57 (Oh CHILL)
Roaring guitar riffs and the kind of drumming that travels through the soles of your feet and up your spine, 57 are a fearless duo who take no prisoners on a live stage. After tearing it up in Hongdae, Seoul for the last few years, they're finally bringing their brand of ear-destroying indie rock to Europe. And, for your own safety, don't fuck with their drummer.
She'll mess you up.
The lo down
BangOn Team: Tell us a little about your band/project. What’s your sound?
설 (Seol): Hey. My name in Korean means "snow”, so I choose Snow as my English name! 57’s sound is loud, but warm at the same time; a bit like my own personality! I am looking forward to making some loud sounds and ripping it up across Europe for two months this summer!
준홍 (JunHong): Hi! Our band is called ‘57’. We are a two-piece band. I play guitar and sing and Snow bangs the drums. I think that our sound is fairly smooth, but it explodes in parts and can be quite loud / heavy.
BOT: How do you go about songwriting?
설: I can’t play the guitar at all, but I can make guitar like noises with my voice! So sometimes, I shout out the guitar line in my head and somehow Jun turns that into an actual riff on the guitar. That is how I get my ideas in the songs!
준홍: Stuff usually comes to me when I am bored and just wasting time. When an idea comes into my head I immediately try to capture it, that is usually how songs start off.
BOT: Who are your biggest influences?
설: In life, my biggest influence has been my mom. In music, Biffy Clyro. I have never seen a band like them before. Their energy on stage and the emotions in their music have influenced me a lot.
준홍: My school teachers and my parents were very authoritative and coercive. I don’t have fond memories of my childhood and I still sometimes have nightmares about it. So I think in a way I became energized by anger. That has affected both my overall life and my music as well.
BOT: What’s been your lowest and highest point as a band?
설: I guess the high points have been picking up a few awards in Korea. Of course, appearing at festival like Jisan Festival in Korea and Liverpool Sound City have been big highlights as well. I think everything we have achieved until now will probably be eclipsed by this tour we are on.
준홍: My lowest point in the band was in 2015. I was unemployed, homeless and completely broke. However we overcame it, mainly thanks to our love of playing music. It gave us the energy to get through. The highest point is probably right now! There is so much to do and it is exhausting, but it is so very exciting as well!
BOT: What’s your ultimate aim?
설: My ultimate aim is to be able to make a living through our music and to continue to find happiness on stage.
준홍: My main aim really is just to keep growing as a band. I feel like we are getting better and better opportunities each year and so I hope that trend continues. I also hope that I can just be a good human being; there are too many bad ones out there. And to be a good musician as well.
BOT: Tell us a little about the Seoul indie scene?
준홍: The Seoul scene (in face the whole Korean scene) is very much focused in the district of Seoul called Hongdae. There are so many bands there. Sadly, I think it has become a bit saturated in a way, and on top of that the rent prices are going up so fast in the area. Because of that many clubs are closing down, so it is quite a sad time at the moment. But everyone still works hard and there is some amazing music coming out of Seoul right now. Hopefully we will soon get through the hardships and come out the other side.
BOT: Any other great Korean bands we should be checking out?
설: Billy Carter!
BOT: You have the chance to play one song for a legend of your choice. What do you play?
설: Should I play only one song? I can’t…
준홍: Hmm... Let’s see. I think I would want to play our track 'Making Fire' for the lead singer of Biffy Clyro. He is one of my musical heroes. When I first saw him on YouTube years ago I thought, 'Yeah. I wanna be like him.' That is what I want to do with my life. He inspired me to write the song 'Making Fire'.
BOT: What do we have to look forward to in the coming months from you?
설: 57’s energy for life!
준홍: Yes, she is right. We will be over in Europe doing our thing from May through June. We will visit the UK, Germany, Poland and France. Other than the UK, it will be our first time in all of those countries. So we are really stoked about that. It is going to be really exciting. We are curious to learn about those places and of course really excited to meet lots of new people and see new bands while we are out there.
설: Then once we get back to Korea we will get on with recording our new full-length album. We have demo tracks for some of the songs but we are chomping at the bit to get them down and out for the fans to listen to. Once the album goes out we will do a tour of Korea and then hopefully go any play some other places in Asia as well.
준홍: We are crazy busy this year. But that is a good thing for sure.
BOT: Which muppet would you take in a fist fight?
설: I have no idea what a muppet is! So I had to ask our tour manager. He sent me a picture. They all look fucking disgusting! I want to fight them all! I am pretty sure I could beat them all up! I am stronger than I look!
준홍: I looked up the meaning of the word muppet. It made me think of politicians. I hate liars. I would like to take on a politician or two!
BOT: Donald Trump has invited you to play a private party for him. He’ll pay you $1,000,000.
설: NO, THANK YOU! The guy would probably try to molest me or something.
준홍: I don’t wanna play a private show for any rich people, especially fucking Trump. That guys seems like a racist pig. It is a money-driven world, I know. But I want to do my own thing and where possible not be influenced by cash. For me, the significance of the concert is really important.
Catch 57 with HEKLA and Party Fears at Bang On’s Clash Symbols #3 on June 2nd at Bei Ruth! Haven't got enough Korean rock in your ear bits? (You haven't). Then check out Billy Carter with Party Fears and People of PÄN on Sunday 4th June.