Tell and Listen debuted in 2013 with “Night Train,” and this year released their second single, “Goodbye.”
I recently had the honor of interviewing the band, and I’d like to thank Goo-Reum, Keon-Ho, Min-Ha, Dal-Paeng, and Jung Kwon for taking time out of their busy schedule to speak with me.
On to the interview!
Where are each of you from?
Well, all of us are from South Korea 🙂
More exactly, Goo-Reum (means “cloud” in Korean), the vocalist of our band, is from Incheon, Keon-Ho and Min-Ha, the guitarist and bassist respectively, is from Seoul, Dal-Paeng (means “snail” in Korean), the keyboardist of Tell & Listen, is from Changwon, and Jung-Kwon, the drummer is from Gyeongju.
What made you realize that music was what you wanted to pursue as a career?
Goo-Reum: When I found I really loved to sing.
Keon-Ho: I resolved my stress by listening music when I was in high school. It led me to find many band’s video files, and as I found them, I got fascinated by their energy which made people to be touched, and it consequently made me to play guitar in a band.
Min-Ha: When I listened to songs with good melodies and lyrics, it really touched me and made me eager to be a musician.
Dal-Paeng: Since I got hooked on animation songs. It desired me to write good songs.
Jung-Kwon: When I used to go to church, there was a drum on the stage, but no one could play it. So, I started to learn the drums by curiosity, and as I learned and learned, playing drums made me really happy.
When you first met each other, what was your first impression of the other members?
Goo-Reum: Well, not bad at all.
Keon-Ho: Dal-Paeng looked quiet and sentimental, Goo-Reum looked stubborn and daring, Min-Ha looked energetic and positive, Jung-Kwon looked earnest and polite. The funny thing is that, most of these first impressions don’t match.
Min-Ha: Well, Goo-Reum looked really strong, Keon-Ho looked charismatic, Jung-Kwon looked friendly, and Dal-Paeng looked like a teacher ;). Whatever how I felt about the first impression of these people, now they’re invaluable people for me, and that’s why I’m still keep rocking on with this guys.
Dal-Paeng: Actually, I don’t have an exact memory of it. The important thing is “PRESENT.”
Jung-Kwon: Well, all of members looked friendly and polite.
Why the name ‘tell and listen’?
In Korean elementary school, there’s a textbook called “Malhagideudgi,” which stands for “Tell and Listen,” and we considered that it might be really fit for the name of the music group.
The name “Tell and Listen” also involves that “we tell (or sing) the reality and sensitivity to audiences, and they hear it as a memory.”
What inspires your sound?
Many of the Korean sentimental songs from the 90’s. It was also known as the “Renaissance Era” of the Korean music history. Actually, every sounds or songs we hear in our daily lives inspire us. Those inspration led to Dal-Paeng’s unique chord progressions, Keon-Ho’s guitar tone, Goo-Reum’s vocal tone, and as a result, it led to Tell and Listen’s characteristic band sound.
Any weird songwriting habits?
Dal-Paeng: When I get totally stressed out. Songs come out better when I stay up all night.
Goo-Reum: It’s not an awkward habit, but I usually remind melodies and lyrics throughout playing guitar.
Keon-Ho: I basically think about the chorus lines, then I remind good melodies throughout listening other songs. I don’t write melodies and lyrics at the same time; I usually use lyrics from my writings.
I don’t write many songs; I pick up a song from rough drafts that I have written. Because of this, I spend much time even writing one song.
When you’re away from home, what is your favorite thing to eat?
Goo-Reum: Hamburger, pizza.
Keon-Ho: All except seafoods. If I have to choose one thing, I’ll choose “Pasta.”
Min-Ha: Kim-chi fried rice. It’s my number one.
Dal-Paeng: Ddukbokki (Korean snack food made of rice cake and red chili sauce).
Jung-Kwon: Ramen (Korean noodle), kimbab, hamburger, chicken.
What is the craziest thing to happen while performing onstage/backstage?
Well, before performing on the stage, our keyboardist Dal-Paeng was once considered as a man because of her short haircut. What really made us sad was that it wasn’t even a joke!
Also, when we had an acoustic performance, our members incited our guitarist Keon-Ho to sing, and thankfully, audiences responded to his singing very well even though Keon-Ho was really nervous.
For one more unforgettable thing, we were on the stage, and were performing a cover song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” During the song, our vocal Goo-Reum was about to sing, but she began to sing one measure faster, and all of our members got into panic. Still now, we regard that performance as the worst one.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
We’re planning to release an EP album in this October. We began to work on it, and hope we’ll meet people up throughout our music. We also want to appear on stages and festivals, such as “Supersonic Festival,” “Pentaport Rock Festival,” and “Grand Mint Festival.”
Who do you draw inspiration from as musicians?
Dal-Paeng: Tokyo Jihen (Japanese rock band), and Lee Seung-Hwan.
Keon-Ho: Nuno Bettencourt, Dear Cloud, and Yoo Hee-Yeol.
Min-Ha: Well, there’s too many I have to refer, but I want to choose… Tower of Power, Pino Palladino, Nell, Radiohead, and Mew.
Could you say something to your international fans?
It is very thankful to say hello to y’all throughout this interview. We also like to thank you for your interests to “Tell and Listen,” and hope our songs will touch your heart throughout not only emotions that are limited in Korea, but universal emotions as well. We hope to see you guys soon. Thank you!
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