Narotic is a melancholic and dreamy indie alternative band based in Seoul, South Korea.
Their musical style, heavily influenced by Radiohead, is a colourful, detailed, beautiful and sensitive sound that mixes post-rock, dream pop, shoegaze and psychedelic.
Next month in November, Narotic will perform in Japan for the first time in eight months since their Kansai tour in March this year, at three venues in Tokyo - Shinjuku, Shimokitazawa and Shibuya.
In this second e-mail interview, we asked Narotic about his impressions of the tour in March and how they have been doing recently.
Interview & Text：music/And...
—— On your first tour to Japan, you visited Kansai for the first time and performed in Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. What were your overall impressions?
Hyuk(Key)：I was half excited and half scared because it was my first time going abroad, but I'm so glad that the concert went better than I expected.
Ethan(Dr)：I felt like our band had succeeded, like we were something! But afterwards, I felt like a frog in a well again.
Woong(Gt/Vo)：It was our first time performing overseas, so we were excited and had a lot of expectations. There were a lot of disappointments, but in the end, it was a good experience.
Seddon(Ba)：I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to make some good memories. Also, the cup noodles and mackerel sushi were so good, even though I didn't pay for them.
—— Do you have any memories or stories from the tour that particularly stand out?
Ethan：It was so much fun to experience something different, filming a vlog.
Seddon：I felt like I had to be prepared and not being clumsy. After the tour, I was checking things like the available power and power requirements of the product every day.
Hyuk：I was lucky that my power and Woong's power worked well, but I remember being embarrassed when Seddon's power didn't work during the first Osaka rehearsal.
Ethan：Ah! I missed the plane. If you're curious, check out our Narotic vlogs on YouTube.
—— After your last tour, have you changed anything about yourself as an artist or as a person?
Seddon：I think I already said that.
Ethan：I felt like after the tour we became a little bit closer, not in a business kind of way.
Woong：I feel the same way. I feel like I'm mentally stronger.
Seddon：I feel like I've gotten a lot stronger mentally as well. I was in chaos easily, but I feel like I've changed my mindset since the tour.
Hyuk：I also feel like we bonded a lot because we saw each other break down and comforted each other. I think we changed a lot because we were together for a week.
—— With the recent change in artist photos, I got the impression that the photos have a stronger message, a reversal from the previous atmosphere, but what was the concept behind the photos?
Woong：The photos…. It reveals our different music.
Seddon：I've seen a lot of common profiles and stuff.
Woong：Yeah, something like that.
Seddon：It's not that they're not cool, it's just that I didn't want to do our profile like that, I wanted to do a profile that was more special. The idea for the profile came out of a drink with the guys.
Woong：It's just that we're naked, and I think my music used to pretend to be something, but now I don't want to do that, I want to do more natural.
Hyuk：I actually didn't understand exactly what Woong meant when he said that we shouldn't pretend to have something before, but when we took the photo, I was not good situation and I thought, "Let's put it all down," because it was concept and we arrived at the location and I thought, "Let's just show our rawness," and we went ahead with the shoot and it turned out to be the coolest profile I've ever taken, and I think I understood after the shoot what he said that.
Ethan：Yeah we didn’t want to be cool
Woong：But this concept people either like it or hate it.
Ethan：I think the concept is one of marketing. We didn't do it to be cool, but we were all naked anyway, so when someone sees it, they're going to click on it like, "What are these assholes doing?" But people who love us are going to be like, "Oh, these guys are really changing”.
Woong：Yeah, everyone loves us is impossible.
Ethan：Right. I think it's really fresh, people who have watched a lot of us will know it.
Woong：Does that mean we popular?
Ethan：But I don't think that's a problem. Isn't it already too late?
Woong：Yeah, but there is something that can reach a wider people.
Ethan：Those are something that we used to do a lot, pretending to be cool, and I don't think it's bad. If it fits the color of music, it could be good. Some people do it because they want to look cool, right? But I don't think that's Narotic’s color.
Hyuk：I don't think when you pretend
Ethan：Not pretending, Just being cool.
Seddon：I think it was actually a turning point for me after I did the profile, because I was like, "I only want to post cool, good-looking pictures on my Instagram, and people like them," but then I realized that I have a lot of followers who follow Narotic. So, they're going to see all of my posts, and it's like, "I'm wearing only leaf, and I'm naked all over the place," and it kind of shook me up a little bit mentally.
Ethan：But the thing is, Nobody asked him to do it. He just wanted to do it.
Seddon：I was in a very difficult situation, and I cut my hair after that.
—— Are there any works of art, films, novels, or anything else that have been influencing you lately, including music?
Ethan：I've been getting more interested in Egon Schiele expressionist works, and as for music, I've been listening to old jazz. I've always loved Les Paul and Teddy Wilson, so their delicate playing has really changed my playing recently and is a huge influence. I also love the poetry books of Heo Su-kyung.
Woong：I get a lot of inspiration from the news these days. Watching the war in the Middle East and Ukraine makes me think about ‘Where is mankind going now’, and I have a lot of depressing thoughts. I've been watching a lot of science videos, and I'm discovering a new side of myself.
Seddon：I get a lot of emotion and inspiration from watching live animals and plants. I also try to capture what I get visually when I visit museums or walk down the street in my works.
Hyuk：I received a book as a gift from a friend, and I felt something while reading it. A good author's writing makes you feel like you are fully invited into the author's world. I think music has the same way, so I've been exploring other people's worldviews through writing and music lately.
—— Heard that you are currently working on a single, what is the status?
Woong：We’ve finished recording it now, and I'd like to release it before the Japan tour, but I'm not sure what will happen.
—— In your recent live shows, you've been playing covers of songs by Nothing But Thieves, Tame Impala, The Verve, Blur, Radiohead, and others. Are there any other bands you'd like to cover? What about Japanese bands?
Woong：I want to cover BADBADNOTGOOD. Japanese bands are toe.
Ethan：I would like to cover ONE OK ROCK.
Seddon：I'm Tame Impala!! again Tame Impala.
Woong：I honestly listen to a lot of jazz nowadays and I love it.
Hyuk：BADBADNOTGOOD, is also a jazz band.
Seddon：Honestly, I'd love to do a Yellow Magic Orchestra song, and then Tame Impala because they're my favorite, and I'd love to cover them anytime, and then Radiohead again.
Ethan：But I felt that the audience in Japan loved Radiohead., even when we covered Radiohead Song in Japan. They have similar colors to us.
Woong：Japan loves Radiohead a lot too.
Hyuk：Who was that woman back then?
Hyuk：That's right, she was dancing.
Woong：She actually saw Radiohead.
Ethan：Yeah, she said she saw them while eating at a restaurant.
Hyuk：I misunderstood and thought she was eating with Radiohead.
Woong：Do you have anything?
Hyuk：I think more than any other song, instrumental with not much have dynamics. Even in jazz, there's a piece that doesn't have any dynamics and there's a piece that has a lot of dynamics, and I think it's actually harder to get a lot of cheers from people in first one. So, I think I'd like to do songs like that.
Woong：Confessions Pt III is like that.
Hyuk：You, ONE OK ROCK?
Ethan：Yeah, but it doesn’t have to do ONE OK ROCK, I think it would be fun to celebrate our upcoming tour in Japan with a Japanese band or a song that can be sung in Japanese, not a song with English lyrics. I think it would be fun.
Hyuk：But Japanese is hard to pronounce.
Woong：You're good at it.
Ethan：But it's the same, it's the same as listening to Woong sing in English. We're foreigners, so the Japanese audience will take that into consideration.
Woong：You can sing it.
Ethan：Why should I sing it?
Hyuk：You're good at Japanese.
Ethan：Who's going to play the drums?
Woong：I'll play the drums. No, you can sing while playing the drums.
—— It's a little early, but what do you want 2024 to be for Narotic?
Woong：We've done a lot of new things so far, but we need to pursue more new things.
Hyuk：I feel like this year has changed a lot, and I think we should do something more with it.
Ethan：I'm still not sure what we're going to do with it, even though we've tried a lot.
Woong：I think ‘Did we pursue new things too much?’
Ethan：Yeah, I feel like that too, because we've done so much, especially this year. Honestly, I'm kind of looking forward to next year, whether it's an EP or a single or a full-length album, to see what we can come up with if we pursue the new things we've been working on.
Woong：I think we have to release more single than before. I know it's going to be hard, but I think this is right. Because nowadays things get forgotten so quickly.
Ethan：I've also realized that offline activities are really important.
Ethan：Oh, online. Like releasing a lot of albums, creating content.
Woong：We have to keep creating something, you can never take a break.
Seddon：Like, remix something, or do a cover and release it, or I've been thinking about making a Christmas song.
Ethan：Yeah, I was thinking about that too. You know, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, playing that song as a cover at Christmas, or releasing it like you said.
Seddon：My idea is to make a Christmas song and release it at Christmas.
Woong：But the last time I tried to write a Christmas song, it didn't work.
Seddon：It would be a dark Christmas.
Woong：So why don't we do it this Christmas?
Ethan：Maybe if we get a gig.
Woong：No, I'm talking about releasing
—— Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to in Tokyo?
Seddon：Clubs and beer
Seddon：Oh yeah, sake and beer.
Ethan：I remember on our last Kansai tour, a fan asked us if we were going to play in Tokyo, so I'm looking forward to seeing if they do.
Woong：I'm looking forward to meeting new Tokyo musicians and seeing Masara again.
Hyuk：I'm also looking forward to meeting new bands in Japan and how it will be different from the last Kansai tour.
—— We are looking forward to your second performance in Japan in November, so please send us a message one by one!
Woong：See you soon Japan
Hyuk：What does that mean?
Ethan：pleased to meet you
Woong：Oh, and thank you so much to Music/And… and Masara for all their hard work for this tour.
Seddon：Japanese food waits for me!
Hyuk：Thank you to everyone who's coming to see us, and I'm really looking forward to playing with Fat Hamster and KANG New.
Ethan：It's gonna be so fun.
Hyuk：Really. We're so excited to be performing in Japan with our fellow musicians.Thank you.
Narotic：WE LOVE YOU