South Korea has metal bands. They’re a little difficult to find, but they do play shows. But does South Korea have glam metal? They do now with Victim Mentality. The band will be showcasing their glam skills in front of audiences at SXSW and it should be amazing to see the response. Familiarize yourself with our interview. Guitarist, Kyungho Sohn, answered the questions.
March 18 Austin, Texas (3:20 pm) @ Club Metropolis (Heavy Metal Pool Party)
March 18 Austin, Texas (9 pm) @ Karma Lounge
March 20 Austin, Texas (12 am) @ The Majestic (Korea Night II: Seoulsonic)
Can you introduce Victim Mentality?
Hi! Victim Mentality is a heavy metal band from Seoul, Korea that plays ’80s glam/hair metal. Our band includes Krocodile on vocals, me on guitar, Scorpion on bass, and Tarantula plays drums. We’re going to play at SXSW in Austin, TX next week and we’re really, really excited! We’re going to be showcasing songs from our brand new album, Heavy Metal Is Back, at the festival. The album will be released at the end of March.
Krocodile and Kyungho Sohn have experience in South Korea’s metal scene, but why did they start playing glam metal?
The short answer is that we love glam metal! We’re both big fans of classic heavy metal groups like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. When we first started playing music together, we wanted to be a classic heavy metal band. But then we decided we wanted to have a sexier image and do fancier things with our music. So glam metal seemed like a much more natural fit for us.
What has been the reaction to Victim Mentality in South Korea?
The reaction has been good!
People that already knew about ’80s heavy metal – mostly males in their 30s and 40s – quickly got into us. But other people who didn’t know much about heavy metal were a bit hesitant at first. They assumed that heavy metal involved lot of screaming and thought they wouldn’t like us. But that’s a situation that we were expecting to occur. But as our videos for “Magic Finger” and “Don’t Spit On Me” started to get more popular online, people who were previously unfamiliar with heavy metal started to like us.
We know our music may be a little too much for some people, but we’re happy with the fan base we have in Korea now and love that it is continuing to grow.
Magic Finger was the first introduction to the band for most people. How will Heavy Metal Is Back compare to your first EP?
Magic Finger has more of a classic heavy metal feel to it because that’s the sound we were trying to copy when we first started the band. But Heavy Metal Is Back is more of a glam metal album. There are still some classic heavy metal elements on our new album, but we tried to add more melody and different moods to the music too.
Was Heavy Metal Is Back recorded with the full band or recorded with just Krocodile and Kyungho Sohn like on Magic Finger?
All four members of our band play on Heavy Metal Is Back. Magic Finger was recorded by only me and Krocodile because we were the only two members in the band when we made it. But now that we have four guys in the group, we wanted everyone to be involved. Tarantula was the last person to join the band. We started to record Heavy Metal Is Back three months after he became part of Victim Mentality.
With this being Victim Mentality’s first SXSW trip, do you have any expectations for playing in front of a different audience?
We’re expecting to have a good time playing for different audiences at SXSW! The US is the birthplace of glam metal, so we’re really looking forward to playing our music there and seeing how people react to it.
Are there any other bands that Victim Mentality want to see at SXSW?
I’m a fan of Allegaeon. If I have time, I definitely want to see them play at SXSW.
Korean bands are getting more attention in the US now and this year has a big variety at SXSW, what do you hope people take away from seeing Korean bands live at the festival?
I hope people see that there are a lot of great musicians in Korea playing a wide range of music.
Does Victim Mentality have anything special planned for your SXSW show?
Our plan for SXSW is simple – we’re going to play some great shows and make people go crazy. In fact, that’s our plan for gigs in Korea too! It’s worked well here so far. We’re confident it’ll work well in the US too.
Anything to say to readers?
Victim Mentality will make your life much happier and more fun! If you’re going to be at SXSW, please come check out one of our showcases. You’ll be glad you did! And if you can’t make it to SXSW, please check out Heavy Metal Is Back! Let’s keep metal alive!