When I heard Glen Check‘s Disco Elevator, I found a really fun electronica-tinged indie rock album. It was a release that had a timeless quality of a group that was discovering their sound. As Glen Check released more music since 2010, they’ve matured and now work as a collective combining all aspects of art into one presentation.
Youth! is an excellent return from the band and with their recent announcement that they will be attending SXSW 2014 (and possibly more shows in the US), I asked the band if they would be interested in introducing themselves.
Can you introduce Glen Check?
Hi, we’re band Glen Check from Seoul, we make rock & electronic music, in the studio we work in a duo position, on stage we usually have friends play with us.
How would you describe your music?
We don’t fit to one certain genre or style of music. We always crave for different styles of music or methods of making them. Until now all our tracks were based on dance friendly atmospheres in various forms and sounds.
Has there been a big evolution of the sound of Glen Check from Disco Elevator to Youth!? Or has it been through more experience with the tools you use to create music?
Some people think that our rhythm and drum sounds have changed a lot since our ex-drummer left (we unfortunately had to separate after the release of our first studio album Haute Couture). But to be honest, the way we work never changed, the drum parts we all programmed and recorded by us two, and it’s been this way ever since the beginning.
We just wanted to have recognisable sounds and get rid of elements bands use too often nowadays. For Youth! we tried to minimise obvious synth sounds we used to use for Haute Couture and other previous works. We wanted something more organic and deep in terms of texture.
Are there any specific influences when the band creates new songs?
We discuss a lot before we start making a track. Not only the two of us, all our crew “The Basement Resistance” are involved in this process. We clearly arrange what we want to express and feel through this track, what kind of graphics will fit, what kind of clothes will fit, and what other cultural contents will go along well.
It’s more than just expressing our emotions and feeling through sounds. That’s why we are careful and serious when we plan a project, while we are so naive and childish when we jump into the actual project (to have fun is the true goal of all projects.)
Youth! contains 2 sets of sounds, how did the band decide to record two “styles” (band and DJ) sets?
It was something natural. When you travel (we always travel before we start an album) you can’t bring all your guitars and recording gears. We only had our laptops and that’s why we started making tracks that could be done with one laptop. Then we realized that we could make two different sets, which is quite interesting and fun.
For Youth! we wanted to combine both sets into one album, but had to find a way to separate them in the same time. That’s when we brought up the solution by having two CDs in one album, so that people have to change disks to listen further through.
People might not consciously understand this, but we don’t mind since, this unconscious change from disc one’s last track to disk two’s first track is actually a really important key to understand our works, and we don’t want any kind of people to see through our ideas.
It was reported that you traveled to Spain to get inspiration for [Youth!]. How was the experience being in a country that’s different from South Korea?
There are basically two things: Having fun in a new atmosphere and missing Seoul. It’s not only to get inspired from a new place, but to also get a new feeling from our home town.
Everywhere we go, we feel the beauty of the country, but when we get back to our home city, we feel more beauty and excitement.
The electronic and DJ genre has grown a lot over the last couple years. Are there other bands that you would recommend fans listen to?
There are so many talented bands and producers in Korea. We can’t name one (to list them all would be crazy) but everybody should at least peek at Korean indie scene.
How does the band feel about being accepted into SXSW? Are there any expectations that the band has? Any fears playing in front of a different audience?
We’re just glad and excited. Hope people enjoy our albums and shows.
Is the SXSW festival part of a full United States tour or are you only going to be playing the festival
We’re planning on touring. Further schedules will be officially updated.
Korean independent bands have started creating buzz during SXSW, but do you see Korean music (besides Kpop) becoming more popular internationally?
Yes, and it deserves it. Kpop is something we don’t know about. But bands and producers, are rising and there’s a reason to it.
Is there a place in the world where you discovered you had fans that surprised you?
Chile! Chile is actually located on the opposite side of the globe from Korea. It’s so amazing when you find out that your music traveled that far.
Are there any big plans for 2014 besides supporting Youth!?
Many. Most of them are secretly kept. One is that we’re having a concert at the last day of this year in Seoul. Join us if you’re in Seoul!
Is there any place in the world that you want to perform live?
What bands are Glen Check is listening to?
Nowadays, we’re actually resting our ears to start over with a fresh feeling. We were really into music from the 90’s while we worked on Youth!
Anything to say to readers?
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy our music, bye!