I remember hearing Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio for the first time. It was 2013 at a club in Seoul for a St. Paddy’s show. My friend, who is a musician, said to me “this is a band to watch”. He said they were hard working and gigging any where they could. I was instantly hooked with their danceable beats and catchy lyrics. After this I would try to catch any show they were performing at.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio formed in 2011. They quickly established themselves as a “band to watch” in the indie scene. By 2012, this band was playing at festivals around Seoul such as the popular Ssamzie Sound Festival. In 2013, when I discovered them, they were gigging up a storm and checked off more Korean music festivals off their list. At Jisan World Rock festival, they kept me and the rest of the audience dancing even in a downpour and the mud. I was there for their highly anticipated album release show of their first album, “Shut up and Dance” in October 2013. They continued to capture the spotlight in 2013 when they won the Hello Rookie show, a competition that features up and coming bands. Their hard work won them “Rookie of the Year” at the 2014 Korean Music Awards and nominations for “Modern Rock Song of the Year” and “Modern Rock Album of the Year”. In spring of 2014, they made their first trek overseas to the states to perform at the famous South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and the CAAMFest in California.Then in October of the same year, they traveled back to the states to play at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and then back to California for the L.A. and San Francisco’s editions of Culture Collide. This Saturday, June 6th Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio is in France playing at the Midem Festival and then will play other shows in France.
If you are interested in checking out more about Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, click on the links below;
Follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rnrrpage
2013 “Shut Up and Dance” full-length debut can be found on iTunes here:
Here are Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio’s France tour dates just in case you know someone who lives in France.
June 6 Cannes, France @ Midem Festival
June 11 Saint-Étienne, France @ Thunderbird Lounge
June 15 Paris, France @ Le Buzz
I had the pleasure of interviewing the band’s guitarist and vocalist, Naehyun Kim about their upcoming tour to France, past trips to the states and how they got their name.
1. How did you pick the name Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?
Jinkyu, Minwoo, and Minkyu used to play together in a band called Go Go Beat. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio” was the title of one of their songs. When we were thinking of a name for our group we also considered other monikers like “Shall We Dance?” But we thought Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio was best and sounded more like a proper name for a band than the other choices.
2. You went to South by Southwest in March 2014. How was your experience touring in another country?
Performing in front of new people in new places was a very cool experience. And we were excited to do our first two overseas tours in the US to play at really famous festivals like SXSW and CMJ. We’ll be touring abroad again in June. This time we’ll be traveling to France to play at the Midem Festival in Cannes as part of the K-Pop Night Out Showcase on June 6. And we’ll also be doing a gig in Saint-Étienne on June 11 and a gig in Paris on June 15.
3. How do you feel about your upcoming tour in France and playing at Midem Festival?
We’re really looking forward to experiencing a new culture and a new music scene while we’re there. It’s going to be fun to perform in France. And we’re also excited about meeting lots of beautiful French women! Along with playing, we’re also going to record some songs for a new EP in France. The album should be out later this year in Korea and France. We hope people like what they hear on our new EP. Please watch out for it!
4. What are some things you learned from touring in the States that will help you for your tour in France?
I was really nervous when we went to the US for the first time last year. The US has a rich musical history and I was worried because our members can’t speak English well and don’t sing in English. But there were no problems at all. The differences in language didn’t seem to matter. We learned that if the music and performance are good, people will be happy and enjoy them. It was a good lesson to learn, and reinforced the importance of making good music to us.
5. What do you like about playing in Korea versus playing in a foreign country?
I love playing in both environments! I only have limited experience playing overseas. But based on what I’ve observed, I think Korean audiences really concentrate on a band’s performance while audiences overseas focus more on the music itself. There are really good things about being in both situations. It’s great to know that people are really excited about seeing the stage show you’ve prepared and it’s great when people just want to come, listen to music, and dance and enjoy themselves.
6. For people new to the Seoul indie scene, what bands do you recommend?
Personally, I recommend checking out Galaxy Express, Goonam, 3rd Line Butterfly, and Asian Chairshot. However, there are lots of other really good bands playing in Seoul’s indie scene too – including Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio. Listen to lots of music and go to lots of gigs and find the ones that are best for you – including Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio!