Yesterday I was happily surprised to find that the Indieful ROK Twitter account had gained over 1000 followers. Follower #1000 was none other than Gwangju’s indie rock band SPthe#, and since long having yet to be implemented ideas for IROK about covering indie acts from outside of Seoul better I decided this was the perfect pretext to ask for an interview. SPthe# leader and vocalist Junghee was fast to respond not only to my inquiry for an interview but also to the questions that followed:
What is the Special Project of the #?
Playing music is a great game for us. At first, we met in the same place, The # (We even live in the same area in Gwangju~!). The # is a private academy for learning instruments and music. The meaning and motto of The # is make our lives sharp with music. We made SPthe# at The # and we liked the meaning and motto of The #. So we decide to use this name, ‘SPthe#’.
Now we are so happy to be playing music and making our lives sharp. And we really want to make all of your lives sharp~!!!!
How would you describe your sound?
Like a fairy tale~!^^;; our melody & lyrics are so honest & pure. (I really like Peter Pan~!!) We are not the same age(18~28^^;;), but we all look like same age children.
We want to always show you the pure & hopeful songs~!
What is the music scene like in Gwangju?
Actually there’s no music scene in Gwangju to show other people. There are only major shows from Seoul. Many people in Gwangju don’t know about local musicians, and have no interest in them. It’s very hard to show them that there are many musicians nearby without appearing on TV programs.
There are only the two clubs Nevermind & Smooth Straight Line. Sometimes there is some concert or exhibition. But only some people know about the concerts and most people don’t even know that there are clubs in Gwangju.
Hopefully now, so many people are trying to make a music scene in Gwangju. They’ve made the project shows The Beginning, Stage of the Moon, and R-tist. They are trying to show Gwangju people that there are many bands and musicians in our Gwangju. There are still some other concerts in the clubs in Gwangju. Now, a music scene is being made in Gwangju!!!!
Have you had any chance to play outside of Gwangju? Have you seen any increase in opportunities since the release of the 2011 Gwangju Indie Music Compilation and the EP earlier this year?
We played in Bbang around Hongdae in Seoul., Heavy in Daegu, and Budgie live club in Daejeon. They just know there was a compilation made in Gwangju, and that’s all. Many bands are made and fading away. I think it’s not a big deal to them. They just take a glance and see what they want. But I know catching someone’s eyes is very hard. So we released our EP at the time when the compilation was released. But, still I don’t think that they are staring at us. The best way to get an interest seems to be to participate in many project shows or do many concerts. So, I’m still looking for the shows that we can participate in.
All the best of luck to SPthe# in any future endeavors to build an audience in Gwangju and elsewhere!
I must confess I have yet to listen to give SPthe#’s 안녕 EP, but I quite liked what I heard on the Gwangju compilation. As a reminder of what SPthe# sound like or in case you missed the links last time, here’s the band performing 안녕 and here they are rendering their own version of Itaewon Freedom.