Posted on October 14, 2015


>>>>> DoIndie has some signed CDs from Lazybone to give away. Details on how to win can be found at the bottom of this article! <<<<<

Please introduce each other to our readers.

Jinu: This is our singer, Jundoy Lee.

Junkyu: This the other vocalist Jinu Ro.

Jundoy: This fella is the drummer. Seoknyeon Kim.

Seoknyeon: This is our bassist, Kyeongsoon Ahn.

Kyeongsoon: This guy is the guitar player, Junkyu Lim.

# How does it feel to have released your first album in 8 years?

Jundoy: It’s satisfying, because by releasing this album, we have now fulfilled one of the conditions required to go on and make the next one!

Junkyu: This is the first time we have done everything on an album from start to finish. Before, our label used to help us pay for stuff but this time round we have done everything by ourselves, starting with raising all the cash. There was a lot of trial and error and a lot of difficult moments as well … I guess everything is difficult the first time round, right? I hope that making the next album will be a bit easier.

# Why did you end up having to do it all yourselves? You guys are a big name, so I’m assuming you had offers from labels to release your record.

Jundoy: Well, we know a lot of labels, but ... it felt a little awkward to approach them about business things and also it appealed to us to try and do it independently.  Frankly, when you work with a label you have to make sure to pay back their investment in you. For this album we wanted to escape all that business stuff and do it our own way. We wanted to just concentrate on the final product, none of that other stuff.

# I heard that you guys had reformed back in 2013, and you appeared at a major festival that year as well. Why has it taken so long to get the album out? Were there any problems?

Jundoy: No, there were no special issues… What can I say? … Sorry!

Junkyu:  No special reason... While we were away from the band we all had lots of other stuff to do. Because of these other commitments we couldn’t just go all in with regard to making music like we did in the past. At some point we realised that we needed to get on with making some music, but once we got down to it we discovered that we all had different ideas. Also, the music we liked individually had changed over time and we were doing everything by trial and error, so it ended up taking ages. In the end, we were getting nowhere fast and we realised that if we didn’t produce something soon we would have to just give up and disband again, so we decided that whatever the outcome we would just play what we wanted, even if it was the same style as our old stuff. That’s what we ended up doing.

# It was the first time you had been in the studio together for ages. Was it awkward or were there any difficulties?

Seoknyeon: More than being awkward … it felt a lot like the atmosphere at our old practices; I guess it felt exactly like it did before.

Junkyu: There are lots of new bands coming out these days, right? Those fuckers are so damn good. We, on the other hand, are just the same as before ….

Jundoy: You listened to the album, right. We don’t think we have really developed or changed at all… the only real change is that that in the past we recorded with gear that was made in 2008 and now were are recording with gear made in 2014. Thus, the only thing that has changed for us is our gear. Ha ha!

Junkyu: In conclusion, these days the kids have gotten really good, and we have just stayed still. To put it in a more positive light, we have tried to keep our originality intact … that same Lazybone style from before.

Jinu: We tried hard to do a good job, but the sound just didn’t come out as well as we wanted it to. Anyway….

Jundoy: We don’t even know what instruments the ‘hot’ foreign bands of today play. If we knew, we would probably have used them too!

Junkyu: A good way to put it would be that we have reformed as an office workers’ band. We did the recording right here (the same location as this interview), the best studio in Hongdae, ‘Studio Bully(’.

Jundoy: Put the address in. They have a facebook page. We want to try to keep up with the rest of the world and this social networking stuff. Make it so that if people are interested when they read the interview, they can click on the link and it will open a new browser tab for them. By the end of this interview … you might have 10 new tabs open!

# The band took a break in 2005 when you all went to the army for your military service, and when you came back you couldn’t get all the original members back together again. This time round you succeeded … what was different?  

Jundoy: The biggest reason we couldn’t all get together was that our vocalist Jinu was over in the USA studying filmmaking.

Junkyu: Him coming home made reforming the band possible.

Jundoy: He got a few awards for his films when he was abroad. Right, time for you to open another browser tab! www.staygoldMP.COM. He started Staygold Motion Pictures when he came back to Korea, and seeing as he was back he suggested we all get together and hang out.

Junkyu: The first time we just drank some beers together and someone carefully brought up the topic of shows. We mentioned playing a one-off show. We were just talking about the old days. We weren’t thinking of doing a big show.

Seoknyeon: But we ended up playing at SangSangMadang. Ha ha.

Jundoy: That show was a great adventure. As soon as the show was over we were talking about where we could play next, and that was that .. we had reformed!

Junkyu: This is a bit of a glamorization but… the first time we jammed again we played our old songs for the first time in years and it still felt just like it had when we were playing back in the day. So, at that time I thought ‘ah, we really are a proper band’.  

(Everyone laughs)

Junkyu: ‘Ah, we really are a proper band’… I don’t know if the rest of these fuckers have good or bad memories about playing shows in the past, but I do know we all remember that time really well... so we decided to start playing again.

Seoknyeon: I think that during the 7 or 8 years we were on a break from playing shows, we were all thinking about the band a lot. We all wanted to play again. Even if we weren’t thinking as far ahead as making a new album, each of us had at least a slight desire to give it a go. So when Jinu came back we made it happen. Clearly everyone wanted it to happen.

# Fans still consider your first album <Lazy Diary> and your second <Do It Yourself> as classic albums. Students of today, who are too young to have seen you play live, still sing your songs ‘Do It Yourself’ and ‘그리움만 쌓이네 [Only Longing Builds Up]’ in karaoke rooms and cover them in their school bands. What do you think of that?

Jinu: People probably cover our songs because they are so easy to play. They are perfect for rock ‘n roll beginners! They are suitably composed and of a suitable level for that.

Jundoy: It would be great if they started doing that with the new songs too.

Seoknyeon: The new ones are even easier than the old ones.

Jundoy: I don’t know if this is still the case today… but in university bands the senior members tend to pick and choose the songs they play for shows. I guess those guys are just ordering everyone to play Crying Nut and Lazybone tracks?

Junkyu: Shall I glamorize it a bit?

Jundoy: Here comes the boss of glamorizing stuff …

Junkyu: Our musical aim was not to worry about the age or gender of the people listening but just to create music that anyone can easily listen to and enjoy. We want to be able give people people a good time wherever we play. I think because we make music that appeals to everyone like that, young kids of today listen to our music and think ‘ah, we can give that a try, it doesn’t look too hard’.

(Everyone laughs)

Jinu: Because all you need to do is listen to the songs to know what chords we are playing.

Jundoy: Usually rock bands would reply to this question by saying ‘because our music is awesome’ or something like that… but we (Lazybone) just tell it how it is!

Jinu: 17 years or so ago, we were watching old timers ‘Black Hole’ play gigs; I guess younger people of today feel a bit like that when they listen to us.

On many of your past albums you have included several cover songs. You have one on the new album as well, a remake of Sul Woon-do’s ‘Love Twist’ (an old trot song). Is there a special reason you like to record these remakes?

Jundoy: The reasons are different each time. We have made a full album of remakes too, and also sometimes people request it for an ad or something. Our World Cup song came about like that. We usually remake the original song with a Lazybone style because it is a good way to introduce our band to a new audience. But it’s always a dilemma when making them. There are lots of fans who hate it when bands do cover songs. Basically, when we do make them we only cover songs that we really like.   

Junkyu: After much thinking I realised that the first ever song we covered was ‘Ruby’ back in 1999. Loads of people were not keen on the fact that a rock band was covering a dance track. What kind of rocker covers a girl’s pop song? …  but that is what we did, and so after that we didn’t hesitate too much when choosing songs.  

Jundoy: However, the result of that was that we couldn’t do a collaboration with Finkl!

Over the years, the band’s lineup and your style have changed a lot. The reactions from the fans to your new album has been good because you have made a return to the original Lazybone style. Can you explain why you reverted to your old style?

Junkyu: Some of our musical tastes have changed over the years, and some of them have not changed at all. We tried to find a happy medium between the two but it didn’t work out. We couldn’t find a style that worked. We talked about it over and over again and in the end just decided to go with our old style. Our old style of music just came out naturally.

Jinu: Junkyu brought a really good song into the mix. It was called ‘멋대로 살자(Live your life)’, it was really good. The demo he first showed us was amazing. But we couldn’t really play it very well as a band.

Jundoy: The finished version is nothing like the original demo he brought into practice that time.

Seoknyeon: There never has been and never will be a better song made in Korea. It really is a great track.

Jinu: More than just a reggae song, it was a song with a real pop feel to it as well. It was a ‘love and peace’ kind of song.

Kyeongsoon: Seeing as no one can actually hear that demo, we can keep digging it up!

(Everyone laughs)

Junkyu: We couldn’t play the song as it was, so we ended up just making it our own way, with our old Lazybone style. The song didn’t work out how I wanted it to, but I decided not to be too stubborn with it and let it become more of a Lazybone song. Anyway, no matter what kind of song you bring to the table, it will end up with a Lazybone flavor to it.

# I think one of the most important aspects of Lazybone’s identity is the lyrics to your songs. Whatever style of music you are playing the lyrics are cheerful and contain positive messages. What do you think about that?

Jundoy: The rest of the guys do most of the groundwork on the musical side of things and I add the lyrics to it. if I think about the past albums, stuff like ‘be strong’ and ‘go on, you can do it’ are always present in the lyrics. It is a bit like a pledge, isn’t it? Some kind of personal mind control?! We are doing what we love to do but it is not an easy journey. I don’t look back into the past much, I’m not that kind of person … actually, when I do look back it can be really hard, so I like to write positive lyrics in my songs.

# How do you come up with your lyrics?

Kyeongsoon: It is always different, an extreme example might be like this … we tell Jundoy to go away and write some lyrics, but we tell him we would like it if the song did not contain any reference to bicycles. That’s kind of how we go about telling him what to write.  

Jundoy: The process is different for every song. Sometimes song titles are made from words that have no reference to the song at all.

Kyeongsoon: That reminds me... ‘India Cider’.

Jundoy: ‘India Cider’! There was no special meaning for that. It was just something we all thought was fun. We write lyrics with elements that make us all laugh. People listen to them and say things like ‘did those guys write the lyrics with their feet?’ or ‘ah, I guess they really hate writing lyrics’. We don’t really write lyrics that people can identify with I guess. Just stuff that we think is funny.

# The song ‘늑대가 나타났다(There comes wolf)’ is a kind of story; how did you come up with this fun idea?

Junkyu: It is a scary fairytale. Jundoy wrote it.

Jundoy: I tried to express the idea of a conspiracy. However, as far as going into more detail about it, I’m just going to say ‘No Comment’.

Seoknyeon: It is a little bit dangerous, that song.

Junkyu: It is a song about a fairytale but from a different perspective. The song is about society's absurdity… it is not about slagging off the government.

Jundoy: We always support the party in power. Ha ha!

# The new album cover features Jundoy riding a bike. What is the connection between that image and the title ‘Just Be Lazy’?

Junkyu: When we first started trying to gather ideas for the album’s concept we had so many. Jinu likes to take pictures--if he sees pretty stuff while wandering down the street he shoots it. One day, by chance he saw the text ‘Just Be Lazy’ written on a wall. The word ‘lazy’ was in there so it jumped out at him. He showed us the picture and we all thought it looked good so we decided to make something meaningful out of it for our cover artwork. Even before seeing the picture we wanted to make something that expressed modern people’s busy lives. Jundoy wanted to have someone walking past the words really fast and another person walking past slowly to reflect this, but …

Jundoy: Originally I imagined the members of the band walking slowly while a bike whizzed past at speed. I planned to wear a suit like a businessman and ride past really fast, but it was annoying to have to wear a suit and put in all that effort, so it ended up just being me in my bike gear riding a bike past the words.  

# You have played loads of shows in your time, are there any that stand out?

Jundoy: In 2002 we played next to City Hall during the World Cup. There was a crowd of about 300,000 people in front of us that day. When there are that many people together, their energy is a bit different. Everyone was pulling for the same thing (for Korea to win); that blind love, that energy was so big, way bigger than you can imagine. If you chant stuff in front of 300,000 people …

Junkyu: All the strength from your body gets drained. Really. In our case there are just 5 of us in the band, our energy had to compete with the energy of 300,000 people. Just doing one song gives you a hoarse throat and makes you feel exhausted. It was really hard. We got everyone to do the Mexican wave, there were so many people it seemed like it was endless.

# Lazybone are a first generation Hongdae band. What is the biggest difference in the scene now compared to back then?

Junkyu: The spectrum has widened a lot, that’s a fact. Back in our day there was no such thing as Youtube so it was much harder to encounter music from abroad, but these days kids have had access to this music since they were very young so there are loads of people making unique music these days... There is so much more variety than before; I think the scene is definitely getting better.

Jinu: A downside is that although the music is really good … bands seem to disappear easily these days. Not sure why that would be?

Jundoy: I think there are lots of reasons for that. You might be making music that is in fashion at that time, then suddenly the next fashionable genre comes along and you get left behind. Or … there are bands that become famous and they just go out and have fun, meet lots of girls, drink etc. They forget to keep making music and then drop out of the scene. In the past there were loads of weird bands that I wished would disappear, but these days when I hear a band has split up or disappeared I feel a bit bitter about it.

# How would you sum up the new album in one sentence?

Seoknyeon: Shit loads of hardship.

Jundoy: Doomed!

Jinu: Memories of the old days.

Junkyu: Shall I offer a glamorization? Salmon.

(Everyone laughs)

Junkyu: Because, like us, they go back upstream to where they started out ...

Jinu: But salmon die, right. Ha ha ha!

Jundoy: But dying is their destiny. They die after laying their eggs.

# What are your plans for Lazybone in the future?

Jundoy: At the moment we are doing lots of fun broadcasts and gigs. After this, we are planning on doing a live club tour. Within no specific set time frame ...if the opportunity arises we would like to go and play in live clubs all around the country. At the moment we are talking about doing loads of different fun things as a band. We will let you all know each time we get something sorted via our facebook pages and our website.

Buy 'Just Be Lazy’ (Digital) :

Monkey3MusicNaver Music | Olleh MusicBugsGenie | M-Net | Melon | Soribada


Interview : J-Myon Kim, Il-hwa Choi, Doyeon Lim
English Translation : Patrick Connor, Doyeon Lim
Edited by : Rock N Rose


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