Interview: Lowdown 30

Lowdown 30 at Canadian Music Week
Lowdown 30 at Canadian Music Week

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of the lovely interview I had with Yoon ByeongJoo, Kim RockGun and Kim TaeHyun from Lowdown 30; I’d first like to thank them for being my first in-person interview with a band!! They were super nice to interview. Thanks for being my first!

Lowdown 30 are a Korean blue rock band which recently played in Toronto at Canadian Music Week as a part of the Seoulsonic tour. Before the show – which rocked, check out our review – they were gracious enough to answer a few questions. 

The Interview

One of the things I’m always curious about, especially with the more interesting sounding names is how the band decided on their name. So, of course, the first question I asked Lowdown 30 was “How did you come up with your band name?”

They said that the name Lowdown 30 came from the expression “lowdown dirty” and the fact that all three members are in their 30s. One interesting point they brought up was that a lot of westerners really like their name and think it’s cool.

Lowdown 30 at CMW
Lowdown 30 at CMW

What are your plans for 2013?

After the Seoulsonic tour finishes up in April, they will start working on a new album in Seoul.

If you could play a gig with any North American band, which group would it be?

They all agreed the band they most wanted to play a show with was ZZ Top.

What’s the hardest thing about being in a band?

If they have hardships, they try not to think about them. They try to always stay positive and focus on the good aspects. But if there is one thing, one hardship, it would be having to carry all the gear.

What venue or festival would you like to play?

TaeHyun: UMF (Ultra Music Festival)

ByeongJoo: Coachella

RockGun: Bonnaroo Festival

Kim RockGun of Lowdown 30
Kim RockGun of Lowdown 30

Do you have any funny touring stories?

They said they had a lot of funny stories but one in particular stood out from this tour. This is the story they told me (paraphrased): There’s a critic on the Seoulsonic tour with them and he got into a fight with No Brain’s drummer about an article he’d written five years ago. They fought for a long time – 5 or 6 hours – about the article before ending the fight by kissing and hugging.

Is performing shows in Canada or the US different from performing in Korea?

They replied that it’s pretty much the same but electricity and the people are different.

Yoon ByeongJoo from Lowdown 30
Yoon ByeongJoo from Lowdown 30

What do you do when not playing music?

Two of the three members of Lowdown 30 have careers outside of the band. Yoon ByeongJoo is a creative director at a university in Seoul and Kim RockGun owns a guitar shop. The final member, Kim TaeHyun, is a full-time drummer.

Kim TaeHyun of Lowdown 30
Kim TaeHyun of Lowdown 30

Finally, do you have anything you want to say to your North American fans?

ByeongJoo: Show us some love, buy our music and support other Korean bands too. Keep looking for new Korean music!

Check out our review for more information on the show or our Facebook page for lots of pictures!

Stay in touch with Lowdown 30

Editor’s note: As most of the questions and answers during the interview were translated or rather interpreted by Howon Lee, one of the Seoulsonic tour organizers, I’ve written it up a little different from a traditional interview. Most answers aren’t directly attributed to the any of the band members because my inexperience with interviewing through a translator. The other two interviews – with Goonam & No Brain – I was able to write-up more traditionally. My apologies for my lack of Korean (I need to study harder) and the unorthodox format, all mistakes are mine and I do deeply apologize for any that have occurred! Thanks to Lowdown 30 for the interview and to Howon Lee for helping facilitate it. 

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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