I’m a big fan of Apollo 18. They’ve toured the United States last year and are getting ready for a short Canadian tour in a couple weeks.

The band has been quiet the past year keeping a lower profile, but with the upcoming tour they are starting to emerge again. I was able to send the band some questions during their preparation and they thankfully took the time to answer them.

What has Apollo 18 been doing since the release of Black?

Hyun-seok: In the winter, “Sonic Boom” from the Black EP was nominated for “Best Rock Song” at the 2012 Korean Music Awards, and we were chosen as MTV Iggy’s “Artist of the Week” too. In the spring, we opened for Blonde Redhead in Seoul.

We also built our own practice space. It used to be a fried chicken restaurant in Seoul, but we tore it apart and made it into a practice room. There’s still a sign above the door that says “Good Chicken,” though. In July, we played at the Jisan Valley Rock Festival. We’ve played at the festival before, but this year we performed on the main stage, which was really cool. And this summer we’ve also been working on new songs.

Are there plans for another EP or full-length?

Dae-inn: We hope to release a new full-length album before the end of this year. Our original plan was to release a new album in July or August, but it took us a lot longer than expected to find a place for our new practice space and then to build the room itself. We’ve got four songs written right now. We want to write at least six more songs when we get back from Canada.

How did the idea for a Canadian tour happen?

Hyun-seok: We’ve wanted to tour Canada since we worked with Canadian bellydancer Eshe on our “Orbis” music video.

We all really love Eshe and she’s told us many good things about Canada. When we read about Pop Montreal online, it sounded like a really cool music festival in Canada. So we decided to apply to perform at. We’re so happy to be invited to play there.

After being booked for Pop Montreal, we added some shows in Hamilton, Toronto, and Ottawa to help make a small Canada tour. We can’t wait to get on the plane next week and perform in all four cities. It’s going to be a lot of fun! Hopefully the shows all go well and we can return to Canada again soon for a longer tour.

How are you preparing for your Canadian tour differently from your tour in the US?

Sang-yun: We’re trying to learn some French words! Last year we were trying to improve our English for SXSW and our other American gigs. Our English has gotten better since then, but now we’re playing in Montreal so it would be good if we can speak a little French. So far I can only remember “bonjour” and “merci.” Hopefully I can learn a few more words before we go to Canada next week.

Are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing at the Pop Montreal Festival?

Hyun-seok: We’re excited to see the other bands that will play on the same Pop Montreal showcase as us on September 21 at Quai des Brumes. They are called Les Indiens, Protofiev, and Jimmy Target & the Triggers.

Is there anything you want to accomplish before the tour is over?

Hyun-seok: I want to eat real poutine! My friend told me that poutine was very delicious so I’ve wanted to try it for a long time. We found it on the menu at a bar in Hongdae last winter, and ordered it. But when it came, it was just a big bowl of gravy with fries floating in it. It looked like brown French fries soup. So in Montreal, I want to eat real poutine.

Dae-inn: We’re excited about playing in new cities and meeting new people. We just want to put on good shows while we’re in Canada and try and make new fans. Oh yeah, and if it’s possible I want to visit Niagara Falls! I’ve wanted to go there since watching Superman II when I was a child.

Apollo 18 are one of the best live acts that South Korea has to offer. While their recorded tracks are a have a bit more melody, the live shows contain an intense amount of energy. If you’re in Canada around any of the dates, go see the band because it’s not worth missing out.

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Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.