‘World Dom­i­na­tion 2’ fea­tures 4 bands, 4 coun­tries

The Korea Times - - FOREIGN COMMUNITY - By Jon Dun­bar jdun­bar@ko­re­atimes.co.kr

Four bands rep­re­sent­ing four coun­tries have come to­gether to re­lease a four-song com­pi­la­tion al­bum on the Korean la­bel World Dom­i­na­tion, Inc. (WDI). This is vol­ume 2 of the “World Dom­i­na­tion” se­ries, this time spot­light­ing ska­punk bands from Korea, Malaysia, the U.S. and the U.K.

“Since four bands from four dif­fer­ent coun­tries have come to­gether for this al­bum, we’re re­ally happy to have the op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple in other coun­tries to lis­ten to our songs,” said Kim Song-yi, front­woman of Korean band TalkBats. “We’re mo­ti­vated to try even harder to be­come a band that stays true to our­selves while im­prov­ing on our mu­sic for ev­ery­one who’ll lis­ten to us.”

TalkBats con­trib­utes a song ti­tled sim­ply “TalkBats!” Ac­cord­ing to Kim, the song is “about how even though we don’t know what will hap­pen in our fu­ture and we don’t know what we want to do, we want to en­joy this mo­ment with­out any wor­ries and share this fun mo­ment with all of you.”

The song fea­tures a bouncy ska­punk track rem­i­nis­cent of 1990s bands like Dance Hall Crash­ers and Save Fer­ris, but with the TalkBats’ sig­na­ture key­tar sound which gives their mu­sic a unique vibe and serves as the back­bone for their whole sound.

“When we’re in the process of mak­ing songs, we tend to think of the main riff for the key­tar be­fore any­thing else,” Kim said.

The key­tar is so im­por­tant, it sur­vived a ma­jor lineup change a few months ago, los­ing both key­tarist Nagi and drum­mer Hyun­min. “We were able to start prac­tic­ing with our new key­tarist So-yoon and drum­mer two months be­fore Nagi and Hyun-min’s last show,” Kim said. “Our new mem­bers in­di­vid­u­ally prac­ticed re­ally hard and we made sure to prac­tice to­gether as a band of­ten, so it didn’t take long for TalkBats to have a show with our new mem­bers. For that, I’m re­ally thank­ful to our orig­i­nal mem­bers as well. So-yoon ac­tu­ally bought her key­tar as soon as it was de­cided she was go­ing to join us. It looks re­ally cool…”

Kim got into ska at age 20, when she went to a punk show in her home­town Busan with the Korean band Ska­sucks play­ing. “I bought their CD right away and even got their au­to­graphs,” she said. “Af­ter that, I lis­tened to their songs ev­ery day for a while. And then I moved to Seoul!”

Now she has her own band, and it’s on a world­wide com­pi­la­tion with Dan P and the Bricks from the U.S., Faintest Idea from the U.K. and Plague of Hap­pi­ness from Malaysia.

Dan P and the Bricks is a 10-piece band fea­tur­ing mem­bers from MU330, Slow Gherkin and the Bruce Lee Band signed to Asian Man Records, con­tribut­ing the dance­able crowd pleaser “Weak at Heart.”

Faintest Idea started as an an­gry punk band that over time ac­cu­mu­lated ska in­flu­ences, which are mixed to­gether in the in­cen­di­ary anti-fas­cist song “Stomp Them Down.”

Plague of Hap­pi­ness is the old­est of the four bands, founded in 1999 in Malaysia’s Jo­hor Bahru. They con­trib­uted the poppy num­ber “Mata­hari.”

None of these bands have met be­fore — al­though Dan P has toured Korea twice with the Bruce Lee Band — and it’s un­likely any of the bands will meet up for some time. The mu­sic scene has slowed down, both here and around the world, due to the COVID-19 pan­demic. For Kim, though, not much has changed, partly be­cause her per­sonal style has for years in­cluded face masks.

“One thing I can say for sure is that I wore it for fash­ion!” she said. “Thanks to that though, I al­ready had a lot of masks at home when

COVID-19 first started. In Korea, I rarely see peo­ple with­out masks now. I un­der­stand it might be un­com­fort­able but I hope ev­ery­one wears their masks, not only for their own safety but for the safety of ev­ery­one around them!”

The com­pi­la­tion is al­ready avail­able on TalkBats’ Band­camp page, and an of­fi­cial re­lease party is sched­uled for this Satur­day at Club SHARP in Mang­won-dong, west­ern Seoul, where the 7” will be for sale. TalkBats will be joined by reg­gae band Re­seters and punk bands Jonny’spark, Smok­ing Goose and Far East Asian Tigers. Safety pro­ce­dures will be taken, such as tem­per­a­ture checks at the door, pro­vid­ing hand san­i­tizer and mic cov­ers, and at­ten­dees are urged to wear masks.

WDI is print­ing 500 records, which will be sent to all bands for dis­tri­bu­tion in their home coun­tries.

“The main goal is just reach­ing out to other scenes and ex­pand­ing our net­works,” said Jeff Moses, co-or­ga­nizer of WDI. “TalkBats may never go to the U.K. But be­cause of this record and Faintest Idea’s ef­forts, peo­ple in the U.K. will know who TalkBats are. Plague of Hap­pi­ness may never make it to Korea. But be­cause of TalkBats, Kore­ans will know who PoH is. We run WDI like a char­ity. We or­ga­nize. We give our time. We give some money that we will NEVER get back. All for the greater good.”

Visit fb.com/wdiko­rea for more in­for­ma­tion about the show or TalkBats.band­camp.com to hear the al­bum.

Korea Times photo by Jon Dun­bar

TalkBats plays at It’s A Fest! at In­cheon’s Hana­gae Beach on June 14, 2019.

Courtesy of World Dom­i­na­tion, Inc.

The cover of “World Dom­i­na­tion Vol. 2”

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