Another of the great acts that have been performing at Liverpool Sound City is punk rocker band PATiENTS. They’ll also be hitting up a number of other venues across the UK over the next week. If you plan on going, or just want to know more about these guys, keep on reading.
Punk band PATiENTS started off as a four membered punk group in Seoul in 2005, their debut EP soon landing them a place as one of the leaders of the local underground punk scene. In 2007 they became a trio and the following year played their first international gig at the Japan/Korea Oi! Punk Festival in Nakano, Japan.
With the creation of their own label Steel Face Records in 2010, the trio then expanded their musical palette with the release of their 2011 ‘Kitsch Space’ album. The album saw punk and rock with an edge of new wave and pop, which the PATiENTS then dubbed ‘hybrid punk’. Their new genre was greeted with praise and landed them a place in the Hello Rookie finals. The following Summer saw them performing at the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, one of Korea’s top music festivals. Later that year they parted ways with guitarist Junmyong Baek, and instead of bringing in a new guitarist they invited keyboardist Hyukjang Kwon to the band, taking their music in another new direction.
Though in many cases, change may ruin a dynamic, Kwon’s addition brought in a new edge to the group and their ever evolving ‘hybrid punk’ sound. They’re currently working on a five song EP to be released soon, and the material is to be showcased during their tour in the UK. In the mean time, check out their album Kitsch Space below.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/33229393″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
Is there any meaning behind your name, Patients?
In Korean, the word ‘patients’ is a homonym. The word can mean ‘sick people’ and also ‘happy people.’ I think this word is a good representation of Korean society because even when it hurts, there’s still happiness to be found.
You created your own label – Steel Face Records – for artists like yourselves back in 2010, how has that been going? Can you tell us a bit about your company?
Patients used to be on Skunk Label, which was one of the main indie labels for Korean underground punk music until 2008. The label’s owner is our friend and we learned a lot from him and his DIY attitude. After Skunk Label closed in 2009, we wanted to find a new label but weren’t having much luck finding someone that we wanted to work with. So we decided to do things ourselves and started Steel Face Records. Now there are four bands on Steel Face Records – Patients, Bad Trip, Cockrasher, and Dives. We have our own label office, a recording studio, and we’ve even opened our own rooftop venue in Hongdae. It’s called Steel Face Rooftop 3639. We’re excited how things with Steel Face Records are continuing to grow.
Your sound has evolved from punk to your own self labelled ‘hybrid punk rock’ mix, what is the future for the Patients’ sound? Will your company’s direction change with your music?
For Patients, our only goal is to play cool music with a cool attitude. As for how our sound will continue to grow, I think we’ll keep doing whatever we think is fun and makes us happy. We love punk rock, and have deep roots in the genre, but we don’t want to be chained to just one sound forever. That’s why we like the idea of being a ‘hybrid punk’ act. We can still be a part of the punk lifestyle that we love, but have much more freedom to do whatever we want musically.
Is your look inspired by anyone or anything?
I think our fashion has been inspired by the Sex Pistols, Einstein, Dragon Ball, and Beethoven.
Which of your songs do you feel describes you best?
I think the tracks ‘Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!’ and ‘Sipalsegi’ best represent my emotions nowadays. Both tracks on our brand new EP. The EP is titled Let’s Drive, Let’s Go! It’s coming out in June in Korea on Steel Face Records, but we’re going to have copies of it with us in the UK for our tour. So people there will be the first people in the world to own the EP.
You performed at the 2012 Pentaport Rock Festival, one of Korea’s biggest live events, how did you feel performing for such an audience?
The Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival in one of the country’s largest summer festivals, but we weren’t on the main stage at the festival. Instead we played on a special small stage. But it was still really cool. The atmosphere there was like a party. It was a fun gig, and I got so excited that I broke one of my bass strings. However, that was a good experience as it taught me to stay composed regardless of where we’re playing. One day I want to play at Pentaport again and be able to perform our full set without any equipment issues.
You’ll now be performing at Liverpool’s Sound City this May as well as touring the UK, will this be your first time performing in the UK? What are you looking forward to the most?
Yes, this will be our first time playing in the UK. We’re all looking forward to sharing our music, getting to watch other bands perform, and getting to meet lots of new people and musicians. I think this is going to be a really fun tour and we’re going to learn lots of new things.
What is it about your music that you think people in the UK and international fans will like?
Our music is a mix of classic punk rock, keyboard, and Korean moods and emotions. We’re really proud of the music we make, and are trying to do something different and unique. Hopefully other people will like what they see and hear from Patients.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
We’re hoping to make lots of new friends in the UK on this tour. If you can come to one of our performances, please come and say hi to us. We love meeting people who are passionate about music. Also, please check out our new Let’s Drive, Let’s Go! EP. We’ll have it with us in the UK, and it will be available internationally through iTunes this summer.
Their dates in the UK are as follows:
|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|
[All questions were answered by bassist Sumin Jo]