These past few years, Korea’s rock scene have been gaining a lot of attention from music experts.
Galaxy Express is one of the groups who has benefited from it, allowing them to build an international career. Meet with them through their guitarist and vocalist, Jonghyun Park, who answered KAvenyou’s questions through a mail interview.
KAvenyou : Your music seems to have many different sides. How do you describe it to people?
Galaxy Express : The easiest thing to say is that we’re a rock band. Our songs sometimes have elements of psychedelic rock, garage rock, punk, and even blues but at our core we’re just three guys who love playing rock ‘n’roll together.
K. : There has been a lot more global attention given to Korean music over the past several years. Has this affected your career at all?
G. E. : I think it has. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to tour overseas over the past several years and I think the greater attention being paid to Korean music has helped with this. We’ve done three American tours and have also played gigs in Taiwan, France, Japan, China, Canada, England, Wales, and Russia.
We’ve also gotten a lot of international press over the past several years. Playing abroad and getting press outside of Korea has helped us continue to build an international fan base and we’re really grateful to everyone around the world that has helped us or listened to our music.
K. : Galaxy Express have performed abroad many times. Have you ever considered making an album with all English lyrics?
G. E. : This is something we have definitely considered doing, but it hasn’t happened yet. However, it is something I would like to try and do one day.
K. : For your new “Walking on Empty” album, you recorded the vocals almost one year after recording the music. What are the pros and cons of taking a “break” like that? Do you think waiting so long to finish the vocals affected the album at all?
G. E. : “Walking on Empty” is the most time we have ever spent making an album. With this album we had the benefit of not having a set deadline that we had to meet. This gave us lots of time to try different things on the album’s tracks.
And spending so much time with the music before it was released made us much more comfortable with playing the new songs from “Walking on Empty” when the album finally did come out.
“Walking on Empty” is our most professional recording to date and the playing and lyrics on the album are really strong. I don’t know if we want to spend as much time working on our future albums as we did on this one, but we’re definitely happy with how everything came out.
K. : Do you have any plans for more international touring? If so, where would you like to go?
G.E. : We always want to tour! Playing live is our favourite thing to do, and getting to travel and share our music with people around the world is always such an amazing experience.
Now we’re talking with our label in Korea – Love Rock Company – about possibly heading overseas for some gigging in 2016. We love going everywhere we can. I’d personally like to try and get back to Japan and China this year for some more concerts since both countries are very near to Korea.
K. : How would you like your career to continue to grow? Do you have any major plans for the coming year?
G. E. : We want to keep making music together and hope to be able to continue playing it for more and more people both in Korea and overseas.
As for upcoming plans, we just finished doing a nationwide tour in Korea and had a blast doing so. It’s always so much fun to get to play for Korean audiences outside of Seoul.
In January, we’ll be doing a 24-night residency at a cool bar in Seoul’s Hongdae district called Strange Fruit. The room is smaller than the spaces we usually play at, which will make the shows more intimate and energetic. We want to start working on new songs in the coming months too. We have no timeline for when we want to release our fifth full-length, but we’d like to start penning material for it soon.
And most importantly, we hope to meet lots of new music fans in 2016 either at gigs or online! We love meeting new people and wish all of you nothing but happiness in 2016. Thanks so much for taking the time to read about Galaxy Express.
Interview by Celine @KAvenyou