Mini-Interview with Tearliner

For many years, whenever somebody would ask me about my favorite artist my definite answer was Tearliner. Since the first album+single in 2005 Tearliner would have my go-to music for just about any occasion. Always craving more of his musical genius I spent hours an hours listening through all the guide versions he’d posted on his blog. When I found out that his second full-length album would finally be released on Friday this week, my response was surprisingly emotional–even more so after I realized that the tracklist contains several of my (until now) unreleased favorites.

Tearliner was one of the first artists I interviewed and our interview in 2007 remains my very favorite, although we did catch up through another long interview a couple of years later. With a new release coming out of course I had to use that as an excuse for a new interview, kindly translated by Sangha.

Tearliner_0384photo by 605 (

It has been four year since your last single–what have you been doing during this time?

한 게 없기에 부끄러운 질문입니다.
싱글을 낼 즈음 MBC드라마’트리플’의 음악감독을 했었고요,
누군가의 책에 OST를 만들고 싶어 준비를 하다가, 내가 쓴 책이라면 음악과 더 잘 붙을 것 같아 직접 여행에세이를 썼어요.
그 책이 4년만에 드디어 다음달 10월10일 발간 예정입니다. 앨범과 멀지 않지요.

That’s an embarrassing question since I haven’t done much. Around the time I released the single I was the music director for MBC drama Triple, I wanted to make an OST for someone’s book but thought it would be better suited for my own writing so I wrote a travel essay book. And finally, after 4 years, that book will be released on October 10th. It’s not too far from the album release date.

그 외 2개의 컴필레이션 앨범에 곡을 참여하고, 단편영화와 드라마에 곡을 참여했어요.
그렇다고 해도 4년은 긴 시간이지요. 쉬면서 많은 책을 읽었습니다.
인문학에 관심이 많아서 관련 서적을 섭렵했고요, 특히 중세유럽사를 미친듯이 읽었어요.
음악과 관계 없는 일이라 죄송합니다만.

Other than that, I participated in 2 compilations, and contributed on short films and drama. Even with all that 4 years is a long time. I read a lot while taking a break. I’m really interested in the arts so I read a lot in that field, especially on history of Medieval Europe. Sorry this has nothing to do with music…


With so many fantastic songs to choose from and an original idea of 40 songs for your second album, how did you pick the tracks for Grey Garden?

2004년에 5집까지 선곡을 했었지요. 2집의 선곡은 그 후에도 덜어내고 다른 곡으로 채워넣고를 반복했습니다.
2004년~2009년에 작곡했던 곡들로 채워졌는데요, 2009년에 최종선곡을 하면서 2009년 곡이 6곡이나 들어갔지요.
그러니까 이 앨범은 저의 20대가 오롯이 담겨 있는 겁니다.
지금의 저와는 표현법에서 차이가 있어요. 어떻든 제 과거를 담는 과정은 즐거웠습니다.

In 2004 I laid out the songs for 5 albums. I continued to eliminate and add songs on the second album after that. It’s mostly songs I composed between 2004 and 2009, but while finalizing in 2009, 6 songs I wrote in 2009 were included. So this album is in a way a culmination of my 20’s. It’s different from the way I express now. But it was a pleasure to fill it with my past.


How do you think that old fans and new listeners will respond to your music now?

모르겠어요. 정말 모르겠습니다.
‘커피프린스1호점’으로 좋아하게 된 팬들을 제외한다면, 제게 여전히 팬이 남아있긴 한 건지도 의문입니다.
그렇기에 정규 2집은 제게 ‘서퍼모어’가 아닌 제 2의 ‘데뷔’입니다.

I don’t know. I honestly have no idea. Other than the fans that I gained through Coffee Prince, I don’t even know if I still have fans. So in a way this 2nd album isn’t my ‘sophomore’ work but my second ‘debut’.

거창하게 표현하자면 이건 티어라이너가 해체했거나 사라진 줄 아는 이들에겐 일종의 ‘환생resurrection’입니다.
2004~2009년에 작곡했던 곡이기에 당시의 팬들이 듣기에 큰 이질감을 없을 겁니다.
크게 다른 점이 하나 있다면, 당시에는 자의 반, 타의 반 lo-fi였다면, 이번 앨범은 보다 깔끔하고 보다 정교한 음악이 되었다는 정도입니다.

If I talk in more figurative terms, to those who thought Tearliner broke up or disappeared, this album will be a ‘resurrection’. Since all the songs were written between 2004-2009, it won’t be too foreign to the fans. If there’s one thing that’s different, my music before was more lo-fi, this album is cleaner and more elaborate.


What are your plans next?

아마도 10월에 단독공연을 할 거예요.
10월 10일에는 말씀드렸듯 OST를 가진 여행에세이가 나오지요.
시간이 되면 터키를 다녀오려고 하는데, 앨범 반응이 좋다면 올해는 힘들지도 모르겠습니다.
앨범은 많은 이들에게 들려졌으면 좋겠지만, 터키는 가고 싶은, 모순적인 감정이 드는 하루하루입니다.

Most likely I’ll have a concert in October. Like I’ve said earlier on October 10th my travel essay book with an OST will be published. If I have time I want to go to Turkey, but if the album fares well that might be difficult. I’d like the album to be heard by many, but I also want to go to Turkey, so my days are full of contradicting feelings.

내년에는 드라마 음악을 한 편 정도 할 거예요.
여행에세이가 잘 되면, 아니 망하더라도, 아마 다른 책을 쓸 지도 모릅니다.
다음 앨범의 선곡은 이미 완성됐지만, 발매 계획은 아직 없습니다.

Next year I’ll likely do music for a drama. If my book is a success, or even if it tanks, I might even write another book. I’ve chosen the songs for the next album, but I don’t have any plans for releasing it yet.


I’m extremely excited for the album as well as the book/soundtrack. This last week I’ve re-entered the beautiful world of Tearliner’s music, wondering how I could have ever allowed myself to leave.  Here’s a fairly recent live performance of one of my very favorite Tearliner songs,  “너는 내게”, that is just one of many fantastic songs on Tearliner’s second album, Grey Garden.

Tearliner on Facebook.
Tearliner on Twitter.

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