Kerrang!, the weekly magazine devoted to rock and heavy metal music, has championed the alternative since 1981!
Kerrang!’s Digital Editor, Luke Morton, interviewed Korean rock group Burster before their week-long UK tour. The group spoke about their name, music and tour, among other more probing questions.
Luke asked about standing out and proving authenticity among the masses of manufactured pop and Bursters stressed their legitimacy and integrity as a band.
A lot of K-Pop is manufactured. How are you going to convince rock fans that you’re a legitimate band?
“Because we are. We are legitimate. We’re not a band that was put together by a label – we were already a band before we tried for Superstar K, and our music is always absolutely our own. Even after we were signed by a label, every chord, every word, every song in our album is made by us, through many all-nighters of pulling our hairs out. We can’t get any more legitimate than who we are now.”
They also discussed the Korean rock scene, which is relatively large though dwarfed by the pop music industry.
What is the Korean rock scene like?
“Rock is actually mainstream in Korea, but K-Pop is so popular that rock seems not to be by comparison. The fact that many rock bands from abroad hold concerts in Korea, and that there are numerous rock festivals held every year all over Korea, prove it so.”
Rock music has an interesting history in South Korea. When under the military administration of Park Chung-hee rock music and the related subculture was declared a depraved youth culture and restricted. It reemerged after censorship policies were abolished and became a mainstream genre with artists often leading music charts.
A revival in the 90s saw rock, punk and alternative music going toe-to-toe with the then-emerging Kpop scene.
Rock music had to move from mainstream tv coverage to the streets of areas like Hongdae and festivals such as Pentaport in the 2000s after the Korean Broadcasting Commission proposed heavy disciplinary measures for alternative music performances following friends of punk group Rux exposing themselves on a live nationwide broadcast of Music Camp.
Check out Bursters’ latest single, Barriers.