Band Gigging In Support of New 7-inch Record
This is a pretty big week for Seoul melodic punk band …Whatever That Means. The quartet – which is composed of Korean, American, and Polish musicians – are touring along the US West Coast from July 23 – August 1 in support of a new split 7-inch record they are putting out with American punk group Burn Burn Burn. Titled “Blowing Minds & Melting Faces,” the album will officially be released on July 29, but …Whatever That Means will be selling it at all of their gigs.
“We love to tour,” explains guitarist and vocalist Jeff Moses. “The scene in Korea is great, but it’s not very big so you play for a lot of the same people at the same places pretty often. Touring is great because you get to see new places, meet new people, and spread your music around a bit. It’s just good fun in general.
“We previously toured in the US in 2011 just to have the experience of climbing in a van and going for it. We played some really cool shows and built some great new relationships. This summer just kind of felt like it was time to go back and see everyone again.”
…Whatever That Means first met Burn Burn Burn during their 2011 Stateside jaunt when they played a house show in Tacoma, Washington that was run by Burn Burn Burn’s frontman, Drew Smith. …Whatever That Means and Smith have stayed in touch since then and had chatted over the years about releasing something together. When …Whatever That Means decided they were going to do another American tour this summer, it made a whole lot of sense to finally stop talking and make the split album a reality.
“Blowing Minds & Melting Faces” boasts two songs from Burn Burn Burn and three from …Whatever That Means.
“I think our new tracks are a good follow up to our 2014 full-length album, ‘Sixty-Eight, Twenty-Two,’” says Moses. “All three songs are still in the same vein, but they show different aspects of what we do. Each song has varying amounts of harmony and aggression. I’m really happy with how it’s all turned out. They’re definitely our highest quality recordings.”
Last year saw guitarist Bialy Mlody and drummer Daewon Kim becoming members of …Whatever That Means, and “Blowing Minds & Melting Faces” is their first release with the act. When asked how the two strengthen the band, Moses offers the following.
“They just take us to another level,” he shares. “This is the first time where the entire lineup is really involved with the whole arrangement of new songs. In the past, after I made the initial demo, songs wouldn’t change very much. That’s definitely not the case anymore. Daewon adds a lot more impact on the drums. And he puts a lot of time and thought into exactly what he writes on the drums. Bialy has been writing some really incredible, creative leads that make a lot of impact after the initial demos. He’s actually starting to sing backup vocals on a few songs now too.”
In addition to playing with …Whatever That Means, Moses and his wife Trash – who is also the band’s bassist – run the Korean indie label World Domination, Inc. Their imprint will be releasing “Blowing Minds & Melting Faces” in Korea. And earlier this summer, the label put out a 7-inch record for Seoul punk band Full Garage and a compilation album featuring original music and cover songs from a number of notable local punk groups titled “Them & Us 2: Korea’s Punks at Thunderhorse Studios.” Moses would love to see the label continue to grow.
“Trash and I are definitely hoping to sign some more bands to World Domination, Inc.,” he says. “We really enjoy working with bands and helping them get their music out. I’m also working at Thunderhorse Studios and we have a good network of promoters abroad, so hopefully we can find ways to help out more bands accomplish their goals here in the local scene and abroad.”
After completing their American dates, …Whatever That Means will pair up with their label mates Full Garage on August 13 for a joint release gig for both of their 7-inch records. The concert will take place at Club Sharp near Mangwon Station in Seoul. Tickets will be 15,000 won and will include a free copy of each band’s new record. For more information about the show, check out the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/108731346229466/
But for the time being, …Whatever That Means’ focus is on their US concerts. The group will be performing 9 times in 10 days, and will be doing lots of driving during that time as well. Who does Moses think will be the most challenging member to spend several hours each day in a van with?
“We all spend so much time together as it is, so I don’t think this will be too different,” he says.
“If I’m honest though, I’m probably the hardest one for everyone else to be around. I’ll be doing the majority of the driving, which means I get to pick the music, will be loud and annoying when I’m trying not to feel tired, and there’s nothing they can do about it because I hold their lives in my hands!”
Here are …Whatever That Means’ upcoming tour dates:
July 23 Las Vegas, Nevada@ The Double Down Saloon
July 24 Sonoma, California @ The Gypsy Shack
July 26 Corvallis, Oregon @ Interzone Cafe
July 27 Seattle, Washington @ The Kraken
July 28 Tacoma, Washington @ Real Art
July 29 Portland, Oregon @ Foggy Notion
July 30 Reno, Nevada @ PB&J’s
July 31 Berkeley, California @ 924 Gilman Street
August 1 Los Angeles, California @ The Redwood Bar
August 13 Seoul @ Club Sharp
Story by Jaiden Oliver