The band, made up of four members, initially formed in 2005, but temporarily disbanded some time after to then reform in 2008. Fortunately since then, the band has gained much recognition and won many awards for their work.
With their very raw and almost acoustic sound, many may be reminded of grunge band Nirvana that enjoyed much fame in the 1990’s. However, this group has a very distinct and mellow sound that is sure to go down well on the UK rock scene. Each members’ part fits together to make some very emotional pieces.
Vocals: Keun Hong Bak
Guitar: Seung Sik Yeom
Bass: Jae In Yu
Drums: Chong Eun.
These questions were kindly answered by the band’s Guitarist Seung Sik Yeom!
For those that haven’t heard of you, please introduce yourselves. How would you describe your music to new people in five words?
We’re a rock band from Korea. There are four members in our band. I play guitar, Jaein plays bass, Chongeun plays drums, and our vocalist is named Keunhong. The five words I’d use to describe our music are groove, energy, harmony, intensity, and emotion.
Who do you see as your musical influences?
We’ve been influenced by Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Michael Jackson, Jaco Pastorius, Keith Jarrett, and many other great musicians.
What got you started as a group? How did you form?
We first started playing together as Gate Flowers in 2005. But from 2006 to 2008 we took a break from the band. We’ve been active again since 2008. Chongeun and I have known each other since we were six. We used to live in the same apartment building on the same floor. After finishing high school we played together in a funk band. We saw Keunhong playing with his old group, which was a grunge band called Jjub. We thought he was insane and out of control. This made us instantly fall in love with his sound and style! He liked our playing as well. Eventually we teamed up to make Gate Flowers.
What kinds of hardships have you faced together as a group, what kept you strong?
Rock music is not popular in Korea, so one of the biggest hardships we’ve faced is the general population’s lack of interest in our kind of music. But our pride in our music has kept us going. And we’ve always had breakthroughs along the way to motivate us to keep playing. We won a Rookie award after reuniting and then got signed to one of the most prominent indie labels for rock bands in the country. After the release of our debut EP we won Rookie of the Year and Best Rock Song at the 2011 Korean Music Awards. Later that year we appeared on the TV show Top Band, which helped us get a lot more exposure in Korea. And now we’re preparing to go on our first international tour to play concerts in the UK with Korea Rocks. These events have all helped boost our drive to keep making music together.
In your opinions, what era was the best for rock music in Korea? (What years were the best?)
I think now is a really good time for rock music in Korea. I think there’s more diversity in the music scene than ever before. I think the talent level of bands is high and continually improving as well.
Do you like any Western musicians, if so, who?
Keunhong is a huge fan of Chris Cornell. I really like Michael Jackson’s music. Outside of rock music, what music do you all listen to? We listen to a wide range of stuff including folk, jazz, hip-hop, pop, and classical music.
What are your thoughts on idols, such as 2AM’s Jinwoon, performing rock songs? Do you feel they do the genre justice?
I don’t think anyone has the right to criticize someone who is making the music that they want to play. People should be able to make whatever kind of music they want to.
As a group, what are your main aims for 2013 and the future in general? Do you have any goals?
We plan to release a new EP in the coming months, and this summer we plan to play at a lot of festivals in Korea. For future goals, we’d like to do more touring overseas. The UK concerts will be our first international concerts, and after those shows we’d definitely like to perform in other countries.
How does it feel to have this opportunity to perform in the UK?
We’re really grateful for this opportunity and we’re excited to play in front of new audiences.
What have you heard about the UK?
We’ve heard that the UK has turned out some great bands over the years like the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Smiths, and Radiohead. So we’re guessing it must be a fantastic place!
What do you think it will be like?
We’re sure we’ll have an awesome time there. We love rainy weather and clouds!
Is there anything you specifically want to do in the UK? Such as visit certain places or eat particular foods?
We want to eat fish and chips. And we’re hoping to visit Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, too.
Hopefully British fans will make them feel welcome and the members will get to enjoy lots of UK food!
Gate Flowers – ‘Army Reserve’ [Live Studio Recording].
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[Image Source: Google Images. All other credit goes to Gate Flowers and their associates and Korea Rocks].