Continuing on in my posts about bands that are influential to my status as a writer and participant in the Korean indie music scene, I’m adding Yellow Monsters to that list.
I was around for the initial release and inception of Yellow Monsters. I’m pretty sure it was the first band I saw start up and knew about before their first release. I’d been following their drummer Choi Jaehyuk on beforehand because of his work in Deli Spice. We chatted occasionally, because he was one of the few folks in the Korean scene that I’d seen tweet in English. When he started posting about a new venture, I was happy to follow along on the journey.
After the release of their eponymous first EP, I was chatting with Jaehyuk again, and asked if he wanted to do an interview, for I had just started to write for YAM magazine. He agreed, and that was my first ever interview. I got such a rush from it, that it soon became my greatest passion. It wasn’t about myself, I was just so happy to be helping to connect new fans with new music and learn more about the bands in the process.
Their first single “Late” was so catchy it about knocked me off my feet. And the rest of the album was so fast and hard hitting I was fairly certain I’d witnessed a musical tornado.
For the next 5 years, Yellow Monsters hit hard and threw a pounding new record at us every year. Each one filled with fast passed punk music to rock you to your toes. In 2015, they slowed things down a little as a trio. And at the moment, they’re all working on separate projects. Lead singer Lee Yongwon released a solo album titled Vancouver in December. Jaehyuk is drumming for the charismatic metal fusion band Jambinai. Jinyoung is playing bass in the band Kreatures.
I do know that Yellow Monsters are now a staple in my music library, I own all of their albums, and I still think of how they helped me get my start. I believe their straight forward lyrics, clear vocals and elemental rhythms connect easily to many people, and that’s what makes them great musicians.