SOUTH KOREA - Known for going wild and their notorious antics both on and off stage, the rock stars of Galaxy Express started from humble beginnings. They then took their garage band sound further than any of the members had ever predicted.
The trio ― made up of Lee Ju-hyun (bass-vocals), Park Jong-hyun (guitar-vocals) and Kim Hee-kwon (drums) - surprised even themselves by becoming one of the nation's most popular names in rock music. They have found the chance to pursue music as a career to be a rewarding experience.
"The non-mainstream music scene in Korea is quite small and it was very rough starting out and trying to make ends meet," Lee said during an interview with the band at a small cafe near the group's studio in Seogyo-dong, Seoul. "But now that we have kind of made a name for ourselves, we are able to do what we love for a living and that has made all our lives so much more free and comfortable and this really has an affect on our music."
Although the rockers originally played in different acts, they decided to join forces and debuted as Galaxy Express in 2007 with the album "To the Galaxy."
Despite the trio's long history and experience in the music scene, they confessed that when it comes to composing and recording music, they simply rely on the basics - no savvy technological assistance, just the three of them sitting in a room and jamming until they hear something they like.
"Honestly, the three of us don't know how to compose or edit anything using the computer and none of us can actually read music," Park explained. "We seriously just come together and have these jam sessions and just record them on our iPhones; we are quite primitive in that sense."
The guys stated that despite their lack of technological knowledge, they always try to produce and showcase their music innovatively. In 2010, Galaxy Express released its second studio album, "Wild Dogs," which was written and recorded in just a month. The album was part of a social media experiment in which the artists pre-released portions of their singles online and asked for feedback and suggestions from listeners.
"It was quite a new experience for us to receive the kind of help and comments that we did from our fans," said Kim. "They even helped us name our songs and it was a very unique way for us to prepare and produce our album."