Written by Seoul-based contributor: Jeong Eun Sohn
LayBricks is a rock band based in Korea, consisting of drummer Hyejin Yu (Henny), and vocalist and guitarist Kwangmin Seo (Kurt). Since their debut, they have promoted British style music, inspired by alternative rock.
When I first listened to their songs, I had a gut feeling that their music would be loved by so many people all across the world. As a matter of fact, I can see signs that their music has the potential to appeal to the global market. Not only were they invited to the Liverpool Sound City festival in 2016, but they’ll also be playing in pubs across the country too. Their UK tour will begin on May 10th and continue through to June 21st.
LayBricks are looking forward to meeting local music fans and musicians as much as possible during their tour.
In the first half of our LayBricks interview Kurt and Henny told me more about their music, now we’ll find out more about their tour in the UK, and their wish to meet people during their trip.
You toured Korea this April, and will tour the UK from May to June. Is there a reason you planned the tours to run continuously?
Kurt: I believe it is one of the duties for the bands to tour anywhere. It is our plan to do national tours at least twice in a year, but I had a feeling that we would be super busy after the UK tour. So, we decided to do a national tour ahead of the UK one. Looking back, it was a good choice to do so. During the national tour, we spread the words about us, our UK tour plan, and learned more about touring.
Are there any memorable moments from your national tour in Korea?
Henny: At our first gig of 2016 national tour held in Daegu, people formed a train according to our songs. It was first time to watch people to do it. Super awesome, isn’t it? Wolsan was crazier than that. People formed a train of course, kept jumping, and moving their bodies. Thanks to these fantastic fans, we became more confident of our songs.
Kurt: In Busan, our venue was on the 4th floor. The view from that high was so beautiful that no words could ever be enough. In Jeonju, we performed at a pub owned by a friend of ours. We first met the owner, when we visited Jeonju last year for a performance. We again asked him to host us during our 2016 tour, and he gladly promoted our gig. I think that we had more guests in Jeonju than in any other province. In case of Gwangju performance, some fans traveled from Seoul to cheer us up. No matter how far the venues are, there are people who support us on our all-across-the-country tour. How amazing it is. Our last destination was a pub in Yeosu. At first, I was embarrassed because the range of ages in the audience was bigger than usual. But it turned out that our songs can entertain everyone in spite of how old they are. We all had so much fun on that day.
You’re touring the UK from May 10th through to June. Do you have specific reason for choosing the UK as a destination?
Henny: As Kurt has lived in the UK in 2012, the UK will not be strange to us. I have visited the UK during Kurt’s stay there and wondered how it would be to perform and develop a career as a musician in the UK. You know, the origin of rock and roll comes from the UK.
Kurt: I really love the UK. I like its weather, food, and most of the bands I love are from the UK including: the Beatles, Coldplay, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club, and so on. Without any particular goals, I used to say “we need to go on a UK tour” since the formation of LayBricks. While preparing for our UK tour, we even got the chance to be invited to Liverpool Sound City. What an exciting moment. Above all, who can think of rock and roll music without the UK scene?
What would be your dream UK concert?
Henny: Any concert would be much appreciated. My dream would be to perform with Coldplay at the O2 Arena.
Kurt: I am looking forward to every gig I will perform in the UK. But, if I had the opportunity to host a concert on my own, I would like to try a concert that is somewhere between a party and a live performance in Eastbourne, where I used to live. I imagine everyone enjoys the moment so much that they become drunk, and mingle with each other. Of course, I would welcome famous bands, but it would be super awesome if I can invite the bands whom I used to hang out with when I lived in the UK.
How did you book shows for your UK tour?
Henny: Captain Kurt keeps emailing live clubs, pubs, and the festival organisers. I think we should keep scheduling even after we arrive in the UK.
Kurt: As Henny mentioned, I contact live clubs, pubs, and the festival organisers by myself. Of course, Do Indie and Sofar Sounds Seoul staff thankfully helped us schedule this tour. But, we have few days left before we depart. I think it is time to stop emailing and to visit the pubs face-to-face. If any of the UnitedKpop readers can recommend us to the live clubs you often go to, please do. We want to perform as much as possible during our stay in the UK.
You already have ways to interact with your foreign fans, are you looking forward to being able to meet UK fans?
Henny: We are a big fan of social media channels. It is always amazing to see people whom I never met leave comments about our songs they are hooked on.
Kurt: We create many social media channels to interact with as many people as possible. For example, we opened both a soundcloud page and bandcamp, so that people can easily have access to our songs. Of course, we have a Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram to communicate with fans. We also run a press kit page for music industry professionals. Other than that, I am ready to drink a lot with our audience, musicians, and the pub owners after the performances. I am open to being friends with anyone who loves music. Actually, one of my goals is to tour around the UK so that I can have many local friends.
What can the audience expect from your performance?
Henny: An awesome band who plays powerful, but soft music.
Kurt: It would be very much appreciated if you saw us as a hidden treasure flown in from Korea. You may have seen a number of bands with guitarists and drummers just like us. However, we work hard to write and perform songs in our style, which can’t be found anywhere but through us.
Do you think LayBricks will be different after the UK tour?
Henny: This is what we worry about the most and what we look forward to the most. Nobody knows how things will go in the UK, so we can never know what the results will be. One thing we want is not to be sick during our stay and experience the local music scene as much as possible. Every moment of the UK tour (from arriving at the airport in the UK to coming back to Korea) must be super meaningful to my life. I believe if we devote ourselves to every moment in UK and make beautiful memories, LayBricks may be changed a lot in positive ways.
Kurt: In my opinion, we will not be that much different from now. I will be satisfied if I can become confident and not fear other’s comments about our music. We will continue to do what we want to do, no matter what other people say, believing in ourselves. Of course, I hope we get more know-how in planning tours abroad. As this is our first time, we went through a lot of challenges while preparing this tour. Maybe we can be more skilful when we plan subsequent ones.
I can see how much LayBricks are proud of being musicians, how much they love to interact with people through music, and how devoted they are to their UK tour. I wish them a successful tour, and am excited to follow their journey through social media channels. As a matter of fact, I already can’t wait to listen to their tour stories when they return to Korea.
If you’re in the UK don’t just watch their journey on social media, stop by one of their shows and experience their music for yourself!
If you’re a promoter or venue owner and are interested in having LayBricks play a show for you visit their press kit page or email BritROK who will promptly forward your mail to Kurt.
Follow LayBricks on social media:
- Written by Jeong Eun Sohn
- Jeong Eun is a Cultural Content Promoter based in Seoul, South Korea.
Promoting South Korea, Jasmine has worked for the Korea Foundation, British Council in Korea, and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
She also leads the Seoul hub of Sofar Sounds, an indie music initiative that brings gigs to intimate spaces around the world.