This week we got to talk to art synth-rock wonders Woongi who are fresh off releasing their new record Rip’s Cuts. Last week we reviewed their album and release show, and now we get to hear it straight from the band themselves. You can catch them next at Cole’s Bar on June 14th and Rib Fest on June 16th.
For those that are unaware, can you take us through a bit of the formation of Woongi?
W: Wavid recorded the first Woongi release, an EP called Black Trumpets, and asked a few friends to help him play it live. That’s how the current lineup ended up coming together. Since then, writing music has been a very fun, collaborative process.
Last week you all dropped Rip's Cuts on Sooper Records. How did that relationship happen, and how does putting out a record with label support differ from self-releasing?
W: We knew the people behind Sooper because they’re all musicians, and we’ve shared bills with them and their various projects over the years. And we are their biggest fans. When the record was just about finished, we sent it to them, and- amazingly- they really liked it and wanted to help us release it. Having a label’s help has been wonderful! We have no idea how the music biz works...working with someone who’s really knowledgeable is great. And having someone else who believes in the music is crucial because Woongi really struggles with self-loathing.
We read that you recorded the album to sync with The Skateboard Kid, a film we grew up with as well and haven't seen for years. What inspired this, and how strict were you to the syncs from album to film?
W: We can’t comment on whether the sync was intentional...we can’t even say if it truly exists, but someone uploaded it to YouTube...so you can decide for yourself.
Your sound is an amalgamation of genre and influences. Where do you see Woongi falling on the inevitable comparison grid of modern music?
W: We are placed in the pile that is labeled IRRELEVANT.
It seems you have added a fifth member recently?
W: Yes, Joy!! She plays keys/sampler. But she’s also an incredible violinist. We need to find her an electric violin. Like Yellowcard.
Your video for 'Not Sad Sequence' is a crazy visual feast of ‘90s-inspired computer animation. What was the inspiration, and who produced it?
W: That was made by our buddy Alex Jensen. He’s a very twisted, dark person. We told him to just express himself.
Are there bands in Chicago you feel are not receiving the attention they deserve?
W: Check out The Crustations!
What’s the best venue to play in the city?
W: Anywhere that has a green room that allows vaping!