Mini interview with National Pigeon Unity

National Pigeon Unity (전국비둘기연합)
Young trio National Pigeon Unity impressed me a lot when I first saw them live in October last year. Catching them live again last month I was reminded of how great they are, yet I was not prepared for just how much I’d come to like them. March 23 the band will release its first full length album, and having already had more than a few listens to it I’m henceforth prepared to name National Pigeon Unity next time somebody asks me for my favorite bands. Thanks to GMC Records/Estella‘s Kyono, all three members have answered a bunch of questions for Indieful ROK:

What is National Pigeon Unity?
Dr.Devil ; NPU is the 3 piece rock band consisting of DongHoon Kim (DongHoon), SeoungWon Choi (MangGa) and YoungMok Park (Dr.Devil).
MangGa ; We are a band from the HongDae Scene. And what we like to show is indiscriminate and ruleless music.
DongHoon ; The Ruleless Trio From Seoul, South Korea !!!

DongHoon ; I met YoungMok at a high school club activity when I was a 2nd grader of high school and I met SeoungWon through a fan cafe meeting – ピュ-と吹く! ジャガ ; Comic Book/Movie – a lil later. SeungWon suggested starting an Indian pop punk band in the winter of 2006, and I thought it would be good to be in it. A lil later, I asked YoungMok to do it together and he said “ok” so this is the story of how we met and started NPU. The day SeungWon suggested starting a band it was sleeting much from the grey sky and it looked just like dandruff from pigeons so we decided that the band name would be – “National Pigeon Unity”.

You have a strong sound with a lot of variety. How would you define your music?
MangGa ; The music with very contradictory human emotions.
Dr.Devil ; At least I can’t define our music. So I think it’s better that people who listen to our music define it by themselves. As people might already know, music can make give each person different feelings and this is why I feel that way.
DongHoon ; It sounds like “having a strong sound with a lot of variety” – from the parts of your question.

What can you share about your upcoming album, Empathy?
Dr.Devil ; Empathy, our album title, means empathy literally and so we tried to put some empathy in the lyrics. Also we tried hard to make an originality only NPU can own by making this album.
MangGa ; All are new songs except for two songs. This album is made by thoughts I felt in usual life. Lastly, I really tried not to put our music in a category of music genre.
DongHoon ; Overall, I think I can say this album might be in a dark mood due to the story written for lyrics ; It’s not the story to share with people easily but one that people might avoid talking about.

MangGa ; I think we made a well-established identity through this album in some ways. Of course, there are many diverse ways that people take it and I am also confused to say what music style we like to go with, but at least I think I can say nothing affected the music we made for Empathy.
DongHoon ; We’ve made some level-ups through this album, thinking about maturity and perfection of the sound. Plus, I can say we’ve widened the musical spectrum.

You seem so full of energy while on stage. What would you say is the best part of performing in front of an audience?
Dr.Devil ; The best thing from our playing the show is that we could feel the same feeling with the audience. Even though every single fan can’t feel the same way as us it’s still cool for them to react to something from our shows. We never felt that we ain’t concentrated on our playing even though we sometimes ain’t got a lot of audience and few reactions. Those things from people depend on the empathy they feel. So I think feeling the empathy between audiences and band is one of best things we could feel as band members.
DongHoon ; I am feeling good as hell when I see audiences going as crazy as we are on the stage.
MangGa ; I really enjoy myself watching the reactions from people, like their jaw-dropping when they watch our show. Also through shows, I feel like finding another self and I can see myself enjoying even shows that are sometimes hard and painful. Of course, Empathy is one important thing people and us do feel but I think it’s best to leave them with what they like to do and feel during the shows.

Since NPU didn’t want to get into what their music sounds like, here’s some genres listed in the press info: emo, modern rock, hardcore, alternative, grunge, post-rock. I can assure you it’s all there, and I’d say they’ve done an amazing job putting it all together to form a coherent sound. I’ve been told NPU are like the little brothers of Apollo 18 and when they get that complexity going that’s something that shows in their music as well. Empathy offers a total of 12 fantastic songs (plus a fun bonus track with some more music) and if I didn’t feel like I had other obligations that’s the only album I would listen to right now. It’s that good.

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