Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself.
Juhyun: Hi! We’re Galaxy Express. We play a mix of hard rock, garage rock, punk, and psychedelic music. There are three members in our band. I play bass and sing, Jonghyun plays guitar and sings, and Heekwon plays drums. We started our band in 2006. We’ve toured in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, the United States, and Canada. In 2011, we won “Musician of the Year” at the Korean Music Awards.
MW: How did you get the chance to play SXSW 2013?
Heekwon: We applied online to play at the festival. We’re so happy that we were invited to play at SXSW 2013!
MW: Have you ever played SXSW before?
Jonghyun: This will be our third straight year to play at SXSW. In 2011, we toured North America with two other Korean bands and played SXSW while we were there. This past spring, we toured the United States on our own and played at SXSW again. We love SXSW! Austin is a great city and the festival is awesome. We want to keep returning to SXSW for as long as they’ll let us come back!
MW: Where is Galaxy Express from?
Heekwon: We’re from Seoul, South Korea.
MW: What is the music scene like in South Korea?
Jonghyun: The music scene in South Korea is dominated by pop idol acts. The indie music scene is small, but things are slowly getting better. There are a lot of talented indie bands in South Korea, and more of them are attempting to tour abroad. K-pop has been getting more and more attention globally over the last few years. Hopefully with indie bands starting to make a stronger international push, Korea’s other music scenes can start to build more of an overseas fan base as well.
MW: Do you have a new release coming out?
Juhyun: We released our third album in late November. It’s a self-titled album. We started writing the album right after our last US tour and recorded it from August until the end of October. We released three singles from our new album before it came out, and made music videos for all three of the tracks. The first three singles from our new album are
“You and I” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgD8WEk7lbE),
and “Always” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP5ioOop-d0).
Our new album isn’t on iTunes yet, but it should be soon. Our past releases can be found on iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/galaxy-express/id215972658
Jonghyun: We also recently released a documentary film about our March 2012 USA tour. It’s called “Turn It Up to Eleven 2: Wild Days.” The documentary was shown at film festivals in Korea this past summer and opened in theaters here in late November. It will be screened at the SXSW film festival in March, and we’re now discussing other ways to have it shown overseas. The trailer for the documentary can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIoIgkQSZ-E
MW: Do you plan to tour on your way to SXSW?
Heekwon: We’re going to do a one-month tour while we are in the US for SXSW. We’re still planning our tour routing now, but I think we’ll be doing around 25 shows or so from March 8 until April 7. We had fantastic times during our previous USA tours in March 2011 and March 2012. We’re really excited to catch up with some of the friends we’ve made in the US. We’ll be visiting a lot of places for the first time on our next tour, so we’re really excited about meeting new people too.
MW: What are you hoping for coming out of SXSW?
Jonghyun: We hope to meet more people. During our previous two trips to SXSW, we’ve met some very talented musicians and some very cool music fans. It’s amazing getting to interact with so many different people from some many different places at one time. And it’s also amazing to be surrounded by so much great music. During SXSW, there’s music being played everywhere you go in Austin.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
Juhyun: Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to read this interview. We’ll be announcing the dates for our 2013 USA tour and SXSW appearance in January on our band Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GalaxyExpressKR. We hope some of you can come see us play while we’re there!