**Editors’ note: This piece was written by Sohn Jeong-Eun, a guest writer we met while in Seoul for Zandari Festa. She’s been kind enough to share her interview with the fabulous Ooberfuse with us. From here on out – it’s all Jeong-Eun’s writing.
In the middle of August, I got an email from Haydn West, the manager of a band called Ooberfuse. He asked me whether Sofar Sounds Seoul (a global music community curating intimate gigs in cozy places) would consider hosting Ooberfuse. At the beginning, I was amazed that somebody from the opposite side of the earth, whom I never met before, sent me an email. And secondly, I was so glad that Sofar Sounds Seoul was becoming global, so people from all across the world will start contacting us when they tour Korea. Anyway, I searched Ooberfuse on YouTube right away and fell in love with their music. I couldn’t wait to enjoy their live concert here in Seoul.
Since then, we kept messaging each other, we hung out together during their stay in Korea, and we explored many stages of Zandari Festa together. (Yes. They performed at Club TA as a part of Zandari Festa, the day before its official closing. They marked a historical day in the Hongdae area for sure!) When I tried to write something about Zandari Festa, I couldn’t think of any better candidates to interview than Ooberfuse, the treasure I discovered this year.
I hope my article can help you get a better picture of their music!
Can you please introduce yourselves and your band to our readers?
We are a London-based band called Ooberfuse. We fuse electronic sounds with heartfelt vocals and acoustic guitar. We are composed of Hal St John, Cherrie Anderson, and Frank Van Der.
From left: Frank Van Der, Cherrie Anderson & Hal St. John (Image Courtesy of Sofar Sounds Seoul)
How and when did you get together as a band?
We started around 2012 – we were all friends and decided to enter a national band competition. We weren’t sure what would happen, but we ended up in the final 10 out of 10,000 bands and artists, playing at London’s iconic O2 venue. We carried on playing music since then.
What kinds of music do you do?
Synthpop with heartfelt vocals.
Where do you find inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
From personal experiences. We look inside ourselves and connect with our feelings, those feelings inspire our musical output. We write about things that impact us, whether it’s personal relationships or our response to things happening around the world.
If someone wasn’t familiar with your music, what song would you suggest they start with?
“Secret Tattoo” – it’s a song that embodies who we are and reflects our genre and musical style.
How did you find about Zandari festa?
We met the founder Dalse at a music convention in Liverpool, the home of the Beatles. He talked about Zandari Festa and we found we had a shared connection in celebrating independent music.
There must have been so many happenings during the festival, I believe. Could you share your memorable moment?
One of the memorable moments for us is getting to play our showcase set in an iconic venue, Club TA, just the day before it had to permanently close.
What do you think artists in Seoul could learn from bands in UK and vice versa?
We learnt a lot from the talented Korean artists that we met. We admire the passion in their music and how music is a way of life.
What did you prefer, Soju? Makgeolli (rice wine)? or beer?
Soju, of course!
What is your plan for the rest of 2016?
We released our single Secret Tattoo on November 18th, and our music video too. We have a number of gigs lined up in the UK, and we are preparing for our album release via Berlin label Motor Records in early 2017.
If you are interested in their music, why don’t you get updates from their Facebook page? They are touring all across the world, so maybe you can attend their live concert at some point.
Thanks so much to Jong-Eun for sharing Ooberfuse with us!