This article written after an interview with My Hairball was edited by Philip Gowman and first published on London Korean Links.
There’s this Korean music site, millim.com, where little known musicians share their work with the public in the form of free downloads. While browsing this site, every now and then one comes across a real gem – someone that makes music so fantastic it’s impossible to understand that no record company has been clever enough to make a deal. It was thanks to orienkorean that I first came across the music of 나의머리카락뭉치, “My Hair Ball”, one of those millim gems. With much assistance from icq4ever (Donghoon Yi) and translation help from Yina Kim, an e-mail interview was set up and I got to learn more about this all too unknown man.
나의머리카락뭉치’s musical story began when he watched a live concert with Japanese rock band L’Arc～en～Ciel. It made him want to play guitar in “a hazy notion”. Shortly thereafter he saw an acoustic live concert with Oasis, which prompted him to buy a used guitar. The confidence to start making music on his own came from listening to Korean indie musician Denci Hinji, as he realized that great music could be made without an arsenal of great tools. He started out in 2002, took a hiatus to do his military service and returned in 2005 as 나의머리카락뭉치:
“The original goal was to remember my 20′s when I get older. It started with the idea of a time casual; to remember what I used to think about, what kind of sensibilities I had. My original goal was to capture the fading self. (I made music only for myself in the beginning.) However my goal has changed a bit. My recent goal is to have more people listen to my music and agree on my sensibilities and thoughts.”
When asked to describe his sound, 나의머리카락뭉치 described it like this: “a repetition, the climax and appropriate shoegazing.” He prefers repetitions over plentiful passages in tunes and aims for a feeling of melancholy rather than excitement. Daily sensibilities and absorptive songs influence his song writing. The emphasis for 나의머리카락뭉치 used to be the music in itself, but recently he’s come to put more thought into his lyrics that are meant to convey what he feels or has seen.
Recording everything at home by himself, 나의머리카락뭉치 says that his sound would probably change if he got access to an actual recording studio as he tends to change when he’s not in his own bubble. He doesn’t plan to release an album right now, but a digital single, 생각만으로도 두려워, was released last year. To start playing at clubs any time soon is not in his plans either. Being an ever-changing person 나의머리카락뭉치 does not know what’s in his future, but for now he’d just like to make more music at home. Here’s one hoping the future will bring 나의머리카락뭉치 some well deserved attention!
Note. The image illustrating this article was provided by 나의머리카락뭉치, taken with his cellphone camera, and described as being “appropriate for his emotion” at the time.