Interview with Juck Juck Grunzie (적적해서 그런지)
I met Ah-reum and Jee-hye briefly during my first trip to Seoul in 2011 at a bar called Gopchang Jeongol that played vinyl. My first experience to Seoul, I was very nervous to be in front of musicians. Shawn of Koreagigguide passed me their EP and said that I should listen to this band, but their actual sound had changed since the recording.
I’ve haven’t been able to see Juck Juck Grunzie live yet, but after watching live videos I am very interested in hearing the band live to sample what they will be recording.
Can you introduce the band?
Ah-reum: Hi! We’re Juck Juck Grunzie from Seoul. We play noisy and psychedelic rock music. There are four members in Juck Juck Grunzie. I sing and play synthesizer. Jee-hye plays guitar and she’s also the guitarist in the band Vidulgi Ooyoo so some people may know her from that too. Our bassist’s name is Hyo-jung, and Geun-chang plays drums in our band. We started Juck Juck Grunzie as an all-female band, but now with Geun-chang we’re three gals and one guy.
Jee-hye: Last year was a good year for our band! In the summer of 2012, Juck Juck Grunzie played at South Korea’s top music festival, the Jisan Valley Rock Festival. This past December, we participated in the Hello Rookie finals. We came in second place and won the “Excellence Award.”
Juck Juck has been a band since 2007, changed your overall sound, and won second place at Hello Rookie and “Rookie of the Year” from Elephant Shoe. Do you still considered yourselves “rookies?”
Jee-hye: Although we’ve been playing together for a few years, we feel like we’re just starting the “real” Juck Juck Grunzie now. So yes, we consider ourselves rookies.
Geun-chang: I only joined the band in February of 2012, so I definitely still feel like a rookie!
Juck Juck Grunzie released one EP that has the band’s old sound. Are you planning on recording new music that presents the current sound of the band?
Hyo-jung: After releasing our Soundchecking EP in 2011, we started experimenting with different styles of music. We’re working on several new songs right now and will start recording our debut full-length album in February 2013. The album is going to be produced by Apollo 18‘s bassist, Dae-inn Kim. Dae-inn is a good friend of ours and we’re really excited to work together with him in the studio. We plan to record most of the songs in one take to up the energy level of the recording.
The style of music is different from other bands, how did Juck Juck decide on this genre?
Ah-reum: I don’t think we really decided on anything. Like other bands, I think we just make music that we think is interesting and enjoy playing.
Jee-hye: I think our different style comes from respecting the personalities of each member and the different emotions we all encounter. All of us interpret things in different ways and have different ideas and feelings about things. We try to incorporate these things when we make music and it often takes us in many unexpected and interesting directions. It takes a long time to create music this way, and is very hard work, but I love the music we’re creating together as Juck Juck Grunzie.
What you do think of the Korean indie music scene?
Ah-reum: Korea’s indie scene is slowly improving. There are a lot of good indie bands in Seoul, and people are starting to pay more attention to what’s happening in Hongdae. Korean acts need to keep working harder to promote themselves, and everyone needs to continue to make high quality music and to play strong shows in order to make a powerful impact on music fans at home and abroad.
What are the band’s influences?
Jee-hye: We all like a wide array of music. I like Led Zepplin, The Doors, Sonic Youth, and Massive Attack. Hyo-jung is into Joy Division and The Dead Weather. She likes vintage-sounding stuff. Geun-chang enjoys The Mars Volta, and Ah-reum likes Bjork, Deerhoof, King Crimson, and Dirty Projectors.
Other than Juck Juck, what band do you think deserves more attention?
Jee-hye: Apollo 18 are an awesome band and deserve more attention. Despite only having three members, their music is very powerful and is densely layered with many different sounds. They have great stage presence too. They sometimes try to act a bit macho on stage, but they are very cute and funny in private situations.
If Juck Juck could be superheroes, who would you be?
Jee-hye: I don’t want to be anyone else. I’ve got a lot of things I want to accomplish as myself!
Do you have anything to say to our readers?
Ah-reum: Thanks so much for reading about Juck Juck Grunzie. Please keep in touch with us through our Facebook page.
Geun-chang: And please keep an eye out for our new album! It should be out in late winter or early spring.
From the live videos I’ve seen, the current sound of Juck Juck Grunzie will interest a lot of people. The new album should properly introduce themselves to interested people. I enjoyed their EP and am really curious what sound they will have on their new album.
Keep an eye on Juck Juck Grunzie because I think the album is going to surprise a lot of people.