Korean Music Interview: Asian Chairshot

Of all the groups over to perform in the UK this May theone I am the most excited about seeing on today at AAA is Asian Chairshot. Not just because they are named after Chairshots (Come on, fellow wrestling fans, you must be out there! Who doesn’t love a good Chairshot?) but also because of the emotions each of their songs gives off to the listener – a feeling I hope is achieved during their live performance. Forming in 2011, Asian Chairshot (guitarist Heenam Son, vocalist/bassist Youngwon Hwang and drummer Kyewan Park) quickly released their first digital EP, ‘Chairshot’, four months after debut. Grabbing acclaim from both fans and critics for being a well put together and unique composition of work, the EP would allow the group the chance to have their first performance at Korea’s Jarasum International Jazz Festival just a month after its release.

2013 turned out to be a busy year for the band. The release of their second EP ‘Mask’ in May heightened the groups outreach to listeners in both Korea and internationally and during the summer they were able to perform at their first overseas festivals the Ansan Valley Rock Festival and Singapore’s Baybeats Festival. Following on from a festival packed summer schedule the group had success in November by placing second place in the “Hello Rookie” finals. December would see the group record their first full-length album ‘Horizon’ which was produced by Smashing Pumpkins’ guitarist since 2007, Jeff Schroeder. It was this move that would catapult the band further into the spotlight, alongside their nominations this year for “Best Rock Album” and “Best Rock Song” at the 2014 Korean Music Awards. With a return to Singapore in March to perform at the Mosaic Music Festival and now their UK tour, the group are continuously showing that it only takes a small amount of time for a band to amount to big things!

We had the chance to ask Kyewan Park some questions about the tour, their plans for the future and their first full length album (due for release May 28th).

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us how the group started?

Hi, I’m Kyewan from Asian Chairshot. We’re a rock band from Seoul. Our group started in 2011 and I was 33 at the time. I’d played in other groups in the past and wanted to try making one last band. So I reached out to Heenam and Youngwon and asked them if they wanted to make some music together. We all got along well and liked the music we were making so we decided to move forward together as Asian Chairshot.

To those just discovering your music, which of your songs would you recommend our readers listen to?

I’d suggest that people listen to our new single “Petrifaction”. It came out on April 21 and can be streamed and downloaded here.

Social networking has become a good way for groups to connect with fans; does the group use this as a means to reach out to listeners?

Definitely! Fans can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to communicate with us and keep up on the different things we’re doing.

How would you define your style of music in just 3 words?

We’ll go with energetic, passionate and unique!

Why did you first begin making music and performing?

Because I’m absolutely crazy about music and I love it to death.

You have a new album due for release after the UK tour is complete, can you tell us a little about the album?

The album is called Horizon and it will come out on May 28th. The album was recorded in Seoul last December and was produced by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Jeff was fantastic to work with. We learned a lot from him, and he even played on a few of the album tracks. Horizon was mixed and mastered in Chicago.

We tried to include a lot more different sounds on Horizon than we did with our 2013 Mask EP, so the album is a lot more diverse. We can’t wait for people to hear it.

What is your opinion on alternative Korean music becoming more popular with international audiences? Do you think it’s good that artists are being given the opportunity to travel overseas and reach out to fans worldwide?

Of course it is! Who wouldn’t think that was a good thing? There are a lot of fantastic bands in Korea and it’s great that more doors are beginning to slowly open for them internationally. I think this will help our music scene to grow more and more.

What are your hopes for your UK tour and what are you planning to show to UK fans?

We’re going to show them what Asian Chairshot are like. We’ll be previewing songs from our new album Horizon at our shows too. Our hope for this tour is that it helps us come back again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.

How do you hope that Asian Chairshot will continue to grow over the next few years?

We hope that we’ll continue getting better as musicians and as a band. We hope that we can keep sharing our music with more and more people all over the world too.

Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

We’d like to say thanks to Beyond Hallyu for interviewing us and thanks to your readers for taking the time to read about our band. We hope that they’ll keep an eye for our new Horizon album when it comes out on May 28. This week we’ll be playing two gigs in London and a show in Bristol. If you live near one of those places, please come see us perform. We promise you’ll enjoy yourself and have lots of fun!

Thank you to Asian Chairshot for taking the time to answer our questions and good luck with the final 3 dates of your UK tour. The dates available to catch this wonderful group before they leave are listed below:

May 9 London @ AAA [Facebook Event]

May 11 Bristol @ Pam Pam

May 12 London @ Pipeline [Facebook Event]

Follow them on on Facebook and Twitter. Also listen to more of their music on Soundcloud.

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Co-founder and Editor at Beyond Hallyu
Lover of Korean hip-hop and indie music...and Unicorns.