Mini-interview with Especially When

Especially When (이스페셜리 웬)
So far the interviews we’ve had here at Indieful ROK have been with fairly new bands, and/or (the only exception so far) bands that just released an album. But though this blog has something of a news focus, I’ve had this desire to introduce some of my old favorite artists to those of you that have yet to learn of their existence. And so, I’m extremely happy to be able to present a mini-interview with Kyoungmo Kim of Especially When – responsible for one of the best songs of all times (see bottom of this post for a download!)

What is the history of Especially When?
EW started with me, looking for a way to play and release my music. I was in Julia Hart at the time (around 2000) but JH was all around Bobby’s band and my songs didn’t really mix with Bobby’s. Around the same period of time, Minkyu (Kim) of Delispice was starting out Moonrise Records and I was kind of involved in the initial setting up of the label. On the first release of Moonrise were scheduled a compilation CD that accompanied Sweetpea‘s Neverendingstories. Minkyu had heard my demos before and asked me to join on the compilation. I recorded Clare in Minkyu’s home in Seoul, summer of 2000. And I guess that kind of kick started EW.

I recorded Sleeves for the second Moonrise compilation, and after came along band members of Eunju (Jung) of Puredigitalsilence, and Eugene (Sung). Eunju left shortly after. Eugene and I with help of others like Andy (Yang) of Champions and Elena (Jung) recorded and released The Evening Air EP in 2003. Our second EP, The Great Depression (how foreseeing) with Yongbum (Lee) as our new drummer was released in 2004. We eventually disbanded in 2005 after a short hiatus.

You wrote several amazing songs for Especially When. What would you say characterized your music back then?
Most of EW’s recordings were heavily influenced by the music I’ve listened to during my teens, namely bands from labels like Creation and 4AD. I was also (/still am) a devoted fan of Sarah Records around the time. I think it kind of shows, especially on our early recordings. Other than that, I don’t think I can say much because we were never trying to convey a specific message or theme to our music, and most of the decisions were based purely on musical aesthetics, relying on our taste in melodies and soundscape.

Do you have any favorite memory to share from the Especially When times?
Fondest memory I have on EW is us crammed up in my small room recording The Evening Air. It was the lowest of the lo-fies, but looking back, I’m quite pleased how they sound quite shit, in a good way, if you know what I mean…

What are the former Especially When members up to today?
Eugene has been involved in various recording and live sessions of Champions, Sunstroke and Julia Hart. As for me, I’ve started out a new band called Sunkyul.

I love Clare. I can play it on repeat for hours, and those EPs too for that matter. I posted a brief review of them both at last.fm a couple of years ago (for the record, my opinion has changed with the repeated listening and I have come to accept that there will never be something quite like Clare) and gave Especially When a mention at my then music blog (where there’s also a post on Puredigitalsilence, complete with samples).

Nowadays I suppose it’s quite difficult to come across anything from Especially When regardless of how you choose to obtain music for your collection – unless you know exactly where to look, that is. Courtesy of Espousal Records, I’m delighted to present to you a set of legal Especially When downloads:

[mp3] Clare (from Moonrise Compilation 1, 2000)
[mp3] Sleeves (from Moonrise Compilation 2, 2001)
[asf] The Serenity (from The Evening Air, 2003)
[asf] Suni (from The Great Depression, 2004)

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