Hello Patients! First, let me just say I’m not such a punk crazy guy, but I can’t say I’ve ever heard such crystal clear piano sounds in punk music before. I later discovered that you guys have created your own music genre called “hybrid punk.” Can you explain what that means?
Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. “Hybrid punk” came from us wanting to different things with our band’s sound. When we first formed, we had a very strong classic punk sound. But as our band grew, we felt like trying new things to take our music in different directions. Our songs are still rooted in punk rock, but we try and mix in other elements as well so that’s why we thought “hybrid punk” was a good way to describe it. And the great thing about creating our own sub-genre is that we can do pretty much whatever we want now because we’re the only “hybrid punk” band out there!
As for the piano sounds in our music, in 2012 we parted ways with our guitarist. Instead of adding another guitarist, we invited a keyboardist named Hyuckjang to be a part of Patients instead. Hyuckjang’s keyboard playing has definitely helped us further expand our vision for “hybrid punk!”
After listening to your EP “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!” on Soundcloud, I feel the punk music you guys make is filled with joy! How did you create those pieces of music? Was there any one person playing a leading role in the writing process?
Thanks so much for the kind words about our new tour EP. We were definitely aiming to make music that was fun and joyful on it. We recorded “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!” earlier this year and finished it in late April just prior to the start of our UK tour. Our last album came out in 2011 and we wanted to have something that showed people how we sounded with the addition of Hyuckjang. Since the EP is a tour only release, we’re only selling it at gigs and we’ll have copies of it with us during our Taiwan tour. A lot of our songs come from me bringing in an idea or melody and all of us working together to complete the song. But Hyuckjang is starting to bring in more ideas too. When making new tracks we have a policy in Patients – if everyone isn’t 100% satisfied with how a song sounds we throw it away and start all over again.
For the past few years there have been more and more indie music bands in Taiwan making tours worldwide and I know you have just finished a tour in the UK. Could you roughly describe how you went about planning and organizing these tours (in the UK, and now in Taiwan)? And would you mind sharing with us some experiences from your performances in the UK?
We decided to tour in the UK this past May after receiving an invitation to perform at the Liverpool Sound City music festival. We wanted to play more gigs while we were there, so our friends at the Korean label Love Rock helped us book some more shows after the fest. As for our Taiwan tour this week, we’ve heard good things about Beastie Rock so we asked about playing at the fest. Beastie Rock thankfully liked what they heard from us and welcomed us to be a part of the event. And Steve from GigGuide.tw kindly recommended some other places in Taiwan to play. We really appreciate him doing that!
Our UK tour in May was a lot of fun. It went way better than we expected and we’re hoping to return again next spring. My favorite show from the tour was the final gig we played. It was a house concert at a place in London called Astbury Castle. We performed in the kitchen. The crowd at that show was wild and so much fun. People were crowd surfing across the kitchen during our set. We had a blast there!
I know you guys founded Steel Face Records. So, not only are you music creators, you created an indie music record label as well. That phenomenon seems to be becoming more prevalent worldwide. Could you share your experiences and the difficulties you’ve ever encountered?
I started Steel Face Records in 2010. At the time, we were trying to find a good label to work with for Patients. But we weren’t finding any that were a good fit for us. So I decided to just make a label on my own. I’ve learned a lot about running a company over the past years and I want to help other indie musicians who are struggling with the business side of their music. There haven’t been any major difficulties with the label so far. I’m a positive person so I try to only remember the good things that have happened and forget about any bad memories. Currently, there are four bands on Steel Face Records’ roster. They are Patients, Dives, Bad Trip, and Cockrasher. The label will release Dives’ first EP in the coming months and Patients’ next full-length album in early 2015.
Audiences in Taiwan might be more familiar with Japanese indie music. Can you tell us some Korean music and bands you like, and the bands on your record label?
As I said above, the bands on our label are Patients, Dives, Bad Trip, and Cockrasher. Some other Korean bands that I like are Galaxy Express and Dead Buttons. Galaxy Express have played in Taiwan before, so some local music fans may be familiar with them.
Finally, please tell us about your tour schedule in Taiwan!
We’re going to play three gigs while we’re in Taiwan. Here are our tour dates:
Sep 10 Tainan, Taiwan @ TCRC
Sep 11 Kaohsiung, Taiwan @ Paramount Bar
Sep 13 Taipei @Tamsui Culture Park (Beastie Rock Festival)
At Beastie Rock Festival, we’ll play from 2:30 pm – 3:25 pm on the 濟南路stage. We hope to see some of you there!