Soulful Rock with the Gate Flowers

For the last of our Korea Rocks UK band profiles, we look at the band Gate Flowers.

Gate Flowers 2

The group made of Park Keun Hong (Vocalist), Yeom Seung Shik (Guitarist), Ryu Jae In (Bass), and Yang Chong Eun (Drums) gained popularity after participating at the Korea’s talent competition, ‘Top Band’. In 2011, Gate Flowers received the ‘Best Rock Song’ and ‘Rookie of the Year’ at the Korean Music Awards. Between 2012 and 2013, they came out with their first full-length album, ‘Times’ followed by ‘Night, Night’, which was nominated for the ‘Best Rock Song’ at the 2013 Korean Music Awards. Gate Flowers will be performing at the ‘Korea Rocks’ as their first international live performance. They will be working on a new EP in the summer.

Although Gate Flowers is a recent Korean indie band, they bring in a blend of modern indie rock that audiences will enjoy. It is sentimental and emotional when you listen to Keun Hong’s voice while the others play harmonic rock sounds. You could either cry, tap along with the music, or wave your hands while listening to their soulful sound.
We spoke with Yeom Seung Shik, the guitarist to talk about their music style, K-rock, and their first step into the international stage.

Gate Flowers 3

Lu Yin: How did your group name ‘Gate Flowers’ come about?

Seung Shik: In Korean, ‘gate’ is문 (pronounced as ‘mun’ or ‘moon’), and ‘flower’ is 화 (pronounced ‘hwa’). The word ‘moonhwa’ means ‘culture.’ So our band’s name is supposed to mean “The Cultures.”

Lu Yin: You joined the ‘Top Band’ in 2011 which increased your popularity from then on. Why did you join this talent competition and what was your experience like?

Seung Shik: When we decided to try out for the program, our debut EP had only sold about 200 copies. We had confidence in our music, but we couldn’t find any good routes to promote it. So we thought that Top Band would be a good way to do this. We only wanted the chance to have our music heard by people who like rock music. Our experience on the show was great. We received a lot of attention from being on the show. After our first appearance on Top Band, we were scheduled to play at Club Bbang in Seoul. We usually only had a few people come out see us there in the past, but after being on TV there was a huge queue of people waiting to get in to see us. We were so surprised. We hadn’t advertised the show at all. People just searched for our shows by themselves after watching us on Top Band and then came to see us perform.

Lu Yin: What is unique about your music that audiences should know?

Seung Shik: I think our music has an indescribable groove. Our songs can be intense, but at the same time they are very sensitive and emotional.

Lu Yin: What inspires you to create great music?

Seung Shik: For lyrics, we’re inspired by things strange things in the world and social injustices. For our music, we’re inspired by all the different emotions we deal with, people we meet, nature, and music from great artists. We draw inspiration from so many things in this world.

Lu Yin: Is it better to perform as an indie band rather than a commercial group?

Seung Shik: Yes, I think so. But only when a band’s financial stability is guaranteed.

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

Seung Shik: It’s growing! More people are becoming interested in Korean indie and rock bands. And there’s a lot more diversity in the sounds bands are turning out too.

Lu Yin: This is your first time having an international tour in the UK. How do you feel?

Seung Shik: We’re really excited about being able to tour in the UK. It’s an honour to be able to perform somewhere that has produced so many fantastic rock ‘n’ roll acts.

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

Seung Shik: We have a lot of acts that we like from the UK, including bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Sex Pistols, Queen, The Smiths, and Radiohead.

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

Seung Shik: They can expect a sound that’s intense but has an energetic groove as well.

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

Seung Shik: We plan to release a new EP this summer.

Lu Yin: Which of your songs do you feel best represent you as a band?

Seung Shik: I think our songs “Seoul Ballad,” “Inconvenient Truth,” “Ghost,” and “We Are One” provide a good representation of Gate Flowers and our sound.

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

Seung Shik: Please come and see us play in the UK. We’re going to try and offer you an experience like you’ve never had before!

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Thanks to Seung Shik and the rest of the members for giving us the opportunity to speak to them. We will be sure be there to experience the soulful rock sounds the band has to offer.

Do check out the Korea Rocks Facebook Page to see when and where Gate Flowers and other artists are performing. Details about Gate Flowers can be found through the following links:


Korea Rocks

So, we have interviewed with Galaxy Express, Apollo 18, Goonam, and Gate Flowers before the Korea Rocks UK Tour. You have ideas about who they are and what kind of music they are going to perform to the UK audiences, including yourself. Each band has their own unique music style and they share the same passion for sharing K-rock and K-indie music to the audiences. Not just in South Korea but also to the world. Korea Rocks and four unique K- rock bands came all the way from South Korea to the UK to show you what K-rock and K-indie truly is. What are you waiting for? Get the tickets and you will definitely enjoy the live rock music experience. Also, you will know that knowing about South Korea’s music is not just listening to K-pop.

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