Making Some Noise: Interview With Juck Juck Grunzie
For several years now, I’d been hearing people talk about Juck Juck Grunzie and how amazing they are. I started listening to them after a few different people recommended them to me, and I’m certainly glad they did. The leaders of Juck Juck Grunzie, Ahreum and Jeehye have created a band that pushes boundaries musically and visually when they perform.
Originally an all-female band, Juck Juck Grunzie added a male drummer after they had a minor line-up change, but that hasn’t affected their sound and their ability to blow people away when they’re on stage. The music is a mixture of trippy acid-dripping guitar riffs and heavy beats that take the listener on a swirling multi-faceted ride through time and genres. It’s hard to nail down a specific sound for this band, so I’m going to say, just give them a listen. Read on for our interview with guitarist Jeehye Ham and drummer Kyunghyun Lee.
Hello! Would you take a minute to introduce Juck Juck Grunzie to our readers?
Jeehye: Hi! We’re Juck Juck Grunzie. We’re a South Korean psychedelic rock band who has been playing in the Seoul indie scene for the past eight years. In 2013 we released our debut full-length album, “Psycho.” And that year we also played our first overseas gigs in Taiwan. We’re going to be touring in Europe this summer. We’re going to play at Glastonbury Festival in the UK, and also do shows in London and Berlin!
How did Juck Juck Grunzie form? Have you been in other bands before this?
Jeehye: Ahreum, who plays synthesizer and is Juck Juck’s vocalist, and I have been friends for a long time. We formed the band together back in 2007. Our idea was just to make an all-girl band that put on really fun shows. For the first few years, Juck Juck’s members were all female but in 2012 we started working with our previous drummer and he was a man. We parted ways with him late last year and Kyunghyun joined the band in December.
I used to play guitar in the Seoul shoegaze band Vidulgi Ooyoo. Our bassist Boong used to play in a modern rock band called Newsboy Problem and a low-key indie pop-group named Pikomachiri. And Kyungh yun was in a band called Sun’strolling.
With the majority of the band being female, have you faced any extra challenges to succeed as women in your genre of music?
Jeehye: Often in Korea, female musicians tend to play soft or acoustic music. Sometimes it seems like there’s a culture that kind of rejects strong women. So there aren’t that many female rock groups. But since Juck Juck plays dark, experimental music, people who like mainstream stuff usually don’t listen to us. And the people who do listen to our style of music are usually open minded and are happy to see females – or males for that matter – making music they like.