...Whatever That Means

...Whatever That Means is a South Korean melodic punk band based in Seoul, South Korea. Alternative Press called them the "pop-punk face of the Korean music scene."[1] The two key members are married couple Jeff and Trash. Both are promoters who have organized concerts and brought foreign bands to Korea. They organize annual Halloween shows and previously managed the monthly 2nd Saturdays concert series.[2] They have been associated closely with the venues Club Spot, Ruailrock, Club SHARP, and Thunderhorse Tavern.

...Whatever That Means
Seoul punk band ...Whatever That Means perform in Thunderhorse Tavern on 28 May 2016.
Seoul punk band ...Whatever That Means perform in Thunderhorse Tavern on 28 May 2016.
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
GenresPunk rock
Years active2009–present
LabelsWorld Domination, Inc.
MembersJeff Moses, Trash Yang Moses, Bialy, Gwangya

They run Thunderhorse Studios with Thunderhorse Tavern ex-owner Kirk Kwon. They featured prominently in the 2014 documentary Us and Them: Korean Indie Rock in a K-Pop World.[3] They also appear in Ken Robinson's documentary film Ash.[4] Their influences include Gob, Face to Face, Descendents/ALL, Bad Religion, Social Distortion, and The Ataris.

OriginsEdit

Jeff and Trash got married in Seoul on February 28, 2009. After, they had a concert at Club Spot. Jeff had wanted to perform, but didn't have a band or a name yet, so the poster was designed by artist and original guitarist Ric Comly, to say "Jeff ...whatever that means."[5] Trash later joined the band as bassist and they continued performing as ...Whatever That Means.

The Purge MovementEdit

In 2010, ...Whatever That Means formed a coalition with other notable Korean punk bands Rux and the Swindlers to create the Purge Movement, aimed at fighting gentrification in the Hongdae area. Referencing purging of gentrifying factors in the area including repetitive, uncreative street performers,[6] they organized concerts in Hongdae Playground. They also intended to raise awareness of non-mainstream music and support live music venues rather than compete with them by getting more people interested.[7]

World Domination, Inc.Edit

The band toured the US in 2011 and 2016, using their label World Domination, Inc. to promote culture of Korea and its punk scene abroad.[8] The 2011 tour was a precursor to a hiatus, while Jeff earned a master's degree in Pennsylvania.[9]

For both tours, they released compilations titled "Them and Us."[10] The first compilation was recorded on the stage at Club Spot, and the second was made in Thunderhorse Studios.[11] Both compilations contain around 10 bands performing an original song and a cover from a bigger band, a strategy to encourage US listeners to give unknown bands a try. They were given out for free on tour[12] Moses also helped fellow Korean bands Full Garage and Skasucks tour the west coast US.[13]

From the tour, they made contact with US punk band Burn Burn Burn, recording a split album together. Burn Burn Burn came to Korea for a tour managed by World Domination, Inc.[14]

...Whatever That Means toured Malaysia and Singapore in early 2015,[15] where they made connections with the local music scenes, facilitating exchanges and bringing bands to Korea, starting with Iman's League.[16]

On Aug. 1, 2019, the label released "World Domination Vol.1, a four-song compilation of bands from four countries. The four bands are skatepunk band Sidecar from Busan, emotive punk band Social Circuit from Malaysia, power punk band Mable's Marbles from the U.S. and dirty rock 'n' roll band DFMK from Mexico.[17] Hints were given that the second volume in the series would feature ska.[18]

IT'S A FEST!Edit

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the label and band, as well as the marriage of Jeff and Trash, WDI announced a free two-day underground music festival to be held June 15 and 16, 2019, at Hanagae Beach on Muuido, and introduced a crowdfunding campaign on Tumblbug to support the festival.[19][20][21][22]

The lineup included Galaxy Express, Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, 57, Green Flame Boys, Talkbats, Burning Hepburn, A'Z Bus, Gumiho, Winning Shot, Drive Shower, Smoking Goose, Shin Hantae & Reggae Soul, Romantiqua, Sidecar, Lazybone, and WTM. Foreign acts include Singapore's Iman's League, China's The Sino Hearts, and Malaysia's Half-Asleep.[23]

The second year of the festival was scheduled for June 20 and 21, 2020 but needed to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The cancelled lineup included foreign bands Green Eyed Monster and Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass, both from Japan, and Social Circuit from Malaysia. Local bands included Crying Nut, Galaxy Express, No.1 Korean, National Pigeon Unity, Burning Hepburn, ...Whatever That Means, Chain Reaction, Daddy O Radio, Shin Hantae & Reggae Soul, Ultralazy, Winningshot, Gumiho, Jonny'spark, BEACON, and 444.[24][25]

Thunderhorse StudiosEdit

Jeff and Trash were involved in Thunderhorse Studios, co-owned with Kirk Kwon who owned the former venue Thunderhorse Tavern.[26] On Aug 19, 2019, Thunderhorse Studios announced its closing at the end of September.[27] Since then, Jeff has opened his own recording studio named Binary Studios.

SHARP Ink and Rebellion InkEdit

Trash was a tattooist at SHARP Ink in Mangwon-dong, run by Ryu Jinsuk of Skasucks. She tattooed "Jeff sucks" on a member of Burn Burn Burn after receiving a donation from punk zine Broke in Korea.[28] In November 2019 she opened her own tattoo shop, Rebellion Ink.

MembersEdit

  • Jeff Moses – guitar, vocals
  • Trash Yang Moses – bass, vocals
  • Bialy – guitar, vocals
  • Gwangya – drums

Past membersEdit

  • Ric Comly – pretend lead guitarist
  • Alex Kyllo - lead guitar
  • Hong9 – drums
  • Mizno – drums
  • 5baeng – lead guitar
  • Woojoon - drums

DiscographyEdit

  • The Newest Hope (2010)
  • Sounds from the Explosion (2011)
  • Them and Us: Korea's Punks at Club Spot (2011)
  • Honggu Goes To Prison – cover song EP (2013)
  • Sixty-Eight, Twenty-Two (2014)
  • Asian Prodigy single – Chinkees cover (2014)
  • Them and Us 2: Korea's Punks at Thunderhorse Studios (2016)
  • Blowing Minds & Melting Faces – split with Burn Burn Burn (2016)
  • Revolving Doors (2020)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hunt, Nikki (December 2011). "...Whatever That Means" (281). Alternative Press.
  2. ^ Redmond, John (10 January 2017). "'2nd Saturdays' concert to kick off Saturday". The Korea Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Epstein, Stephen. "Us and Them: Korean Indie Rock in a K-Pop World". The Asia-Pacific Journal. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Twitch, Jon (2017). ""Ash" Versus the Evil" (PDF). Broke in Korea. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Twitch, Jon (2009). "Married to the Band" (PDF) (10). Broke in Korea. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Dunbar, Jon (12 September 2017). "Hongdae Playground through ages". The Korea Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Twitch, Jon (December 2010). "Purging in the Park" (PDF) (11). Broke in Korea. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Oliver, Jaiden (21 July 2016). "Seoul Punks …Whatever That Means Embark on Stateside Tour". Groove Magazine. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Dunbar, Jon (22 February 2013). "Stephen Epstein: Korea's indie rock scholar". korea.net. KOCIS. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Osborne, Graham (9 November 2011). "Punk rock at crossroads in South Korea". Yonhap News. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Oliver, Jaiden (29 June 2016). "'…Whatever That Means' Playing Seoul Gigs Before American Tour". 10 Magazine. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Dunbar, Jon (5 July 2016). "Korea's punks launch world domination plan". The Korea Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Dunbar, Jon (18 July 2017). "Korean ska-punk band performs in US cities". The Korea Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Dunbar, Jon (12 September 2017). "US punk band to burn through Seoul, Busan". The Korea Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Redmond, John (13 January 2015). "Local band to perform in Singapore, Malaysia". The Korea Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Dunbar, Jon (1 December 2015). "Singapore punks Iman's League will tour Korea". The Korea Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Moses, Jeff (25 July 2019). "New WDI International Compilation Series". Retrieved 31 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Dunbar, Jon (20 August 2019). "World Domination album connects east, west". The Korea Times. Retrieved 31 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Korea Launches FREE Punk Rock Festival – It's A Fest!". Unite Asia. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Dunbar, Jon (19 February 2019). "Local punk band introduces big plans for 10th anniversary". The Korea Times. Retrieved 24 February 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Moses, Jeff. "바다캠핑음악-무의도 락 페스티벌 IT'S A FEST!". Tumblbug. Retrieved 24 February 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Dunbar, Jon (11 June 2019). "Beach punk festival takes over Muui Island". The Korea Times. Retrieved 31 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Moses, Jeff (29 May 2019). "IT'S A FEST! Announces Full 2019 Schedule". Retrieved 1 September 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Moses, Jeff. "IT'S A FEST! 2020". WDI Korea. Retrieved 18 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ "Korean Punk Festival IT'S A FEST! Back for 2020". 24 February 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ P, Chris (5 July 2016). "Interview with …Whatever That Means". Korean Indie. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ Kwon, Kirk. "Thunderhorse Studios". Facebook. Retrieved 31 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Moses, Trash. "Jeff Sucks". Instagram. Retrieved 27 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit