The bands for Korea Rocks have begun their tour with their first gig last night in Kent! To continue our interviews with the bands, here’s Apollo 18! Apollo 18 is a three piece group with Kim Dae-inn on bass, Choi Hyun-seok on guitar and Lee Sang-yun on drums. Their style of music falls into the post hardcore/post-rock act area and they are big in Korea’s underground rock scene. Describing themselves, Choi Hyun-seok said that “in my heart there is loud music, in Dae-inn’s heart there is loud music too, so what we are creating as Apollo 18 is the best sound for us”, and this music they’ve created together has earned them a bold sound and loyal fans. Many thanks to guitarist Choi Hyun-seok for answering our questions.
KCM: How did you guys meet and what made you guys decide to form a band?
Choi Hyun-seok: Daeinn used to make solo music under the name Jellyboy. He posted online that he was looking for backing musicians to help him perform live. Sangyun and I joined his live band. The three of us got along great together, so we decided to make a new group – Apollo 18.
KCM: How would you describe your music?
Choi Hyun-seok: Our music is a mix of post-hardcore and post-rock. Sometimes it’s hard and heavy. Sometimes it’s soft and spacey. But it’s always loud!
KCM: How do you compose your tracks? Is there a particular process you follow or is it instantaneous? Does everyone get involved with new compositions?
Choi Hyun-seok: We write our songs by jamming together at our practice space. It’s a really natural process.
KCM: During your personal time, what kind of music do you listen to? Is it similar to your own music?
Choi Hyun-seok: I listen to rock music and sometimes blues. Daeinn listens to old pop songs and classical music. Sangyun listens to rock music too. Actually he said in one interview that he really liked Spin Doctors. Me and Daeinn were like, “What the hell?” We almost had to get a new drummer that day!
KCM: Your band name is ‘Apollo 18’ – what was the inspiration behind the name? Do you particularly like space or rockets?
Choi Hyun-seok: We like space, but that wasn’t the reason for our name. Our name was actually chosen kind of by mistake. One day I was wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Aloha ‘76’ on it. Daeinn misread it and thought it said “Apollo 18.” He thought it sounded like a cool band name and wanted us to use it for the name of our group.
KCM: Your album names are all colours, is there some secret meaning behind this? Out of interest, what are all your favourite colours?
Choi Hyun-seok: There’s no secret meaning behind the colours. We recorded Red in the winter. It was cold out, and the colour red made us think of warm things. We recorded Blue in the summer. It was hot out, and the colour blue made us think of cool things. Violet was chosen because it’s a combination of the colours red and blue. Our last EP was called Black because the album cover is black.
My favourite colour is violet, Daeinn likes black, and Sangyun likes orange. We’ve already got albums named Violet and Black. Maybe we’ll have to make one called Orange in the future too!
KCM: For your new album you said you’re going for a different style. How will your new album differ from previous ones and is there a particular reason you’ve decided to change to a different style?
Choi Hyun-seok: We’re writing music for our next album now, so I don’t know if or how our sound will change yet. I think our new stuff will be louder than our past work, but we’ll have to wait and see how the songs turn out before we can make any definitive statements about them.
KCM: Who are your influences in Korean indie and rock? Do you have any British influences?
Choi Hyun-seok: My main musical influences in Korean indie and rock are Daeinn and Sangyun! We like some British acts, but I’m not sure if they have any influence on the music we make as Apollo 18.
KCM: For those going to South Korea, can you recommend the best places to go for indie and rock music?
Choi Hyun-seok: Badabie in Hongdae is a good place to go for concerts. It’s small and the sound isn’t that great, but it’s got a really cool energy.
KCM: You’ve played at a lot of rock festivals and gigs of various sizes and at various locations. What are your expectations of the UK crowd?
Choi Hyun-seok: We don’t have any expectations. We’ve never been to the UK, so we don’t know what crowds there will be like. We’re excited to meet people and share our music with them.
KCM: Is there a particular track you love performing and is there a specific track you look forward to showing the UK audience?
Choi Hyun-seok: “High Stepper” is a really fun song to play live. It’s hard and heavy, but it’s funky too so people can dance along if they want.
KCM: During your downtime in between UK gigs, are there any places you particularly want to visit or anything you want to see?
Choi Hyun-seok: Daeinn really wants to visit Stonehenge. I want to spend some time in some pubs enjoying lots of the fine beer in the UK!
KCM: The UK is known for its bands, do you guys have a favourite UK band/singer?
Choi Hyun-seok: I like Pink Floyd.
A huge ‘thank you’ to Choi Hyun-seok and the band for this interview!
Apollo 18 are sure to rock out all the venues and blast audiences away with their epically LOUD sound! We can’t wait! A rock concert isn’t a rock concert until you go home with your ears ringing. If you haven’t already got your tickets, or want more info about the Korea Rocks concert, all information can be on the official Korea Rocks Facebook page, here. If you’d like to find out more about Apollo 18 you can visit their Official Page, Facebook, and Twitter.
These are the dates left for Korea Rocks, where you’ll be able to see Apollo 18 live!
April 26th: Wrexham, Wales at The Bank (Focus Wales)
April 27th: Wrexham, Wales at Yales Café Bar (Focus Wales)
April 28th: London, England at Barfly
May 1st: Manchester, England at Night & Day Café
May 3rd: Liverpool, England at Studio 2 (Liverpool Sound City)
May 4th: Liverpool, England at Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)
We really appreciate that Apollo 18 took time out of their busy schedule to answer our questions. Hopefully Dae-inn will be able to see Stonehenge and the rest of the band will find some good home brews to refresh themselves after gigs!