Posted on May 20, 2014

Interview

Hellivision is a 3-piece band made up of Taehun Lee (Guitar), Gunwoong Oh (Bass), and Jiwan Jung (Drums). The group has been performing since 2011 and has quickly risen as a favorite around the Korean indie scene. The music of Hellivision, who released their first album “HellRevision” in 2012, cannot be pegged as a specific genre, but rather as ‘Instrumentals’ combining diverse selections of musical elements such as Rock, Jazz, Funk, Metal, Reggae, and Dub. Hellivision blends these ingredients together in a psychedelic stew that leaves one with a type of spiritual experience, perhaps due to the incantatory elements found throughout their song structures.

Their songs, after the establishment of a fundamental theme, open up and develop through organic improvisation. One of the most endearing and unique features of Hellivision’s music is that their songs are different every time you see them played live. No two gigs are the same and the band feels refreshing and new with each experience.The band defines these performances as "Goot", or "Salpoori", which are forms of traditional Korean shamanism. Inspired and impressed by this, the director of the Liverpool Sound City Festival, who caught their performance at Zandari Festa last year, invited them to play at this year’s festival in May, after which they will also play in Glasgow.

DoIndie: How do you feel about visiting Liverpool?

Taehun Lee : Mostly, I like that I will be able to see many other bands from abroad.

Jiwan Jung : It feels as if we are Korean traditional musicians, who finally got the chance to play in the UK. I am very excited and happy.

Gunwoong Oh : It feels like this: “The only Korean music you know about is Psy? We are going to smash that!” (Laughter)

DoIndie: Have you ever played abroad as Hellivision?

All members : Never; it’s our first time.

DoIndie: All of you have played for a long time in the Hongdae indie scene, so could you please tell us about your respective careers?

Gunwoong Oh : I started the band Mustangs in around 2002, then since 2011 I have been playing in Hellivision.

Jiwan Jung : I started bands called Bunabi and “We got undies and girls” (AKA Underwear Band) in around 1999, and also played in Cocore.

Taehun Lee : I graduated from university in the States, and then served in the Korean Army. After that I started the bands Funkafric & BoostDah and Second Session.

DoIndie: Are any of you involved in any other side projects at the moment?

Gunwoong Oh : I only play in Hellivision.

Taehun Lee : I play in 5 bands: Hellivision, Second Session, Art Of Parties, White Reed Caravan, and Flower Pot. (Everybody reacts with “Wow!”) Besides that, I am involved in other projects and solo work. (Laughter)

Gunwoong Oh : Taehun is hectically busy. (Laugher)

Jiwan Jung : I play in 3 bands; Hellivision, Underwear Band, and Hillside Train.

DoIndie: I read an article which describes Hellivision as "psychedelic dub rock", but I guess your music can be compared to other genres, since you play a mixture of many musical elements. Can you describe your music in a different way?

Taehun Lee : What you read was actually written by me. (Laughter)

Gunwoong Oh : Our label boss calls it "Psy-avant-garde (Psychedelic Avant-Garde)". (laughter)

DoIndie: How do you usually go about composing a song?

Jiwan Jung : The three of us start to jam first, then if a good riff forms it becomes a song.

DoIndie: Many of your songs are named with two-syllabled abstract words, for example, “Gi-Myeon (Light Sleep)”, “Suk-Chui (Hangover)” and “Yeon-Chak (Delayed Arrival)”. What do they mean?

Gunwoong Oh : Frankly, they don’t mean that much. (Laughter) When we find a regular melody, we need to name it to remember it, and we just name it depending on the current situation.

Jiwan Jung : For example, if we were very hungover when we played the line, it was named “Suk-Chui (Hangover)”, and if we didn’t sleep deeply and woke up often in the middle of the night, it was named "Gi-Myeon (Light Sleep)". (Laughter)

DoIndie: All your songs are instrumental, without any vocals. Is there any reason for this choice?

Gunwoong Oh : There is no specific reason. I think most bands start to jam without singing, and only with their instruments. Also, we have all played in instrumental bands before, so it happened naturally.

DoIndie: Hellivision improvises a lot, so isn’t your music different at every performance?

Jiwan Jung : Of course it’s different every day. Sometimes it is so horrible that I want to stop in the middle, and sometimes it sounds really good. But we don’t care about the times we play badly. I think we will get better as we keep playing, and more people will like us.

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Gunwoong Oh : But I think our performance is getting better and better. I don’t feel like we have played badly recently.

DoIndie: Then, does that mean it’s a good time for you to be going to the UK?

All members : Yes it does. (Laughter)

DoIndie: As far as I know, Hellivision are among the heaviest drinkers in the Hongdae indie scene. What is the impact of alcohol on the band?

Gunwoong Oh : It’s a big part of who we are! (Laughter)

Taehun Lee : But it is too harsh. (Laughter)

Jiwan Jung : Our music contains aspects of "Salpoori" (Shamanism), which brings out things from deep inside of our minds. Those things are not so easy to do when sober, so we drink a lot before we play. Also we feel kind of awkward about facing the audience in small venues, when they are right in front of us.

DoIndie: Personally, seeing Hellivision’s performance makes me want to get drunk too and feel the same as the band. (Laughter)

Gunwoong Oh : That’s the best compliment for us, and that’s the aim of our music. (Laughter)

DoIndie: All members of the band are well-known in the indie scene. What do you find is different in the present scene when compared to the past?

Jiwan Jung : I felt like, in the past, everybody had a specific major foreign band as their point of reference, and then tried to copy them. Now Korean musicians are trying to find their own feeling or style and set their own reference. I think this is a really good thing. I find it really interesting to create various genres of music.

Gunwoong Oh : I feel very positive about the maturity and capacity of bands to respect and support each other, even though they don’t play the same kind of music.

DoIndie: What is the ultimate goal of Hellivision?

Gunwoong Oh : To keep making the music we like happily, as we do now.

DoIndie: Don’t you want to make loads of money, or be famous for your music?

Jiwan Jung : That might be good. But we don’t want to change what we’ve done or sacrifice the fun we have for money. However, I’d love to make a little money! (Laughter)

DoIndie: What are you planning for this year after you return from the LSC Festival?

Taehun Lee : We are planning to release a new album in the second half of this year. We don’t know yet if it will be a full-length album or an EP, but we have quite a lot of songs that we have jammed on, in the way we mentioned earlier.

DoIndie : Thank you very much for speaking to us, and I hope you all have a good time and good performances in Liverpool and beyond.

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Interview : Wonsuk Jung (정원석)
Translation : 솔민 (Solmin)
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Hellivision UK Tour Dates :

May 2nd : Liverpool, England @ The Fanclub (Liverpool Sound City)
May 2nd : Liverpool, England @ Mello Mello (Liverpool Sound City)
May 3rd : Liverpool, England @ Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)

Liverpool Sound City Festival : http://www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk/

May 6th : Glasgow, Scotland @ 13th Note

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Hellivision :

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Hellivision
DoIndie : http://www.doindie.co.kr/bands/hellivision/

Bands

Hellivision

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