moving and sad.

We went to a panel on the Asian music market and we found out about a showcase of Korean bands that night and so that was our first stop of the evening we caught a really awesome band from Seoul called Galaxy Express - they were by far one of my favorite discoveries at SXSW - leather jackets and Misfits t-shirts- they rocked so hard the power literally went out (I saw the sound guy flip the breaker back!) - Sophia's Rock Beat


DAY ONE : THE BUZZ ABOUT "SOUTH BY"

(USA) For one week each year Austin, Texas becomes the global capital of the music industry. In its 25 year existence, the annual South by Southwest Music Festival (“SxSW” or simply “South by” to the initiated) has emerged as the industry’s most important “trade show”.

Over the course of five nights nearly 2,000 bands perform in 80 venues scattered throughout Austin’s downtown. For these bands, SxSW is a vital tool to gain exposure and promote themselves to potential agents, labels, and managers. For labels and management companies, the festival is an equally important opportunity to scout the world’s musical talent for “the next big thing.” And it truly is the world’s music talent that is on display, the performers at SxSW represent every genre imaginable (as well as some that aren’t) and come not just from established musical powerhouses like the US, UK, Japan, and Mexico -– but from China, Greenland and, literally, Timbuktu.

My coverage of SxSW 2010 for Awaiting the Flood concentrated on the genres with which this site is most closely associated: country, alt-country, roots blues and so on. This year, with the blessings of Awaiting the Flood’s editorial staff, I wanted to put the spotlight on the mindboggling stylistic and geographic diversity of the musicians at the festival. Yes, you will find plenty of roots, county and alt-country in this year’s coverage, especially on the first day — but you will also find Latin Punk, alternative marching bands and K & W (Klezmer and Western) music … as well as the final public appearance by one of the most seminal figures in Delta blues.

As always, SxSW 2011 was a irresistible buffet of the good, the bad and the just plain weird. I hope you enjoy your guided tour.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM ELSEWHERE AT SXSW

* Performing at Stubb’s amphitheatre, Duran Duran proved that, three decades later, they can still pack them in and knock them out.

* Austin’s icons of western swing, Hot Club of Cowtown, showcased material from their latest album — a tribute to the great Bob Wills.

* South Korean indie/psychedelic rockers Galaxy Express wowed audiences at the Easy Tiger.

* Ubeda, Spain duo Guadalupe Plata proved you don’t have to be from the US to play great blues rock.

* Faroe Islands-based folk singer Gudrid Hansdottir brought her Dolly Parton-esque (think “Jolene” not “Nine to Five”) to the Hilton Garden Inn.

* The Ryan Michaels Band showcased their Springsteen-esque reimagining of indie rock at The Marq.

* Hard rockers Queens of the Stone Age rocked venue La Zona Rosa.

* Blues guitar icon (and Jimi Hendrix mentor) Guitar Shorty took his high energy live show to Club Speakeasy. - Awaiting the Flood


DAY ONE : THE BUZZ ABOUT "SOUTH BY"

(USA) For one week each year Austin, Texas becomes the global capital of the music industry. In its 25 year existence, the annual South by Southwest Music Festival (“SxSW” or simply “South by” to the initiated) has emerged as the industry’s most important “trade show”.

Over the course of five nights nearly 2,000 bands perform in 80 venues scattered throughout Austin’s downtown. For these bands, SxSW is a vital tool to gain exposure and promote themselves to potential agents, labels, and managers. For labels and management companies, the festival is an equally important opportunity to scout the world’s musical talent for “the next big thing.” And it truly is the world’s music talent that is on display, the performers at SxSW represent every genre imaginable (as well as some that aren’t) and come not just from established musical powerhouses like the US, UK, Japan, and Mexico -– but from China, Greenland and, literally, Timbuktu.

My coverage of SxSW 2010 for Awaiting the Flood concentrated on the genres with which this site is most closely associated: country, alt-country, roots blues and so on. This year, with the blessings of Awaiting the Flood’s editorial staff, I wanted to put the spotlight on the mindboggling stylistic and geographic diversity of the musicians at the festival. Yes, you will find plenty of roots, county and alt-country in this year’s coverage, especially on the first day — but you will also find Latin Punk, alternative marching bands and K & W (Klezmer and Western) music … as well as the final public appearance by one of the most seminal figures in Delta blues.

As always, SxSW 2011 was a irresistible buffet of the good, the bad and the just plain weird. I hope you enjoy your guided tour.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM ELSEWHERE AT SXSW

* Performing at Stubb’s amphitheatre, Duran Duran proved that, three decades later, they can still pack them in and knock them out.

* Austin’s icons of western swing, Hot Club of Cowtown, showcased material from their latest album — a tribute to the great Bob Wills.

* South Korean indie/psychedelic rockers Galaxy Express wowed audiences at the Easy Tiger.

* Ubeda, Spain duo Guadalupe Plata proved you don’t have to be from the US to play great blues rock.

* Faroe Islands-based folk singer Gudrid Hansdottir brought her Dolly Parton-esque (think “Jolene” not “Nine to Five”) to the Hilton Garden Inn.

* The Ryan Michaels Band showcased their Springsteen-esque reimagining of indie rock at The Marq.

* Hard rockers Queens of the Stone Age rocked venue La Zona Rosa.

* Blues guitar icon (and Jimi Hendrix mentor) Guitar Shorty took his high energy live show to Club Speakeasy. - Awaiting the Flood


(NEW YORK CITY USA) At this year’s SXSW, Korean punk rockers Galaxy Express powered through their set so hard that they literally blew a fuse. Luckily, the tech just pulled the circuit breakers, turned them back on again, and the band never let up its tsunami-gale performance.?

Of the wave of Korean indie bands that took SXSW by storm this year, Galaxy Express are the truest rockers: the most ass-kicking, dog-whistle-shrieking, tearing-their-shirts-off of the lot. With their shaggy hair and motorcycle jackets, they are the Ramones, if the Ramones knew how to tear up some karaoke (check out their no-holds barred noraebang performance of single “Jungle the Black”). Soundwise, their songs are a guitar feedback riot with vocal harmonies between guitarist Park JongHyun and bassist Lee JuHyun punctuating their snarling. In sum, Galaxy Express is a feel good (I mean, feel bad), jump-up-and-down-and-shriek-til-you-drop sort of band.

Even though they’re animals onstage, they’re not kidding around with their music. Their first album Noise On Fire, was a 26-track double CD that won Album of the Year at the 2009 Korean Music Awards. In 2010, they dumped their label and at the same time wrote and released an album in 30 days. Now represented by independent management (Loverock Company) and agency (DFSB Kollective), they’re still on fire – last year’s Wild Days was nominated for 2011 Album of the Year.

With their amped emergy and stage exhibitionism, they’re the best live act to come out of Korea since…well, maybe ever.

Check out tracks from Wild Days here - MTV Iggy


Boys' generation: South Korean band Galaxy Express will give audiences in Japan an alternative to K-pop, which has now become popular with local music lovers.

(TOKYO JPN) Amid all the rivalry between Japanese and South Korean pop groups and the contrived debates about whether the manufactured crap from one country is better than the manufactured crap from the other, fans of independent or alternative music have been left scratching their heads.

Surely there's more to Korean music than just K-pop?

The Asian Calling Stage at the Chiba leg of this weekend's Summer Sonic Festival will provide a definitive answer, sticking two fingers up at the slushy ballads and choreographed personalities that dominate the charts across Asia.

That's because, over two days, 16 fresh-faced bands from Korea, China and Taiwan will commandeer the Island Stage (which this year has been moved from its usual tent outside Marine Stadium to inside the Makuhari Messe complex).

"I think the recent K-pop boom will help independent bands from around Asia to find an audience in Japan," says stage director Shinji Taniguchi, an employee of Summer Sonic organizer Creativeman. "Also, the idea behind this stage is for us to capture the attention of Asia — and by extension, the world."

Working with partners in each territory — Bad News, which operates live houses in China; Yescom Entertainment, organizer of the Pentaport Rock Festival in South Korea; and Taiwan's The Wall Music, an integrated agency for independent bands, Creativeman has cherry-picked a strong lineup of bands, some of whom have the potential to go on to big things in Japan.

Many of the acts have already played at international festivals such as mega-conference South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, as well as at regular club shows around the world. Some, including Taipei's neon electro-punk lasses Go Chic and Seoul's centrifugal psych-rockers Galaxy Express, have played shows in Japan before, too.

"The Japanese live scene is much more advanced than ours in Korea, so it's a great learning opportunity for us," says Galaxy Express vocalist/bassist Lee Ju Hyun.

Creativeman, a Tokyo-based agency that operates festivals and tours throughout Japan for domestic and international acts, is open about its reasons behind creating the Asian Calling Stage. Taniguchi cites several, including a hope to bolster Creativeman's presence in those countries with a view to one day possibly booking shows there. But more immediately, he aims to raise the profile of this clutch of pan-Asian bands at Summer Sonic so they will be able to come back for club tours over the coming years.

"We already get a lot of visitors at Summer Sonic from China, Korea, Taiwan and also Hong Kong and Singapore," Taniguchi adds. "By putting on bands from those countries, we think more people will be enticed to come to Japan for Summer Sonic, and that they'll be delighted to see bands from their own country alongside artists from all over the world."

Of course, by segregating all the Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese bands into one corner and not mixing them up on stages around the festival with other international bands (which this year include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Public Image Ltd and The Strokes), there is a risk that the Asian Calling Stage will become a ghetto. Indeed, a cynic might regard it as a hollow gesture designed to placate partners in territories that are growing in importance.

On the other hand, it could put these bands, most of whom are unknown in Japan, into a more attractive context and give them a better shot at getting seen.

"I think it's fine that all the Asian bands are on one stage together," affirms Galaxy Express' Lee. "Sure, it would be fun to appear on a stage with bands from other parts of the world, but the thing is, very few people know who any of these Asian bands are, so I think putting us all on one stage is a good solution."

"There are many good Asian bands who people might like, but it's hard to discover them," echoes Sonia Lai, guitarist/keyboardist with Go Chic. "This stage could be a good way to introduce them to the media and to the fans."

Kazutoshi Chiba, founder of Bad News, knows all about this. He opened the music venue Mao Live in Beijing and Shanghai with the express aim of helping to raise the quality of independent bands in China, where rock 'n' roll is a relatively new concept and where a shortage of equipment and know-how has made it hard for bands to progress.

Chiba selected all eight of the Chinese bands appearing on the Asian Calling Stage. He says he feels grateful to have this chance to put bands from China together with bands from Korea and Taiwan here in Japan.

"We should combine our power as Asian neighbors and work together to take the sound of Asia to the rest of the world," he says. "It's all about cultural exchange; the bands need to help each other in their respective territories to succeed.

"??Japan is a difficult mar - The Japan Times


Galaxy Express Getting International Exposure
May 25, 2010 – 4:06 am

By Mark

Some fun news for one of the biggest bands in Hongdae, Galaxy Express — their new album Wild Days is getting launched at the big Music Matters conference (the biggest music industry event in Asia) in Hong Kong this week.

Galaxy’s international sales agent, DFSB Kollective, just issued a press release about the big Hong Kong shows. It says, in part:

According to DFSB Kollective President, Bernie Cho, “With the who’s who of music industry influencers from across the region and around the world attending Music Matters, we could not think of a more perfect time and place to launch the international premiere of Galaxy Express’s amazing new album.”

The recipient of Best Rock Album of the Year accolades at the 2009 Korean Music Awards, Galaxy Express will be showcasing the latest tracks from their sensational sophomore release, ‘Wild Days’. After producing, mixing, and recording the entire album in a blistering 30 days, the band will be performing for 3 straight nights at Music Matters Live (5/27 Hotel LKF, 5/28 Backstage, 5/29 Beer Bar).

The press release also says that Galaxy Express will have a North American tour this fall, so even if you are not in Korea or Music Matters, you could have the chance to see Galaxy Express soon.

Wild Days will also be available internationally on iTunes, beginning May 25. And, of course, there is always Youtube and Facebook and Soundcloud. Big congratulations to Galaxy Express.
- http://www.koreagigguide.com


Rock ‘n’ roll has always been about simplicity - kickin’ music and a kickin’ live act are the only two things that’re really needed. And if that’s any standard to go by, Galaxy Express have it all. All the way from Seoul, they graced (though with a minimum of grace) LKF during both nights of last month’s Music Matters Live, winning numerous gawkers-plus-fans by their conscientious ripping up of the stage-type activities, they’re not a band to be trifled with. They very generously gave us some time from their schedule so we could find out a bit more about them, just after their soundcheck on May 28th (we couldn’t talk to them before because two-thirds of the band were asleep in Backstage while they waited for their turn!). Here’s the conversation between the Underground (U) and the band (GE) as it went down…

U. You guys have been through some quite major changes in the past few months - like leaving your record label, creating an album in merely 30 days; how did these things come about, and what is you guys’ mindset now?

GE. Basically what happened is that we got tired of being told what kind of music to make by the record company. It felt like we were being used by the executives, at times. But, we did not want to compromise on our sound, so we were unhappy with that situation. We went through some hard times, definitely, because of our decision, but the freedom is very liberating.

And yes, we did make a record in just 30 days - Wild Days, which came out recently, and we’re it releasing internationally here. We just wanted to connect with the people, our fans, with the music, so we almost spent all our time writing and recording. Initially it was somewhat difficult, because you get used to one method of writing songs.

U. You mean, the conservative way of mulling over things and doing the whole process slowly?

GE. Yes. It’s difficult to unlearn that. We had to decide that in this case, sound wasn’t important, which is another thing you have to keep reminding yourself about. We had a lot of fun making it, and we were able to get back to the essence of rock music. We were very happy about that. We removed all the distractions, and just did our thing, which has come out in the album.

U. So how do you all feel about being able to use a platform as international as Music Matters to release your album?

GE. We are, of course, very excited. It’s a big opportunity that doesn’t come by often. We hope that people will like it, but also that they’ll understand the context of the album - we didn’t always sound like this!

U. And how has the reaction to the album been so far, in Korea?

GE. It’s been quite positive in Korea so far. We’ve found that because we were making music more naturally, in a form that is more ‘us’, we are able to connect with the audiences through it better than ever. Of course, while we were making the album, we kept our fans informed of every development through the internet, so that really helped. But, if someone listens to the album and thinks that ‘they sound like crap’, it won’t really bother us, because they clearly don’t know all the facts.

U. But, so far people have really liked your music in Korea, right? I mean you guys have gotten many awards and nominations - has that affected your career in any way?

GE. Well, it’s very motivating for one - it’s good to know that your work has been appreciated. But, it’s really not much more than that for us. Like at the Korean Music Awards, where we did win - it’s nice to get the honour, but it didn’t affect the music. The thing we look for most is to be able to communicate with the audience and make them have a rockin’ time, to give our energy to them.

U. So, how do you fit in with the Korean music scene - what’s it like?

GE. [All three laugh] It’s like a joke sometimes! There’s so many idol groups, and that’s all people outside Korea seem to have heard about. You say ‘rock music’ and ‘Korea’ together, and people go ‘whaaaat?!’. But it’s changing, there are a few bands around, and they’re trying to shift the focus. We’re one of them, and we just hope we can contribute in some way.

U. So, how has the band progressed through the years - in terms of sound, performance, or just how it feels to you guys?

GE. Well, we haven’t changed our live show, or our music all that much - it’s always been pure rock ‘n’ roll. But, we have progressed a lot as a unit. We’ve had a lot more freedom of late.

U. Because of not being shackled by record company demands?

GE. Yes; and we’re really enjoying that. We can now make music even more in our own style, so that’s great. Also, the recording for Wild Days was fun and new - we just used 2 mp3 players for most of it!

U. You can’t be serious…really?

GE. It’s true! And that was a real learning experience - finding out how much we could do with limited time and limited facilities.

U - http://www.undergroundhk.com


Discography

/ DISCOGRAPHY /

2012 Galaxy Express [LP]
2011 Noise on Fire (Remastered Version) [LP]
2011 ???? Naughty Boy [EP]
2010 Wild Days [LP]
2009 Come On & Get Up! [EP]
2008 Noise on Fire [LP]
2007 Ramble Around [EP]
2007 To the Galaxy EP

/ FILMOGRAPHY /

2012 ??? ?? ?? ? Turn It Up to 11 Part 2 (Rockumentary)
2010 ??? ?? ?? ? Turn It Up to 11 (Rockumentary)
2009 PiFan Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (Fujifilm Eterna Award - Best Korean Independent Feature Film)
2009 Seoul Independent Film Festival (Audience Award)

Photos

Bio

Crowned by critics as the countrys loudest live band and fawned by fans as the nations best live band, the trippy wired trio of Galaxy Express have swiftly kicked and screamed their way out of the indie club circuit and onto the international festival scene to become the Republic of Koreas renegade ambassadors of rock n roll.

With their scorching debut double album, Noise on Fire, the band snatched nods for Best Rock Single and Musician of the Year honors as well as swiped the sash and tiara for Best Rock Album of the Year at the 2009 Korean Music Awards. Known for their no-holds barred, knockout concert performances, they somehow found themselves starring as themselves in a rockumentary road movie called Turn It Up to 11! which picked up the Best Korean Indie Feature Film prize at the 2009 Pucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and the Audience Award trophy at the 2009 Seoul International Film Festival.

Admired as an adventurous act both on and offstage, Galaxy Express rumbled into 2010 armed with DIY ethos and loaded with WTF credos to produce one of the years most unconventional and unexpected album releases -- Wild Days.

After leaving their record label on March 1st (Koreas Independence Day), the band boldly announced on April 1st (April Fools Day) that they had a crazy concept to start from scratch and produce a brand new album in just 30 days. Dubbed the Wild 30 Project, they tweeted and blogged their entire creative process in real time which in turn, spurred thousands of online fans to join them as interactive, inspirational collaborators on each and every track. Thanks to the constant flow of fans ideas and suggestions via social media networks, Galaxy Express gallantly delivered their ambitious experimental album, Wild Days, on May 1st (Koreas Labor Day).

To promote the worldwide launch of Wild Days on iTunes Music Stores, Galaxy Express jumped the tracks over to Hong Kong to become the first Korean artist to ever perform at the 2010 Music Matters Live festival (May 27-29. 2010).

Thanks to a pileup of rave reviews and smashing live shows, the band garnered Rock Album and Song of the Year nominations and took home the highly coveted Musician of the Year trophy at the 2011 Korean Music Awards. Too restless to rest on their industry accolades, they accelerated into overseas overdrive in 2011 as a headliner on the 2K11 Seoulsonic North America Tour which scored them critical acclaim at marquee international festivals such as CMW Canadian Music Week and SXSW South by Southwest.

/ REVIEWS /

Of the wave of Korean indie bands that took SXSW by storm this year, Galaxy Express are the truest rockers: the most ass-kicking, dog-whistle-shrieking, tearing their-shirts-off of the lot. With their amped energy and stage exhibitionism, they're the best live act to come out of Korea since...well, maybe ever.
- MTV Iggy ?Bands We Like' : Korea's Galaxy Express Are Noise On Fire

/ AWARDS & HONORS /

2012 HelloKPop.com : Korean Alternative/Rock Album of the Year (Honorable Mention)
2012 Hankyoreh News : Korean Artist of the Year (#5)
2011 Korean Music Awards (Musician of the Year)
2011 Korean Music Awards (Rock Album of the Year - Nominee)
2011 Korean Music Awards (Rock Song of the Year - Nominee)
2010 100beat.com Top 100 Korean Albums of the Decade (#22 Noise on Fire)
2009 Korean Music Awards (Rock Album of the Year)
2009 Korean Music Awards (Rock Song of the Year - Nominee)
2009 Korean Music Awards (Musician of the Year - Nominee)

/ INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS /

2014 SXSW South By Southwest (USA)
2013 Liverpool Sound City (UK)
2013 The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival (USA)
2013 SXSW South By Southwest (USA)
2012 The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival (USA)
2012 SXSW South By Southwest (USA)
2011 Summer Sonic (JAPAN)
2011 Pentaport Rock Festival (KOREA)
2011 Seoulsonic North American Tour (USA)
2011 SXSW South By Southwest (USA)
2011 CMW Canadian Music Week (CANADA)
2010 Intel & Vice 'The Creators Project' (Korea)
2010 Jisan Valley Rock Festival (Korea)
2010 Pentaport Rock Festival (Korea)
2010 Music Matters Asia (Hong Kong)
2009 Le Fete de la Musique (France)
2009 Rockn Taichung (Taiwan)
2009 Pentaport Rock Festival (Korea)
2008 Pentaport Rock Festival (Korea)

/ SPECIAL PROJECTS /

2010 Wild 30 : Making an Album in 30 Days - Blog (http://galaxy30.tistory.com/)