Posted on September 30, 2014

Interview

# Ok, Hi. Firstly please introduce 24Hours to our DoIndie readers!

24hours : Hello. We are the band 24Hours. We play garage rock. It is great to meet you all.

# Please introduce one another to us?

Seungjin, by Hyeokjae : 

Hyeokjae : I’m going to have to filter what I say here I think! Seungjin is like a crazy, naked monkey. He’s like an animal who wanders around without fear. To put it nicely, he’s mischievous, but the truth is he’s nuts, or even insane. However, first you need to understand that being called nuts is like a compliment to me. If someone calls me psycho, I like it. He’s just like that. He’s incredibly energetic and good at spreading his energy to others. To talk him up, he’s like a roof for us. I really appreciate him for letting me join 24Hours.

# Hyeokjae, by Hyemi :

Hyemi : He listens to what I say and is positive all the time. I think he’s the most open-minded person among us. He’s always neutral and says things that help us solve problems. So I think that he is like a sponge which absorbs anything around it.

# Hyemi, by Seungjin :

Seungjin : She was born to be a woman. She’s unbelievably kind to strangers. She sometimes holds grudges, sometimes not. And she plays the role of stylist for us. We definitely need her. She’s always the one who makes decisions.

# I’m going to start with a nice basic opening question. Seungjin, when did you start playing the bass guitar? And... how did you guys first meet?

Seungjin : I started to play the bass guitar when I was in middle school. One day after class in my second year of middle school, I went to watch my friend, who was in a school band, play a show. That’s when I first became interested in bass guitar. I also wanted to play an instrument, so I began to watch live band videos. Finally, one day I told my father that I wanted to play bass. I pestered him to sign me up for an afterschool class where I could learn how to play. It cost 50,000 won an hour, which was a bit expensive. That was the first time I ever told my father that I wanted to do something.

After that I spent my time playing in a band with a friend. I met Hyemi in high school, and she played the guitar. We talked about music a lot, went to concerts together, and taught each other music. Then I went to college, where I met Hyeokjae. At that time, one of our band members left us and Hyeokjae wanted to join, but he was already in another band. I remember one day when Hyeokjae came to our concert, he said “Call me when there’s an opening.” When the time came he was torn between the two and had trouble making up his mind. On the one hand, he wanted to join our band, where he could play powerful and fun songs, but on the other hand he was also preparing stuff with the other band and did not want to let them down.

Hyemi : So what you are saying is, we stole him from them.

Seungjin : Well, kind of!  We talked to them about the situation …. and then took him. That’s how the three of us came together to start 24Hours.

# What’s different about 24Hours now compared to the 24Hours of the past?

Hyemi : Things have changed a lot.

Seungjin : In the past, our music was closer to the original sound of garage rock. We didn’t have much equipment. We didn’t even have any effect pedals. We would just plug straight into the amps and play, but now we have a lot more equipment which makes our music sound richer.

Hyemi : I’m not sure which is better... haha.

#How was the Hyundai Card Citybreak concert (on August 10th)?

Seungjin : It rained, so all our equipment got wet.

Hyemi : Yep, actually our gear is still being repaired. Although I don’t have a lot of stage experience, I prefer festivals. Festivals usually happen in a large, open spaces. That makes me so excited. I’ve seen bands in other countries play on outdoor stages at huge music festivals. So when I play at festivals, I feel like I’m playing on that kind of stage. You know what I mean? That’s why I prefer festivals.

# What kind of music do you usually listen to? What musicians do you admire most?

Hyeokjae : I like squealing sounds, like the sounds pigs make. I listen to Slipknot’s music a lot, and sometimes more gloomy stuff as well. I love Pia and Apollo 18.  I also like sentimental songs.

Hyemi : These days, I listen to Kasabian a lot, as well as other English bands such as Oasis. When it comes to Korean music, I typically listen to songs by bands we are friendly with. I used to listen to Asian Chairshot a lot. In terms of performance, I love Yellow Monsters.  I also like Bye Bye Badman a lot.

Seungjin : I used to listen to only Oasis’s music. I continued to listen to English bands until I learned about The Strokes. For some time after that, I kept listening to The Strokes. And then I found Arctic Monkeys, British garage rock, The Beatles, etc. Among Korean bands, I like Parasol. One member of Sultan of The Disco is in that band. Parasol’s very good.

# When was the most difficult time for you? How did you manage to overcome it?

Hyemi : When we made our first album, Seungjin suffered a lot.

Seungjin : When you make an album by yourself, you can do it quickly, but as the number of people involved grows, it gets slower and harder because each person’s condition or schedule can affect the album production process. Especially when the deadline gets closer and I have no idea what to do, I get really stressed out. But now, when I look back on that time, it doesn’t seem as important as I thought it was.

Hyemi : When I record our albums, I get very sensitive. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, but I express my feelings more often than the others do. So when things go wrong during recording, I tend to complain, which quite often leads to a fight. Seungjin took charge of all of the mixing on the new album, and it was his first time doing that. It must have been really challenging for him. I guess that was what he was talking about just now. But I think it’s just one of those things, we are bound to go through some tough times while we are growing.

# What is your personal favorite 24Hours’ song? And which song is the most popular among your fans?

Hyemi : That’s a pretty difficult question to answer.

Hyeokjae : I have the most fun when we play “John”. Because, as I said before I like the sound of pigs squealing. Originally I had applied it to the song, but I had to get rid of it later because Hyemi didn’t like it.I miss the way it used to be played!

Hyemi : It sounded like he was expressing his stress, but people liked it.

Hyeokjae : It was great. I also like that the song has words like “fuck” in it.

Seungjin : It’s hard to pick just one. All of our songs are like my kids (laughter). But I like the recent ones more. When I listen to our old songs, I wish I had tried more varied styles. But on the recent ones, I did try. That’s why I like our latest album.

Hyemi : Good job on promoting the album! I totally agree with him, so I’ll just skip this question.

# ‘John’ and ‘Jane’ are the titles of two of your most popular songs. Who do they refer to?

Seungjin : The names don’t mean anything, actually. When I record demos, I sing with just any old words in English. On the demo for “Jane” I said the word “Jane” a lot, and likewise on “John”. And Hyemi completed the lyrics by translating my words into Korean.

Hyemi : “Jane” came up first, and “John” later while we were practicing together. I still remember when I said in a playful way, “Let’s just imagine there is a John and a Jane. I don’t think people will bother trying to understand what those names mean. Let’s just do it?” But, alas... You guys have called us out on it. The names mean nothing.

# I believe you produced your latest album by yourselves. What was your biggest problem with the process?

Hyemi : I had trouble figuring out what direction we should take. I wanted to head in a completely different direction than before. But it was a really long and hard process. I had a very hard time, wasting several months. Whenever we make an album, Seungjin usually comes up with the basic frame of the songs, and then we arrange it together as a band. This time, he brought some amazing things to the table. It sounded like an upgraded version of our old music. At that moment, I realized that we shouldn’t be diverging from our core musical style, we should be keeping the style, and developing it further.

Seungjin : We invested lots of time into this album. We wanted to make it fast but it was not easy. We had a lot of work to do. Most of the songs were made recently. We’ve tried many different ways because we are greedy when it comes to music. Since we didn’t have a professional producer, we would change whatever we wanted, even if it was in the middle of recording. Sometimes, we just went ahead with recording even if we didn’t like the song. We didn’t know much about producing as none of us are really all that experienced. I think the most important thing was to make an album that we were satisfied with. I’m not sure if we are actually satisfied with it, but anyway, we mixed the songs together whenever we could and stayed up all night, for many nights. We can’t use our studio during the daytime because someone else is using it then. So we would meet in the middle of the night to work on our album and go back home at 6 or 7 in the morning. We almost went crazy. I’m curious to know if people will like our album or not, but personally I’m satisfied with it.

# Please tell us about your new EP album. How is it different from the old ones? Did you try anything new with it?

Hyemi : First of all, it’s very exciting and rhythmical. We think you will get excited when you listen to it. The last track on the CD is a bit more melancholy. After we finished mastering it, I listened to it and I liked it very much. It’s exciting at the beginning and more sentimental at the end. I think that’s what makes it inviting.

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Buy 'No Way Out' (Digital) :

Daum Music / Naver Music / Olleh Music / Bugs / Gene / M-Net / Melon / iTunes (USA) / iTunes (UK)

Buy 'No Way Out' (Physical CD)  :

Hyang Music / Yes Asia (International Delivery) / Yes 24 / Alidan / Kyobo Bookstore (Online) / Hot Tracks (Online)

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# The cover design of the EP is unique. Does it have any special meaning?

Hyemi : We wanted a very simple cover design because we wanted people to focus only on our music. Instead of having a fancy cover or including photos of ourselves, we kept it simple. The plain design is closely related to the meaning of our songs’ lyrics, and we also wanted to clearly show people what style of music our band pursues. There’s nothing else to it! Just listen to the music! This is usually what only popular foreign bands can do, but we decided to give it a go as well.

# What do you think 24Hours will look like a few years from now?

Seungjin : I think I will be serving in the military in three years. I’m not sure if I will be able to play with 24Hours while in the military. But in four years’ time after my military service has finished, we will start all over again, like rookies.

Hyeokjae : It’s impossible to plan at the moment because I must also do my military service, even though I’m not really suited to that kind of thing. I don’t know what I should do.

Hyemi : We don’t know what’s going to happen. I will continue to play music even when they are away, and if they come back to me, of course I will be happy to rejoin them. I’ve seen some bands which re-formed after some of the members came back from the military. They were refreshed, like beginners, when they started again. I know that things will be different and we won’t be as popular as we are now. I’m prepared for that. I just want to keep making cool music for our fans for as long as possible.

# What makes 24Hours stand out from other bands?

Hyeokjae : Youthfulness? But it will be gone soon.

Hyemi : It may be gone by the end of this year for me.

Seungjin, Hyeokjae : And now we are panicking (because of the question about military service).

Hyemi : Of course youthfulness is one thing, but I think our best quality is also energy, as well as our performances. Our music is full of energy, excitement, and joy. I want to say the answer is energy.

Seungjin : I’d like to see my own concert. Jiwon came to see our recent concert. I was jealous. He always used to play on stage but now he’s in the audience. I can’t imagine how it would feel to listen to the songs that I was involved in creating at a concert. I wanted to see the concert with him. I don’t know what’s special about us because I’ve never seen my own concert. I want to see it!

# Your handmade Christmas (2013) costumes were pretty cool. Can you tell us about them, how did they come about?

Hyemi : We didn’t want our Christmas concert to be just another typical show. We wanted to make it Christmas-like. I thought it would be funny if Hyeokjae wore a costume that looked like a Christmas tree. I thank Hyeokjae for managing to do that, he pulled it off well!

Hyeokjae : I really wanted to quit 24Hours at that time. (Laughter) But now, when I think about that I realise I had a lot of fun doing it. Also, it was about that time when people started to actually recognize my name.


Photo : http://blog.naver.com/wwwisdommm

# You’re going to perform at the DoIndie FWD Vol.3 concert. What new things are you going to try this time?

Hyemi : Something vigorous, like… We may break something at the concert because we’re so excited to release our new song!

Seungjin : It’s been a long time since we played our new songs at a concert. I can’t wait for the show! I think we will be able to play the new song on stage successfully by then. We all are actually a little nervous, so we’ve been practicing hard,

#Hyemi, have you experienced any difficulties as a female guitarist?

Hyemi : When I started out I always expected that being a woman, I would have some difficulties. It turns out that it is a positive thing. I just think ‘24 Hours is a band with a female guitarist in it’, and that is how it is. Because I think positively about this kind of thing, I have never really felt any problems from it.

# What are your hobbies?

Hyeokjae : I like playing computer games and watching baseball. These days I’m thinking of actually playing baseball. Until last year, I was always lazy for two or three days after a concert. But I think I have to exercise a little bit before we have the next concert. I’d like to be a pitcher. I prefer to throw balls because I’m afraid of them. I’d rather be bitten by something than have a ball thrown at me.

Seungjin : I don’t like to move. I normally stay home, watching English or American TV shows or playing computer games. I just lie down on my bed in the daytime, but I do get out at night. Walking or jogging at night while listening to music makes me feel good. So I watch dramas or play the guitar in the day time, and I run at night. That’s basically it.

Hyemi : Shopping. I relieve my stress by going shopping. As everyone does, I love watching cartoons or movies, I also like traveling. I have this idea of traveling every year to a different country outside Korea. I like to plan my own trips, not go on those organised tours.

# Almost everyone who goes to Hongdae live clubs knows of 24Hours. How would you like them to think of you?

Hyemi : You know when Hongdae clubbers see the line-ups of certain shows, they say, like “Wow, such and such is on the line-up! Let’s go! Let’s go crazy!” I want 24Hours to be that kind of band. The kind of band that you always eagerly look forward to during a festival.

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Interview : Il Hwa Choi / Baek Yeon Seung / Eunji Kim
English Translation : Kim Daehan
Editing : Jamie Leigh Gilbert

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For more information on the band, check them out at the following sites :

Official Site : http://www.band24hours.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/b24Hrs
Twitter : https://twitter.com/Band_24Hours
DoIndie : http://www.doindie.co.kr/en/bands/24-hours

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24 Hours

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