Posted on May 14, 2014
Sumi : Say Sue Me is the first and only band I have ever been in! How lucky am I?
Jae Young : I was playing in a band called ‘Cosmic Comics’ when I met 'Say Sue Me’s' drummer Semin. I have been friends with and have been playing in bands with our guitar player Byung Kyu since I was young. We used to play in a band called ‘The Semins’.
Byung Kyu : I used to play in a band called 'The Semins' with both Semin & Jae Young. I also played with Semin in a band called 'Three Summers', that band is currently taking a break. Other than that, I also play lap steel guitar in a country band called ‘일요일의 패배자’ [Sunday’s Looser].
Kang Semin : I met both Jae Young & Byung Kyu while playing in a band called 'Cosmic Comics'. I also played in 'Three Summers' as well as some other bands. These Days, other than 'Say Sue Me', I also play in a band called ‘Barbie Dolls’ with Casey, the drummer from 'Genius'.
Kang Semin : I am the most strange member of ‘Say Sue Me’. I’m a pervert! haha.
Sumi : I think we all have pretty easy going personalities. It is fun to be with strange people for a little while, but it can be hard to spend a long time together. So I love all the members in our band!
Jae Young : Semin is the strangest member of the band! He has a really smutty sense of humor but somehow manages to remain non vulgar. Im trying to figure out whether he is a pervert or not.
Byung Kyu : I don’t know why, but the cheap and smutty jokes that come from Semin’s mouth are not smutty, but to us, they are rather cute or even classy. You might understand this a little more when you see his picture on our gig posters.
Kang Semin : I’ve never really played many shows outside of Busan, so it’s hard for me to say what is good / bad about playing here compared to other places. It’s pretty cool having all my friends around though.
Byung Kyu : I’ve been thinking about an answer to this question for nearly 30 minutes now and can’t think of the right way to phrase it. I like it, well, just because it’s Busan. It’s my home town. That’s it.
Byung Kyu : All the bands playing in Busan and bands coming from other areas feel the same thing. The scene itself is a bit weak down here. Because there are not many live clubs to play in we have to play in foreigner pubs / bars. It’s not that I hate playing in these places, actually its always fun when we do. Really fun. However, when we play there, we never really get any feedback from the people watching, neither positive or negative. So, sometimes, after a show while going home, I feel a bit empty. If we play in the professional live clubs they rightly charge a small entry fee. But not many people go to these shows. Why? Because you can see the same bands play for free down at the local pub. It is a strange set up.
Byung Kyu : I’ve listened to ‘Yo la tengo’, ‘Pavement’, ‘Stephen Malkmus & jicks’ and ‘Seam’ for ages now. I’ve spent a bit of time trying to find other stuff to listen to, however I almost immediately go back to listening to those same musicians. I’m listening to ‘The Raveonettes’ and ‘Japandroids’ these days, but the bands that really inspire me are … ‘Yo la tengo’, ‘Pavement’, ‘Stephen Malkmus & jicks’ and ‘Seam’!!!!
Sumi : It was a show last year at a venue called ‘Basement’. Because the show was running really late, we had to wait a really long time before we played .. and got wasted in the process. It was holiday time after all, you gotta get drunk, right? We didn’t even make it through 3 songs before we gave up. The gig itself was bad, but it was a lot of fun anyway.
Byung Kyu : I can’t really talk about it, but more than a bad show, there is a venue that I really hate. Whenever we play there, I get really pissed off because of the manager. I can't say where though, as we don't have that many places to play as it is.
Kang Semin : I reckon Barbie dolls are the best. They are a really great band.
Jae Young : 3V’s music is good and I really like the the energy their live show gives. Of course, Genius. There are no words. Best band, hands down.
Byung Kyu : Genius! They are not only the best band in Busan, but also the world, for sure! If you ever have the chance to see them live, I can’t recommend them enough. If you buy them a drink, it will be even more fun!
Byung Kyu : We are in the process of getting it ready now. Genius’s drummer Casey is our engineer and producer. Of course recording skill is important, but as a result of recording our last album we also found out that the communication between the engineer and the band is really important. So we reckon Casey is the best engineer for us. We are working on getting it released by the summer of this year. Please look forward to it’s release.
Byung Kyu : I write the majority of the 'Say Sue Me' songs. Other musicians usually say they get their inspiration from here and there when making songs, but I can’t write songs in that way. 'Say Sue Me' has about 12-13 songs at the moment, all of those songs apart from one, I made while I was at work. I am a guitar teacher at a school, so when I give the students an assignment or take a class I’m always just playing the guitar. In my mind I create a vague concept for the song, I then try to play / create a song related to that concept. After a while I will complete the structure to a song. I don’t have much talent for lyric writing. For me writing the lyrics is much harder than composing the music. So, once I have finished composing the tune, I give it to Sumi. If she likes the song she will write some lyrics for it. And that’s it, the song is done.
We have dropped loads of songs because certain members of the band have not liked them. They say no, no, no (don’t drop it), but I know what they are thinking! Even if I really like the song, when the other members don’t like it we discard it without hesitation. If I (or any other members of the band) showed too much greed about which songs make the grade and which ones don’t, it goes without saying that the band would not survive. The one song I did not make at work is an instrumental which I made after hearing Semin’s sad ‘first love’ story. However the title of the song has nothing to do with his love story at all.
Kang Semin : I am a computer programmer. Nope. No one knows.
Sumi : I work in an office. It makes me want to work harder for the band!
Jae Young : I do lots of work related to printing. Everything from design to delivery. Now I think about it, I guess my main job is riding around on a motorbike delivering stuff. Only one person at work is in the know. I guess they have listened to our music, but it never gets mentioned in conversation.
Byung Kyu : I teach guitar in an elementary school. I don’t really interact with my colleagues. I'm guessing they don’t even know I play in a band, let alone anything specific about Say Sue Me.
Thank you very much for answering our questions.
Interview by : Eric Davis
Translation : Patrick Connor
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