Kiha & The Faces

Our pre-SXSW coverage begins now!

I’ve just heard some unfortunate news. Due to visa problems Kiha & The Faces won’t be performing at SXSW or their NY show dates. 

SXSW is just around the corner (March 7th to be exact) and we’ve got days of interviews lined up for you guys! We’re spotlighting some of the awesome Korean bands that are coming to the States to spread not just their own music, but the power of the Korean Rock scene as a whole! Enjoy the interviews, this 1st one being with Psychedelic Folk Rock band Kiha & The Faces, as we talk musical inspiration, surviving in a Kpop dominated country, and some of the things they’re looking forward to doing while Stateside!

The new stars on the Korean indie scene – a band so famous that their song lyrics have already made
their way into school textbooks. Their 2008 hit Ssaguryeo Keopi (“Cheap Coffee”) sent a
shockwave of novelty through a stagnant Korean music world, an experimental yet somehow
familiar track that caught the ears of the Korean public in a big way. This was an exciting new
sound that mixed the flavors of Korea’s 1970s psychedelic scene with a British new wave feel, then
put a layer of melodious folk rock vocals on top. The combination of Jang Kiha’s “talking” style of
singing and lyrics containing messages deeply rooted in real life messages delivered through artful
wordplay has earned the band a wide fan base among young twentysomethings. They are especially
known for their massive on-stage charisma during live performances.

Kiha & the FacesI Almost Had It (this MV is making my mouth water…)

 Congrats on your tour and playing SXSW! Please introduce yourselves!

Kiha & The Faces is a Korean psychedelic folk rock band formed in 2008. Since we are about to perform at SXSW, we’re also going to stay a bit longer and have a short tour in the States.


 How’d Kiha & The Faces get the opportunity to perform at SXSW and what days/times is the band performing?

We were selected as MUCON CHOICE at last year’s MUCON, and for that we got a chance to perform at SXSW. Our official showcase will be held on March 11 at Elysium (9:30-10:10pm). We are booked for three unofficial daytime showcases during March 11-16. One is called “EXPOSURE” organized by KVRX/TSTV on Wednesday afternoon. Other show details will be updated at our website and socials soon.


 Where do you guys get your musical inspiration?

Our everyday lives, our experiences, what we feel, who we meet – all of these could be musical inspiration. Especially, I (Kiha) get inspiration by listening to a lot of Korean/non Korean music from the 60s, 70s and 80s.


 I know it can be hard for Korean bands to get the opportunity to perform in America. What advice would you give to a band wanting to tour the States?

A lot of people expect to see something new so I’d say don’t change your music style in order to perform overseas, but always try to show your own identity. That way you’ll satisfy multiple audiences and encourage them like your music even more.


It’s hard for Korean musicians to get notoriety if they don’t have a mainstream Kpop sound. What was it that made people start to notice you guys as a band, and when did you all begin to really get popular?

Kiha & The Faces released their first single in 2008, and one of the songs is called “Cheap Coffee”. The song was made out of a very personal experience, but ironically a lot of people seemed to relate to it. At first it vastly spread out on the internet, and a bit later it came out on TV and radio. Because of this, a number of people were able to know the song in a very short time period.We often performed a song called “The Moon Is Waxing, Let’s Go” back then which wasn’t even released yet, and we often performed this one with interesting dance routines. The overall performance itself also became huge on the internet. So, when we released our very first album in 2009, I believe many people already knew our band “Kiha & The Faces”.


Besides performing and making new fans, are there any other things Kiha & The Faces is looking forward to doing while in the States? Any places you guys wanna see or foods you wanna eat?

There are some members who collect vinyls. Since we’re heading to the States, we are hoping to find some of our all time favorite American musicians’ original vinyl. Some members are eager to find instruments that cannot easily be found in Korea. Every band member enjoys eating and loves to try something new, so I bet we’ll try to eat new food here and there!


 After SXSW you have some other show dates right? Where are you guys gonna be?

Currently we are booked for two shows in NYC.

*First show – Kiha & The Faces in New York* <>
Venue: Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen St. New York, NY, 10002)
March 18, Tuesday
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:30 PM (1 hour)
$10 – sold out
* Specifications: Anyone who attends the show will be able to attend the
next show featuring “Zane Carney” at 9pm. Zane Carney is a very handsome,
talented guitarist/artist/producer, and famous for his session career with
John Mayer, who will be touring in South Korea this May.

*Second show – Bulgogi Beast*
Venue: Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
March 19, Wednesday
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM (40 mins)
$15 online, $18 at the door
** Specifications: Performing with two Brooklyn local bands, high-energy
Southern Rock & Roll band “Jumbo Brown”, and rising new indie rock band
“Sheep Psyche”.


 What are some of your future plans? Anything big in the works?

Our best news is the fact that we’re going to perform at SXSW, but we’re also right in the middle of recording our 3rd studio album. After we come back to Korea we’ll release our 3rd album and have a tour around South Korea. We’re planning to release our new album in many other countries in Asia, and also trying to perform there if we can. We would also like to come back to USA with our new music and perform again.


 I hope you all have a sick time! Anything special you want to say to fans before the tour starts?

Our band, Kiha & The Faces, might not be famous in the States, but it’d mean a lot if you all could check out our YouTube and watch one or two videos to see if you like it. If you like what you hear we can guarantee you’ll like our music even more, way more, if you ever get to see one of our live performances. We do really good lives, so we look forward to seeing you at our shows! We’re very excited about all of this! We hope you have a wonderful time with us, and hope it becomes a meaningful time for Kiha & The Faces as well. Thank you, Kiha & The Faces signing off!

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