All Aboard for Galaxy Express

It’s time to take a journey of punk rock music with Galaxy Express one of the performers for the Korea Rocks UK Tour.

Galaxy Express 1

Galaxy Express, a garage rock and punk rock band, was formed in 2006. The band consists of three members: Lee Ju Hyun (Vocal/Bass), Park Jong Hyun (Vocal/Guitar), and Kim Hee Kwon (Drum/Shout). They debuted in 2008 with ‘Noise on Fire’ which lead them to grab the ‘Best Rock Album’ at the 2009 Korean Music Awards. They also starred in a documentary ‘Turn it Up to 11’ which picked up a few awards from the film festivals in Pucheon and Seoul International Film Festival in 2009. Later after leaving the record label, they announced that they will produce and write their own songs within 30 days. This was done by involving international fans and allowing them to share their ideas about the music through social media. With that, the band was able to deliver the album ‘Wild 30 Days’. In 2010, they continued to enter into the international market by having their first live performance at the 2010 Music Matters Festival in Hong Kong. With great reviews by fans and critics, they were given the opportunity to perform live shows in the US holding their American tour and attending the Canadian Music Week and SXSW festival. At the 2011 Korean Music Awards, they were the nominees for Best Rock Album and Song of the Year. They also grabbed the Musician of the Year award.

Their songs are known to be out of the box making their fans and the band o wild due to their raw performances. They have great and unique style when it comes to playing their instruments. Their music makes you want to shake like there’s no tomorrow taking Korean rock and indie to another different level.

Galaxy Express 2

We spoke with the band about their music and thoughts on their upcoming performances with other artists at Korea Rocks UK Tour.

Lu Yin: How did you come up with the name Galaxy Express and is there any meaning behind it?

Jong Hyun: Ju Hyun and I chose the name together. When we formed the band, Juhyun wanted us to use a name that had the word “Galaxy” in it. We both came from punk backgrounds, but he wanted this band to play a wider range of music. He felt that the word “Galaxy” had a wide open feel to it. We tried out a bunch of different words with “Galaxy” but none of them felt right. Finally I suggested Galaxy Express. We both thought the name sounded cool, so it stuck.

Lu Yin: How was the group formed?

Jong Hyun: We formed the band in 2006. Ju Hyun’s previous band was breaking up because some members had to complete their Korean army service. Ju Hyun watched me play a gig in Seoul where I did a few covers of old Korean rock songs and some Ramones’ songs. He thought it was good, so he called me up after and asked if I wanted to make a new band together.

Lu Yin: What is so unique about your music, compared to other Korean indie rock music acts?

Ju Hyun: I don’t know if our music is any more or less unique than other Korean indie bands. Our music is made by us. It has our feelings, emotions, and spirit in it. That gives it its own flavour I think. Other bands have their own flavours too.

Lu Yin: What inspired you to create great music?

Ju Hyun: We released a new album in November. It’s a self-titled record. We started writing that album right after our 2012 USA tour, so it was inspired by some of our experiences there. We were listening to a lot of old rock and punk music when we were making our new album too. I’m sure those songs inspired us on this album as well.

2012 Galaxy Express 2

Lu Yin: How much freedom you have in promoting your music without the control from the commercial music industries.

Jong Hyun: We’re signed to our own label so we’ve got complete control to do whatever we’d like with our music. Our only constraints are money. We’re an indie band, so we have to work within the budget we have for different things.

Lu Yin: How would you describe the K-indie and K-rock scene in Korea at the moment?

Ju Hyun: There are a lot of talented acts in Korea. Acts are pushing themselves to do more with their music in Korea and overseas as well. I think the future of our scene is bright.

Lu Yin: Your group has been touring around the US previously. How does it feel being recognized by the Western audiences?

Jong Hyun: It feels good! Touring the US is expensive and the drives between cities can be really long sometimes, but we’ve had a great time during our last three American tours. We’ve met a lot of cool musicians and music fans and have gotten to experience so many new things. We did US tours in 2011, 2012, and we completed another one just a few weeks ago. We hope we can keep going back to the US again and again.

Lu Yin: How do you feel about having the opportunity to tour across the UK as part of Korea Rocks? Will it be the same as when you toured around the US before?

Jong Hyun: We’re happy to be a part of the Korea Rocks tour. We’re fans of all the other bands’ music and friends will all the members too. I think this tour is going to be a lot of fun. Our last two US tours were solo tours. But, in 2011, we played in North America with some other Korean acts. This tour will be different than that one because it’s in different countries and on a different continent. And we’ll be playing with other bands too. So, I think this tour will be its own unique experience.

Galaxy Express Live

Lu Yin: Who are your favourite UK rock music bands?

Jong Hyun: We like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and The Rolling Stones.

Lu Yin: You are going to perform at Barfly, London on the 28th April. How do you feel about this?

Jong Hyun: We feel good about it! It’ll be our first time to play in London, so we’re interested to see what the venue is like and how the crowd at the show reacts to our music. There is a lot of talent on the Korea Rocks tour, so I’m sure the show will be a lot of fun.

Lu Yin: What kind of performance can the audiences look forward to?

Ju Hyun: A high-energy one! We like to get wild on stage. And when audiences get wild too, it helps make things get even crazier.

Galaxy Express 3

Lu Yin: Any plans for producing new albums and songs?

Hee Kwon: Our last album came out this past November, so I think it will be a little while still before we issue another new album. We’re going to record a new song while we’re in London, though. I’m not sure when that track will be released.

Lu Yin: What songs from your current and previous albums do you feel represent you as a band?

Ju Hyun: Jungle the Black is a good representation of us as a band. It’s one of our most popular songs. Crowds in Korea always go crazy when we play it.

Lu Yin: Do you have a message for the UK audience?

Ju Hyun: We’re excited to meet you. Let’s get wild and have lots of fun together.

Galaxy Express 4

Thanks to Galaxy Express for participating in this interview and having us on board. We look forward to seeing them performing live at the UK venues. We hope they enjoy their stay with other artists in the UK.

For more details about where and when Galaxy Express is going to perform, visit the Korea Rocks Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/KoreaRocks

More information about Galaxy Express can be found through the following links:
Website: http://www.galaxyexpress.co.kr/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GalaxyExpressKR
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GalaxyExpressKR
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/GalaxyExpress
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/galaxy-express

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