Posted on April 26, 2016
Suhyun Kim: Hi. This is Joonsub Lee. He is DTSQ’s guitarist, synth player, vocalist, designer and videographer… he is also the oldest member of the band, but also the most baby faced. He’s got the most work to do in the band.
Joonsub Lee: This is DTSQ’s drummer and he is the biggest guy in the band. He can sometimes be very girly. His name is Soonpyung Park.
Soonpyung Park: They guy at the end is Suhyun Kim. He is the main vocalist, guitarist, performer, liaison person, songwriter and he plans everything, he is our band’s leader. He is the youngest member in the band but he is a good leader.
Suhyun: There is no meaning.
Joonsub: It is just the combination of two words we liked, but later we found out that it is a mathematics word that they teach in high level university math classes. Initially, we had just stuck the two words Delta & Sequence together without thinking about it, but when we looked it up ….
Suhyun: We did a search on youtube and some old man appears and he is explaining it by writing loads of stuff on a big chalk board, it turns out that it is some kind of formula used when making a rocket.
Joonsub: Occasionally some students from KAIST (a famous science university in Korea) think we graduated from some some kind of engineering university.
Joonsub: It is a bit hard for people to pronounce and memorise the full name. So we shortened it to its abbreviation.
Suhyun: We shortened it to DTSQ because we would like to be like RATM or MGMT. Abbreviations look cool I guess.
Joonsub: Yeh, but even shortened it is kinda hard to remember and it’s not clear what it means.
Suhyun: I’m not all that fussed really.
Joonsub: It’s good that people say our name at all.
Soonpyung: We are just really thankful that people know who we are at all.
Joonsub: I was in the year above Suhyun at high school. Soonpyung was Suhyun’s senior at university, and they were posted together during military service as well.
Suhyun: These two guys only met because I introduced them!
Pictures : Jin Kim
Joonsub: We have some people in our social circle who do graffiti and make stickers. That’s how we got interested in it and once we started a band we wanted to make some stickers for fun. Initially we just made them for ourselves, but … we had way too many so we started to stick them up one by one in the surrounding areas … we never knew it would get out of hand like this … sorry!
Suhyun: Two years ago we went over to England for a vacation. We put up our stickers on the traffic lights in front of Abbey Road, we wall papered the door with stickers there as well. When we went to Liverpool we put one on the statue outside of the Cavern Club where the Beatles used played, we put some in the bathroom of the Cavern Club too… In Korea I got on Soonpyung's shoulder and stuck one on the top of a traffic light. I wanted to stick one in the highest place possible. Haha. In Hongdae, there is a delivery motorbike. I stuck one on there as well, the guy never took it off so you can sometimes see it when he drives past. There is a DTSQ sticker stuck on the green bag.
Soonpyung: When I went to do my reserve forces training I stuck on on my helmet, when I went back for the next training session someone was using that helmet, still with the sticker.
Joonsub: Delta platoon
Suhyun: There are some rules behind our stickering. There are other bands who put up lots of stickers like us so we never put our stickers over other people's stickers. Also, we never remove other people's stickers either. And we won’t put them up over the top of graffiti or other people's tags.
Joonsub: Abroad people hang out in crews or gangs, if you stick something over their stuff it can cause you big problems. Fights and stuff… in America they would probably fucking shoot you.
Soonpyung: Rival crews go around erasing each other's graffiti. It happens a lot.
Suhyun: It happens in Korea sometimes as well. If someone has done something wrong, other people draw an X over all their graffiti.
Suhyun: At the moment we have stuck up around nine thousand and we just ordered another thousand. So that’s ten thousand in total. We will keep doing it for the rest of our lifetime.
Suhyun: Firstly, I do all the song writing. I come up with the foundations to a song when I practice alone, or if ideas spring to mind when I am listening to other bands. Then I take it and show it to the rest of the band.
Joonsub: Then we take that song to a temple and hold a ceremony for it. If the incense goes out before the song is finished, then it is not a keeper. If the incense stick burns all the way to the end then we develop the song further. Sometimes I hear a voice or a song in my head … that’s how we make our songs. That temple is situated in my dreams! haha
Suhyun: We make this kind of music after a lot of fighting … haha. I like standardised sounds as well, but from way back when I have been into a broad range of abnormal stuff too. There is a kind of music where unexpected sounds appear in unexpected places. I like that kind of music. I think we naturally went in this direction because I listen to so much of that kind of music.
Joonsub: We don’t hate it when sounds come out a bit strange. I don’t know what other people think of that though. When songs just turn out exactly as you expected it’s not all that much fun to listen too, so we wanted to be a bit more unique.
Suhyun: We want to surprise the people who are listening.
Suhyun: Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, Pond and Tame Impala originally had that abnormal sound that I like, but these days they have changed and have a much cleaner vibe to them. Anyways, I still love them as ever. Ah, and there is ‘King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’ from Australia ,I guess those guys studied jazz for ages. There are loads of jazz like chords, the rhythm as well … I think they are one of the best at making songs that have a sudden change in them. The songs are constantly changing, but it never sounds weird. I listen to lots of music in the style of ‘The Merles’ and ‘Theosis’ etc. It is a bit abnormal, but at the same time it sets the place alight.
Suhyun: I wanna give jazz a try. Because I studied it when I was at high school… I don’t want to do it right now, just sometime in the future.
Joonsub: For me, maybe some kind of hip hop. I want to give the hip hop groove a try and ambient as well.
Suhyun: The genre of music we play is not a genre that comes from Korea. It is traditional music of sorts from other countries, so we just decided that it would be best to sing in their language. If we sing in Korean, it can feel kind of fake when you listen to it.
Joonsub: It’s really hard to write lyrics in Korean. It is not that we write English lyrics out of stubbornness, it more that I find it hard to write in Korean, it is more comfortable to do it in English. It is probably because all the music I listened to since I was young is sung in English.
Suhyun: I think I write in English because I wanted to be like all the musicians I listened to when I was young. I grew up watching all these cool bands from abroad singing in English. Writing English lyrics in itself is really comfortable as well.
Suhyun: That would be <Ding Dong Ditch>. I had decided on a concept for that song before I even started writing it. It is about all the misdemeanors that you imagine doing in your head but can not carry out in reality. I couldn’t come up with all the ideas for the song myself, so I told Joonsub what the theme was and asked him to think up some ideas as well. I used all the ideas we thought up, I didn’t even change the order in which they came out.
Joonsub: For me, <The Brain Song>
Suhyun: Me too. Personally I like <The Brain Song> the most. It is not on the EP we released, it is our most recent new song. The lyrics of the song are about the conflict between your brain and your body. The body removed the brain and sticks it in the fridge. The body says to the brain ‘You think too much so, take some time out to cool down in here’ and then heads out. However, it can not do anything at all because it is missing the brain. So, the body rushes home to say sorry, but it is too late, the brain is not there any more. There is a message on the side that says “I told you that you would regret it, didn’t I.” The reason I wrote this song was because one day when I sat down to write some lyrics, I was suffering massive writer's block and nothing was coming out. The song is about that. I was influenced by the stress of not being able to write a song. At that time I wanted to rip my brain out and throw it away, because i couldn’t think of anything to write.
Joonsub: I didn’t make that one. We had been chatting a lot about what kind of video to make for the EP release, we wanted to make a really good one but time and money constraints were making it difficult. So we were thinking about what to do and in the meantime we had plastered stickers all around Seoul, hadn’t we. So I said to the rest of the band, whenever you see our stickers shoot a video of them and whatever else is around at the time. I live with a guy who makes videos as well, I just gave him all the videos we had collected and told him to make a music video from them. I told him to do whatever the hell he wanted with it. That’s how the video for <Dong Dong Ditch> came about.
Suhyun: The Lose Union connection came about last year when, by chance Maggie and Mike from the band Bekma happened to see us play at club FF. That day someone in the crowd had thrown 3,000 won at the stage while we were playing, I picked it up and threw it right back at them. Maggie told me that she was really taken by me when she saw me do that. When the show was over, she came up to the waiting room and immediately asked if we wanted to get involved with Loose Union, we figured it would be fun so said yes. It’s not a company or anything like that, just a crew of people working together so I said we would do it. We started working with them, there are loads of fun and great bands. I am still really close with Maggie and Mike even now.
Suhyun: We want to ask someone that same question as well. We check everyday to see if our name is still on the lineup. What are we doing on that poster...?
Joonsub: At first, we thought it was a fake website. We thought some of our friends must be playing some kind of prank on us or something.
Suhyun: We got a message from Ah-reum who is a member of JuckJuck GRUNZIE’s (who also work with Loose Union). In the message she said “This year they are celebrating the 130th anniversary of French and Korean relations in Léon and they are interested in us”. They had been looking at Korean bands on YouTube and stumbled across the Lose Union page and they found us, JuckJuck and The Killer Drones. That’s how we ended up on the lineup for Nuits Sonores. Then we suddenly saw that Primavera has sent us a message on facebook, I clicked the link and was surprised to see it was indeed the festival I knew. The person on the other end told us that they were planning on inviting some Korean bands to the festival this year and also setting up a Korean promotion booth as well. They said that they personally liked us a lot and wanted to invite us to play.
Suhyun: At first, my heart was racing...
Joonsub: I was constantly thinking it was a scam of some kind. At first, we were all like “wow”! Then, after while I began to think it was all fake! Haha. Actually, Primavera isn’t a festival exactly. It is a showcase that introduces indie bands from all around the world. They invite around 30 bands to come and play and there are about 3,000 people related to indie labels etc in attendance as well. It is the biggest showcase in Europe, it’s even bigger than SXSW.
Suhyun: We hadn’t even thought about doing a tour … We were debating going to South East Asia but suddenly ...
Joonsub: We haven't even been to play in Busan yet.
Soonpyung: Our aim was to do a tour of Korea, but before we had a chance to set that up we got this opportunity.
Joonsub: If I’m honest, I’m still shaking about it now, I am just pretending to be calm... I still don’t know if I can believe it or not. Actually, they still haven’t sent us the plane tickets yet. Until they arrive, we can not believe it. We will have to check if the tickets are real or fake as well. We are going to research everything before we go.
Suhyun: I think I might cry when the tickets arrive.
Soonpyung: We told each other not to get too excited until the tickets arrived, but we are all already searching for good restaurants in Spain on our smartphones!
Joonsub: I want to stick stickers all over the place. I don’t think there is anything really special I want to do while I am out there. Just going out there and coming back safe will be a great adventure in itself, our aim is to come back together without having had a massive fight. We are gonna do a bit of sightseeing and shopping as well.
Suhyun: I hope that we will be able to go over there and eat lots of famous foods. I want to eat stuff like Belgian waffles. Sausages, Beer. In Spain, salsa sauce, in France baguettes and in England fish & chips.
Joonsub: We don’t have any concrete plans. We are thinking about it a bit, but at the moment we don’t really have time to give it too much thought. Roughly, I guess we will start preparing for it when we get back from the tour.
Suhyun: We will have loads of time when we get back, so I think we will start getting ready for that then. When we made our recent EP it really just felt like a compilation of the songs we had been playing live. However this next time around we plan to have a concept behind the album and in order to make a really good quality album we will spend a lot of time preparing it from beginning to end.
Suhyun: Actually, I always want to just enjoy listening to music, but I think it is a bit of an occupational hazard. Without being aware of it I always feel compelled to analyse everything I hear.
Joonsub: If there is a song I like, I listen to it again, thinking “Why do I like this? What exactly is it that makes me like it?”.
Suhyun: That act of thinking “Ah, this part sounds good” is an enjoyable aspect of it all isn’t it … the problems start when you begin to think things like... wouldn’t it be better if the guitar volume was louder here or I would like it if there was a little more reverb here ...why doe’s the delay sound like this... what instruments are they using for this part of the song. What effect is that they are using!!! What the hell did they do to make the sound so good... how did they mix it, where did they record it …! By the time you have done all the research to answer all these questions, it’s done. The joy of listening to the song has kinda gone.
Joonsub: If you search for this on google you can find all the answers because the bands big time fans have written it all down.
Suhyun: What’s more, there are loads of youtube videos where they have covered the song exactly how it is played.
Joonsub: I think I just get a lot of influences from the musicians who are around me on a day to day basis. If we have any problems we ask Idiotape, they always give us wise advice.
Suhyun: We are a trouble making band.
Soonpyung: Actually, I have loved and listened to lots of music ever since I was young so there are lots of musicians that have influenced me. It is hard to choose just one. When I was young I would say ‘ah, if this band didn’t exist I wouldn’t be able to live’, as time has gone by there have been more and more bands I have said that about.
Suhyun: But everyone has their ‘one love’ don’t they. For me, that has always been the Beatles. Listening to their music makes me feel better about life and I can use them as a reference… I think they they have probably influenced me in every aspect of my life. Their history, writing style, way of thinking, fashion style, lyrics and sound. I have been influenced by every aspect of that band.
Soonpyung: I don’t have a ‘one love’ band. Led Zeppelin perhaps? I like Led Zeppelin, but … whenever I answer this question I end up regretting my answer in some way. I always wish I had said someone else as well. There isn’t only one person, one band I can pick out of the crowd.
Joonsub: I’ve never talked about it in an interview before, but for me it would be Rage Against The Machine. Their spirit is the thing that appeals to me the most. When I was young, I didn’t think about that at all, I just liked their exploding sound and their barrage of rap lyrics. Now I am older I have read through the lyrics and I can feel their spirit of resistance a lot more … Because of that I would say they are my ‘one love’.
Suhyun: I remember we went to play at a friend's wedding once. When we got there we discovered that they had amps and mics, but there was no bass drum. We were debating how to get around the problem when someone came back with a plastic bucket from the bathroom. We stuck a mic inside it, but we still had no pedal for it. So we just played the show by kicking it.
Soonpyung: They said it sounded pretty good.
Joonsub: Saint Patrick’s Day the year before last was was really good fun. We played at FF and had drunk a whole lot before we got on stage… it was great fun.
Suhyun: There was a venue in Haebangchon that doesn’t exist any more. We played there as part of the HBC festival … It smelt like a strange mix of beer and popcorn, it felt like we were in the countryside in a different country somewhere. The sound was really shitty and the equipment sucked, but we just ‘ah fuck it, let’s just play’. I got up on the table and and gig a pole dance … there were only foreigners in the crowd, but they loved it!
Soonpyung: It was really great fun.
Joonsub: I know it is something ain't gonna ever happen, but I really want to run a festival in a space station. On Jupiter. On Venus. I would cast musicians from across the galaxy.
Suhyun: I will suggest stuff that is actually possible … We plan to organise a few shows in the future. At first, we plan to make a quarterly show. We have loads of friends who are DJs, when they want to make do a show they get their friends together and make a party at some club. It wasn’t the case so much in the past but these days there are lots of bands who don’t organise their own shows. They don’t play shows unless they are invited to be part of a club’s lineup for the night. These days we are organising a lot of our own shows. For example, last year we held the DTSQhristmas concert.
Joonsub: If people don’t invite us, we just make our own show.
Suhyun: We are gonna do lots of these shows in the future. I hope we can do some with famous bands as well, but more than that our aim is to invite talented bands who are just starting out and haven't yet got much exposure.
Suhyun: I just go to cafes and drink coffee.I like doing that the most. I like taking walks early in the morning as well.
Joonsub: Now the weather is getting better, skateboarding! When the weather is nice, there is nothing better.
Suhyun: When I have money, I love to go shopping.
Soonpyung: I like walking in the sunshine.
Joonsub: I like looking at the flowers. Flower festivals and stuff like that. It is just the right season for it now, isn’t it?
Soonpyung: When we are on stage playing shows, I can only see the backs of the others. Sometimes though, they turn round to face me and we make eye contact. They have a certain expression when they are super excited. When they are at their most excited, that is when they are at their most adorable.
Joonsub: Don’t think of me as adorable!
Soonpyung: As for when I can’t stand the sight of them ...
Suhyun: Except for when they are excited … all the rest of the time!
Joonsub: I think it is similar for me too. We sometimes make eye contact when we are playing, in normal everyday life it’s annoying making eye contact with them because I see them every day...however, during a show it feels good to make eye contact. A sense of pride. Even though we don’t say anything, there is a connection between us.
Suhyun: I think it is best if I don’t comment.
Suhyun: Just …
Joonsub: We are not good at making funny comments. We have one friend who gave us some feedback on our stage banter, he said that we have an idiotic ‘American’ kind of humor. Also known as nerd humor! Our humor is the kind of humor that only we find funny. We don’t make say much in the way of comments while we are playing shows. When we do say something, no one else laughs. It is just us laughing alone. After the show we often congratulate each other on our stage banter by saying things like ‘wow, that comment you made was so funny’. The audience are just completely silent!
Suhyun:We want to always be playing shows in a different city every day. Even if it can’t be everyday, moving around the country and playing at least every three days would be great. I’d love to travel the world playing shows.
Joonsub: I want to have fun playing music for a long time, even when I get old. Like AC/DC. Those guys are grandfathers now, but they are still getting up on stage looking cool and rocking out as ever. It’s really great isn’t it. I hope that I can still have fun making music when I get old too.
Soonpyung: Me too, I want to play shows and travel the world. I want to meet loads of people and visit places I have not been to yet to play shows. I don;t care if it is under good conditions or not, I just want to keep going to new places and playing in front of new people.
Suhyun: Putting it simply, we wanna be rockstars don’t we.
Interview : Jin Kim, Eunji Lee, Ilhwa Choi
English Translation : Patrick Connor
Edited by : Alex Ameter
For more information on the band, check them out at the following sites :