We interviewed the wonderful and fun trio that make up Daegu, South Korea based skate punk band Drinking Boys and Girls Choir over email! DBGC share a passion for social justice, especially the rights of women and queer people. In this interview, we talk about their favorite drinks, the wild things that have happened at their shows, and what they admire about each other. Drinking Boys and Girls Choir is composed of Myeongjin Kim (Drums, Vocals), Meena Bae (Bass, Vocals), Junghoon Han (Guitar, Vocals). Their album “Marriage License” is scheduled to be released on July 21st, and the title represents their fierce belief in equality, as not all in Korea are able to legally marry who they wish. In the bands own words: “For some, [marriage] will be a blessing and responsibility, but for others, will it be an experience of being denied by the state, of being denied an existence.”
Your bio on Bandcamp says you bonded over a shared love of drinking. What are some of your favorite drinks?
MJ: My Favorite drink is Irish Car Bomb the mixture of Guinness beer/Jameson Whiskey/Baileys
Meena: So-Mac! (a mixture of Soju and Beer)
Jung-Hoon: Screw driver or Jaeger Bomb.
So you guys are a skate-punk trio; what are some of your favorite skateboarding tricks?
MJ: Actually I can’t ride skateboard I just enjoy watching. Every tricks look cool for me.
Meena: I can only go straight barely with skateboard. That means I got no knowledge about skateboarding.
Jung-Hoon: Me too. I wanted to ride skateboard so badly. So I bought one with a skull image backside. However, after I fell off from the board one day, that board just stayed as a fancy item in my home forever.
What does your songwriting process usually look like?
It is very various. Some of our songs were written by one member and arranged together, some of were just from a concept and built up together with jamming.
Your Wikipedia page has some pretty wild tour stories, even involving cops shutting down the show! What are some of your favorite memories from shows?
After the cops shut down our show, Saturday Night Karaoke the tour mate made a secret show for us. That was very touching moment. And it was not a gig but when we went Canada to join the Canada Indie Week, 2019, we had an interview with Strombo who is so famous in Canada music scene. It was super cool too.
What’s something you admire about each of your bandmates?
MJ: Meena has so many passion for many things including stage manner. And she can sympathize with minorities. Jung-Hoon is new to this band but he is already one of us. Fantastic debut with SXSW and he is growing up super fast.
Meena: MJ, She is very detailed in her work about her job and band’s stuff. And She makes us work! Good at song writing. When she says Don’t do, we need to stop doing something because it is reasonable. And She is cute. Jung-Hoon, He is super tall, so good at playing the guitar. And he is young and passionate.
Jung-Hoon: MJ plays drums so well and she is in charge of cuteness. Meena has so much energetic power at shows. I want to learn that energetic attitude.
What inspired the collection of songs on “Marriage License” and how did this project begin?
After Covid19 spread around the world, the tours and show were all canceled. So we had time. That’s why we made a new album. We’ve thinking a lot about misogyny, hate crimes, our queerness and our lives. So I can tell this 2nd album was inspired whole misogynistic day life and Covid19.
Meena, you have said you enjoy comic books and movies outside of music. What are some of your non-musical inspirations?
Yajawa Aii’s Comic books always inspire me.
You said before that your second album speaks about how harsh society still is for women and queer people. How are you hoping to make a difference in this conversation and encourage others to talk about these issues?
I am not sure how can I speak loud about the issues properly, not hurting anybody. I feel I haven’t got much study about the issues. So I decided to do what I can do, like make songs, gigs with the messages.
On Instagram, you talked about how “Wish” was a song meant to bring comfort to those who listen to it. How has music been comforting to you during your own life?
MJ: Sometimes I feel anxiety and nervous from normal day life. Like all band stuff, day jobs and small messy ideas are digging in my head. When the ideas and stress pop up, any kind of music can relieve the chaos. I like hardcore, punk, metal, indie pop and calm music too.
Jung-Hoon: Music is like my partner for life. Every time I go out, I always wear earphones. My life is meaningless without music.
What was it like performing virtually for SXSW 2021 this year?
MJ: Of course so different with SXSW in Austin. The same thing I was worried is how many people will come to our showcase. And I watched some showcases sitting in my desk at work. It was quite cool experiment. No sweat, No walking, No beer (it was sad). Haha
Meena: It was sad that we couldn’t go to Austin, but in a way, I interacted with musicians and audiences with chatting. It was different but fun.
Jung-Hoon: It was meaningful because it was my first show as a member of Drinking Boys And Girls Choir. So it was so honored.
“Marriage License” will be released July 21st: Produced by Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, Recorded & Mixed by Hakju Chun at Mushroom Recording, Mastered by Seunghee Kan at Sonic Korea, Artwork by Pallo, and Executive Produced by Mingyu Kim.
Drinking Boys and Girls Choir say of their upcoming release:
“We are angry and anxious about the world that does not change easily, but we believe that it can definitely be a good world and we want and sing brightly to live together with hope. We focused on the life partnership law, same-sex marriage, sex crimes that angered us very much, and to the weak punishment for them, and the feelings we felt in our lives in the present. With the happiness and stability of life that I felt in my 30s, I could start talking about things that people are forced into, or forced to ignore, and things that cannot be done and discriminated against because of law, institutions and social awareness.”