Korea Rocks kicks off in the UK next week, and to celebrate, we’ve got an interview with the eclectic and chilled band Goonamguayeoridingstella! Goonam is made up of Joh Ung on guitar and vocals, and Eem Byung-hak on bass and chorus. During live performances, they’re joined by Park Tae-sik on drums and Kim Na-un on the keyboard. They’ve been around since 2007, creating their own brand of unique music, mixing styles and genres to create music that has led to them being described as a “groovy psychedelic soul/pop act”. Many thanks to guitarist Joh Ung for answering our questions!
KCM: How did you guys meet and what made you guys decide to form a band?
Joh Ung: I’ve known Byunghak since high school. I saw him in high school wearing sunglasses and I thought he looked cool. I said we should make a band together. I’m two years older than him, so he had to listen! We spent several years just making music at home as a hobby. We started playing live in 2005 because we needed jobs.
KCM: Your music style is said to combine elements of rock, psychedelic pop, blues, surf, and even reggae, which is a pretty unique and extensive mix. How did you first come up with this music style?
Joh Ung: When making music we just try to do things that are fun and that express our own love and appreciation of all forms of music. We don’t worry too much about genres or styles. We just make the music we want to make.
KCM: You seem like very creative people. How do you compose your tracks? Is there a particular process you follow or is it instantaneous? Does everyone get involved with new compositions?
Joh Ung: It’s usually instantaneous. We just play around with ideas we have and see where the music goes from there.
KCM: Listening to your tracks makes us feel very relaxed, like we’re chilling on a beach somewhere. Is there a particular feeling you want to evoke with your music?
Joh Ung: We’d like people to enjoy themselves and have fun while listening to our music. But they are welcome to have whatever feelings they’d like. All people hear things in different ways.
KCM: Your track ‘Go South’ is used in Leesong Hee-il’s film ‘Going South’. How did this come about?
Joh Ung: It was Leesong Hee-il’s idea. He approached us about it, and we accepted his request. The movie was more fun than I expected it to be.
KCM: Who are your influences in Korean indie and rock? Do you have any British influences?
Joh Ung: We’ve been influenced by Shin Joonghyun. We really like The Stone Roses and David Bowie, too.
KCM: For those going to South Korea, can you recommend the best places to go for indie and rock music? Any secret hot spots and hang outs?
Joh Ung: I think the best place to go for indie and rock music in Club Bbang in Hongdae. For a good secret hot spot to hang out, people should go to Yeonnam-dong.
KCM: You’ve played at a lot of rock festivals and gigs of various sizes and at various locations. What are your expectations of the UK crowd?
Joh Ung: We know that the UK has a rich musical history and that people there love music. We’re really happy that we can share our music with people in the UK. We hope they have fun and enjoy listening to our music.
KCM: Is there a particular track you love performing? Is there a specific track you look forward to showing the UK audience?
Joh Ung: I love playing our song “Jang Dan” live. And I’m looking forward to sharing our “Go South” song with the audiences at our UK shows.
KCM: During your downtime in between UK gigs, are there any places you particularly want to visit or anything you want to see?
Joh Ung: I want to go to Hampstead Heath. I really enjoy hanging out in parks. I think the UK has lots of big, beautiful parks.
KCM: The UK is known for its bands, do you guys have a favourite UK band/singer?
Joh Ung: My favourite UK singer is Amy Winehouse.
A huge ‘thank you’ to Joh Ung and the band for this interview!
We can’t wait to see Goonam perform and are huge fans of their music. If you haven’t already got your tickets, or want more info about the Korea Rocks concert, all information can be on the official Korea Rocks Facebook page, here.
These are the dates for Korea Rocks, which starts next Wednesday, where you’ll be able to hear Goonam live!
April 24th: Kent, England at Tunbridge Wells Forum
April 26th: Wrexham, Wales at The Bank (Focus Wales)
April 27th: Wrexham, Wales at Yales Café Bar (Focus Wales)
April 28th: London, England at Barfly
May 1st: Manchester, England at Night & Day Café
May 3rd: Liverpool, England at Studio 2 (Liverpool Sound City)
May 4th: Liverpool, England at Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)
Once again, we really appreciate that Goonam took time out of their busy schedule to answer our questions. We hope they enjoy their UK gigs and that the weather stays nice and sunny so they can enjoy some London park life!