Mini-Interview with H a lot

Catching up on Twitter yesterday I came across a retweet from kumichan that really caught my attention: Choi Jae Hyuk announcing a new band, H a lot. Choi Jae Hyuk has been one of my favorite drummers for well over a decade so that alone had me intrigued. The names of the other members further underlined that this is a band I need to keep my eyes on.

Having just formed in 2017 with the stage debut scheduled for the coming Saturday there wasn’t much info floating around, however. As such I reached out to Choi Jae Hyuk with some very basic questions that he was quick to respond to.

Photo of H a lot

How did <H a lot> form?

기타리스트 류정헌(from CoreMagaZinE)과 나는 서로의 집이 가까운 동네 친구이기에 가끔 만나 시간을 보내곤 했었다. 그러다가 정헌의 제안으로 함께 밴드를 해 보기로 결심했고, 나의 소개로 베이스에는 한진영(from YELLOW MONSTERS)이 함께 하게 되어 최초에는 이렇게 세명이 곡작업을 시작하게 되었다. 작업한 곡들에 어울리는 음색의 보컬을 찾는게 가장 힘들었는데, 뒤늦게 조규현(from Reflex)이 합류하게 되어 퍼즐의 조각들이 완성되었다. 규현 역시 작사, 작곡, 연주가 가능한 보컬이었기에 큰 시너지를 얻을 수 있었다.

Guitarist Ryu Junghun (from CoreMagaZinE) and I used to hang out sometimes because we were close friends in the neighborhood. One day, Junghun asked me to make a new band together, and I accepted. Then I brought in Han Jinyoung (from YELLOW MONSTERS) as our bassist. So at first, the three of us started making new songs. It was most difficult to find a vocalist who had a voice to match our songs, but finally Jo Gyouhyun (from Reflex) joined our band and finished up the final pieces of the puzzle. Gyouhyun is also a singer-songwriter, so we were able to achieve great synergy in our band.

 
What does the music of <H a lot> sound like?

멤버들이 좋아하는 음악의 스타일은 각각 조금씩 다르다. 신스팝, 펑크락, Oldies, R&B 등등…멤버들이 좋아하는 갖가지 스타일이 Rock band라 상징할 수 있는 우리의 음악안에 조금씩 배어있지 않을까 싶다. 내가 연주하면서도 나조차도 처음 느껴보는 유니크한 스타일이 곳곳에 있다. 나중에 발매될 정규앨범을 들어본다면 아마 더 공감할 수 있을 것이다.

Each member’s favorite style of music is a little bit different. Synth pop, Punk rock, R&B, Oldies and so on … I think our members’ favorite styles are infiltrating our band’s songs after all. Anyway you can just call us a Rock Band of course, no problem. There are many unique styles that even I have never felt before when I play. If you listen to the album that will be released later, you can probably agree with me.

 
What does <H a lot> mean?

최초엔 멤버들이 공감하고 공유할 수 있는 알파벳 이니셜을 떠올려봤다. 그러다가 떠오른 것이 `H`였는데, 사실 큰 의미는 없다. 말 그대로 `H`가 많다는 뜻인데, 각자 밴드활동을 짧지 않은 시간동안 해 왔기에 `History`에 대한 의미일수도 있고, 기본적으로는 멤버들의 이름에 `H`가 하나씩 있기 때문에 괜찮은 이름이라고 생각한다.

At first, we thought of a letter that we could relate to and share with each other. What struck us at that time was ” H “, which did not really mean much. It just means that we have a lot of H. We’ve been in the band scene for a long time, so it could be about History I guess. I think it is a good band name because each of the members share the initial H in our names.

 
What are your plans for <H a lot>?

멤버들은 모두 제로에서부터 다시 시작한다는 마음이다. 겸손하고 성실하게 단 한번의 무대라도 소중히 만들어 나아갈 것이다. 라이브로 우리의 음악을 대중들 앞에 먼저 선보이며, 이미 레코딩에 들어 갈 준비가 되어 있는 10여곡을 최종점검 해 나갈 것이다. 음악외적으로 비지니스적인 루트만 정해지게 되면 최대한 빨리 레코딩에 들어가 가능하면 여름안에 음반을 발매하는 것을 목표로 하고 있다.
최근 국내 락씬은 더욱 위축되고 침체되어 있지만 우리가 할 수 있는 몫은 분명히 있다고 생각한다. 언제나 위기는 또 다른 기회이기 때문이다.

Our members all believe that we’re starting from the beginning again. We will do our best on every stage with sincerity. We plan to show our music on stage first, and then we will make a final check on about 10 songs that are already ready for the recording. Once we have a business plan in place, we want to start recording as soon as possible. If possible, we would like to release our first album before this summer.

Recently the Korean rock scene has become more atrophied and sluggish, but I think there is definitely something we can do. Because I believe that every crisis is another opportunity.


Save The Punk Rock (2018-02-03) poster

H a lot’s stage debut will be as the opening act for the Save The Punk Rock show at V Hall in Seoul this Saturday, February 3rd. Other bands playing the event are Crying Nut, No Brain, Lazybone, and The Monotones.

I’ve yet to hear a single bar of music from H a lot myself, but hope that somebody attending the show will shoot at least one video to share on YouTube before long. The prospect of a full-length album already before the summer sounds very promising. Given what all the members have been up to in the past it’s sure to be something worthwhile.

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