Posted on July 16, 2018
Zee: Dayoung is the bassist and the only woman in our group. She is an outstanding bassist. She has really amazing and unique ideas within our particular musical world. There is no way we could get by without her.
Dayoung: Juhwan is like ADOY’s mother. Aside from music stuff he does a lot of other work for the band as well. We couldn't survive without him either.
Juhwan: Geunchang is responsible for all the noise the drums make. He’s a super hip guy. He’s the one that gives our music a polished, cutting edge vibe.
Geunchang: Jihyung goes by the nickname Zee. He is really good at speaking English and he’s the one that does the bulk of the song writing.
Juhwan: At first, we were just playing without a name for the band, but when it came time to release the album we were forced into thinking about it. My pet cat is called YODA, and I just thought it would be cool to reverse the spelling of the name to ADOY. We had a look online and there was no one else using that name.
Bass Dayoung Jeong (Source: ADOY)
Juhwan: I am sure that a lot of people reading this already know, but all of Adoy’s members played in other well-known bands before they disbanded. This is not our first band. In the process of struggling to keep going in music as the other projects disbanded, we gathered together to form this band, to return from the dead like a team of Avengers. So now I’m trying to make this project more special than before, with the hope that the longevity of this band will be enough to make it my “forever band”.
Juhwan: I think loads of people are watching it because it is a fun video. Even though we have only released one EP to date, I seems like a lot of people are looking forward to our new releases all the time.
Zee: Originally, I was thinking of something simple, like a couple going on a trip or something. However, after talking to the director we started to wonder what it would be like if Juhwan were to dress up like the character from the movie “Toni Erdmann”. The director liked the idea, and so we changed the whole idea to that.
Juhwan: At first we planned to do a really long one-take video involving riding a bike, but after we chatted it though a little more, the new idea emerged of using a character similar to the one in “Toni Erdmann”. That character is a traditional Bulgarian character known as a Kukeri. We tried hard to find something similar, but we couldn’t find anything of a decent quality or that had the right feel to it. So we called the Bulgarian Embassy as well as the company that made the original movie to see if we could get permission to just use a traditional Bulgarian Kukeri. Thankfully they granted us permission to do it. I used Kukeri doll in the music video mainly because it seemed exotic to me, in fact it is a representative of an ordinary, lonely person.
Zee: Juhwan’s friend wore it while we did the shoot.
Juhwan: I have a friend who is an actor in musicals; he’s quite a lonely guy. So, I figured he would be perfect as the main character for the video. Of course, seeing as he would be wearing the costume for the whole shoot, we would never see his face. But I asked him anyways, seeing as he’s an actor. However, it was super hot while we were filming and the costume was super heavy; I think it nearly killed my friend. Thankfully it all came out really well and my friend was satisfied with it as well (ha ha). This is how we survive in the music world, by getting our good friends to help out all the time.
Zee: The picture was entirely entrusted to the artist, Aokizy. We did not ask for anything in particular; the artist just read our lyrics and listened to our music, and that is what came out. We didn’t really have a concept in mind for <CATNIP> either; I think that is just the style for Aokizy.
Juhwan: It seems like most of that artist’s work contains pictures full of expressions like that. If you look carefully at the image, it’s not clear if the character is sad or happy. Adoy's music has a bright, uplifting vibe to it on the surface, but there is often a deeper heavier meaning to the songs. In that respect I think the images fit well with our music.
Juhwan: I think the cover art is really beautiful and the response to it has been fantastic. So long as the artist does not reject us for future projects, we have no reason to reject him. Also, we want to keep slowly building up the image of our band, not suddenly change it.
Zee: The EP is called <LOVE>. It has six tracks on it, including the recently released ‘Young’. It’s the first time we have ever had a featured singer on a recording. We worked with the R’n’B artist, George. You can hear Dayoung’s voice in there a lot as well. We tried lots of new things on this EP.
Geunchang: Director Jinsoo Jeong of Visual Strom, who directed Hyukoh’s ‘Gondry’ and Zico’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ videos has agreed to work on the music video for the title track Wonder.
Geunchang: I think it’s going pretty well. I think this new album also fits into that ‘commercial indie’ bracket. There are some songs on there that feel a lot like the first EP and some where we are trying new things too. We thought about our listeners a lot while we were putting it all together.
Dayoung: I think there are a lot of popular elements in the songs. I think we are doing way better now compared to a while ago. However, we’re still a long way from being mainstream artists, but hopefully we’re moving slowly in that direction.
Zee: We get asked about this ‘commercial indie’ thing in almost every interview. I guess what we mean by that is that we just want as many people as possible to listen to the music we make. I wasn’t thinking about it all that deeply when I first said it. Simply put, I also like more mainstream music and I like indie music too, so I guess I wanted to combine the two worlds.
Juhwan: It takes a lot of money, effort and time just to make one release. We released an EP in May last year and another one recently. I think this is a decent way to do it. I think having one release like this each year is the right way to do it. We work hard shooting the music videos, playing concerts, appearing on TV shows and radio these days too. So, I think it’s fair to say that there are some commercial elements in our band.
Zee: I think that I have more affection for this band than I did for past projects. I put in more time and effort with Adoy. I enjoyed my past project as well, but Adoy has a different approach to work and I have been involved in the making of the music right from the beginning, so I think that is one reason I have more affection for this band. It is not like I didn’t get on with the people in my past projects, but we are really close as members of Adoy. It's really a family atmosphere.
Juhwan: Whenever this kind of conversation comes up, it’s really easy to end up sounding like you didn’t get on with members of past projects, so I’m going to be careful about what I say, because that is not the case. The breaking up of a band is not so dissimilar to getting divorced. I’m trying hard not to repeat the same mistakes from the past. I think my musical style has changed a lot; in the past I would write 7-minute songs with provocative lyrics, but now I try to think of Adoy’s listeners when writing. I always consider what would be beneficial to our songs and how we can give pleasure to lots of people through our music.
Geunchang: I was pretty young when I was doing other projects. When I look back, I think perhaps it was not the right time for me (ha ha). Now I am much more careful and I have a different mindset as well. I think the biggest difference is that I now I am doing this with the outlook that this is probably my final chance to make something of it in the music world, in the past I guess I was simply doing it for fun.
Geunchang: It was so much fun. It is not so much famous bands that appear at these showcase festivals, but more like loads of bands that are tipped to do well in the future. We played three shows ourselves, so we didn’t have time to catch that many other bands. We did manage to see a couple and they were all great. Especially Japanese Breakfast; they had so much energy.
Zee: We had some spare time on our last day so Dayoung and I went to the zoo. Juhwan went and looked around the city and we spent some time by ourselves. Somehow we all coincidentally ended up in the same big park in the middle of London and ended up meeting each other. We even bumped into our manager. We were wired to come together like that in such a big space.
Juhwan: We were invited to England to play and somehow ended up being the last band on the lineup. We did not really expect all that much from the trip as it was our first time, but we went with the idea of planting seeds for next year. Somehow, though, we got some great business opportunities while we were there. In the UK, people who had not known us before wrote articles about us on blogs and websites. It was a great trip and we saw the possibilities for us in the future. We got to see loads of cool musicians as well and talked a lot about our music amongst ourselves. I met Japanese Breakfast and also saw a band called Nao perform; they were amazing. I also met Johnny Marr, the guitarist from The Smiths. He was hanging out with audience members and chatting about music and life. Which was really cool. It was an important festival for business opportunities, but I also felt really stimulated as a musician.
Juhwan: I feel it a little. There are not so many channels for us to communicate through, so I am working hard on Instagram at the moment. However I feel the number of people I need to follow back has grown. In the past on social networks I would follow back around 10 people or so every now and then. Now, each time I check back in there are 50-60 more people to follow. I’m gonna keep following people back until the number reachers 10,000.
Zee: My college friends weren’t into music, so they didn’t really know / understand much about what I am doing with my life. But now, they call me up whenever whenever they hear our song at places like a cafe. It’s cool. It is good to know our songs are being heard here and there.
Dayoung: I was heading to a show recently, and a couple opposite me on the subway recognised me and asked if I was the bass player from Adoy. I went to a party club as well recently wearing my Adoy t-shirt and someone came up to me to tell me they had seen us play a show. I had never experienced that before. So, it does feel like we are getting some recognition.
Geunchang: Lots of people contact me now saying they heard me on the radio too. Things like that make us realise that we are getting a little more popular.
Juhwan: An image of a band that is good at making music, a band that has longevity.
Zee: I hope that when people hear the name Adoy, an image of us immediately comes to mind. I don’t follow trends so much, but I would love us to be a band with a clear image. Perhaps a band that sets trends.
Zee: In the past, I only ever listened to metal music. If it wasn’t music, I wasn’t interested in anything else (ha ha). However, these days I listen to all kinds of things. Korean pop, hip hop, etc. So, I guess I don’t have a set taste anymore; I’m into a wide variety of things.
Dayoung: I like kind of gloomy, depressing music, books and movies.
Juhwan: I like movies by the great directors. Recently I went to see a recording session of Lee Dongjin’s show. Lee is a really famous movie critic. I think, if he gives a movie five stars, I am certain to like it. I’m not a fan of saying that something is better than another, I think a cool thing will look cool to anyone, and a good thing will look so to anyone too. Anyway, regardless of genre I like that kind of music or movie. And you know there’s certain moments in two hours runtime of a movie. For example, the scene where Ms. Hyeja Kim dances in ‘Mother’ by director Bong Joon-ho, and the scene the Sun sets and the Korean flag waves in ‘Burning.’ I find those moments very aesthetic. Of course tastes in movie vary, but those kinds of scenes give a lot to me internally, which makes me think that entire movie so great. I wish those beautiful moments naturally infuse into to the music I produce.
Geunchang: I like stuff that feels a bit depressing. Sometimes I just pick a country and watch movies from there. These days though, whenever I watch a movie I seem to fall asleep, so I have to watch action movies. It’s important to listen to music I love of course, but I think in order to get new ideas it’s also good to listen to quirky music too. I think these days I mainly listen to music to get new ideas, rather than just for enjoyment.
Zee: It’s not like I sat there and decided to not write in Korean. Actually I’ve tried to do it a few times. It just seems that English lyrics fit better with our style of music.
Juhwan: Also, it helps us when we want to do stuff abroad.
Zee: It is much easier for songs with English lyrics to do well in the global market. But mainly it’s because English lyrics fit our music better.
Geunchang: Japanese Breakfast
Juhwan: We already played a show with Japanese Breakfast in Korea, so we know them a little and know what kind of band they are. However, after seeing them a second time I realised just how absurd it is to judge an artist on a single performance. I think you need to see several shows before you make up your mind about a band. I don’t think it is possible to define a band based on seeing their show for the first time. The Japanese Breakfast show we saw in the UK was really inspiring for us. Our legs were really tired so we had only planned to check out a couple of songs, but we ended up standing there in silence not speaking to one another right until the end of the show. Tour bands definitely had an accumulated set of performance skills. Performances of headline bands often has a gigantic and way-too-good kind of feeling to them that makes the band feel a bit distant, but the performance of Japanese Breakfast was impressive, it felt intimate and in a way made me feel that we too could reach that kind of level if we keep trying hard.
Zee: I think our music is good for when you are driving. We try to make sounds that are good for long drives. ‘Grace’ has turned out to be a song that is good for any season. We are proud of that song, and confident about it as well.
Geunchang: I think our new song is good for sitting down by the river in the day time.
Juhwan: Using the release of our new EP as a stepping stone we hope to appear at lots of festivals and do lots of radio and tv as well. In the fall, hopefully we will do an Asia tour and then we would love to tour in the USA as well.
Zee: We have to prepare our next release as well, so we are going to be super busy!
For more information on the band, check them out at the following sites :
Interview : Jieun Park, Soyeon Kim
English Translation : Patrick Connor, Robin YeongGuk Jo
Edited by : Rock N Rose