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Zandari Festa 2017 – Pre-festival mini interviews (part 1)

At this time each year, there is a lot of excitement for ‘Zandari Festa’, the largest showcase music festival in Korea! Music fans are certainly spoilt for choice with over 100 different acts playing in multiple venues in the Hongdae area. If you are in Korea, we recommend trying to fit in a few concerts or conferences – the festival will take place from 29th September to October 1st.

In anticipation for the festival, we have some mini interviews for our readers! We have chosen some of our favourite acts from both Korea and the UK, so keep a look out for these articles on the blog over the coming days 🙂

Zandari Festa is somewhat different to other music festivals in Korea in that attendees get to experience a wide range of music. The organisers also invite performers from overseas. In fact, there are artists from 22 countries this time, so Zandari Festa 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger and better than previous years!

We love the fact that this festival provides a great opportunity to new and established bands alike. The musicians really seem to relish being a part of Zandari Festa!

This first article in our Zandari Festa 2017 series will feature our pre-festival mini interviews with Korean bands Phonebooth and Counter Reset, and also performers from the UK, EYRE LLEW and Rival Bones!

We have recommended Phonebooth before on the blog, they are one of the more well-known bands on the lineup. Counter Reset are a punk and hard rock band and we think they make some very good music!

Hailing from Nottingham, EYRE LLEW create awesome music! Their songs are of ambient rock genre, and we are very happy to feature them here – they are definitely ones to watch and one of our favourite new discoveries. UK rock duo Rival Bones are going to bring a lot of high energy to the festival too.

Thanks to all the members who participated in our interview! Laser (vocalist of Phonebooth), Jihoon Choi (vocalist and guitarist of Counter Reset), Jack Clark (pianist/drummer of EYRE LLEW) and Chris Thomason (drummer for Rival Bones) provided the answers to our questions.

Read on to see what they had to say and check out some music from each band!

 

PHONEBOOTH
Phonebooth
© Phonebooth. 26.09.2017. Source: Zandari Festa 2017 website.

Image source: Zandari Festa 2017 website

For people who may not be familiar with you, please give an introduction to yourself, your music and tell us something interesting about the band?

Hi, we’re the Korean rock ‘n roll band Phonebooth. We debuted in 2009 and have released three full-length albums and one EP. In 2016, we released six digital singles – so one new song every two months. Basically our music is based on British rock and classic rock ‘n roll. I think our powerful and energetic performances are our biggest strength. We always try our best to give passionate performances on stage. People say that we play like it’s the last day of our lives.

“We always try our best to give passionate performances on stage.

People say that we play like it’s the last day of our lives”

 

Laser (Phonebooth’s vocalist)

 

What is it about Zandari Festa that attracted you to play there? What advice would you give to first-time performers or first-time attendees?

There are a lot of showcase festivals around the world, but Zandari is the only showcase festival that takes place in my hometown of Seoul. It’s fantastic that this big and awesome showcase festival takes place here and allows local musicians the chance to meet bands and music industry people from around the world.

If you are a first-time performer, we strongly recommend you attend the fest’s after party. It’s so much fun and a great opportunity to drink and have a great time with musicians and new friends from all over the world. And for first-time attendees, try to keep your schedule relaxed and open. Just enjoy the festival and visit as many venues as you can and check out lots of different bands and styles of music.

 

Name one other act on the lineup that you want to see perform or recommend to others!

We want to see The Dizzy Brains from Madagascar. It’s their second time to play at Zandari. They were amazing last year.

 

What other artists have you made friends with as a result of attending Zandari Festa? Have you had much interaction with artists from other countries?

Last year during the festival we were busy so we unfortunately didn’t get to meet many other artists. But we did land up having dwaeji gukbap with Teleferik from France at six in the morning one day. It was great to meet them and share a meal together.

 

What are you looking forward to the most about Zandari Festa 2017?

We’re looking forward to playing for new people and to making more friends from all around the world and enjoying the festival with them.

 

How are your preparations going? What do you do just before you go on stage and directly afterwards?

We will do what we always do – play a powerful and energetic show. If it’s your first time seeing us live, we promise that you will love every minute of the show.

We don’t do anything special before or after our gigs. We just try to make the show perfect.

COUNTER RESET
Counter Reset
© Counter Reset. 26.09.2017. Source: Zandari Festa 2017 website.

Image source: Zandari Festa 2017 website

For people who may not be familiar with you, please give an introduction to yourself, your music and tell us something interesting about the band?

Counter Reset is known as a melodic punk or skate punk band. We started in 2001 and have released four albums of original material, three cover albums, and a few acoustic singles too. Our band is active in both Korea and Japan. One interesting thing about us is that we’re better known in Japan. I think this may be because melodic punk is a not a genre that’s very popular in Korea.

What is it about Zandari Festa that attracted you to play there? Do you have any previous experiences or good memories of the festival?

We’ve played Zandari Festa every year except last year. One of the best things about the event is being able to meet so many bands from overseas, and to catch up with Korean bands from other regions that we don’t get to meet often. It’s fun to drink together and to run into them randomly on the street as everyone is hopping from venue to venue to check out all the different showcases.

 

Name one other act on the lineup that you want to see perform or recommend to others!

Iman’s League from Singapore. We toured Korea together with them before and we want to see them again.

 

What other artists have you made friends with as a result of attending Zandari Festa? Have you had much interaction with artists from other countries?

We’ve made friends from Japan and continue to interact with them and gig together in both of our countries. This year we haven’t met any of the artists from other countries yet, but I’m guessing we will once the festival starts.

 

What are you looking forward to the most about Zandari Festa 2017?

Just having fun and listening to lots of great music from around the word. The festival will be like a big playground for audiences and artists from many different countries to enjoy.

 

How are your preparations going? What do you do just before you go on stage and directly afterwards?

We’re going to be playing some songs that we haven’t been playing recently because the length of our set at Zandari Festa is a bit longer than usual club shows. We will play early on the first day of the festival, so there aren’t many things that we’ll be doing before our show. But afterwards we’ll definitely be drinking. There’s lots of free beer at Zandari Festa for musicians, so there’s no excuse to go thirsty!

 

Counter Reset have an official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bandCOUNTERRESET

EYRE LLEW
EYRE LLEW
© EYRE LLEW. 29.06.2017. Source: Zandari Festa 2017 website

Image source: Zandari Festa 2017 website

For people who may not be familiar with you, please give an introduction to yourself, your music and tell us something interesting about your group.

We’re EYRE LLEW. We combine a mix of emotional drones/swells with sudden explosions and heavy guitars. One member plays drums and piano simultaneously and another member plays violin bow on his guitar. We try to create a really unique, atmospheric and emotional experience.

 

What is it about Zandari Festa that attracted you to play there?

That it was a great place for music lovers to discover music and have a good time. We’re absolutely honored to have the opportunity to play, all the way from the UK.

 

Name one other act on the lineup that you want to see perform or recommend to others!

We met an act named ’57’ down in Poland a few months ago so I’d love to check them out again. Also our local friends from the UK, Crosa Rosa, will be playing too.

 

What are you looking forward to the most about Zandari Festa 2017?

Probably experiencing South Korea’s music culture and seeing what Seoul has to offer. We’ve never toured this part of the world before.

 

“The set we play is all off our upcoming debut album so music go-ers at our show will be among the first to hear it in South Korea.”

 

Jack Clark (Pianist/drummer of EYRE LLEW)

 

How are your preparations going? Is there anything in particular that you are working on or hoping to show at your live show? What do you do just before you go on stage and directly afterwards?

We have so much going on at the moment; the set we play is all off our upcoming debut album so music go-ers at our show will be among the first to hear it in South Korea. It’s released only 3 weeks after our show on October 19th. We usually have a ton of equipment with us, so are usually busy preparing. This time we’ll either be relaxing or completely-awake and wired; I haven’t worked out what the time-difference is yet.

RIVAL BONES
Rival Bones
© Rival Bones. 09.09.2017. Source: Rival Bones official Instagram

Image source: Rival Bones official Instagram

For people who may not be familiar with you, please give an introduction to yourself, your music and tell us something interesting about the band.

We’re a little heavier than the other British bands coming over to play Zandari. We’re like a 2 piece mash up of Audioslave/QOTSA. Kerrang described us as the product of a sex party between Audioslave, Mastodon and QOTSA. Make of that what you will! We’re James & Chris from Liverpool (but originally from South Africa & Wigan!)

One interesting fact – we both went to the same University but didn’t actually meet there. That University was LIPA (run by Paul McCartney!)

 

What is it about Zandari Festa that attracted you to play there?

Well we were asked to come over as part of Sound City Korea so initially we’d never actually heard of Zandari Festival. However, we’ve done our research and it looks super cool. Just music taking over a complete city is very similar to Sound City here in Liverpool and we love it! We’re looking forward to experiencing South Korea and being able to smash out some music as well!

 

Name one other act on the lineup that you want to see perform or recommend to others!

57! Super cool and heavy. We played with them when they came to Liverpool a few months back and they’re awesome. Can’t wait to see them again and have a few drinks!

 

What are you looking forward to the most about Zandari Festa 2017?

I think just being out in a completely different country and culture and being able to bring music that we wrote in a tiny practice in Liverpool to a completely new audience is going to be amazing. We’re super grateful to be going over and we’ve heard South Korean crowds are mental so we’re excited for that.

 

How are your preparations going? Is there anything in particular that you are working on or hoping to show at your live show? What do you do just before you go on stage and directly afterwards?

We’ve recently been writing a lot and have actually recorded some new singles so a lot of focus has been going into that. We practice regularly anyway so it’s been more of a discussion about what songs to play rather than having to practice them. We’ll be playing some new stuff and some old stuff. We’re also bringing over a bunch of merch to give away so we’ve been sorting that out. In terms of preparation, we usually just have a few beers and then go out and smash it up. Afterwards, we like hanging with people, badgering them to buy our stuff and drinking some more.

That brings us to the end of our first set of mini interviews for Zandari Festa 2017! These are all great bands so please explore their music and support them at the festival if you can!
There will be another set of Korean and UK acts answering questions so another article will be available on the blog soon!

Featured image source: © Zandari Festa promotional cover. Zandari Festa 2017. 21.09.2017. Zandari Festa Facebook page.

In-article images and videos source: Copyright is held by the individual bands. Images were reproduced from the official Zandari Festa website or official social media channels for the purposes of this article.

© Zandari Festa 2017 mini interviews (part 1). 26.09.2017. Inspire Me Korea.

The author: Louisa Lee

Enthusiastic writer, scientist, and foodie. Enjoys discovering new music, films and books, as well as travelling, trying various cuisines and learning about different cultures. My music player is never too far away - life just isn’t complete without music!
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