Zandari Festa takes place at live venues across Hongdae from Oct. 4–7 and will feature nearly 110 bands from 17 different countries. Punk band …Whatever That Means is made up of Korean, American and Polish members and calls Seoul home. They’ll be playing at Zandari Festa on Oct. 6 at Club FF and we spoke with vocalist and guitarist Jeff Moses ahead of the group’s showcase.
For those unfamiliar with …Whatever That Means, how would you describe your sound?
We’re a punk rock band with a very U.S. ‘90s sound. The music is fast and aggressive, but it’s also very melodic. Trash (our bassist/my wife) and I take turns on lead and backing vocals. And Bialy (our lead guitarist) grew up playing metal in Eastern Europe, so there are plenty of killer solos.
You’ve played Zandari Festa several times now. What makes you want to keep applying to be a part of the festival each year?
I’m sure everyone is going to answer this by saying what a great party Zandari Festa is – and it really is – but with all the delegates and bands that have been coming back year after year, it’s almost like a really cool family reunion now, too. We get to see friends from abroad that we pretty much only see at Zandari Festa and with all the great music and the ridiculous amount of free drinks for musicians, that makes for just about the best family reunion ever. It’s also cool getting to hang out with all the local musicians too. So many of us spend the weekends spread out playing shows all around Korea or maybe even on tour in other countries, so it’s awesome to have everyone in one neighborhood for one weekend out of the year.
…Whatever That Means are currently working on your next album. Will you be previewing any new songs during your Zandari Festa showcase?
Yes, we will!
Unfortunately, we’ve been talking about our new album for about a year-and-a-half now, but it got pushed back because of some unexpected member changes. I’m glad to say we’re down to recording vocals now, so we’re hoping to officially release it very early next year. We’ll definitely be performing some stuff from the new album that we haven’t played before during our showcase.
What advice do you have for fest-goers attending Zandari Festa for the first time?
Spend some time online checking out the bands before you even think about looking at the schedule. There are always great bands playing that don’t end up in the pre-fest hype machine that you might miss out on. I definitely recommend Iman’s League from Singapore, Drinking Boys and Girls Choir from Daegu, and Seoul punk band Full Garage. They are three of the most energetic bands you’ll see this year.
Tell us something about …Whatever That Means that would probably surprise most people.
How about I go as random as possible? I have a picture of Bialy with dreadlocks shaving his armpit with an ax. It’s hilarious, but he won’t let us use it on any promo materials because he has a real job and wants people there to think he’s professional and stuff. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t show it to you if you ask nicely at Zandari Festa!