Interview with SkaSucks on the eve of their American Tour

The Korean ska-punk band, SkaSucks embarks on their west coast tour of the United States today (July 6-18), their first ever US tour. Their tour will stop in various places up and down the coast with gigs in California, Oregon and Washington State (keep reading for more details) so if you’re in the area, check them out! With years of experience playing shows and festivals, this is one energy-filled tour you won’t want to miss.

But that’s not all. It’s going to be a busy summer for SkaSucks as they will also be releasing a new split 7” record with former Bomb The Music Industry frontman Jeff Rosenstock. Thankfully, before they left Korea, they took a moment to answer a few questions for us about their music so keep reading to learn more about SkaSucks. And don’t forget to catch a show if you can.

All answers are by the keyboard player, Kim Jiwon.

Image courtesy of SkaSucks

Interview

Hi there, can you please introduce yourselves and your band, SkaSucks, to our readers.

Hi I’m Jiwon (people here calls me Goyang), the keyboard player. Skasucks is a ska punk band from South Korea and I’m not sure if we really are ska punk.

I know you’ve probably been asked this before but is there a story behind your band name, SkaSucks? It seems like an interesting name as you play ska-punk music.

There’s a song called ‘Ska Sucks’ by a band named Propagandhi. Jinsuk, the front man of us, liked the lyrics and decided to name his band after it.

You are releasing a new split 7″, with former Bomb The Music Industry frontman Jeff Rosenstock. Can you tell us a little about it and how it came about?

Jinsuk and I’ve organized an indie ska festival in Seoul since 2014. In the first year, we had the Bruce Lee Band, and Jeff came as the keyboardist. We liked each other’s music and became friends. Last year, my good friends’ band …Whatever That Means who also run a label called World Domination, Inc. went on a tour in the US and met Jeff. I heard that he’d offered making a split album.

Image courtesy of SkaSucks

Speaking of your upcoming release, what’s your songwriting process? Who or what influences your music and songwriting?

One of us (mostly Jinsuk or Donghyuk, the bassist, sometimes I) brings a rough sketched version of a new song, then we arrange the details together. It’s difficult to name who or what influences our music. When there are some ideas or something to tell, we just write songs.

You’re about to embark on a west coast US tour staring July 6th and this is your first time touring in the US, is there anything you’re looking forward to?

Personally I really wanted to visit the Universal Studio, but I was told there wouldn’t be enough time to get there so I’m not looking forward to anything besides the gigs. I’ll be just playing, drinking and moving to the next city. Doesn’t it sound like a perfect holiday? For me, yes.

I saw you perform once when I lived in Seoul and loved your energy and sound. What can people expect from your shows?

We’ve built a good audience-ship here in Korea so it may be quite different there when people see us on the stage for the first time. Don’t expect anything. Just come and join us!

If someone wasn’t familiar with SkaSucks, what song would you recommend they listen to first to get to know your music?

“Skaholic.” Because it’s the most played tune at our gigs since the band beginning. My favourite is “Suicide City” though.

Image courtesy of SkaSucks

Speaking of your songs, what’s your favourite song to play live (and why)?

“Suicide City” as I said and “Why.” First, I like my keyboard lines, and second, it’s hilarious to see our drummer Myunghoon get old and tired during the tunes.

Has anything unusual or funny happened on stage during one of your shows? Can you tell us about it?

Accidents happen very often, small or big but nothing’s that unusual. And of course it is funny all the time. Once I dived into the audience and all the buttons on my shirt got open.

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

After the US tour, we’ll be crazy busy on organizing the festival New Generation of Ska 2017. It takes place in the middle of Seoul on the 19th of August. The Suicide Machines are coming from the US to play, so if you have any chance to come to Korea, check it out. It’s a free outdoor festival. And we are going to start recording our new album afterwords.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Peace!!✌️

SkaSucks’ US West Coast Tour

If you’re on the west coast of the US, check out SkaSucks if you can. Their tour starts today in San Francisco! For details, check out the poster below.

Tour poster courtesy of SkaSucks

Just the facts: social media edition

And of course, stay in touch with SkaSucks via social media to keep up-to-date on all their shows, music and more.

If you do get the chance to see one of their upcoming shows, we’d love to hear about 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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