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Go nuts with Crying Nut
Korea’s best selling indie act of all time on U.S. tour
Punk rockers to perform in LA’s Cafe Nela on 18th
By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff
When you ask Crying Nut to describe how it all started, they will tell you that it came down to the timing. The five-member act, after all, was the first Korean punk rock band, their live performances boisterous and their music eclectic at a time when the “wildest” act on stage was Kim Gun-mo.
“Joseon punk,” the brand of Korean rock played by Crying Nut, grew out of influences from the Ramones, Sex Pistols and the Clash and emerged as a result of the newfound political freedom of the ‘90s, says guitarist Lee Sang-myun.
That was 19 years ago.
The group has since become Korea’s best-selling indie act of all time, releasing critically acclaimed album after album and still riding strong with their distinct genre-bending and rock-’n’-rolling sound.
Playing in their first North American tour since 2012, Crying Nut will be at SXSW in Austin this year, as well as in gigs in San Antonio and Los Angeles.
Members of the band — Park Yoon-sik (lead vocals), Lee Sang-hyuk (drums), Han Kyung-rok (bass), Lee Sang-myun (guitar), Kim In-soo (accordion, keyboard) — share a long personal history together. With the exception of Kim, who joined the team a year after after their 1998 debut album, “Let’s Ride a Horse (말 달리자),” the four members have been tight-knit since childhood — their mothers are all graduates of Ewha Womans University, and after attending elementary, middle and high school together, the four also completed their mandatory military service together, Lee says.
From mariachi to rap to reggae, there are seemingly no limits to the range of genres that mix with the band’s ever-changing style. Their seventh attempt, “Flaming Nuts,” came out last year. Plans for an eighth album are not yet underway, as individual members of the band are preparing to release solo singles this year, Lee says.
Crying Nut’s music will always evolve, he says, because everyone in the band likes a range of different genres. “We ourselves don’t ever know what kind of style will come about when our individual preferences come together,” he says.
Although they have no plans to release music to U.S. audiences just yet, Lee says he hopes that Crying Nut will one day become a lasting band in the same vein as the Rolling Stones, The Bangles and the Beach Boys.
Check them out for yourself ! U.S. tour dates:
March 11 – Austin, TX @ (10:30 p.m.) Elysium
March 13 – Austin, TX @ (5:15 p.m.) Spider House Cafe and Ballroom
March 14 – Austin, TX @ (4:30 p.m.) The Dog & Duck Pub
March 15 – Austin, TX @ (6 p.m.) Antone’s Records
March 16 – San Antonio, TX @ Limelight
March 18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Cafe Nela