Korean Indie Rock Interview: Black Bag
There is nothing I enjoy more than having the opportunity to interview some of my favourite Korean groups so I was practically jumping out of my seat when the chance came by to interview the highly talented indie rock group, Black Bag. Described by their record company Ruby Records as a Skillful teen band, with an intensive rock sound and sympathetic lyrics, the band does everything in their nature to bypass high expectations set by a company made famous by artists such as; The Finnn and The Moonshiners, making them one of the leading companies in the promotion of underground music.
Starting out in 2009 the group (vocalist/guitarist Jang Minwoo 장민우, guitarist Jeff, bassist Lee Hyeji 이혜지 and drummer Gu Taewook 구태욱) performed in clubs around Hongdae before releasing their first EP in 2012, the popular ‘ Beyond The Sky’. Highlighted as a promising band to watch listeners often find themselves having to backtrack and rethink on just how long the group have been together due to their ability to stand out from the crowd. We were grateful to have the opportunity to do an interview with them.
BH: Hi, firstly can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little about the music you produce?
JEFF: Hello and thanks for having our band on the interview. My name is Jeff and I play the guitar in the band Black Bag. We play songs that most can categorize as rock music. It deals with things many people can refer to their everyday lives. We like to try to connect with our audiences as much as we can.
BH: How did the group come together?
JEFF: We all met through a music academy. We all loved music and knew that this was what we wanted to do in the future, so naturally got together. Me and Minwoo (vocalist) both worked there for a while, cleaning and throwing out the trash because we couldn’t afford the lesson fee.
BH: Which artists/groups influence you, both as a group and separately?
JEFF: It’s a bit different. Band we all like in common are bands like U2, Coldplay, Elbow, etc. Personally I am very much influenced by the blues and classic rock.
BH: Early last year you were involved in the winter campaign for SIEG, alongside Bye Bye Sea. How did you get involved with the campaign and did the group receive a positive outcome from taking part in it?
JEFF: Well we got into that through our record company. After we did that, the video on YouTube got some attentions to people outside of Korea. We were surprised by the reactions and really grateful for it. So yeah it was a good experience.
BH: What do you think about Korean indie music becoming so popular outside of Korea?
JEFF: Personally, I think it’s really great. Also about time! People needed to know there was more music coming out of this country other than K-Pop. Not that I have anything against K-Pop but the indie scene here is really great and is/worth putting out to the world to hear.
BH: With the outreach of alternative Korean music widening, do you have any hopes to tour outside of Korea at some point in the near future?
JEFF: We’re all for it any chance we get.
BH: What music are you listening to at the moment? Are there any artists/groups you would recommend?
At the moment I’m listening to the new Daft Punk album and the new album by Fantastic Drugstore and Bye Bye Bandman. The last two are indie Korean bands who people should definitely check out also.
BH: What are your goals for the rest of 2013?
JEFF: We have an album release due this year. We’re aiming to release it around July-August.
BH: Anything you would like to say to our readers?
JEFF: Thanks for reading our interview!
Thank you to Jeff and the rest of Black Bag for taking the time to answer our questions.
If you want to follow the group and check out more some of their music follow them on: