Posted on August 27, 2017

Interview

# Please introduce the person sitting next to you.

Steve: This is Il-du. He is our father, our captain. He plays guitar and he wrote all the songs.

Il-Du: Casey is a proud new father.

Casey: This is Steve. Steve is our bassist and sometimes he does vocals too. And … he is our media genius too.

Il-Du: Really? I thought he just liked playing games?

Casey: He does like games, yep. Especially those that involve money. But he doesn’t usually win, from what I have seen. I won some cash playing roulette in the UK when I was there with Say Sue Me.

Steve: Did you use your birthday as numbers on the roulette wheel?

Casey: Shit, I can’t remember. Probably. It was so exciting, I think I won like twenty bucks.

# Who is the biggest genius in the band?

Il-Du: Steve is a genius, so is Casey.

# In what way?

Il-Du: How can I explain that? It’s a really long story ….

# Tell us the short version!

Casey: He needs time to think of why. He’s stalling for time.

Il-du: It’s not something that can be told in short form. It is impossible to tell you why they are geniuses without talking about it for ages. It would be disrespectful to just give a short account of it. Really rude. I spent lots of time with these guys over the years, I know them really well. It’s not like I don’t understand them at all, but it’s impossible to sum up why they are geniuses without talking for ages.

Steve: Everyone is different, with different skills. We like different things. Everyone is a genius at something.

Il-Du: Or … nobody is a genius. Right?

# This will be your first release in quite some time. What is one of the most striking characteristics of this new album?

Il-du: I do not think I can describe it properly. I mean, at least not in words. You have to listen to it. You have to listen and feel it with your whole body and your soul. I can’t explain it with words. I made it into music because I can’t explain it with words. Um, I really don’t know how to explain it.

Casey: 10 Songs!

Il-Du: Yeh. Ten songs. The title is ‘별바다’.

# Musically and production wise, what is different about this album compared to previous releases.

Casey: It was even cheaper to make, I think.

Steve: Cheaper, but it sounds good!

Casey: It was damn near free. We didn’t have to pay for much.

Steve: We recorded at Say Sue Me’s practice space. It was very casual. That’s one thing that is special / different about this album I think. All of our albums have some kind of home spirit to them, but on the previous three albums there was a lot of irony, anger, jokes. These are all really good things to get out there, but with this album there are different feelings and emotions being explored. It sounds really different in that way. It sounds like just three guys in a room trying to figure out the world. Trying to figure out life. Trying to figure out these songs. That’s kind of reflected in how we recorded it too. Casey, you want to talk about that?

Casey: We just practised it and then recorded it.

Steve: Right away, Il-du would come in and say, “Here’s a new song, you wanna try it?’ We would try it, and then he was like, ‘How about recording it, like, right now!’.

Il-Du: I already have twenty more new songs. Actually, more like 80. I dunno, I just wanna be … human.

Casey: It is a very human album.

Steve: A lot of these songs are not super prepared or anything. We just learned them on the spot and some of them we recorded after just one or two times messing around with them. You can kind of hear that. It sounds very natural.

Casey: That is because I am a fucking hell of an engineer.

Steve: You can’t tell it was recorded on the fly or anything like that. He made it sound really nice. Especially ‘그 밤 그 길 (That Night, That Road)’; it sounds really expensive.

Casey: But it was totally free.

Steve: But it sounds like a really pricey and expensive recording session. He did a really good job.

# Were there any problems you encountered while recording?

Casey: We made loads of mistakes.

Steve: Yeah, they were new songs. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

Casey: Going through the songs and picking good takes. I listened to some of the takes and I was like, ‘Holy shit. They sound terrible’. Il-Du did a good job of going through them and picking the good ones.

Il-Du: I met Lou Reed.

Casey: Did you? He helped you? He was your guide?

Il-Du: Yeah, at that time. I met Lou Reed.  

Casey: I guess he was dead by then. That makes sense. You consider Lou Reed a friend? I heard he was a bit of an asshole.

Steve: Did he talk to you?

Il-Du: No.

Steve: Then he is an asshole.

# What is your favorite song off the new album? Why?

Il-Du: I like the song ‘They Were Good’. I just want to listen to it. Just because I like it and I want to listen to it. I love it without a reason.  

Steve: ‘They Were Good’ is a really cheerful song. Sounds like sunshine. It’s about girls eating sunflowers. Then there are two cops.

Casey: I mean that's a perfect recipe for a B-movie.

Il-Du: I know some actors.

Casey: Oh shit! Let’s do it.

# What do you write about? Why is that important to you?

Il-Du: There is nothing special about the lyrics. I don’t ever sit down to specifically write lyrics.

Casey: I have no idea what the lyrics are about on ‘Mamo’.

Il-Du: I don’t know either. I do not know what I said. I think I just write lyrics that reflect whatever strange state of mind I am in at the time. We cannot know everything. Is that not the case?

Steve: One special thing about the lyrics on this album. It’s a concept album; all the songs are interconnected. They all hook up to make one story line.

# What’s the story?

Steve: I don’t know. Outer Space. A lot of stuff about transcendence and like going to another world and things like that.

Il-Du: I made many codes.

Casey: Ah, in the lyrics? You like numbers these days, huh?

Steve: There are tons of secret codes and numbers in there.

Casey: My crazy cousin does the same shit. I told you, you gotta be careful with that stuff.

Steve: All kinds of crazy stuff. He won’t tell us what they mean, though.

Casey: Do you know?

Steve: Illuminati? Secrets? I don’t know.

# You are well known for your high energy and slightly chaotic live shows. What is the key to making a good old rock ‘n roll show?

Casey: Chaotic... that just means bad tuning?

Steve: There is no secret. That’s just true. It is just chaotic. We don’t know what we are doing half the time. Usually there is no set list, we don’t know what song is next. We have no idea what Il-Du is going to do next. It’is always surprising even for us.

Casey: It’s cool. I like that.

Il-Du: It’s more fun like that.

Casey: Me too, I like it too. Practice isn’t fun.

Steve: I think before this album, we would practice as a band, like, once a year.

Casey: Yeah, that sounds about right.

Steve: That was fine, it seemed to work for us. But this album is really special because we practiced, like, four or five times. This is the most we have ever practiced. The hardest we have ever worked as a band.

# So when you play a live show, you don’t have a set list? You just play whatever comes to mind?

Casey: Yeah, we did have a setlist once at that fucking …. Sorry, I am cursing a lot …. that show at LG Art Hall. It was terrible. We had a setlist but it was really terrible.

Steve: It felt all official and strange. We had to keep looking down to see what we were doing.  

Casey: We played way too fast. It must have been such a strange show. Il-Du played a solo set first. So people watched his solo show first, and it was nice and quiet. Then we came up and it sounded like a shitstorm. We were playing really fast, I can’t believe that we can even play that fast.

Steve: That was in 2014? 2015? The concert was called  ‘A Side B Side’ or something. The concept was that Il-Du would do a solo set for about an hour and then we would come on and do a band set. If you know Il-Du’s solo stuff, it’s very slow and chilled out. After that, we had to come on and do our nonsense. Anyways, that is the only time we played with a set list. It was very strange. After that show I realised that we are usually just very natural when we play live. I have no idea what we are about to play, but i like watching Il-du’s mouth and looking at Casey to work out what is happening.

# So, your tip for a good rock show is not to prepare at all?

Steve: Don’t prepare at all.

Casey: Those are the best shows. I wonder about Busan Rock Festival. They requested a set list; shall we just make a fake set list? Just give them a set list, then not play it. That’s ok, right?

Il-Du: Yeah. They don’t care, man.

Steve: Just write ‘They Were Good’ thirteen times.

Il-Du: But why do they always ask to see the damn setlist? They never look at it, so I’m curious to know why they want it. Wouldn’t it be better to just ask how many songs we will play? Or how many minutes we will play for? That would be ok. But they always want us to show them the song titles; I’m curious to know what they do with that information...I am really curious about this … I think they just want to receive messages from someone. Perhaps they are lonely people.

# Why is Busan a better place to play than Seoul?

Casey: It’s cheaper. You don’t have to pay so much fucking money.

Il-Du: It’s close to my house! It’s good to hang out in places that are close to home. It’s hard to go to faraway places and meet new people. Just thinking about going that far makes me tired.

Casey: It is expensive to take a taxi here.

Il-Du: Yeah, but cheaper than from Seoul!

Casey: Daegu is not too bad if you take the train up there.

Il-Du: But it is tiring. It’s tiring to go there, and, if you play in Busan, you get lots of free drinks. They give free drinks to the artists.

Casey: This place, Someday (our interview location), should have more free drinks actually.

Il-Du: This place is the best. Even if they don’t give you the drinks, you just leave without paying. Heh heh. Just walk outside and jump in a taxi. Busan is great. Seoul is too far away. That is the definitive answer.  

# Il-Du, What is the best thing about playing in a full band compared to playing solo?

Il-Du: Really, I think I found the second existence of a black hole. Scientists say the first type of black hole is somewhere out there in the universe. But when I'm with these guys, I feel like I'm falling into a second black hole,

# What do you mean by that?

Il-Du: I cannot figure out the meaning of it. How can I explain a second black hole while I’m being sucked into it?I don’t know whether it is good or bad since I cannot get out of it. I totally don’t know. It’s impossible to explain or compare it to something. This moment will never come back.

# Il-Du, are there any times when Casey and Steve act more like Korean people than Koreans themselves? Can you give any examples?

Il-Du: Firstly, Steve really fucking loves ssamjang. If you see him eating meat and ssamjang and really enjoying it, then he looks just like a Korean.

Casey: I am just an alien.

Il-du: Casey really has a Korean-like personality I think. But he looks nothing like a Korean. Especially compared to Steve. Casey is a real white person.

Casey: I am a vampire.

Il-Du: But the more you really get to know him, the more he is really quite like a Korean. He is really friendly and sometimes nosy like a Korean. Fun! He’s a quiet person. Steve is a specialist in being nosy too.

# Steve and Casey, what is the biggest reason you are living in Busan / Korea?

Steve: My band!.. Maybe? Good answer? Busan is nice. It’s comfortable. My friends are here.

Casey: Fucking crazy taxi drivers though, goddamn! And bus drivers.

Il-Du: They don’t like guns.

Casey: They shouldn’t … because if I had one ….

Steve: Oh, that’s a nice thing about Korea too. Some taxi driver honked at me the other day, and I just laughed, because I knew he couldn’t shoot me. It’s pretty different from America.

Casey: There were a few times while we were in the USA when Il-Du asked me, “Do you think they have guns?” about people who were looking to start trouble. I always had to say, “I don’t know, maybe. Maybe they have guns.”

Il-Du: I didn’t say anything about guns. I said “gum”, but everyone thinks I said “gun”. I don’t like guns.

Casey: Me neither. Fuck Trump too. He is a piece of shit.

# You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

Il-Du: You gotta live with it! In a place where you can live together.

Casey: Elephants shit a lot and eat a lot!

Steve: Did you see the movie “Okja”?

Il-Du: “Okja” was really fun. It was really good. Most people left the theater when the credits were rolling. I was the only person left in there, but there was something after the end credits. It was really fun.

Casey: I thought it was alright. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal was a douche and annoying through the whole movie.  

Steve: He’s in that?

Casey: Yes. Oh God! The director should have said something to him.

# Busan is a hotbed of talent at the moment. Who is the best band in the Busan scene right now?

Il-Du: There are so many. Soooo many.

Casey: That’s a nice diplomatic answer.

Il-Du: Say Sue Me. Three Volt.

Casey: I will avoid this question.

Steve: It’s hard to be diplomatic and choose your favorite band; somebody is going to be left out.

Il-Du: The obvious ones are Say Sue Me and Three Volt. They are really good. The punk scene in Busan is awesome.

Casey: Who is still playing? Stoned, Sidecar, South Nine?

Il-Du: The energy in Busan is amazing, it’s no joke.

Steve: I really like The Magus, I think they are really fun and interesting.

Il-Du: Goodbye Wendy.

Casey: I don’t know any of these bands. They are all young people.

Steve: Il-Du, How do you know them? You don’t know them.

Il-Du: I know them. Four guys. They are good.

Casey: What happened to Wendy?  

# Aside from music, what kind of things are you all interested in?

Casey: Anything except work. Anything.

Il-Du: For me …. I’m interested in my girlfriend?

Casey: He beat us to it. Now we can't say that. Thanks!

Steve: You took my answer.

Casey: I have to say my son anyway. It’s against the law not to.

Il-Du: I need to smoke. Please make sure this statement makes it into the article.

# What are your plans for the future?

Steve: We will be doing some release shows for this album in Seoul and Busan.

Casey: No idea beyond that. I cannot even imagine that far ahead.

Il-Du: Living day by day.

Casey: That is like the fourth time you have quoted your own lyrics!

Steve: His English phrasebook is just his own lyrics.

# What do you want to be when you grow up?

Casey: Dead.

Steve: Optimus Prime!

Il-Du: After August 1st, when the album comes out. Casey and Steve and I will share a tremendous amount of money between us. We will have to try hard to keep our feet on the ground. We will share our future success around equally. This will be an historical interview for DOINDIE. We will share success with you to make this interview the best interview in DOINDIE’s history ever.


Interview : Doyeon Lim, Song Hee M. Roh
English Translation : 패트릭 코너 & 임도연 (Patrick Connor & Doyeon Lim)
Edited by : Rock N Rose


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

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/GeniusRock
DoIndie : http://www.doindie.co.kr/bands/genius


🐟 Genius Album Release Show (Seoul) 🐟
DATE: 2017.09.02 (19:00)
VENUE: Strange Fruit Seoul
LINEUP: Silica Gel, Genius
ADV: 15,000 + 1 Free Drink + 1 CD (http://www.maketicket.co.kr/ticket/GD7143)

🐯 Genius Album Release Show (Busan)  🐯
DATE: 2017.09.23 (19:00)
VENUE: Someday
LINEUP: TBC
ADV: 15,000 + 1 Free Drink + 1 CD (http://www.maketicket.co.kr/ticket/GD7144)

Bands

Genius

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