LudiSTELO is one those bands whose star keeps rising. After releasing Experience in April in 2014, they performed on TV for the first time, gained popularity throughout the year, and opened 2015 with their new record, Flashpoint. I love this band and am grateful to LudiSTELO for agreeing to answering some questions. What follows is a discussion on on-camera jitters, expectations and finding charm in the unknown. Enjoy!

ludistelo ashs ipad

To promote your debut record Experience, you played for MBC Nanjang. What was that experience like?

That was our first debut on TV. We hadn’t released an album so we were very thankful that they invited us.
As we were performing a lot at that time, there wasn’t too much of a burden to perform on TV. Though, when we watch ourselves again on YouTube, we get a bit embarrassed how new we were. The show carried out as if it was a big party so we had lots of fun!

루디스텔로의 첫 방송이었죠. 아직 앨범을 발매하지 않은 우리들을 불러줘서 감사했죠.
공연은 이미 클럽에서 한참 하던 중이었지만 방송에 대한 부담감은 있었어요. 지금 다시 방송을 유튜브에서 보면
미숙함이 많이 보여서 부끄럽기도 하고요ㅎㅎ 하지만 파티 형식으로 진행된 방송이라 지금까지 방송을 한 것 중에선 가장신 나게 공연한 것 같아요.

The wait between your first album, Experience, and the new one, Flashpoint, was small. Why the short wait time?

We wanted to make a link between two albums. There weren’t songs that we intentionally didn’t include in the first album – instead of putting everything in one album, we wanted to present a continuous story through the two albums. Originally, there was going to be one year break between first album and second so the second album was going to be released in March or April of 2015. As we were working on the album, we thought it wouldn’t be too bad to release an album at the beginning of 2015 – like putting the right start on the new year.

두 앨범의 연결고리를 만들고 싶었어요. 첫 앨범에서 모든 것을 담기보단 앨범 두 개에서 다르지만 연결된 이야기를 하고 싶었거든요. 그래서 첫 번째 앨범에 실리지 못한 곡들도 있고요. 원래는 1년 정도 텀으로 2015년 3~4월쯤에 발매할 예정이었지만 작업을 하다 보니 2015년의 시작과 함께 앨범을 내는 것도 괜찮겠다고 생각이 들어 발매하게 되었습니다.

The mood in Flashpoint is more somber, with guitars with longer notes and a slower tempo overall, but volume isn’t sacrifice, like in Green and 2nd Wind. How did you manage to balance the two?

One can feel that it may seem slow but I think the tempo got rather fast. On the same token, it may feel dark but we were trying harder to make the album brighter and hopeful. In terms of volume, we worked pretty hard to balance it, keeping in mind of some results we didn’t like on the first album.
Actually, we madly fell in love with the pre-mastering versions that only a few people got to listen. That version is magical, louder and more dynamic to the point that one day we’d like to release them one day.

느리게 느껴지기도 하겠지만, 어찌 보면 템포가 굉장히 빨라졌다고 느낄 수 있을 것 같아요.
역시 어둡다고 느낄 수도 있겠지만 우린 더 밝고 희망적인 점을 담았다고 생각합니다.
볼륨감은 아마도 첫 앨범에서 아쉬웠던 사운드를 고민하다 보니 지금의 밸런스가 나온 것 같아요.
사실 저희와 지인들 밖에 듣진 못했지만 마스터링을 거치지 않은 믹스 버전이 훨씬 더 볼륨감과 다이내믹함이 살아있어요.
언젠가 공개를 하고 싶을 만큼 매력적이에요.

Of all the tracks on Flashpoint, “Cosmic Wave” is the most rock, almost punk, I’ve heard from the band. Can you talk about composing that song?

This song started to develop around the time the first album was released. In the album Experience, most of songs are a style that’s familiar to the masses so the urge to show something different was always strong.
“Cosmic Wave” has gone under a lot of editing and arranging – probably the most worked on the album. At one point, we were album done mixing and we basically started over with arranging. The conundrum was that we didn’t want to produce a song that’s an “ordinary” punk song.
The live version of this song is actually pretty different. It was arranged to suit the live shows. Hopefully, you’ll find fun to listen both versions!

이곡의 스케치는 아마도 첫 앨범이 발매되었을 때 시작되었어요. “Experience”의 수록 곡들이 어느 정도 대중들에게 익숙한 스타일로 작업이 되었기 때문에 우리가 생각하고 있는 다른 스타일을 선보이고 싶었거든요.
아마도 이번 “flashpoint”앨범 수록곡 중에서 가장 편곡을 많이 한 곡이에요. 믹스가 들어간 상황에서도 곡 전체를 뒤집는 편곡을 했을 정도니까요. 일반적인 펑크의 곡이 나와버리면 안 되기 때문에 프로듀싱에 굉장히 신경을 많이 쓴 곡입니다.
그리고 이곡의 라이브 버전은 또 달라요. 공연에 맞게 또 편곡이 되었기 때문에 두 버전을 비교해서 들어보면 재밌는 점을 발견하게 될 거예요.

One of the things I love about LudiSTELO is how you change expectations. For instance, Waves begins as a shoegaze ballad, becomes mid-tempo, and ultimately a synth-rock dance song. Why do your songs change like that?

Are you talking about “Colors?” You really captured the intentions that we wanted to show. The main thing we avoid doing is have a theme that’s repeated for no reason. When it comes to create a theme for a song, there is a lot of thought goes into it and they all deserve it. This process really helps us reach “our” unique style. One thing that’s very important to us is creating unique colors for the band.

Colors를 말씀하시는 건가요? 바로 우리가 의도한 점을 잘 캐치해 주셨네요. 우리는 하나의 곡 테마를 아무 이유 없이 나열하고 반복하는 걸 피하려고 해요. 곡 구성에 있어서 정말 많은 아이디어와 테마가 들어갑니다. 물론 그런 모든 것들은 당연히 이유가 있어야 하고요. 그러다 보면 우리만의 스타일이나 독특한 점이 나오거든요. 우리가 가장 중시하는 점은 다른 밴드에 없는 우리만의 색(Color)이거든요

In your last interview with us, you mentioned Earth as an influence, but I think its space. From the various song titles (“Greeting of the Universe,” “Space 5432,” “Play the Earth”), it seems outer space holds a fascination for you. What is about space that resonates with you?

Since there are a lot of unknowns about the universe, it’s weirdly charming. The scale of universe is literally unimaginable so it peeks our curiosity constantly through its mysterious being. A certain level of mystery is always charming – even in relationships.

아직 인간이 우주에 대해서 다 알지 못하기 때문에 매력을 느끼는 것 같아요. 어떤 사람을 만나서 그 사람의 모든 걸 다 알아버리면 매력이 없어지잖아요. ㅎㅎ 신비롭고 우리가 알고 있는 스케일의 것이 아니기 때문에 항상 궁금합니다.

The cover art is beautiful. How did you get it?

We stuck with the same designer who did the cover art for Experience. The reason that an female character was chosen is because we wanted to convey beauty and flexibility – a feeling as though you are traveling through the universe. The artwork took a while since it was all hand drawn but we are pretty satisfied with it.

“Experience”의 커버를 디자인한 분이 또 작업을 해주셨어요. 아름다음과 유연함을 표현하고 싶었기에 남자보다는 여자 캐릭터로 작업을 했어요. 마치 우주에서 유영하는 듯한 느낌을 살리고 싶었거든요. 손으로 일일이 그린 거라 작업시간도 오래 걸렸고 결과적으로 만족한 작품이 나온 것 같아요.

Anything else you to tell our readers?

This is our second interview with Korean Indie. In last interview, I think we mentioned that we wanted to perform around the world. We still feel the same. We wanted to put that energy in the albums. Please listen to our albums and feel for yourselves what we were trying to express.

Also, we are performing somewhere close to you, please join us and let’s have fun!

두 번째 앨범을 내고 코리안 인디와 두 번째 인터뷰네요. 첫 번째 앨범의 인터뷰 때전 세계를 돌며 경험하고 공연하고 싶다는 말을 마지막으로 했던 것 같습니다. 지금도 같은 마음이고요. 그래서 그 모든 것들을 앨범에 담고 싶어요. 우리의 두 앨범을 들어보시고 우리가 어떤 영감들을 표현해 내는지 지켜봐 주세요. 그리고 우리의 라이브가 여러분과 가까운 곳에 있다면 주저하지 말고 보러 오세요!

LudiSTELO on Facebook.
LudiSTELO on Twitter.
LudiSTELO’ site.
LudiSTELO on Bandcamp.
LudiSTELO on iTunes.
LudiSTELO on Beatport.

Contributed to McRoth’s Residence with a focus on Korean indie and hip-hop music.