Love X Stereo gig more than any other band in Seoul.  In the relatively short time they have existed, the dance-oriented rock band have released three EPs and will release their newest one, “Glow,” this Friday. At the end of September, the band will embark on their first North American tour. 

While mainstream Korean music explodes across the world in a wave of K-Pop, alternative musicians in Korea still have to claw their way up to be heard. Being a musician in Korea is no easy feat. It’s is a great place to grow and create, but there is little opportunity for independent musicians in Seoul to be heard by a wide audience. Large-scale distribution is very difficult, if not impossible. Touring is limited to a few cities, and while the audience for non-mainstream music is growing, it is still extremely limited. Given this atmosphere, Love X Stereo are branching out.

Chincha caught up with lead singer Annie from Love X Stereo to talk about the group’s future.

Have you gigged outside of Korea before? Why now? Do you have any expectations for the North American audience as opposed to the Korean audience?

No, we haven’t. It’s our first time. And it’s about time. When we first started our band, less than two years ago, our goal was to be heard from the outside world. We are very eager to find out what others have to say about us outside of Korea. It’s pretty much our motivation to do what we do now. We believe that we might get more direct response than here. Good or bad. We can take in, and we’re willing to evolve from there.

What are your goals for the tour?

We would like to meet our fans, of course. And hopefully get some exposure to the music industry if possible. We want to test ourselves to see if we can handle this, too. And want to figure out what needs to be done to make a better show for the audience. 

Are there any gigs, cities or festivals that you are particularly looking forward to?

We are looking forward to CMJ Music Marathon, definitely. It’s an honor to be invited to such a huge festival, so we need to bring our A-game. We’re spending almost a month in NYC, so we’re pretty excited. We’re heading to Cincinnati, Washington, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto, too. Very excited, indeed!

What can you tell us about your new EP, Glow?

In “GLOW,” there’s a very strong synth pop vibe into it. It still has the 90s alternative feeling, yes, but we wanted to make this EP more pop than usual. Didn’t think that much when we made it. It’s was supposed to be simple, direct, but grand. Hope we nailed it.

How does it differ from your last EP, Off the Grid?

“Off The Grid” has a more psychedelic feeling. We didn’t know, and actually didn’t want to know, when to stop the song. But this time, we very much knew all along when to start and stop the song. Our sound and style hasn’t changed, but the songs are a bit tighter that way.

Where was it recorded? Did you produce it yourselves?

We recorded it at our humble studio all by ourselves. But luckily, we got to work with one of the best producers, yOoNtEk Jeong, and he’s coming with us on our tour as our sound engineer.

Anything special in this EP?

Our title song is called “Lose to Win.” This song is dedicated to anyone who is struggling everyday with the unknown future. We believe the song is very soothing, relaxing, yet powerful. Hope you like it.

Another song called “Crossing Rivers” is a song about North Korean Kkotjebi. We wanted to send out a message that we need to care more and more about these matters and do something about it. This song will be featured in the upcoming PSCORE compilation album as well. On this EP, we included three remix tracks from two DJs, John Gaska and J-Path. It was really an honor to work with these guys. Superb remixes indeed!

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North American tour dates:

Interview by Adam Brennan


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