As the Korean music market begins to receive more international recognition, the local band scene is looking to rise up and represent the next generation of Korean music. This is the 21st installment of a series of interviews with Korean rock, acoustic and alternative bands. ― Ed.
Contrary to initial preconceptions that may spring to mind when hearing a band name like The Electriceels, most first impressions of Hwang In-gyeong, Kim Ye-seul and Kim Min-hyuk tend to be that they are just ordinary, average Joes.
The local modern rock band may give off the initial vibe of a band that is outgoing and electrifying, but its music is actually more of a reflection of the members’ everyday personalities ― quirky and down-to-earth.
“When you look at our faces, we don’t look at all like we are musicians or artists or in a band,” said guitarist Ye-seul during an interview with the band in Mapo-gu. “We’re not hardcore, we’re not stylish. People are always saying that we look like the ‘boy next door’ types, but we don’t mind because I think our music really reflects this image.”
“We are just a bunch of normal Asians, even among other Asians we are just normal-looking,” Hwang added with a big smile. “But nevertheless, this doesn’t mean we don’t know how to make good music.”
|The Electriceels (Soundholic)|
Although The Electriceels’ music is in no way aggressive and will most likely not ignite listeners’ desires to start thrashing around, the band’s sound rather falls more on the pop-punk spectrum and tends to be a clash between upbeat and ironically soothing.
“So when you listen to our music and you hear our lyrics, it’s definitely not something that’s overexaggerated. We are fairly simple and easygoing and I think this makes our music comfortable to listen to,” Kim explained.
So why the name The Electriceels?
“There actually is no special meaning behind our band name,” Ye-seul says. “To be honest, one day we were just walking down the street and we walked past one a restaurant that had a tank outside full of eels, and we just thought to ourselves, ‘Oh, electric eels would make a cool name for a band.’”
In May the bandmates decided to change up their sound, lightening their image even more with the release of their latest EP, “I Think of You.” The six-track album, which features the title track “Hide and Seek,” is The Electriceels’ first release since unveiling its first full album “The Best Date” more than a year and a half ago.
“When you compare this album to the ones that we had released before, I think you will find that this album is a lot more lyrical,” Ye-seul explained. “As opposed to our usual approach to music, it’s a lot warmer and a lot more acoustic-sounding.”
The Electriceels initially formed in 2009 as a four-member group, and like most of the local bands in the scene today, the act got its start playing small gigs in various Hongdae clubs.
The band officially debuted in 2011 with its first self-produced EP “Charging,” followed by its second release “The Latest Fad” in 2012. With the group’s music slowly starting to make an imprint in the underground indie music scene, the bandmates are starting to find more opportunities to expand their production reaches.
“Before we were able to release our first full studio album, we released two EPs that we had to produce ourselves,” said Ye-seul. “However, in the case of our first album ‘The Best Date,’ we had the opportunity to work with one of the producers for the popular band Jaurim ... this was an amazing opportunity for us and one of my most memorable moments as part of this band.”
The Electriceels members stated that they plan to continue to promote their latest EP with various live performances over the summer.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)