[INTERVIEW] Introducing the name in Seoul's underground scene – JUCK JUCK GRUNZIE

Juck Juck Grunzie 2

If you are a frequent reader of our portal, you would have discovered that aside from K-Pop, we have been exploring the genre of Korean indie in the recent months, interviewing and featuring various aspiring indie bands on our website and SNS accounts.

Putting K-Pop aside, I would say K-Indie has piqued our interest with its diverse music.

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This time round, there is a band we’d like to introduce – Juck Juck Grunzie. A psychedelic noise-rock band, that is. In case you’re wondering what kind of music the band produces, it combines irregular rhythms and chaotic soundscapes to create something dark, mysterious, and hauntingly beautiful – a unique range that we don’t hear often.

Something interesting about Juck Juck Grunzie is that the band was originally formed as an all-girl post-punk outfit in 2007, and their debut in Seoul’s underground scene quickly became the center of topic because of the outfits the members wore for their performance back then.

Read on to find out why!

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Please introduce yourselves and your roles in the band.

Hi! My name is Ahreum Lee and I sing and play synthesizer in a Korean indie band called Juck Juck Grunzie. It’s nice to meet you! Our band comprises of three other members. Jeehye Ham plays guitar, Boong plays bass, and Kyunghyun Lee is our drummer.

Juck Juck Grunzie 6 (photo by Dirk Schlottmann)

How did you form the band and come up with the band name?

Ahreum: Jeehye and I started Juck Juck Grunzie back in 2007. We were friends and were looking to do something fun and different. So we decided to start a band with all women members. For the first five years of the group, everyone in the band was a female. But since 2012, we’ve had male drummers. Kyunghyun is the newest addition to our group. He played his first gig with us in December of last year.

Our band name was chosen by me and Jeehye. Its name is Korean, and when translated it relates to being lonely. But there is a bit more of a nuance to it that’s tough to translate. We get asked about our band name a lot!

Out of all the unique outfits you’re worn while performing, which is most memorable and why?

Ahreum: The one that sticks out the most in my mind was wearing lingerie for our first ever show. But I think that one is most memorable to me because it was our live debut, and not because of our stage outfits. It’s hard for me remember which outfits were really great because all of them were worn just for fun.

Juck Juck Grunzie July 1 Poster

June 25 Pilton, UK @ Glastonbury Festival (Pussy Parlure)
June 26 Pilton, UK @ Glastonbury Festival (Gully Outernational)
June 30 London, UK @ Windmill Brixton
July 1 Berlin, Germany @ Kantine am Berghain
July 4 Berlin, Germany @ West Germany

What are your current feelings about your upcoming European tour?

Ahreum: I’m super excited! I love Europe. I’ve traveled there a few times, but this will be Juck Juck Grunzie’s first time touring in Europe. Seoul is a fantastic city, but it’s really busy and there are so many people everywhere you go. I like the calmer vibe that cities in Europe often have. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of other bands while we’re in Europe. We’re hoping to make some new connections everywhere we go. Hopefully that can help us tour more easily in the future.

Does the band always play the same set of songs at your gigs?

Ahreum: Our set lists change a little from show to show. We often play the same group of songs, but we slip in other tracks from time to time as well. While we’re in Europe, our set lists will include two new songs that we’ve written for our next album so audiences there will get a sneak peak at what to expect from Juck Juck Grunzie’s sophomore full-length!

Juck Juck Grunzie -- Hyojeong 2 (photo by Dirk Schlottmann)

What are your thoughts about Korean music being perceived as just K-POP?

Ahreum: There are good things and bad things about K-Pop’s popularity. One of the good things, though, is that with K-Pop becoming more popular abroad, more people are becoming interested in Korea and sometimes because of that they begin to check out Korea’s indie rock scene too.

A few of our fans first got into Korean music by listening to Girls’ Generation. They started searching for more info about Korean music and found us and liked what they heard! We were surprised when we heard this because our music is obviously very different from Girls’ Generation, but we’re glad it happened!

Do you think it’s possible for Korean indie music to be as popular as Kpop overseas?

Ahreum: I think Korean indie music can become more popular abroad, but I don’t expect it to reach “Gangnam Style” levels. I think Korean indie bands can reach the same level of popularity as other countries’ popular indie groups. For example, as our scene continues to grow I think Korean bands can be just as popular as perhaps a band like Mono from Japan.

Any upcoming plans for a new album?

Ahreum: We’re planning to release our second full-length album next spring. As I mentioned before, we’ll be playing a few songs from it during our gigs at Glastonbury and at our concerts in London and Berlin too. We hope people like what they hear!

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Listen to Juck Juck Grunzie‘s first full length album ‘Psycho’ and check out a clip of their performance (Meth-Odd + Psycho) below!

More about Juck Juck Grunzie:

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  1. Mini-Interview with Juck Juck Grunzie | Indieful ROK 2.0

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