Interview: Patients

Before they leave for their upcoming UK tour, the Korean punk band was kind enough to answer a few questions. Keep reading for what they had to say.

Image courtesy of Patients
Image courtesy of Patients

The Interview

Hello, can you please introduce yourself and Patients to our readers? 

Hyuckjang Kwon: Hi, everyone! We’re Patients from Seoul, Korea. I play keyboards in the band. Sumin plays bass and is the vocalist. Jaehyuk is the drummer. Patients first formed in 2005. There have been a few lineup changes over the band’s history. I’m the most recent member of the group and joined last year. Patients will be doing a UK tour in early May to play at the Liverpool Sound City music festival and do other shows. We’ll also be releasing a new EP soon called “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!”

How would you describe your music to someone who isn’t familiar with it?

Sumin Jo: We call our musical style “hybrid punk.” Our songs contain elements of punk but we mix in lots of other styles as well.  When making music, I like to remember the phrase, “The best defense is a good offense.” I think as a band we try to make music that is fun and happy to help people forget about pain and sadness.

You have experimented with different styles, what inspires you to create new music?

Hyuckjang Kwon: Everything around me gives me new inspiration to create music. I’m inspired by everything I see and do.

Sumin Jo: My desire to make fun things inspires me and always helps to change our music in different ways.

Image courtesy of Patients
Image courtesy of Patients

Which of your songs would you recommend a new fan listen to first? Why?

Hyuckjang Kwon: “Sipalsegi”

Sumin Jo: I also recommend “Sipalsegi.” It’s on our upcoming “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!” EP.

Jaehyuk Lee: “Idiot vs Psycho” from our 2011 Kitsch Space album.

Editor’s note: you can listen to “Sipalsegi” on their Soundcloud.

This will be your first time touring outside of Asia. What are you looking forward to seeing/doing/eating in the UK?

Hyuckjang Kwon: I want to eat fish and chips and watch football.

Sumin Jo: I want to see as many gigs as I can. I’ve visited London several times on my own, but this is the first time I’ll be going to the UK to play concerts. I’m really interested in meeting lots of other bands during our tour. As well, I’d like to open a small live club in Korea in the future. So I want to try and check out lots of venues in London and the rest of the UK during our visit.

Jaehyuk Lee: I don’t care that much about sightseeing or food. I just want to play!  So our concerts are what I’m most looking forward to.

What do you like to do when not playing music?

Hyuckjang Kwon: I like to play FIFA 14 on Xbox.

Jaehyuk Lee: I like to go for bike rides and look for beautiful women.

Sumin Jo: I like to hang out with my girlfriend.

Image courtesy of Patients
Image courtesy of Patients

What’s the most bizarre thing to happen while you were onstage?

Sumin Jo: Back when I was in my early 20s, some crazy people spit on my arm and bit it while I was playing at an underground punk rock club in Korea. Thankfully, people don’t try to bite us while we’re playing anymore!

How did you come up with your band name?

Sumin Jo: The Korean word for “patients” is a homonym. It means both “sick people” and “happy people.” I thought it was a good representation of Korean society. Sometimes it hurts but there’s still happiness.

Have you ever considered touring in North America or other parts of the world?

Sumin Jo: We’d love to tour everywhere we can. I’d especially like to play in the United States, Italy, France, and Brazil.

Hyuckjang Kwon: I think it would be fun to tour in Ukraine.

Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2014?

Sumin Jo: As we mentioned above, we’ve got a new EP coming out soon. It’s called “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!” The EP will be released in Korea through Steel Face Records, the indie label we own and operate, in late May or early June. But we’re going to have copies of the EP with us in the UK, so people there will have the first chance to get the album. As for the rest of 2014, we plan to play lots of gigs in Korea and want to continue to grow as a band. We also hope to start working on a new full-length album this year too.

The Patients UK Tour Dates:

  • May 1 – Liverpool, England @ Brooklyn Mixer (Liverpool Sound City)
  • May 3 – Liverpool, England @ Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)
  • May 7 – Bristol, England @ The Hatchet Inn
  • May 8 – Southampton, England @ Unit Club (WTFest)
  • May 9 – London, England @ AAA
  • May 10 – London, England @ Astbury Castle

Go check them out if you’re in the UK! Or follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date.

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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