Seeing The Solutions live as opener for Japanese artist Satsuki in Le Garage, Liège, Belgium on a cold Sunday evening was one of the best musical surprises of the year. Especially realizing that this band was unintentionally playing music that could happily be a soundtrack to a rock-and-roll-loving dieselpunk lifestyle. The Gatehouse jumped on the occasion and, thanks to kind tour manager Ethan, got an interview with the band that same evening, so our readers can get to know this fantastic South Korean band a little better.
Could you say something positive about each other by way of introduction?
Naru (vocals, guitar): Sol is very talented, he’s really good at putting his emotions into the music. His emotions really have power to them that way.
Sol: Naru’s had a really good year when it comes to being creative.
Why did you chose The Solutions as the name for the band?
Naru: It just popped to mind suddenly and because it sounded good we went for it without thinking it through too much. It sounded like a cool name so we went with it.
Your music sounds very genuinely 1950s rock. Is this intentional?
Naru: No, not at all. We experiment mixing our favorite sounds from the 80s, 90s and contemporary music. Using both guitars and synthesisers, which I like both. We are experimenting with mixing them, without making it sound complex. We want people to be able to just listen, not hearing all that complexity. It’s pretty difficult to do that.
I saw you guys wearing 50s rock outfits on one of your posters, what do you like best of that era?
Naru: To be honest, we just loved that particular look and thought it would look great for those posters. We take what we like from every era really and mix it together, making it our own.
Your music fits right in with the dieselpunk subculture. Is this something you were aware of?
Sol: You know, I had never heard of it before, I must admit.
Naru: Me neither, but it’s really cool to hear that our music could be listened to like that.
You normally perform at much larger venues and festivals in Asia. How does it feel to perform at smaller venues here in Europe?
Naru: Every place is unique and we like all of them. And the reception of our music has been really good, so that’s great!
What’s been the best about touring Europe so far?
Naru: we would love to play in Europe more frequently. The streets are beautiful here and the people are very kind and gentle. We really like all of it so far. We did not actually expect people to come and see our shows because we’re not well known here yet, but some people came especially for us, telling us they are fans and thanking us for coming in Korean. Seeing people enjoy our performance is the best.
How would you compare European audiences to those of South Korea?
Naru: People in South Korea really get into it and get really enthusiastic. It doesn’t matter who the artist is, they just really go all out and go for it because they admire them. Their reaction is great really. Europeans enjoy the show in the same way, but they are more introvert, they shout and scream less than South Korean fans. But no matter where we performed, the fans were similar during our performances.
Ethan (tour manager): I think Koreans are more into the artists and Europeans are more into the performance, but once the show stars they are similar.
If you had to introduce your music by making people listen to just one of your songs, which one would you choose?
Naru: “Talk, Dance, Party for Love.”
Sol: “Jungle in Your Mind.”
How do you feel touring outside of Asia will influence your future works?
Naru: It will definitely influence our future works, of that I’m sure, but I’m not sure in which way yet. Emotionally in any case, I’m sure. (Smiles)
Ethan: They like walking around just soaking up the general atmosphere for inspiration.
It’s nearly the new year, what are your plans for 2015?
Naru: In February, we will go to Miami to work with producer Jimmy Douglas.
Ethan: Jimmy Douglas is a producer that has also worked with Pharrell Williams and John Legend. He chose The Solutions at a Korean music conference and will work together for a single.
Naru: we will learn many things, of that I’m sure. We look forward to it. And of course we’ll write more songs and tour more intensively. Hopefully we can come back to Europe as well next year.
One a closing note, could you say something about the band that isn’t commonly known?
Naru: we may be a rockband, but in our daily lives we’re not like rock stars at all. (Smiles) I like to listen to folk and classical music. (Laughs) And Sol also likes being with his family, he’s very kind to them. We’re not loud guys at all. I like to go for a walk and pet my cats and sleep. (Chuckles)
Sol: I was in a talent show before I joined The Solutions.
Ethan: He participated in a South Korean talent show called Super Star. He was in season 3. He did pretty well in it actually.
Sol: Before we started The Solutions we were solo artists, so basically I went on the show to get exposure.