Posted on March 10, 2015
You might not know Adam and Ahreum, but if you go to shows in Seoul you’re probably familiar with their bands, New Blue Death and JuckJuck Grunzie. On March 14th they’re tying the knot in the punkest way possible: an all-night party with bands, booze, and all their friends. It’s open to the public and sure to be more fun than any wedding you’ve ever been to, including your own.
Adam : We plan to have a more traditional wedding this May back in my hometown in Canada but we wanted to do something with our friends and family here who can't make the trip with us. I'm from Newfoundland, an island off the east coast of Canada. It's literally on the other side of the world and hard to get to even for Canadians. It's a lot to ask people to go all that way. When we started thinking of ideas for something here a show became an obvious choice. We're both musicians, our closest friends are our bandmates and we want to have a party. It's like the wedding reception except it's before the wedding and we're our own wedding band.
Ahreum : We were supposed to travel for 4-6 months or so to celebrate our marriage. but sadly, for several reasons we can’t go for that long. So we decided to have small party with friends in Korea, and thus we had the idea for this show.
Adam : I want to keep some of that a surprise but I can say Ahreum will be singing some Nirvana, I'll be singing a classic K-pop tune (probably badly), and there won't be any Jason Mraz or any other sentimental shit like that. We want it to be fun.
Ahreum : Just take a look at this!
Adam : We don't really talk about it too much I guess. We both respect each other as artists so the other's opinion carries a lot of weight. If Ahreum says to me "good show" that is enough because I know she knows what it's like to perform up there. I also know she'll only say "good show" if it really was a good show. There is no false praise, which is actually great because it's vital to improving yourself. Same for songwriting. A simple "It's great" or "I think the bridge still needs work" is all she needs to say. Usually you know the answers before ask the questions anyway, but it's good to have someone you trust there to reaffirm your choices.
Ahreum : More than giving musical advice to each other or anything like that we give advice to on another about co-operating with band members and stuff like that.
Adam : Hard to say. Before I'd even met Ahreum I'd been wanting to start band similar to the Handsome Furs for a while. They were a husband and wife duo but now they're divorced so maybe it's not a good example to start with. We have collaborated in different ways in the past. Ahreum sings a duet with Adam Brennan on New Blue Death's first album and I've made some videos for JuckJuck Grunzie. However those were very different levels of collaboration and commitment than it takes to be in a band. Starting a full-on band together could be dangerous. It's no secret in a band can be very difficult. Bands can argue, push, and pull each other in so many ways. Usually when things get heated in the band room we all go home, take a breather, and sleep on it and come back feeling better. That can be hard to do when you share a bed with your bandmate.
Ahreum : Our musical tastes are really different, so I reckon if we ever play in a band together we will fight a lot. If Adam needs a synth riff for a song or someone to sing for him, of course I would help whenever. If I ever need bass riff in one of my songs Adam would perform for me anytime. If we were session musicians for each other I reckon it would work well.
Adam : I think Ahreum has made me up my game on a technical level. I used to think "well, it doesn't need to be perfect, it's rock and roll, so fuck it lets just have fun and rock out." While there are times that approach works it's generally a lazy attitude. Knowing that Ahreum is watching closely and she'll be able to pick up on even the smallest mistakes made me want to improve my playing. Just being in a band would never impress her, I have to actually be good. I'm still not entirely sure she's impressed.
Ahreum : Musically, Adam has given me more of a rock and roll mindset. hahaha. Also, he really likes JuckJuck Grunzie and gives us a lot of support. This has helped me become more confident. If I hesitate or am nervous about anything he is quick to encourage me, he gives me belief in myself. Adam has given me a much more positive mindset about JuckJuck Grunzie. I’m really thankful for that. Once Adam sets his mind to something he tends to see it through right to the end. I think that is one of the things I have learned the most from Adam.
Adam : Me. Why? Because I want to sleep in my bed tonight. In marriage you should be like a martial arts master. You must always be prepared for a fight, but you must do everything to avoid one all together first.
Ahreum : hahaha. Adam.
Adam : We were first briefly introduced outside a Deerhoof show in Hongdae a few years ago, but I would say first time we properly spoke and got to know each other when I was doing one of the cameras for a music video shoot Loose Union did for JuckJuck Grunzie. I'd been a fan of the band for a while and really liked Ahreum, but it took me a long time to properly ask her out.
Adam : I was intimidated. She was a badass on the stage. Really powerful, which is why I was attracted to her initially I guess. Once I got to know her better it was crazy to me how different she was off stage. Really mild and calm and quiet. How she could make that transformation was fascinating to me. She was like a riddle I had to find the answer to. Now somedays I feel I've got it and other days I'm more confused than ever. Keeps it interesting.
Ahreum : He was really shy in front of me. It was cute. hehe
Adam : We went to a makkoli bar then sat in Hongdae park and talked for a long time. I spoke very bad Korean and she spoke slightly-less-bad English but we managed to get through it and it turned out we liked each other hahaha.
Ahreum : That day, in the park Adam gave me a little kiss, and then jumped in a taxi and ran away! haha Why would that be?!?!
Adam : Because I was so shy....
Adam : We're planning to move to Montreal next year. I'll be doing a masters program at McGill. Montreal is an amazing city especially for its art and culture scene. Ahreum is a visual and media artist in addition to being a musician and I am a videographer. We don't have any definite plans once we get there, but we definitely want to take advantage of all the creative outlets Montreal has to offer. Maybe we'll end up starting a band or joining a band or developing one of our other creative pursuits further. The idea is we'll take that step and then see where the wind takes us from there. It's a little daunting but mostly exciting!
Ahreum : Yep. Next year we are heading to Montreal for around two years until Adam finishes his studies. We plan to come back to Korea after that. I hope to learn a lot and have lots of cool experiences while I’m out there.
Adam : I didn't really "propose" per se. I kinda dropped the ball on that. We'd been talking about it in such a matter-of-fact way for while that gradually just had this agreement that we were going to get married and we were going to tell my family on my birthday after the Chuseok holiday. We spent Chuseok at a beautiful Hanok in the countryside to celebrate our decision. I figured since we'd talked in detail about it so much that I couldn't really surprise Ahreum with a proposal. That was a mistake. I know she was kind of disappointed I didn't do something more. At least now we've got the rest of our lives for me to make it up to her.
Interview : Eric Davis
Translation : 임도연 (Doyeon Lim)
Date : Mar 14th (Sat) 19:30
Venue : Freebird 2 (Big Bird)
Door : 15,000won
Bands : New Blue Death , Juck Juck Grunzie, Nice Legs, Ankle Attack
For more information on the bands, check them out at the following sites :
Cyworld : http://club.cyworld.com/juckjuck
Twitter : https://twitter.com/juckjuckgrunzie
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/juckjuckgrunzie
DoIndie : http://www.doindie.co.kr/en/bands/juckjuck-grunzie