The Geeks (band)

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The Geeks
Geeks open for Terror at Ssamzie Space on 20090918.jpg
The Geeks opened for American hardcore band Terror at Ssamzie Space on September 18, 2009.
Background information
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres
Years active 1999–present
Labels Think Fast! Records
Townhall Records
Members Seo Kiseok
Kang Junsung
Jung Bongkyu
Choi Imyoung
Kim Myoung-gene

The Geeks is an influential hardcore punk band from South Korea. They are one of Korea's first hardcore punk bands and also the nation's first band to introduce youth crew and straight edge hardcore. They are the first Korean hardcore band to tour the US, Japan, and Southeast Asia.[1] Due to their extensive travels and organizing overseas tours in Korea, they are one of Korea's most-disseminated bands, being widely known around the world in their own niche genre.[2]

The Geeks were formed in 1999 by schoolmates Seo Kiseok (vocalist) and Kang Junsung (guitarist), shortly after discovering the existence of Korean punk through the Our Nation compilation put out by Drug Records.[3]

History[edit]

Due largely to Seo's time living abroad in America, the band signed to Think Fast! Records and is well known in the international hardcore community. They are also associated with Get Outta Town Records, Townhall Records, and GMC Records. Their connections have opened up many opportunities to tour outside of Korea, rare for Korean bands until very recently. They were the first Korean punk band to successfully tour the United States.[4] They have since toured the US numerous times, and in 2007 they went on a world tour taking them to the US as well as Malaysia and Singapore.[5]

The Geeks performed at SXSW in 2013 with a grant from the Korea Creative Content Agency, where they were introduced as K-pop.[6] They will appear in the upcoming documentary film, Us and Them: Korean Indie Rock in a K-Pop World, by Stephen Epstein and Timothy Tangherlini, a sequel to their 1999 documentary Our Nation.[7]

Currently, all members of the Geeks have full-time careers, leaving less time for music. Seo works for GM Daewoo and Kang works for an IT company.[8]

Critical Response[edit]

PunkNews.org has proclaimed the band "Undoubtedly the most popular hardcore band based Korea, The Geeks should be one of the first coming to mind when you think of Asian hardcore."[9] The Geeks 2007 Album Every Time We Fall has been reviewed by Scene Point Blank which gave it a 7.5/10 and said:

At the end of the day, The Geeks and their debut full-length Every Time We Fall are much more than a novelty affair. The album is filled with superb music and heartfelt lyrical content. If you’re lucky enough to see The Geeks live, be prepared to stagedive your ass off and scream your lungs out.[10]

In a commonly circulated bio, their influence and flagship role is underlined in the statement "The Geeks is to Asia what Youth of Today was to American Hardcore."[11]

Straight Edge[edit]

The band originally began as a straight-edge group, with all members abstaining from alcohol. The drinking culture of Korea is very powerful, and Seo struggled to stay alcohol-free in his freshman year of college and his mandatory military service, claiming to have even been nearly attacked for refusing to drink at one time.[12] Despite violence problems in the straight-edge scene in many parts of the world, the Geeks are a non-violent band and have many friends who are alcoholic.[13] Lead vocalist Seo draws an X on the back of his hands in marker to symbolize his straight-edge stance.[14]

Despite their straight-edge reputation, straight edge is not one of the major messages of their lyrics.[15]

Currently, not all of the members are still straight edge.[16]

Open Your Eyes and Powwow[edit]

Seo also founded and co-ran a music promotion agency called Open Your Eyes which brought numerous foreign hardcore bands to Korea, including Champion, Outbreak, Terror, Sick of It All, Down to Nothing, Have Heart, No Turning Back, and Bane.[17]

Through OYE, Seo became one of the primary investors in Powwow, a live club situated near Noksapyeong Station at the base of Haebangchon and Gyeongnidan. The venue closed in 2013.[18]

Band members[edit]

  • Seo Kiseok (서기석): Vocals
  • Kang Junsung (강준성): Guitar
  • Kim Myoung-Gene (김명진): Guitar
  • Jung Bongkyu (정봉규): Bass
  • Choi Imyoung (최임영): Drums

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • [2006] Every Time We Fall (Think Fast! Records/CD, Townhall Records/CD, Get Outta Town Records/LP)
  • [2014] Still Not In this Alone (Think Fast! Records/LP, Townhall Records/CD)

Split Albums[edit]

  • [2001] Together As One, Far East Hardcore Split (with In My Pain) (GMC Records)

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • [2002] What's Inside (Think Fast! Records/7"EP, Townhall Records/CDEP)
  • [2010] Always Classics (Johnny Valley Records)

Compilations[edit]

  • [2004] From The Start 1999-2004 (Kawaii Records, Townhall Records)
  • [2000] More Than The X On Our Hands - A Worldwide Straight Edge Compilation (Commitment Records)
  • [2003] Bridging Oceans - International Straight Edge Compilation (Third Party Records)
  • [2003.07.05] We Are the Punx in Korea (#12 "Let It Fade & Live Free")
  • [2004] They Came For Your Milk Money (New Music Revolution Records)
  • [2006] State of the Scene (Get Outta Town Records)
  • [2008.09.16] No Future for You (#9 "이어지는 의지" [Will Lead])
  • [2009] Carry The Torch: A Tribute to Kid Dynamite (Get Outta Town/Black Numbers Records)
  • [2010] To Us It Was So Much More: Chain Of Strength Tribute (1124 Records)
  • [2011] 10 Years Of Think Fast! Records (Think Fast! Records)
  • [2011.07.05] Them and Us ("Knowledge" (Operation Ivy cover), "One Spirit")

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kreisz, Jen. "An Interview with the Geeks". DoIndie. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Dunbar, Jon (12 October 2011). "Korea’s punks prepare for World Domination". The Korea Blog. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Mutts, Paul (March 2005). "Interview with a Geek" (PDF). Broke in Korea. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Osborne, Graham (9 November 2011). "Punk rock at crossroads in Korea". Yonhap News. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Twitch, Jon (Spring 2007). "The Geeks Shall inherit the Earth" (PDF). Broke in Korea. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Dunbar, Jon (17 April 2013). "Korean bands tour North America". Korea.net. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Dunbar, Jon (22 February 2013). "Stephen Epstein: Korea's indie rock scholar". Korea.net. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Hazzan, Dave (16 August 2012). "A report from South Korea!". Maximum Rock n Roll. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Source-attribution|Interviews: Ki Seok So (The Geeks) | http://www.punknews.org/article/35821/interviews-ki-seok-so-the-geeks- | accessdate= Feb, 2, 2104
  10. ^ Source-attribution|The Geeks Every Time We Fall | Scene Point Blank | source= | url= http://www.punknews.org/article/35821/interviews-ki-seok-so-the-geeks- | accessdate= Feb, 2, 2104
  11. ^ "The Geeks". SXSW. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Interviews: Ki Seok So (The Geeks)". PunkNews.Org. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Mutts, Paul (March 2005). "Interview with a Geek" (PDF). Broke in Korea. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Hoban, Alex (6 May 2009). "Korean hardcore is failing to crush the military". Vice Magazine. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Hanka, Jon (19 August 2009). "The Geeks". Invasion Magazine. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Dunbar, Jon (19 November 2012). "Korea’s hardcore punk scene". Korea Blog. Archived from the original on 7 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Ward, Winston (5 March 2011). "Open Your Eyes brings D.I.Y. to the R.O.K.". HiExpat.com. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  18. ^ Twitch, Jon (December 2012). "Powwow! Right in the Kisser!" (PDF). Broke in Korea. Retrieved 15 January 2014.