Posted on May 10, 2014

Interview

In any scene it’s often hard to find bands that have survived the test of time. Sure there are a plethora of young punk kids straight out school, just now discovering their rock star aspirations. But who amongst them will last and remain on the tip of everyone's tongues. Vidulgi OoyoO has been involved in an ever evolving music scene for the past 10 years. Their debut full length album Aero was released in 2008 and has become known as the pioneering album of Korean post-rock. As bands have skyrocketed and plummeted off the radar, one-hit-wonders come and gone, Vidulgi OoyoO has been a thundering force in the Korean independent scene, molding the sound waves in ever pleasant harmony. From the underground clubs of Hongdae they’ve grown to an internationally recognized band, a shining example of Korean independent possibilities to come. They are the band that fellow musicians go to see.  Pigeon Milk at it’s finest.

1) The meaning of Vidulgi Ooyoo is pigeon milk, and upon hearing this people can have a variety of reactions. What would you hope people understand about your name?

Jongseok : I guess anyone thinking of our name as ‘pigeon milk’ might find it a little disgusting. In reality it is better to just think of it as a pigeon feeding its offspring …. feeding it psychedelic material! When we played with Mogwai, they called us pigeon poop as a joke. Everyone laughed so hard, it was really funny.

2) Vidulgi Ooyoo has been playing for 10+ years now and has become known as one of the leading pioneers of Post-Rock in Korea.   - How has the status of Post-Rock changed in this time?   - And what do you think lies in store for the future of the genre?

Jongseok : For sure, compared to before, there are a lot more bands in Korea these days. On top of this I think a lot more of these bands are beginning to play abroad more as well. I think if bands develop their confidence and identity they will get good results.

 

3) To someone new to the genre, how would you describe Post-Rock?  What would you hope the listener understands about the genre?

Jongseok : Actually, it’s hard for me to define ‘post rock’ because there are so many different styles and experimental elements to the genre. For example, Stereolab and Explosions in the sky are both ‘post rock’ bands, but there is a big difference between the two. It’s probably best to just imagine the music any way you want and enjoy it (rather than worry about labeling it as a certain defined genre).

4) How do you see each of your different roles as members of the band?  In other words, do you consider members to be part of a rhythm section while others take the lead?  (i.e.:  He creates the textural noise, while I create the melodic lines… etc)

Jongseok : We don’t have separate ‘defined’ roles within the band, each song has a different motive and and so with each song, our ‘parts’ change.  For example, if I lay out my motive for a song, the other members of the band add the melodies and noises that they feel best fit with my motivation for the song. During the song making process we give each other a lot of feedback to help the song evolve.

5) Over the years you’ve had opportunities to play abroad in countries such as the US, Japan, and China.   - How do you think Vildulgi Ooyoo is perceived internationally? - Is that different from the perception within Korea?   - Has playing internationally changed your perception of the Korean indie music scene?

Jongseok :  Seeing as we are foreigners from a different country (where we were born and played music all our lives), when we go and play shows abroad, we give off a different ‘vibe’ than that of the local scene. I think this difference makes us attractive artistically to people who come and see our shows there. Somehow though, when we play here in Korea (to Korean fans) it feels a bit more natural to us. Both scenes have a similar vibe but the indie scene abroad is much bigger, and therefore the market for post rock is also much bigger than here in Korea.  I guess the music marketing abroad is a more active than that in Korea. Overall I hope the Post Rock scene here in Korea continues to develop.

 

6) Your upcoming second full-length release Officially Pronounced Alive was created without a label contract.   - As a band that has worked with a record label in the past, what prompted your decision to release this album independently?   - Do you plan on continuing to self-release?  And if so, why?

Jongseok : There was no particular reason we decided to release this album independently but, we preferred to do things at our own pace and in our own way. If we had worked together with a label, problems may have arisen due to differing aims and opinions. We have not thought about how we will release the next album yet.

7) Funding platforms such as Kickstarter and Tumblebug are still a relatively new concept.  Officially Pronounced Alive will likely be one of the first albums to be funded this way.   - What can you say about the experience as a whole?   - Did funding the album this way affect the creative process? (How has the process of creating this album differed from Aero?)

Jongseok : We are not a rich band financially, so crowdfunding was the only way to go. We are so grateful for all the help and support we received. All the financial support we received went a long way to helping us record and produce this album.

 

8) It has been 5 years since your previous release Aero.  The songs have become very familiar for Post-Rock fans both here in Korea and abroad.   - What can fans expect from your new album?   - How has the Vidulgi Ooyoo sound evolved in that time?

Jongseok : This is only our second full length album, but in that time we also released a split CD with Bliss City East (2010) as well. For the first album we really concentrated on producing a standard ‘shoegaze texture’ for our music. For the split release, however, we experimented more with our own identity. In short, to sum up I’d say that our new album (Officially Pronounced Alive) is a result of our experimentation on the split release. On the new album Vidulgi OoyoO has added sounds & texture from old school shoegaze, danceable house, classical structure & tribal psychedelic. Officially Pronounced Alive has a greater dynamic intensity, the parts are better structured & harmonized than our first album.

9) Your video for Goodnight shining, directed by Vio Kim, won the grand prize at the iPhone Film Festival 2013.  What can you tell us about the experience of creating this video?

Jongseok : When Vio Kim first approached us to make the video together we could never have predicted the results. We were very surprised at the filming process. We filmed some scenes from the air, and Jeehye even ended up having to learn how to ride a motorbike! In the scenes from the video I’m gulping down vodka, but in reality I’m not a heavy drinker!!!!! We all worked hard on the video and the results were great. So we are all really happy.

Interview by: Jonathan Jacobson

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

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/VidulgiOoyoO
DoIndie : http://www.doindie.co.kr/en/bands/vidulgi-ooyoo

 

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