Lips-Bite brings indie rock to the forefront

2013-02-13 20:12

Whether it be hip-hop, punk or indie rock, the music scene in Hongdae is growing at a great speed with more indie musicians than ever.

Indie band Lips-Bite is one of the many such rock bands. Having originally met in high school, it wasn’t until 2010 that the quintet ― Yeon Je-hong (vocals), Moon Hyun-ho (bass), Yi Sang (drums), Choi Kee-sun (guitar) and Kim Young-joon (synthesizer) ― got together with the aim to make great music.

“There are many situations when you bite your lips,” vocalist Yeon said about the origin of the band’s name. “Many people do it when they are anxious, nervous, and even when they flirt. The connotation of biting lips is open to several interpretations.”
From left: Moon Hyun-ho, Kim Young-joon, Yeon Je-hong, Yi Sang and Choi Kee-sun, the five members of the indie rock group Lips-Bite, pose at The Korea Herald studio last Thursday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Indie music may often be linked to the idea of “unpolished” ― recorded in a basement by kids trying too hard. However, Lips-Bite’s music is the polar opposite. The band creates sounds that are playable in clubs, festivals, at home and through earphones. Guitar sounds are subtly fused with drums whisked together with a solid bass, all topped with the powerful lyrics of the vocalist.

“Our lyrics come from experience. Everyday life prompts certain images, and these become great lines to the song,” Yeon said.

The band released their album “EP1” in March 2011 with the band’s famous tracks “Gotham” and “Plastic Rainbow.”

“Gotham” is a blazing track ― the band’s relentless approach, propelled by the frenzied guitar, the blistering rhythm section, and the vocals’ hiatus entices listeners to throw their hands up in the air.

“After watching ‘Batman’ we were inspired to write a song about Gotham City, and it proved to be a success,” said Yeon.

“Plastic Rainbow” floats with optimistic lyrics that detail their visions of “Citizen Dog,” a Thai romance film from 2004. The song reflects a more tender, reflective side of the band that is welcome to the ears.

The band later put out follow-up EP album “Hope Relay” in September 2011. The album urges listeners to put a stop to bullying and to prevent suicide. Most of the headline-inspired songs for this album are aimed at soothing listeners who may be suffering from mental illness or depression.

“We worked with the Suwon Suicide Prevention Center to make the ‘Hope Relay’ album. The album has allowed us to make music with a real message,” said bassist Moon.

The indie rock band is set to release a new album in March. They will also join in the Hongdae Promenade Vol. 2, an indie band festival at Club Crack on Thursday, where they will be performing their biggest hits.

“We want to make songs that have a signature tune, melody and music style of our own. We don’t want to tell people to keep an eye out for us. We will make quality music, and let the music speak for itself,” said guitarist Choi.

By Bae Soo-min (