Viet­namese punk band to tour Seoul, Bu­san

The Korea Times - - FOREIGN COMMUNITY - By Jon Dun­bar jdun­[email protected]­re­

In what might be a first, a Viet­namese hard­core punk band is com­ing to Ko­rea this week­end for two shows.

The band name is the Viet­namese word for quail ba­lut, a pop­u­lar street food, when spelled prop­erly. But with­out the lit­tle ac­cents on the vow­els, as would be printed in this news­pa­per, Cut Lon has cruder mean­ings.

The Hanoi-based band plays thrash and hard­core punk, but it is so much more than that. The Unite Asia punk news web­site called it “your new fa­vorite band” and said “this band has done ev­ery­thing right.”

The four-mem­ber group has cer­tainly gained at­ten­tion for its mu­sic videos, in which mem­bers wear knit­ted Pikachu masks.

“The Pikachu cos­tume is funny — we love wear­ing it on stage, although it’s re­ally hot and un­com­fort­able,” said Sot, the band’s gui­tarist. “In the be­gin­ning, we just wanted to have fun and wear some­thing stupid. But then as we started writ­ing mu­sic, the Pikachu cos­tume re­ally fit in with the songs.”

Fit­ting with their hi­lar­i­ous, play­ful im­age, their lyrics are de­scribed as writ­ten through the eyes of a sev­enyear-old. “For our gen­er­a­tion, we’ve wit­nessed many changes in so­ci­ety. There are things we’re fa­mil­iar with when we are kids, but then they just sim­ply van­ish. There’re also things that are out­dated but still per­sist — like trash wag­ons, pro­pa­ganda, painted ad­ver­tise­ments. Th­ese things we took for granted at seven years old, when we’re grown up enough, they be­come quite funny and silly. That’s why we write about our world through the eyes of a kid’s naive point of view but with a sar­cas­tic tone.”

Hard­core and punk are rel­a­tively new in Viet­nam, hav­ing about 10 years of history by Sot’s count.

“Hanoi and Saigon are the two main cities that have the big­gest scenes,” Sot said. “Nor­mally in Hanoi, a good show will drive in 100 kids, while in Saigon it can be up to 150-200. In Hanoi, the scene is rather small where ev­ery­body knows each other. There are kids from high school, but the most ac­tive mem­bers are now 30 years old or more, which is pretty old. It is re­ally hard to have new lis­ten­ers, not to speak of in­stru­ment play­ers.”

Sot him­self is 32, work­ing as a graphic de­signer, and has been play­ing the gui­tar since high school. He’s been in a hand­ful of lo­cal metal and hard­core bands al­ready, in­clud­ing Pro­por­tions, Off The Sky­lines, Nu­ra­nium and Epi­one.

As his scene de­vel­ops and grows, he says it’s be­com­ing eas­ier for bands to tour abroad and for for­eign bands to come to Viet­nam. He can name four Korean bands that have played in Viet­nam: Turn for Our, Day of Mourn­ing, End Th­ese Days and 13 Steps.

“Viet­nam’s scene has a good con­nec­tion with Ko­rea’s scene,” he said. “Per­son­ally I al­ways try to meet peo­ple from the scene wher­ever I travel; th­ese bring good friend­ships and con­nec­tions where we can help each other in the fu­ture.”

On Fri­day they’re at Club Re­al­ize in Bu­san, and on Satur­day they’re play­ing in Seen­dosi in down­town Seoul. The other bands in­clude Duox­ini, 13 Steps, Korose, Gu­miho and Turn for Our, and the show costs 15,000 won.


Cour­tesy of Dat Ruoy

Mem­bers of Cut Lon pose in Pikachu cos­tumes.

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