An Interview With Glen Check

Now this is honestly the best new band I've heard in a while. Their latest album is abundant with infectious, electronic goodness. Don't believe me? Then read my interview with Glen Check and check-check-check (that's an awful joke, I'm sorry) their latest album Haute Couture out now!

Could you start off with your names and your roles in the band?
Hello, I'm June-One Kim, I sing and play the guitar in the band
Hi, I'm Hyuk-Jun Kang, I play the bass and synths
Hi, I'm Jeon-Yeol Ryu and I play the drums.

How did you guys meet and form a band?

H.J : June-One and I were in the same high school. We were not interested in forming a band or releasing any album at the time, but we still had this common interest in making music. After graduation we were doing different things and it was getting kind of boring. So we decided to have fun making music in weekends, but this plan started to become bigger. That was when we met Jeon Yeol and he became our drummer. We always wanted three positions in the band.

When I first heard your music I recognised a lot of similarities with groups from the UK such as Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party, The Cribs, amongst others. But your sound is quite distinctive too. What bands influence your music?
J.O : We don't like to confine our music to a specific genre or make links with other bands. We just make what we like and what sounds the most natural to us. We do enjoy listening to bands from the UK!

I was intrigued to read somewhere that you were influenced by African music. I can definitely hear that with the track 'Concorde' and being African myself I found that great! Are there any particular African musicians you were influenced by once you began creating your sound?
J.O: By chance, we found this little shop in Seoul where they had traditional instruments from Africa. We thought the idea of using African traditional rhythm and instruments was a cool thing to try. So we made researches on African traditional music, but we finally got the ideas from the basics that we can't even name one artist.
J.Y: We also got some of the ideas from Korean traditional percussions. We were not quite used to traditional sounds but it sounded cool at the time and thought it's worth a try collaborating with the instruments we had.

With K-Pop getting popular across the globe do you envision Indie music and Indie bands like Glen Check receiving the same type of attention from fans around the world in the future? Is that type of attention important to you?

J.O: Attention is obviously a great thing. K-pop fan or not, if any person like our music, it's a happy thing for us and to the listener. But we honestly don't know how K-pop is effecting the music industry in Europe. We just hope our music spreads world wide.

Are there any obstacles you face with being an Indie group in Korea?
H.J: Well, indie music business here is small for sure. It's not easy to spread our music world wide or get attention in short period like June One just said. I'm not sure how other bands are going [through] with these obstacles but I think we're making progress going our own way.

How do the songs on Disco Elevator EP differ to tracks on the latest full album Haute Couture?
J.O: Disco Elevator was like the first piece we showed to people. Speaking of music style, it was a bit far from what we intended to express. We wanted something else, but we lacked knowledge in the studio, Haute Couture is an upgraded piece, a result of our practice and studies. We still feel that we need more upgrades. But we're always happy with what we made. We're looking forward to what will come next.

Where did the album name Haute Couture come from? (It's a good name!)
J.Y: After finishing mixing the record, we thought the record sounded more "custom made" than the previous one. If Disco Elevator was a project 'in the box', the latest project contained coincidences from recording experiments and elements that we could not recreate later. We were looking for a name, and thought "Haute Couture" would fit in a way.

What is your song writing process like? Do you have a particular method or..?
J.O: It depends. For some tracks we made the chords and the melodies first, then designed the sound. For some other tracks we just did the opposite. However before everything happens, we gather ideas together and discuss day and night until we have a clear direction. In this process, we usually share visual elements such as photographs, films or just vague visuals in our heads.

What's next for Glen Check? And where would you like to tour next?
H.J : We're always making new things in our studio. We'll be showing the new stuffs later, since for now we would like to spend some time with "Haute Couture"
Seoul is the only place we played since our debut. We would love to play in the UK. Invite us!

Purchase Haute Couture here

Photo Credit: SoundholicENT

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