Interview: Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio (at SXSW)

Rock 'n' Roll Radio
Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio

I’ll admit that I wasn’t familiar with Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio before they were announced as one of the Korean bands heading to South by Southwest (SXSW). But with just one song (Shut Up & Dance), they grabbed my attention and I just knew I had to hear more. They play rock music that’s fun and easy to dance to but complex all at the same time.

Thankfully, before their Seoulsonic showcase at South by Southwest, they were kind enough to take a few moments to answer a few questions. Keep reading to see what they had to say!

The interview

Hello, my name is Cindy. Can you please introduce yourselves.

Nae Hyeon – We are Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio from Seoul, Korea and we play rock music. Thank you.

Min Woo – My name is Min Woo Lee (이민우), bassist. 

Nae Hyeon – My name is Nae Hyeon (김내현), I sing and play guitar

Min Kyu – I play drums, Min Kyu (최민규). Thank you.

Jin Kyu – And my name is Jin Kyu (김진규), I play guitar.  

This is your first time touring the United States, how has the experience been so far? And what are you looking forward to?

Nae Hyeon – It’s our first time and we were really excited. We’ve played twice.

Min Woo – It’s just the same in Korea.

Nae Hyeon – And maybe, I hope to come to the U.S. again. Yeah, and I want to be a millionaire. Billionaire. 

My first exposure to your music was the song, “Shut Up & Dance” which was really amazing. What was your inspiration for it?

Nae Hyeon – Thank you very much. We just wanted to play electronic dance as a band score. So we tried to play like Chemical Brothers in a band score. 

What’s the most unusual thing to happen to you on stage?

Nae Hyeon – It was 2012, we started just three months before it happened. There were two people in the audience and we played one song, just one song and one person left. So we were upset, very upset. Yeah.

Fun question: beer or soju?

Min Kyu – Soju!

Jin Kyu – Yes, I like soju. Very much.

Min Woo – I love soju.

Nae Hyeon – He wants to drink soju in a U.S. bar, right now.

Editor’s note: I told them we have soju in Canada. ^^

What’s the hardest thing about being in a band? And what’s the most fun?

Nae Hyeon – It’s kind of like a relationship or lover. So every day we fight and everyday hug each other. Yeah, it’s really difficult, being in a band. I don’t know what is good about being in a band.

Min Woo – It’s just fun. 

More and more Korean musicians are coming to North America to tour, do you think the western world is becoming more receptive to Korean music?

Nae Hyeon – Yeah, I think it is. Yeah, it is more than before. Basically.

Do you use social media? If so, which sites?

Nae Hyeon – Yeah, we have Facebook and Twitter.

What’s your song writing process? What inspires new songs?

Nae Hyeon – The guitarist is the producer. He brings simple guitar riffs and we work to together make a proper song. Yeah, that’s the process.

Is there anything you want to share with your fans in Canada?

Nae Hyeon – I hope to see you soon in Canada. Just call us, please and support us. Thank you!

Thank you!

I really want to thank Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio for taking the time to answer my questions, it was a fun interview. They even liked my “안녕” earrings. ^^ And later at the Seoulsonic show, they were fabulous. If you ever get the chance to see them, do it.

I hope that they’re able to come to Canada soon! But in the meantime, check them out on social media and buy their music!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio in a nutshell

Editor’s note: any mistakes in transcribing the interview are all mine.

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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