Patients and Dead Buttons in London

As you probably know, the Korean bands Dead Buttons (데드버튼즈) and Patients (페이션츠) toured the UK together last month. Both groups did numerous interviews before the tour to share their expectations about the gigs.

But I always think it is interesting to ask about the outcome of a tour, and whether a band’s expectations were met. So just like the post-US tour interview we did with Galaxy Express in 2012, here we have a post-UK tour interview with Dead Buttons and Patients. Dead Buttons drummer Kanghee Lee and guitarist Jihyun Hong and Patients bassist Sumin Jo tell us about their favorite shows, the differences between Korean and UK venues, and their plans for the summer and fall.


How did audiences in the UK react to your music?

Kanghee (Dead Buttons): Sometimes the reactions we received were awesome, and sometimes they were just okay. But the reactions were always honest, which made us really happy.

Sumin (Patients): The reactions were good. Everyone we met was really kind, and lots of people came up and spoke with us after our gigs, which was really fun. We always like meeting new people! The final gig of our tour was a house show at a place called Astbury Castle in London. Some people that saw us play other shows in Bristol, Southampton, and London came to see us again at Astbury Castle. We were very touched by this. And the show at Astbury Castle was awesome! We played in the house’s kitchen. Everyone was dancing and some people were even crowd surfing. The energy in the room was amazing. It was definitely the highlight of our tour.


Patients live at UNIT Club, Southampton, UK [WTFest] – 8 May 2014


How did it feel to perform in the UK, the birthplace of rock and punk music?

Kanghee (Dead Buttons): It felt great! Playing for new audiences in new places is always exciting. Especially when those places have such a rich musical history!

Sumin (Patients): We also felt great playing in the UK. I think people in the UK have a good understanding of rock music. I was happy that our music, which mixes classic punk rock with many other genres, was understood and appreciated by people there.

Did you notice any differences between playing in Korean venues and playing in UK venues?

Jihyun (Dead Buttons): The biggest difference was that clubs have no equipment for bands. In Korea, the clubs have amps and drums for the bands to use. But some venues in the UK don’t even supply basic stuff like a PA or a mixer.

Sumin (Patients): In Korea, most of the live venues are in Hongdae. But in England, there are venues all over the country. And in Korea a lot of venues just host shows and people don’t go there to just drink and hang out when gigs aren’t happening. But in the UK, the venues were bars and concert halls. I liked that.

Which of your UK gigs was your favorite?

Kanghee (Dead Buttons): My favorite gig was our London show at Astbury Castle. It was the final concert of our tour and was like a big party. The show was in a house and I was surprised because the performance space was in the kitchen. People went wild and crazy while we played. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in a kitchen!

Sumin (Patients): Astbury Castle was a blast! Our shows at Liverpool Sound City, WTFest in Southampton, and AAA in London were awesome too. The only show that didn’t go so great was our Bristol concert at The Hatchet Inn. When we arrived, there was no PA or mixer and no staff were there either. It was definitely a challenging night, but the people that came to watch the show and the British band we played with, Slow Down World, were great so it made things better.

Patients live at Astbury Castle, London – 10 May 2014


Do you have any funny, strange, or interesting tour stories from the UK that you can share?

Jihyun (Dead Buttons): Nothing out of the ordinary happened. But since it was our first time touring in the UK, everything was funny, strange, and interesting to us!

Sumin (Patients): Our keyboardist, Hyuckjang, found an English girlfriend in the UK!
Other than playing, what did you do in the UK? Did you find any good places to drink or go sightseeing?

Jihyun (Dead Buttons): We visited an art gallery in Liverpool. I really liked it. I wanted to go to other places too but our schedule was kind of tight. So instead we spent a lot of time drinking beer in bars. But the beer was great, so we were happy to do that.
Sumin: We went drinking with some Korean audience members who were studying in London. It was fun! I liked the dance clubs in Liverpool too.

Do you have plans to return to the UK for another tour?

Jihyun (Dead Buttons): We don’t have any set plans yet, but we definitely want to tour in the UK again in the future. I hope we can play in Brighton next time we visit.

Sumin (Patients): Yes, we’re already starting to make plans to go back again next year.

Dead Buttons at AAA in London


What are your plans for summer and fall?

Jihyun (Dead Buttons): We’re going to be playing lots of gigs in Korea. And in late August, we’ll be traveling to Vladivostok, Russia to play at V-Rox.

Sumin (Patients): We made an EP before leaving for the UK called Let’s Drive, Let’s Go! We sold the album in the UK during our tour and were planning to release it in Korea this summer. But now we’ve decided that Let’s Drive, Let’s Go! will be a tour only EP and that we’re going to work on a full-length album instead. That album will be Patients next proper release. We’re not sure when it will be out, but we’re starting to work on it now. We’re also hoping to head overseas again for more gigs before the year finishes.

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