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Idiotape constantly looking for fresh fun

  • Published : Jun 7, 2015 - 17:51
  • Updated : Jun 7, 2015 - 17:51

Up & Coming is a series of interviews with emerging artists in various fields of arts and entertainment. -- Ed. Artists of all genres often fall into the trap of taking themselves too seriously.

Electronic band Idiotape is not one of those artists.

“Describe our music? It’s music for women, the grown-up kind,” joked drummer DR with a wiggle of his eyebrows as Idiotape began a conversation with the Korea Herald at a cafe in Seoul.

(From Left) Zeze, Dguru, DR of Idiotape (VU Entertainment)

Perhaps a joke is the only way to answer a question about how to describe Idiotape’s unusual music. The three-member band consists of two DJs (Dguru and Zeze) and a drummer (DR), bringing together electronic club sounds with real drums to blend electro dance with rock.

Their unique sound has landed them appearances on festival stages both in Korea and abroad. And they’re picking up momentum -- after playing at SXSW in the U.S. last year, they’re now gearing up for a Europe tour that will take them to famed music festivals including Glastonbury in the U.K., Fusion in Germany, Mundial in the Netherlands, Exit in Serbia, Paleo in Switzerland and FMM
Sines in Portugal before dropping them onstage at the Ansan M Valley Rock Festival here in Korea.

Idiotape performs at a solo concert at Mecenatpolis Lotte Card Art Center (formerly Interpark Art Center) in 2013 (VU Entertainment)

Idiotape’s three members first came together as a band in 2009. Dguru and Zeze had been working together as DJs, together with a guitarist. When the guitarist quit, Dguru got in touch with DR.

“I had never worked with drums, and I always thought of it as being a very difficult instrument to work with,” Dguru said. “But I thought it could be fun, so I asked out of the blue, ‘Wanna try working together?’ He said ‘Yeah,’ and the rest is history.”

“I didn’t know a lot about electronic music, and I had never been really interested in it before,” admitted DR. “But as soon as I heard it, there was something that clicked with me, and I really wanted to try it.”
It was not a smooth beginning.

“We each had our own schedule, so we worked out maybe two rehearsals before our first performance, which was a half-hour set,” DR recalled.

“They had given me some clips for reference before our first session, but when I got there it was completely different. I remember thinking, ‘Please let me just get through the set.’ I couldn’t memorize the music, so I just did what I did best -- I pounded on those drums for half an hour.”

Despite that rocky start, Dguru and Zeze felt that DR was just the new addition they needed.

TFCD: Idiotape performs at The Final Countdown 2015 at the Walkerhill Theater in Seoul (VU Entertainment)

“As DJs, we always felt pressure to be more dynamic onstage, to have more of a visual component to match our music. But after we got DR, people had something to look at onstage,” said Zeze. “Besides, back then DR was a lot thinner, and better-looking. It helped us a lot.”

It’s hard to believe that Idiotape, who won the award for best dance/electronic album at the Korean Music Awards in 2012, ever wondered how to bring more energy to their performances -- which are now outfitted with bright lights and LED videos to complement their aggressive music.

“We want people to feel overcome by our music,” said Zeze. “The three of us normally listen to really different genres, but we all have a thing for the psychedelic style.”

“I think the only band that all three of us like is The Doors,” Dguru added.

Idiotape’s interactive style makes them a fan favorite at music festivals, but they say they always love trying new types of performances. They’ve performed at art museums, in stores, and have also created a soundtrack for a one-act TV drama.

“Korean pop culture seems pretty one-sided,” said Dguru. “Idols. K-pop. Of course, every country has mainstream music, but there are more channels available to explore different kinds of music. We always try to provide something new here in Seoul, go to interesting venues and work with interesting people.”

“We don’t want to just emphasize that we work hard. That’s boring,” Zeze said, when asked what Idiotape hoped to convey to their fans. “We want to enjoy our own music, and make sure our fans know it. That’s when we get the most feedback, and that’s the goal.”

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)