Dead Buttons are coming to the UK to perform with two other Korean indie bands in a series of gigs this May. Before they come over to the UK, we have an interview with the duo, made up of Ji-Hyun Hong (Guitar/Vocal) and Kang-Hee Lee (Drums/Vocal)!
Interview with Dead Buttons
KCM: How did you guys meet and what made you guys decide to form a band?
Kanghee: We met right after I finished my Korean military service. I was originally planning to join a different band, but they already had found another drummer by the time my army service was done. But then someone introduced me to Jihyun by chance and we hit it off.
Jihyun: We first met in 2011. At the time, I was playing in a garage pop band and wanted to make a new band. The keyboardist from the garage pop band introduced me to Kanghee. We started talking and realized we had the same ideas about a lot of things. So we decided to make a new band together. And we’re still playing together now.
KCM: How would you describe your music?
Jihyun: It’s rock ‘n’ roll. That’s the simplest and best way to sum it up.
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?
Kanghee: We both come up with ideas on our own. Then we work together and use those ideas to make up songs.
KCM: During your personal time, what kind of music do you listen to? Is it similar to your own music?
Jihyun: I like lots of different kinds of music so I tend to listen to a wide variety of stuff. I used to listen to a lot of old blues and rock ‘n’ roll music. But recently I’m listening to more pop music.
KCM: Your name is very unique, what was the inspiration behind the name?
Jihyun: We just wanted to have a band name that included the word “dead” in it, similar to bands like Dead Kennedys and The Dead Weather. Other than that, there’s no special reason why we chose the name Dead Buttons.
KCM: Who are your influences in Korean indie and rock? Do you have any British influences?
Kanghee: For Korean music, I’ve been influenced by Galaxy Express, The Moonshiners, and Noizegarden. For British acts, I’ve been influenced by The Kinks, The Sonics, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, and lots of other acts. Recently, I’ve been listening to Bastille a lot too.
Jihyun: As for me, I’ve been be influenced by the Korean bands He6, Pipi Longstocking, Galaxy Express, and Apollo 18. For British influences, my list includes Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Motorhead, James Blake, and 22-20s.
KCM: For those going to South Korea, can you recommend the best places to go for indie and rock music? Any secret hot spots and hang outs?
Kanghee: Club Spot is the centre of Korean punk rock. If you’re into punk, you should go there. Club FF usually features Korean indie bands that are hot at the moment. So if you want to check out some of the more popular local indie acts, I’d recommend FF.
Jihyun: FF is always an energetic place and is a good spot to check out the different trends in the Korean indie rock scene. Steel Face Rooftop 3639 is a very unique place where bands place on the rooftop of a building in the middle of Hongdae. The venue is run by the Korean band Patients and is a very cool place.
KCM: You’ve played overseas in Japan before, but what are your expectations of a UK crowd?
Kanghee: I expect them to give us honest reactions when they hear our music. Regardless of whether they like us or don’t like us, I want people to be honest.
Jihyun: It is always great to play in new places and for new people. I think we’re going to have a lot fun together with everyone at the shows.
KCM: Is there a particular track you love performing and is there a specific track you look forward to showing the UK audience?
Kanghee: I agree! It’s a really energetic song and always gets crowds in Korea fired up. Hopefully it does the same thing in the UK.
KCM: Are there any bands also playing at Liverpool Sound City that you want to see?
Kanghee: I want to check out some newbie bands like us. I don’t know the names of any of the other young, up-and-coming acts at the fest yet. I’ll have to do some research over the next few days.
Jihyun: I hope to see Fuck Buttons, Albert Hammond Jr., The Neighbourhood, and lots of other bands. I think we’re going to be pretty busy during the fest, so it may be tough to see all the bands that I want to. But I’ll try my best to check out lots of stuff.
KCM: You’ll be teaming up with Patients to gig around the UK. Have you played together before?
Jihyun: We’ve done a whole bunch of shows together before. They are great guys and we’re excited to share this experience with them. I think all of us are going to have a great time!
Thank you to Dead Buttons for answering our questions!
Don’t miss out on seeing Dead Buttons rock the UK, it’s sure to be a great series of gigs! Tour dates are listed below.
Dead Buttons Tour Dates
Here are Dead Buttons UK tour dates:
May 2 Liverpool, England @ Heebie Jeebies (Liverpool Sound City)
May 3 Liverpool, England @ Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)
May 7 Bristol, England @ The Hatchet Inn
May 8 Southampton, England @ Unit Club (WTFest)
May 9 London, England @ AAA
May 10 London, England @ Astbury Castle