Go Wild and Loud with Apollo 18

Apollo 18 2013 photo

Apollo 18 will be bringing their wild and loud rock music to the Korea Rocks Tour here in the UK.

This Ilsan post-hardcore and post rock band was formed in 2008. The members Kim Dae In (Bass), Choi Hyun Seok (Guitar), and Lee Sang Yun (Drums) believe that in their hearts, there is loud music. Thus, they are known as ‘Apollo 18’. In 2009, before releasing their first official album, they debuted with ‘Red’ followed by an album ‘Blue’. Later, they performed at summer rock festivals in South Korea: Jisan Valley Rock Festival and the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival. Within that year, they continue to create their ‘Violet’ EP. In March 2010, they received the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award at the Korean Music Awards. In 2011, they entered into the US market with a US tour and performed at the SXSW. They have been performed at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan and Beastie Rock Festival in Taiwan. They released another EP ‘Black’ which caused ‘Sonic Boom’ to be nominated for the ‘Best Rock Song’ at the Korean Music Awards 2012. They continue to perform internationally with a tour in Canada.

What’s unique about them? They put in wild, sentimental and emotional feeling into their musical creations. It’s definitely music to our ears. After great success with their previous EPs, they are currently working on an album which consists of different styles that will shake up the Korean indie music scene.

Apollo 18 was kind enough to grant us an interview and we spoke with Choi Hyun Seok, the guitarist, about their unique music style and experiences performing to international audiences.

Apollo 18 by jo andre 2

Lu Yin: Is there meaning behind the name Apollo 18?

Hyun Seok: Nope! It’s just a name. It was chosen kind of by accident. I was wearing a T-shirt that said “Aloha ‘76” on it. Daeinn misread the shirt and thought it said “Apollo 18.” He said that Apollo 18 sounded like a cool band name, and asked me and Sangyun what we thought. We said any name was fine by us, and so we became Apollo 18 from then on.

Lu Yin: What inspired you to create great music?

Hyun Seok: Like so many others, we’re inspired by everything in our lives. The things we see, hear, taste, and touch everyday all influence us in so many ways.

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

Hyun Seok: We have lots of freedom to create and promote our music the way that we want to.

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

Hyun Seok: There’s lots of good music being created in Korea’s indie scene right now. The scene is still very small, but it’s slowly growing and some of the bands are beginning to get more opportunities to share their music with bigger audiences at home and abroad.

Apollo 18 by jo andre 3

Lu Yin: Previously, you have performed at rock festivals in South Korea and did your first American tour including SXSW. What is the different feeling, in terms of performing, in South Korea and the USA?

Hyun Seok: We’ve been very lucky in that we’ve been able to complete tours of the US, Canada, Japan, and Taiwan in 2011 and 2012. It was a great experience being able to go all of those places. In terms of performing, there’s not really any difference between South Korea and somewhere like the US. The shows are basically the same everywhere we go. We play loud music and people cheer. What’s special about touring abroad is all of the other things you get to see and experience off the stage. And, of course, all of the interesting, awesome people you meet.

Lu Yin: How do you feel about having the opportunity to tour across the UK with the other Korea Rocks artists?

Hyun Seok: We’re grateful for the opportunity. As I said before, it’s always an awesome experience to get to travel abroad to share your music with new people. In the past we’ve had some talks with Galaxy Express about teaming up for a tour. I’m glad we’re finally getting to hit the road together!

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

Hyun Seok: I like Pink Floyd. Dae In likes Radiohead and Coldplay. I’m not sure what British bands Sang Yun likes. This isn’t true at all, but just for fun let’s say his favourite UK band is Spice Girls!

Apollo 18 photo 7

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

Hyun Seok: We feel excited. It’s going to be fun to play for people in London with the other Korea Rocks bands.

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

Hyun Seok: Our shows are usually loud and sweaty with lots of wild shouting. They are usually pretty high-energy affairs. We hope everyone has fun and screams along with us.

Lu Yin: We heard that you are currently producing a new song which will be recorded in the UK. Will this be played at the Barfly?

Hyun Seok: I think so. We just finished working on the song a few days ago so we need to practice it a lot more before recording. We haven’t talked about it yet, but I’m guessing we’ll play it during our UK gigs to get ready for the recording session.

Apollo 18 photo 2

Lu Yin: Could you tell us more about any upcoming albums/songs?

Hyun Seok: We’re going to release a new full-length album this year. The original plan was to release it last year, but we’ve been really busy with other things so writing and recording got put on the backburner for a while.

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

Hyun Seok: I think High Stepper from our Blue album is a good representation of us as a band. It’s noisy, but it’s got a bit of a funky groove to it too. People can scream their heads off, but still dance around if they want to!

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

Hyun Seok: We hope we can see you at the Korea Rocks shows! There are a lot of really good bands on this tour that have travelled a long way to play for you. Please come hang out and have fun with all of us at the gigs!

Apollo 18 by Simon Bond 1

We thank Hyun Seok and the rest of the members of Apollo 18 for allocating the time to participate this interview. We look forward to seeing them bring their wild performances to the UK.

To find out where and when Apollo 18 is going to perform, check out the Korea Rocks Facebook Page.
Find out more about Apollo 18 through the following links.

Website: http://www.apollo18.co.kr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apollo18band
Twitter: http://twitter.com/apollo18band
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/apollo18-1

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