Posted on June 24, 2014


Could you each introduce yourselves for the readers of Doindie?

Ji-Hoon Song : Hello, I'm Ji hoon Sung, vocals.

Wha-Yong Lee : Hello, I'm Hayoung Lee and I'm in charge of the guitar.

Bit-Nam Choi : Hello, I'm Bit Nam Choi, and I'm the Bass player for Mint Gray. I've been surrounded by music since I was little and I'm really passionate about the music scene here.

Jai-Hoon Jung : Nice to meet you, I'm on the drums and my name is Jae hoon Jung.

So what does Mint Gray actually mean?

Mintgray : We are trying to portray a sense of brightness and freshness that accompanies the feel of our music. Basically we think the mint color represents a certain brightness and positivity and the gray represents a warm and cozy feeling, which represents our music.

Last March you released your new EP 'Writing Bitterness' and had your first release party at Rolling Hall. The feel of the event was different from a lot of other gigs. What was this like for you guys? Also, your second self promoted show will be July 5th. How do you think this show will differ to the first?

Ji-Hoon Song : You're right, our gig definitely had a certain buzz in the air. Since it was entirely focused on playing and people came to watch us specifically over that two hour period, the feeling was awesome. I would like to thank our fans one more time for turning up and helping us put on a good show. I think the theme we’re going to carry and the feeling the space gives will be more profound than last time and everybody will be able to connect with us easily in our second gig on July 5th.

Wha-Yong Lee : We are actually planning to introduce some new tunes at our next gig. Please also look forward to a few bass solos from our bass guitarist, Bit Nam.

Bit-Nam Choi : First I would like to thank everybody that came, and you allowed us to play naturally and at ease. It was also nice to hear all of the positive feedback from the crowd. I'm very grateful to all the people that helped us put this together.

Jai-Hoon Jung : I would like to thank everybody who came to the first gig, it was electric, but we are making few more special preparations for the second one, so get ready for a good time!

Going more into your most recent EP 'Writing Bitterness'. It feels as though a lot of the songs are a bit more melodic than your previous albums. I would like to hear directly from you guys about how you feel this album has differed from your previous work.

Ji-Hoon Song : 'The Moment' was about a particular time, and the songs in the album reflect this moment. In our next album, we wanted to express ourselves even more through our music in terms of lyrics. Because of this, our most recent album focuses more on the melody and sounds rather than vocals, which are perhaps a little calmer than before.

Wha-Yong Lee : Yes, we definitely tried to make this album a lot more moving & emotional than our previous stuff, and we endeavored to add more delicate and subtle sounds.

Jai-Hoon Jung : The first EP was more about finding ourselves as a band, at that time all our styles were fairly similar. In contrast the second album was more about us after we had matured a bit as musicians. We tried to express our maturity by making songs in different styles.

It seems as you said, your album is quite touching and personal. Have the lyrics for the songs on the album come from the vocalist’s direct experiences? It seems that the album is about missing someone or something (for example the track ‘Hello Part 2’ has the lyric ‘everyday 6:30 PM, it feels like I have to run to you’, ‘I turn on the iPod after a long time and there is your favorite song’ Where did the inspiration come from for these lyrics.

Ji-Hoon Song : Yes, a lot of the lyrics come from my personal experiences of course. But sometimes my direct experiences are too limited so I also get inspiration from books and movies as well. I tend to think a lot and I always have different ideas floating around my head that I think I can use in my songs.

What is your favorite song from your recordings thus far and what song do you think the fans appreciate the most?

Ji-Hoon Song : For me, I really like ‘안녕 Part 2’ [Hello Part Two]; For live shows, I like ‘그때’ [At That Time].

Wha-Yong Lee : Personally, I really love Sense of Loss; It was the first song I ever performed with Mint Gray.

Jai-Hoon Jung : My favorite song of ours is ‘망상’ [Delusion]. But when we play live I think the fans like Psychopath the best.

I would like to know how Mint Gray differs from other good bands in the Hongdae music scene. I know you are a powerful yet delicate band, but I would like to hear more.

Ji-Hoon Song : It's a bit weird talking about this ourselves, however I think it is the atmosphere we bring to the stage and the emotional side of our music helps us stand out from some of the other bands. I like to talk about a common feeling that everybody can share rather than pursuing a specific musical direction.

Wha-Yong Lee : I would like to think we are able to produce music that moves people. Sometimes people get excited and sometimes they just stand and appreciate.

Bit-Nam Choi : Perhaps the various ages of our members? I also think that it is the emotional and touching side of our music that gives us a certain appeal because it also has a slight mainstream feel to it.

Jai-Hoon Jung : Our vocalist has a very distinct sound, and we also strive not to sing about ‘love’ per se. I think we are modern rock. I think our strong point is our ability to produce simple music that is easy for people to relate to, melancholic but comforting at the same time and of course, music that carries Mint Grays unique sentiment.

Who do you think of as an ideal artist and have you been influenced by the most?

Ji-Hoon Song : My ideal band is Coldplay. We’ve been influenced by NELL (from Korea) a lot and personally I like Kim Sarang. Also I really like to listen to Radiohead and Snow Patrol as well.

Wha-Yong Lee : John Mayer. I think his music is a bit different to our music but I like the emotion and the way he plays.

Bit-Nam Choi : I think we all like Coldplay, Maroon Five & John Mayer. For me NELL is probably my ideal band.

Jai-Hoon Jung : I like Coldplay and Radiohead.

I know your full album hasn't yet been formally released, when do you think it will be?

Ji-Hoon Song : I think sometime in winter this year. I am still sketching up some stuff in my head.

You have been playing a lot recently with other artists, who has been your favorite to work with?

Ji-Hoon Song : We have worked with a lot of great musicians, for me Hollin and Pine were my favorite to work with.

Wha-Yong Lee : We are all a bit shy and introverted so there are not all that many bands that we are that close with, but I’d say we are fairly close with Hollin and 입술을깨물다 [Lips Bite].

Bit-Nam Choi : We didn't work too closely with Baksoyu Project much, but I really appreciated their music and thought we got on well. Also we keep in touch with lots of others like Monni, Hollin, Love x Stereo etc..

You have a lot of gigs coming up such as Greenplugged, Tupyohe Rock Concert etc, which one is you looking forward to the most?

Ji-Hoon Song : I am looking forward to Greenplugged Festival the most, after that probably our second private concert.

Wha-Yong Lee : Because I think it will be the most fun, I am looking forward to our second private gig the most.

Bit-Nam Choi : Although I feel the most pressure, I think I am also looking forward to our private gig the most.

Jai-Hoon Jung : Although Greenplugged and Tupyohe Rock Festivals are important, I can't help but feel the most excited about our private gig.

Congrats on making it into the top 9 of the Red Bull on the road series. How did you get ready and prepare for this event?

Bit-Nam Choi : Practice makes perfect! We worked on producing a really high quality sound for this event.

Jai-Hoon Jung : We just tried to do our best. A special thanks to the fans that made that happen.

Where would you like to play in the future?

Ji-Hoon Song : There are so many places. Both domestic and internationally. I would like to play at some different festivals.

Wha-Yong Lee : I would like to play a big summer Rock Festival. I would do my utmost to put on a good show there.

Bit-Nam Choi : Probably as most people would, I would like to play at Glastonbury, to play where some of the best musicians in the world have played would be a great honor.

Jai-Hoon Jung : Glastonbury! Of course!

How would you like to be remembered by your fans?

Ji-Hoon Song : "Their songs make me cry, they make me cry"

Wha-Yong Lee : We would like to be remembered as a band that moves people. We want you to be able to share your sadness and happiness with our music. We hope people can take comfort in our music.

Bit-Nam Choi : A band that is warm and friendly yet also deep and melancholy.

Jai-Hoon Jung : A band that strives to make its own sound.

Interview : J-Myon Kim / Baek Yeon Seung
English Translation : Spencer McCollingue

...Mintgray will release their new digital single on July 1st. To celebrate they will be holding a CD release show on July 5th. .

Date : 7월 5일 토요일 19:00
Venue : 벨로주 (서울)
Adv : 25,000 won (Interpark)
Door : 30,000 won

For more information on the band, check them out here :

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