The bands have touched down in the UK and are gearing up for their first performance of ‘Korea Rocks‘ in Kent tonight! Whilst we await the official opening of this tour, here’s an interview with Gate Flowers to give you more insight into one of the four bands you’ll be seeing soon and a little taster of what’s to come! Gate Flowers is a four member band, consisting of Park Geun-hong on vocals, Yeom Seung-sik on guitar, Yang Jong-eun on drums and Yoo Jae-in on bass. Together they make up an alt-rock group with a slight blues edge that is sure to deliver a live performance that will not be forgotten. Ever since appearing on KBS’ ‘Top Band’ they’ve had a loyal fan base and are sure to win audiences over here too with their “honest but rough” sound. Many thanks to guitarist, Yeom Seung-sik for answering our questions.
KCM: How did you guys meet and what made you guys decide to form a band?
Yeom Seung-sik: I’ve known Chongeun since we were six. We both lived in the same building and our apartments were on the same floor. We played together in a funk band after high school. One night we saw Keunhong playing with his old group, which was a grunge band called Jjub. We were blown away by his performance. He looked insane and completely out of control. We loved it! He liked our playing as well. This mutual appreciation eventually led to us forming Gate Flowers.
KCM: How would you describe your music?
Yeom Seung-sik: Our music is a mixture of different genres like grunge, folk, hard rock, blues, and folk that is all dissolved together and called Gate Flowers.
Yeom Seung-sik: We come up with basic riffs while we jam. Then we collect our other ideas and start weaving them together to form a song.
KCM: During your personal time, what kind of music do you listen to? Is it similar to your own music?
Yeom Seung-sik: All members of our band have different musical tastes. Keunhong likes rock. Jaein likes pop and funk. Chongeun likes hip-hop. And I like jazz and folk music.
KCM: Your band name seems very poetic. Is there a special meaning behind it?
Yeom Seung-sik: In Korean, the word “gate” is 문 (pronounced “mun” or “moon”), and “flower” is 화 (pronounced “hwa”). When put together, moonhwa means “culture.” So our name is supposed to mean “The Cultures.”
KCM: You were in KBS’ ‘Top Band’. How was that experience for you?
Yeom Seung-sik: It was a great experience. We received so much attention from being on the show. Rock music doesn’t receive much attention in Korea, so Top Band having rock bands play live on nation TV during weekend primetime hours was a very good thing for Korea. Many people who used to love rock ‘n’ roll when they were younger saw us play on top band and re-discovered their love for the genre. They thanked us for helping them get back into rock music.
KCM: What was it like performing on ‘Top Band’ for TV cameras compared to gig venues? Did you feel added pressure knowing people at home would be watching?
Yeom Seung-sik: We definitely felt pressure performing on the program. It wasn’t easy to enjoy being on stage knowing that there was a huge audience watching at home and trying to judge our music.
KCM: Who are your influences in Korean indie and rock? Do you have any British influences?
Yeom Seung-sik: We’re influenced by the legendary Korean act Deulgukhwa. They were influenced by The Beatles. Deulgukhwa’s debut album is one of the greatest albums ever made in Korea.
Yeom Seung-sik: For indie and rock music, the best places to go are Club FF or Club Bbang. Gopchang Jeongol is a really fun place to hang out too. It’s a bar next to Club Bbang that plays Korean music from the 1960s – 80s. The party gets crazier in there as the night gets later.
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?
Yeom Seung-sik: The UK has a very rich rock ‘n’ roll history. We’re very excited to be able to play there as part of the Korea Rocks tour. We’re interested to see how people react to our music at the gigs.
KCM: Is there a particular track you love performing? Is there a specific track you look forward to showing the UK audience?
Yeom Seung-sik: I’m looking forward to playing our songs “Ghost,” “Seoul Ballad,” “Inconvenient Truth,” and “We Are One” for people in the UK.
KCM: During your downtime in between UK gigs, are there any places you particularly want to visit or anything you want to see?
Yeom Seung-sik: We’d like to visit Jamie Oliver’s restaurant.
KCM: The UK is known for its bands, do you guys have a favourite UK band/singer?
Yeom Seung-sik: We like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols, and The Smiths
A huge ‘thank you’ to Yeom Seung-sik and the band for this interview!
Gate Flowers’ name is so thoughtful and beautiful! We can’t wait to see these guys perform live, especially We Are One; the atmosphere is going to be amazing and we imagine it’s going to get insanely intense! 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.
These are the dates for Korea Rocks, (starting today!), where you’ll be able to see Gate Flowers live!
April 24th: Kent, England at Tunbridge Wells Forum
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 Gate Flowers took time out of their busy schedule to answer our questions. We hope they enjoy their UK gigs and get a chance to visit Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, we recommend Jamie’s Italian at Covent Garden!