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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Victor Ha of Korean band Things We Say

Victor Ha of Things We Say
Photo by Anne Spina
Last summer, my dad and I went to This is Hardcore for the first time. Joe Hardcore gets a lot of different cool bands from all over the place to play there.  I got to see a lot of cool bands I had never heard before. One of the most cool was a band from Korea called Things We Say. Their vocalist was cool and let me interview them. These guys are AWESOME!

PMAKid: One of the things that is really cool about hardcore is that I get to meet people from all over the world.  You guys are from South Korea.  Can you tell me a little bit about the scene in South Korea?  How long have you guys been a band?

Victor: Yeah that is one of the coolest things about hardcore music. I totally agree with you. We have a decent scene here in Korea. There are many hard working bands playing shows constantly. We’ve been around since 2004. So it looks like it will turn 10 years this summer. 

PMAKid: All the crazy things happening in North Korea would make me a little scared if I lived in South Korea.  What is it like growing up in a country that has been basically at war since the 1950s? 

Victor: We feel pretty secure living in Korea. It has been so long, so people seem to forget that the war is technically not over yet. So it is not crazy as people would think about my country. If you have a chance, you should visit Korea. I know many of my friends from North America fell in love with Korea. You would love Korean food and hardcore scene here, too.

PMAKid: Your set at This is Hardcore was really great. You guys were having so much fun, and the audience loved you guys.  Was this the first time you had toured in the United States? What were some of the best things about the tour?

Victor: I loved playing a set at TIHC fest, too. Yes, it was our first time touring the US and I hope it is not the last. We want to do it again! Well, the best things about the tour were meeting people and bands, and seeing amazing responses from the audience. And we’ve been to 13 states and played 13 shows in 2 weeks. That was a great experience. We had to drive the van a lot, but we had so much time to hang out with each other, too. That was fun.

PMAKid: Something I think is really awesome about hardcore is that people are really supportive of newer bands.  It is cool that Joe Hardcore has a good mix of older bands (like Judge and 7 Seconds) and newer bands like Caught in a Crowd.  Can you tell me your thoughts on this?

Victor: Yeah, definitely! I felt so honored to be at TIHC fest and I was so grateful that Joe Hardcore gave us the opportunity.

I think this idea makes the fest cooler. I hope he sticks with the way he does now and gives more opportunities to newer bands and foreign bands, especially from Asia. :)

PMAKid: Your music seems pretty positive.  Can you tell me your thoughts on PMA?

Keep trying what you want, and don’t just sit and complain about what you have or don’t have.

This is what I’ve kept thinking about PMA in my life.

Things We Say at This is Hardcore 2013
Photo by Anne Spina
PMAKid: What do you guys do outside of your band?

Victor: Ha ha. This might be interesting to you. I own a private English school. My wife is Japanese-American and we have 3 daughters. Jae, the guitarist owns the best American style brunch restaurant in his town. He is a great chef. Ki, the bassist is the executive secretary for the vice president of GM Korea. Hyunjin, the drummer is an architect. He recently opened his architecture office. Bialy, the other guitarist is an international student in Korea. He’s from Poland and he studies in Korea for the master degree.

PMAKid: Music is obviously important to you.  Can you tell me what your favorite artists are?  It does not have to be hardcore. 

Victor: I like punk, hardcore, folk, alternative, pop metal… etc. But it’s hard to find my time to listen to music these days with my work and family, so I usually try music my near friends recommended to me first. My wife and my 2 older daughters love K-pop, so I watch K-pop music shows on TV with them quite often.

PMAKid: And books! I love to read! What are some of your favorite books and why?

Victor: Same here. I can’t really find my silent time to read books these days. Hopefully when my girls grow up a bit and can do their things by themselves, I can have some times to spend for reading and listening to music more.

PMAKid: My favorite label is React Records.  When Aram was running it, they put our some really great records.  Evan took over and it just keeps putting out awesome stuff.  What do you think of React?

Victor: Yeah, I think React records is one of the best hardcore punk labels right now. I also love their releases and Evan is one of the most hard working people I’ve ever known.

PMAKid: A lot of people know how my dad's dad died before my dad was born because of drugs.  I think it is one of the main reasons why he got me in to hardcore (and also because hardcore is AWESOME). I know you have kids.  How do you teach them about the dangers of drugs?

Victor: I want them to have abilities to think what is right or wrong. I want them to be happy, but not in the selfish way. I want them to love what they have and care about people around them. If I raise them with true love, I’m sure they would also love their life and wouldn’t go on the wrong way. I think the reason we live our life is to be happy and to be a better person.

PMAKid: What is the weirdest place (or just the weirdest show) you guys played?

Victor: I try to enjoy all of the shows we play. Sometimes the shows turn out terrible and sometimes great. I don’t want to complain.

And honestly I can’t remember one. 

PMAKid: I think Sunny Singh is probably one of the coolest guys in hardcore because of Hate5Six.com.  What do you think about Sunny?

Victor: Yeah, he seemed really nice. I met him at the TIHC fest for the first time. He helped us to film our set and helped on the sounding. He must be really diligent to upload all the videos he takes at the shows. I just don’t know how he does it. I know how hard and it takes so much of your times to capture and upload the video files. I’m just amazed by the massive amount of videos he deals with. I respect what he does.


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