We have been electronically stalking The Two Koreas for many years now, so it was only a matter of time until we peer pressured you to listen to our “numero uno” favourite Canadian band.
The quintet is based out of Toronto, and their “glacial garage” rock/post-punk sound has been compared to the likes of The Fall, Pavement and Neu! The group has released three albums and one EP since forming back in 2003, and some of their most notable songs to date include “Midnight Brown,” “Cloth Coat Revolution” and “Haunted Beach.”
The band is currently in the process of working on a new EP (which is expected to be released sometime this summer), but for now we invite you to listen to a track off their 2011 album Science Island as well as one of our favourite tracks off Main Plates & Classic Pies; (listen to the songs after the jump).
RMD: Are all of the band members originally from Toronto?
TK: No, just three of us (myself, Kieran and Ian). Jason is a lapsed Calgarian, and David is a recovering Cambridge native.
RMD: Is anyone involved in other musical projects?
TK: Ian cheats on us with his band Uncut, and he’s also a member of Bishop Morocco‘s live band. David makes heavy metal music on a desktop computer for a project called (what else) Desk Metal.
RMD: Who have you previously toured/opened for?
TK: Wire, Japandroids, Metric, Danko Jones, Love Is All, Constantines, Githead, Death From Above 1979, The Ponys, Electralane, 120 Days, Shout Out Out Out and Monotonix, to name a few. [We recently opened] for Dirty Ghosts from San Francisco.
RMD: What musical accomplishment are you the most proud of?
TK: We once played an extended 20-minute version of our one-chord song “A Neu Ing” at The Silver Dollar in Toronto, and no one seemed to walk out.
RMD: What do you want listeners to learn from your politically-driven lyrics?
TK: I don’t know if our lyrics are political so much as observational. We’re not trying to change the minds of those with whom we disagree; we just reserve the right to mock them.
RMD: What is your favourite song to perform live?
TK: The aforementioned “A Neu Ing,” even though Kieran is never really keen on it. For a while, it was our closing number, and Kieran feels it has too much of a “thank you, we’re the Two Koreas, good night!” quality to it. But I still think it represents the band at its most pure and powerful. And the lyrics basically amount to me counting to 4 in 4 different languages, so my job is easy.
RMD: Did you ever pay back Petra?
TK: No; we’ve just gotten used to ignoring automated creditor calls.
RMD: We read about Ian getting a broken wrist after a hit and run accident…did you ever catch the jerk?
TK: Ian actually wasn’t hit by the car; the car swerved suddenly into Ian’s direction, forcing him to likewise make a sudden defensive swerve that resulted in him falling off the bike. Unfortunately, the driver wasn’t identified; that said, since there was no contact, he probably couldn’t have been charged with anything. Unfortunately, there are no laws against being a douchebag.
RMD: What are your thoughts on Canada’s current economy? Are we as doomed as the US or in a pretty good state?
TK: Moody’s just ranked Canada’s banks the safest in the world, so I guess we’re in the clear! That is, until interest rates inevitably go up and everyone has to default on their cheap mortgages….
RMD: Who are some of your favourite indie musicians/bands from Toronto?
TK: Everyone in the band is a big fan of Metz, who are going to blow minds far beyond the city when their debut album finally comes out this year. Speaking for myself, lately, I’ve been particularly enamoured with Teenanger, Sandro Perri, Lioness and Yamantaka/Sonic Titan (with whom we share custody with Montreal). The new PS I Love You album is great too — they’re from Kingston, but play here enough to seem like locals.
RMD: What are your plans for 2012?
TK: Everyone in this band has a lot of distractions, so getting us in the same room together is a lot more difficult than it used to be. At our current rate, if we wait until we’ve written another 10 songs before recording again, our next album won’t be out till 2018. So instead we’re going to focus on finishing 2-3 songs at a time and issue them as an ongoing series of singles. We were going to call the series “The Two Koreas’ Quarterly Report,” however, we’re already in April, so it may have to be a bi-annual thing at this point.
RMD: Who is your favourite Beatle?
TK: Depends on the day, really. Though there’s never really a Ringo day.
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