As the Korean music market begins to receive more international recognition, the local band scene is looking to rise up and represent the next generation of Korean music. This is the 15th instalment of a series of interviews with Korean rock, acoustic and alternative bands. - Ed.
Once a contemporary indie band, Peterpan Complex is shifting gears by putting the electronic guitars on the back burner and bringing back the synthesizer and the sounds of the '80s with its electro funk twist to underground pop rock.
In a compact recording studio decked out with 12 keyboards scattered throughout the room as well as seven different soundboards, Jeon Ji-han, Kim Kyung-in and Lee Chi-won of the electro punk trio Peterpan Complex talked about their varied experiences as one of Seoul's long-time veteran indie rockers.
"The concept of our band is simple: evolution," said the band's lead vocalist Jeon during an interview with the band in their studio near Hongdae. "We have been performing now for more than 10 years, so we have to continue to strive to experiment with our music."
"We initially started off with a British pop rock sound, but over the years we have slowly moved more toward a synth-pop and electronic sound," he added. "When you compare us to other groups, there are a lot of acts nowadays training out electronic music, but most of the stuff out there is like EDM or club style music. ... We rather consider ourselves as in between electronica and rock 'n' roll."
Although the band has gone through its fair share of member changes, Peterpan Complex has still managed to keep pumping out music over the past 14 years.
The indie band was first formed in 2000 after the original members answered an ad placed at the Seoul University of Art campus. After experimenting with their sound and finally deciding on a style of music to pursue, the bandmates decided to take their first plunge as a band at the 2001 Soyosan Rock Festival, where they snagged the festival's grand prize for their performance.