Yellow Monsters
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Yellow Monsters

Seoul, Seoul, South Korea | INDIE

Seoul, Seoul, South Korea | INDIE
Band Rock Punk

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"Indieful ROK : Mini-Interview with Yellow Monsters"

My Aunt Mary was one of the first Korean indie bands I ever listened to. As was Delispice; and one of my all time favorite albums comes from Omega 3. GumX was long my favorite among catchy Korean punk bands. After learning that members from all had formed Yellow Monsters I was naturally very excited. After hearing the band's self-titled debut album I had a new favorite band. It's barely been a year since the release of Yellow Monsters and soon second full length album Riot! will be here bringing even more of Yellow Monsters awesomeness. Naturally I was curious to learn more about the album in question, and Choi Jaehyuk enthusiastically provided answers to my questions:

Q: Could you please start by introducing Yellow Monsters?
A: We are a Korean rock band that consist of Choi Jaehyuk (drums&vocals), Han Jinyoung (bass&vocals), Lee Yongwon (guitars&vocals). The band's own name Yellow Monsters means Asians, as everyone could guess.

Q: How would you say the sound of Yellow Monsters distinguishes itself from that of your previous bands?
A: Well, I would say the previous band, Delispice is kind of soft and poppy side band but i would describe Yellow Monsters as a energetic, rough and more like aggressive band. Yeh, Rock n roll haha.

Q: What can listeners expect from Riot?
A: We were just trying so hard to maximise all of power and glory of our music. It wasn't easy but so much fun you know? For instance, if we were putting the level 7,8 of power and energy on our 1st LP, but this time, we think we put the level 10 and more!! Therefore.. Please enjoy our energy!

Q: You've already played in Japan. Are you looking to return there with the new album and are there any other countries you'd like to perform in?
A: Sure, we has been already booked at the festival called Punkafoolic Big Peace 2011> in Tokyo, Japan on 17th, July. And also we are scheduling a Japan tour to promote the LP, which will be officially licensed there this year.

Well, we are definitely gonna tour in any other countries if we have any chance. I mean outside Asia. I think every bands want to do that. Don't they? And we are not gonna be doing nothing and just wait a chance or good offer for years but make it!

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Punkafoolic! Big Peace 2011And let's all hope they do! I loved their first album as soon as I heard it and after this interview expect nothing less of the second.

If you're in Tokyo take action not to miss the one day punk rock festival Punkafoolic! Big Peace 2001. Although I've sadly haven't had a chance to see Yellow Monsters live myself, I've heard they're a live act not to miss! - Indieful ROK (2011 JUL 05)


"IZM Neo Music Communication : Yellow Monsters Interview"

“Isn’t beer better than this? The day is hot too.”

Is the answer we got offering them ice tea at the café we met at the middle of the day for the interview. Asking in return if there is no other schedule after that, the answer we got was ‘we do have a schedule, but is beer alcohol*?”. Out of the three, two became fathers after marriage, but after all they are a rock band to the bone. In the end, interviewer and interviewee chink glasses, and in a peaceful, beer drinking atmosphere, the interview proceeds.

*compared to other countries, beer in Korea is said to be more like water, or non-alcoholic-beer

After a time of one year, they release their 2nd full length album ‘Riot!’ and are busy making national tours together with Crying Nut and Galaxy Express. Together with stories about their new album, the interview was an occasion to share their view as members of the first generation on the recent indie scene and even the beginning of it.

I listened well to the first album. Last year you also received favorable criticism; this album too came out well.

Choi Jae Hyuk: Minkyu (Deli Spice) is really jealous.

In which aspect is he jealous?

CJH: More than the fact we make strong and powerful music, he envies us for working hard joyfully.

One year after your debut album, you released your 2nd.

Lee Yong Won: It’s not that we planned to release a second album, doing it naturally, we came to make it. In the second album, we had a strong will wanting to deliver a message.

Why is it ‘Riot’?

LYW: The title ‘Riot’ doesn’t go for a special target. The target can be several things. Actually, the youth now is the future of South Korea. But it seems there are a lot young people who are weak and run away; it carries the meaning of trying to change it once together. If we purify it, it’s a revolution, but because we wanted to make it appeal stronger, we made it ‘riot’.

Besides Han Jin Young, didn’t the two of you change from youth to fathers? Looking at the Thanks To, it gives off the air as if you became a father too.

Han Jin Young: Becoming older, there is room now to look back at the previous days, and one seems to get an objective view, being able to look at things from further away. Looking at the music and lyrics that come out in that process, I feel that our lives improved a lot.

How is the age now?

LYW: Jae Hyuk is 37 this year, Jin Young 36, and I am with 32 the youngest

Yong Won writes most of the songs, I get the feeling you write songs well. It’s not just the feel of punk’s drive put into the songs, you put a hook melody smoothly in it too. Out of those, I listen well to ‘Beer’. I heard it’s a song made in just a moment.

LYW: ‘Beer’ is a song made in 3 minutes. (hearty laugh)

In ‘I love You’ RossyPP was featured. What is the reason that she came to participate? Is it okay to see it as supporting a same label artist?

LYW: (laughter) RossyPP’s album is definitely coming out in October. But it’s more accurate to see it with a joking nuance than a PR.
CJH: When Yong Won makes music, he adds jokes. After coming out with punk, he suddenly comes out with a xylophone and adds such fun things.

In the past I met you as My Aunt Mary and Deli Spice and interviewed you. Your facial expression and image seems to have changed a lot. Is there a change?

HJY: Recently I feel young again. (laughter) In My Aunt Mary I was wearing shirts every day.

CJH: More than into the music style, I want to put a meaning into making music joyfully like this. Because the process is more important than the style. Speaking truthfully, there are a lot of lazy bands who perform once a year and raise their worth with this scarcity. After we formed in April last year, we have about 3 performances per week. When you constantly do performances, there are also songs coming out of it. We realized that ‘this method has value and is the way to make real music’. We also think that maybe if we continue like this, it will work.

HJY: After we formed in April last year, we released our first album after only 3 months in June, and one year later, we released our second album. The truth is, when we started, we couldn’t expect to come until here. Because we didn’t even had the belief that we would release 2 full length albums and that the liaison would come to us instead of us looking for performances. That’s why I think we three succeeded. Because while making music we can be active happily. If there would be even one out of us who isn’t happy, we naturally would keep crashing, so we talk truthfully. Like this we are also sharing a lot of stories between each other.

How is the relationship between you three? Your relationship looks extremely sincere.

LYW: Our relationship is really good. There are points we can learn from each other and points in which we respect each other. Especially, since I’m the youngest, I completely pull myself together to not make a mistake. The two won’t know though. (lau - IZM (2011 JUL)


"Interview with Yellow Monsters' Jae Hyuk Choi"

Back in July I was searching through the internet, like I usually do for Korean rock and stumbled upon the album Yellow Monsters by The Yellow Monsters. I took one listen to it, and fell in love.

That seems to be the general consensus when most people listen to the album, actually. They had me at Destruction, the album’s first song. It’s a hard rock song, with punk undertones, that hooks you into the album with their hard-hitting sounds and vocal harmonies.

The first single off of the album, to which there is a video is titled Late and has a great up-beat punk feel to it, along with great vocals. The three members of the band have extensive experience in the music scene, each is actually currently part of two or more bands. I think their previous experiences contributed greatly to their success, and strength on Yellow Monsters, not to mention how fast they were able to put it together.

This type of rock is one of my favorites, it’s got a great beat, good flow and they don’t scream through the entire album like some of the harder rock bands. The Yellow Monsters is comprised of Yong-Won Lee on vocals and guitar, Jin-Young Han on bass and vocals as well, and Jae-Hyuck Choi rounding things out on drums and vocals.

Now, for a few words with the drummer; Jae-Hyuck Choi:

Q: First of all, I have to commend you on your English, how is it that you know it so well?
A: Well, thanks for saying that, but I don’t suppose my english is that good. I’m always interested in learning foreign languages

Q: How long have you been playing drums? Is it what you always wanted to do?
A: Since when I was freshman, 19 years old. I think I was a late starter compared to other drummers. I started it almost by chance. I was kind of a replacement, and when I finished the army service in 1997, I joined Deli Spice as a full time member.

Q: What are your musical influences? Also, what are you listening to now?
A: Various! I should say that the biggest influence of my music is my daddy. He was a records collector, so it was a very natural thing to me listening those oldish, but timeless music such as ABBA, Alan Parsons Project, James Last Band, etc. These days it’s a Christmas season so Michael Buble was in my ears today!

Q: What is the hardest challenge of being a band and garnering fan interest?
A: Well, the first one could be committed to one another, that makes great tunes, great shows and other related works. I believe that when we are on high conditions, and quality sort of passion, the audience will naturally feel and enjoy it.

Q: I like that no one stands out as a clear leader from the three of you, you’re all really equally present in your promotions. Is there a band leader or is everything a collaborative effort?
A: Good question. That’s me! Because I’m the elder one. That’s only the reason. Well, we are like triangle. I mean we three are equally important as long as our band goes. And the theme of our conversation is RESPECT. And that’s what we’ve been doing with one another.

Q: I know all of you are members of other bands, is activity with them on hold, or are you active with them all at the same time?
A: It’s kind of an infinite vacation. So at this moment, Yellow Monsters is the most important thing we are all in, so we don’t really think about any other things.

Q: What was the last concert you attended that wasn’t your own?
A: ARIP’s gig. She’s a folky songstress and also our bass player, Jinyoung’s girlfriend!

Q: What is your favorite venue to play in, and why?
A: Sangsangmadang(????), Hongdae. Well, we don’t really mind about size or equipments as long as there is Marshall JCM900 or JCM2000. That’s what Yongwon wants.

Q: If you could collaborate with any band or performer, who would it be, why?
A: Noisecat! I played whole songs on Morning Lights, his 2nd LP, and I want to do that kind of thing again with him. He makes such a beautiful noise!

Q: How did the Yellow Monsters come to be? Did you three know one another for a long time before forming the band? What inspired you three to come together?
A: We knew one another for a while but we didn’t really do musical works together. One day, Yongwon called me and Jinyoung to asked us to do some musical works together rather than have boring breaks. The next day, we just started playing together. Simple isn’t it? We also found that we were hungry for live shows. I mean the real shows! Do you know what I mean? The shows that are not only for the money!

Q: My favorite track on the album is Christie, it has such a great range! Do you have a favorite track, either lyrically or one that you just think is fun to perform?
A: Destruction. The 1st track. It was the first song we play together and I can say it’s sort of landmark of ours.

Q: Did the Yellow Monsters album take awhile to create? Can we expect another album from you guys in the future?
A: Well, it’s less than a month. It was magical moments. We already have tunes that - YAM Magazine (2010 DEC 20)


"2009-2010 Rookie of the Year"

Selected by the Korean cultural planning group, Gasseum, Yellow Monsters was voted the #1 Rookie of the Year for 2009-2010 in their Heavy Metal/Punk/Post-Rock/Psychodelic Rock category. - Naver Music (2011 FEB)


Discography

2011 Riot!
2010 Yellow Monsters

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/AWARDS & HONORS/
2012 Korean Music Awards (Best Rock Album of the Year - Nominee)
2012 Korean Music Awards (Best Rock Song of the Year - Nominee)
2011 Top 10 K-Pop Albums of the Year (IZM.co.kr)
2011 Top 10 K-Pop Albums of the Year (#7 Music Y Critics Poll)
2011 iTunes Japan : New & Noteworthy (Rock Album)
2011 Korean Music Awards (Best Rock Album of the Year - Nominee)
2011 Korean Music Awards (Best Rock Song of the Year - Nominee)

/INTERNATIONAL CONCERTS/
2012 SXSW : Official Showcase Band
2012 CMW Canadian Music Week : Official Showcase Band
2011 Linkin Park (Opening Act : Seoul KR)
2011 Punkafoolic Big Peace Festival (Tokyo JP)
2011 Korea Japan Chingu Night (Tokyo JP)
2011 Why On Earth - Charity Concert (Japan)
2011 Cyclone Concert (Japan)
2010 Busan Rock Festival (Busan KR)
2010 Pentaport Rock Festival (Incheon KR)