First I heard about Au Revoir Michelle when we started commenting on bands auditioning for Top Band 2 and they didn’t dissapoint me even during the competition. But judges and audience probably weren’t ready for that original mix of metal, trot and a bit of folk. In several days on 30th of October Au Revoir Michelle will release their new material with “Les Cris De La Nuit”. This weekend they held release concert at SangSang Madang with YaYa and Remnants of the Fallen as guests. If you want to hear the band live here is a good example – 낙화(落花). More about the upcoming release you can read at Korean Indie. And here I’d like to present to you my short interview with the band’s frontman Mark Mazy, which was taken really long ago. Thanks to for her translation.
Can you introduce yourself and the band?
We are a 5-man-band with a soft, unique, eastern tint.
You all are experienced musicians, could you tell a bit about your previous projects?
Well. I think everyone becomes a good musician through a lot of experience, but I was crazy with activities to the extent that after the release of the first album as the band Downhell, we’ve currently released roughly about 10 albums as actual CDs. Before that I went through roughly 6~7 bands, but I couldn’t get a result into my hands. It was a pity. Starting my activities in Hongdae, I did a lot of sessions, and notably I was active for 7 years in Kim Kyung Ho’s band.
What has brought you together? Why did you start “Au Revoir Michelle”?
In 2009 I got introduced to the guitarist Hwadoll who just came out on his army vacation, and discussing this and that I got introduced to Kim Sun Wook, who was active in a band called Loadfear. From 2010 on we started to perform together and after roughly 2 years and 8 members switching and switching again, we became the line-up we’re now. Because it was a time in which we weren’t active at all, it was really difficult to look for members.
What is the meaning behind “Au Revoir Michelle”?
Goodbye Michelle… the last greeting I personally think I am going to send to her in my imaginations…
How can you describe your music? What message do you put in it?
Well that what sleeps deep inside people’s hearts… and love
Who is responsible for writing lyrics and how do you create your music?
Our vocal Mazy is in charge of the lyrics and the music job in general, when our guitarist Sun Wook does the work, after Mazy balances the vocal melody above it, they both tune it.
What was the reason for you to step into Top Band 2 competition?
In the more than 2 years we weren’t in the condition to perform due member problems. We needed a lot of publicity and therefore a huge issue maker. Around the time when Top Band Season 1 started, there was the Sang Sang Madang Incubating and we thought that we needed to concentrate on one, so we entered only the Sang Sang Madang Incubating and at that time we talked with the members about trying to go to Top Band Season 2 if we get good results. Luckily, we took the chance and got chosen for the 4th Incubating.
How do you feel while being judged? What were your thoughts?
Well, it wasn’t such a comfortable feeling. Music is in any way not something you can grade like a taken exam, so it is true that we worry what kind of valuation we get, but rather than the valuation, we were lighthearted at the fact that our color and team is known. But we wanted to get through the tournament.
Whom do you cheer for in this competition? What bands?
Romantic Punch, Wiretap In My Ear, Rose Motel, T.A-COPY etc.
What are your favorite bands? Korean and outside Korea?
Well, it’s difficult to say, there are so many. Because we listen to music quite broadly.
Who are you influenced by?
We’re influenced a lot by Japanese visual rock and British gothic rock and we want to recreate it to a new form mixing Korean tunes in between. Dir En Grey , Roxy Music & Bryan Ferry , Sister Of Mercy , Bauhaus , John Zorn , Ryuichi Sakamoto , Jang Sa Ik, Shin Jung Hyun, Park In Su
Could you tell about metal scene in Korea?
Not just in Korea, but in the whole world it is becoming an uneasy genre. The whole music scene is floating like that, but I wonder if it isn’t just Korea that is in an even more difficult situation with its form of idols and modern pop/rock. But I think there surely will be a good result since a lot of bands are always working hard.
What do you do besides music?
Until a short time ago I sung at night clubs, but currently I’m in charge of some businesses at a music company.
It’s a very unique thing you are doing compared to typical Korean society. What do your parents, family, and friends have to say about you and your music?
Generally, just like tastes differ, it’s original, different and charming or gives a bad feeling, not knowing what it is, scary because it’s dark. It can be divided into those two. But our family and friends like it no matter what. Maybe because of that they’re family and friends…^^
What are you plans for the future?
Currently we’re working on new songs and are recording for our debut album;
Therefore it’s not easy to incorporate a lot of lives, but we think about going continuously to club performances.
And to the end, could you tell some words to your foreign listeners?
I’m thankful to everyone who listens, searches, remembers and thinks of us. Since we’ll be active continuously even if we may be a bit slow… I hope for a lot interest and support.