Korea’s hot new rock band Shirts Boy Frank have recently released their first full-length album “LAME” following their fast rise to stardom with hit tracks “Frank” and “Fuse” going viral on the web.
Discover exclusively on darwinbeats their journey into releasing their first album, their thoughts on K-Pop vs K-Rock and their musical inspirations.
Please give a brief introduction to darwinbeats magazine subscribers about Shirts Boy Frank
Ahn Deok-geun (Ahn): Nice to meet you. We are a four-member band, Shirts Boy Frank. I’m Ahn Duk Geun, the leader of the team and a vocalist and guitarist.
Kim Tae-joon (Kim): The debut album in August 2018 is back with a new full-length album in just the space of two years. I’m Kim Tae-joon, the bassist of Shirts Boy Frank.
Hwang Seung-min (Hwang): Hello. We’re the Shirts Boy Frank, playing a sharp, stimulating rock sound.
Choi Ha-rim (Choi): we are a band called Shirts Boy Frank, which is based on rock but does music that is not tied to the frame.
Can you tell us more about your first full-length album?
Ahn: This is our first full-length album that we’ve been working on for a long time [LAME] and it’s an album that we’ve worked hard on to show you more progress than our previous albums, through its sound and messaging.
Kim: It’s an album about blood, tears and despair.
Hwang: This is our first full album. We’ve been preparing a lot for a long time, and we’ve tried our best to show our true selves.
Choi: “LAME” is an album where we try to tell our stories more deeply in our own way.
We heard that this album is focused a lot on music hall sounds and fashion. Tell us what you care about and what parts you want your music fans to enjoy.
Ahn: Rather than defining the whole music hall as one, it’s an album that focuses on all the influences we’ve had. Fashion has also been influenced by the cultures that we have seen and grown with. We mirrored long-haired, leather-like, stereo-type rockers and tried to interpret them as our own color through our music-inspiring, cynical expressions.
Hwang: I hope you listen to the harmony in which each of the four instruments have a unique color tone. Each of us plays unique music, so please listen to the process of becoming one.
Choi: I wanted to show you various sides of me that I couldn’t show you. Please focus on the messages that each song contains and listen to them.
What do you think is the difference between K-POP and K-Rock in Korea?
Ahn: K-Pop is at the forefront of the modern Korean cultural industry. Everything is changing rapidly and evolving rapidly. On the other hand, K-Rock doesn’t change everything as fast as K-Pop. It’s a little slow and has a taste of the old smell. I think K-Pop, which is growing fast, is a very attractive genre, but I also think K-Rock, which evokes nostalgia for rock and artists who have worked hard for a long time, is an attractive genre.
Kim: I’ve never really thought about this. For fans, if it’s accepted as pop, I think our music can also be accepted globally as K-Pop.
Hwang: I think K-Pop is a wonderful place where many talents come together. That’s why the global market is growing and getting a lot of recognition from abroad. On the other hand, K-Rock seems to create a unique identity by directly reflecting the artist’s individuality and storyline into the music.
Choi: Since we speak the same language and music from the same country, I think it’s a difference in how we express it musically. However, I think there are some parts that can be shared in some ways, even if the genre is different.
What kind of music do you usually listen to and get inspiration from?
Ahn: I prefer music that fits my frequency to genre choices. No matter how much I like music, sometimes I don’t want to listen to it, so my favorite music changes. Recently, I’ve been listening to the “Thirst” album by “SebastiAnn” and “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath. I also listen to Aphex Twin’s albums often.
Kim: I enjoy listening to rock music from the 1990s. The atmosphere and appearance of those days often give me a lot of inspiration.
Hwang: I listen to various kinds of music. I listen to all kinds of rock music and enjoy instrumental music such as modern music and movie OSTs. Recently, I watched a lot of horror movies and games, and there are many discordant sounds in such music. I got a lot of inspiration from the music that created that kind of fear.
Choi: When I listen to music, I want to listen to as much different music as possible, so I usually use functions such as streaming site recommendations and random playback. I think there are things to learn from all the music in the world.
Lastly, what is it that you want to tell the fans with this album?
Ahn: I grew up in Seoul and spent the first half of my 20s trying to include what I felt, what I lost, what I gained, and the loss and futility that people in my 20s like me in Seoul felt. When it comes to the utopia that you can’t reach no matter how close you are, I hope you enjoy the song from the first to the last.
Kim: In a way, I think music is a short moment when listeners and artists meet at the moment they hear it. I would be very happy if people who listen to the many stories I left behind in that moment’s exchange could find them.
Hwang: I wanted to play more musically honed songs than my previous EP albums. Through this album, I hope we can keep our band’s color, but show more diverse colors of music to many people.
Choi: I think not only us but also many people in the same generation live fiercely every day. Through our album, I hope people of the same generation can relate to it and feel comforted.