Interview: The Rebellion Tapes – Rumkicks

It must have been just a little bit daunting for Rumkicks to come over to the UK and play at a big festival like Rebellion. They took it all in their stride though with everyone that met them instantly falling for the diminutive trio. As quiet and polite as they were off stage they are lionesses on it. The band took a quick break from their busy schedule to chat to Gary Trueman about playing in the UK and what life is like as a punk rocker in South Korea.

So can you introduce your selves to Devolution readers please.

“On guitar and vocals is Yeawon. Our bass player is Dorothy and MJ is our drummer.”

Is this the first time in the UK?

“Yes it’s our first time in the Uk and our first overseas tour.”

Has it been a culture clash coming from South Korea to the UK? What are the things you’ve noticed the most?

“Many things are similar to Korea but here there are more punks and there are more people who like punk. People are more kind to punks, to us.”

In Korea are people not so tolerant of punks and do they understand what it is? Are they accepting of you and people that choose to be different?

“Korea is a very conservative place so they don’t allow you to dye your hair. Yeawon wears a wig when she goes to work, a black wig. Here in the UK there are plenty of tattoos. That’s illegal in Korea. Only doctors can do tattoos. Having a tattoo is not illegal but doing a tattoo is. Our government decided that tattooing needs to be done as a medical thing. That’s why we don’t have any tattoos.”

That’s quite a profound difference to here. How have you found people here? Have they been friendly to you?

“Yes, most people have been kind to us, because we’re Asian maybe? We don’t know. Many people have asked to have their photo taken with us.”

Have you found there’s been a lot of interest in your music? Have you found people know who you are?

“Yes there has been.  A lot of people have recognised us which was a big surprise, especially at Rebellion. That does make us a bit nervous though.”

Is that because it puts more pressure on you when you play? You’ll be fine though, the crowd will love you.” (they were, Rumkicks pulled a big crowd who really warmed to them) What about your music, who are your influences?

“Yeawon writes when she gets upset and her songs are full of anger. Her favourite artist is Tom Morello. We’re also influenced by other bands from Korea, one in particular called Crying Nut. We also feel happy listening to Green Day, Sex Pistols, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sham 69.  Ooh and Sum 41. We like pop punk.”

You can see the pop punk influence in your songs. What music have you put out recently?

“We have an EP we have released in 2020 called ‘Brutality’ and we released a single before we came over here called ‘Punk Is Nowhere’. We don’t have any more plans at the moment. We just want to take a rest after the tour.”

Are there any places in the UK you’d like to come back and play?

“Camden Town in London. Oxford and Manchester. Also Edinburgh. We’d like to play every place we can all over the country.”

If you could choose any band to play with on stage who would you choose?

“This is a hard question! Yeawon would like to share a stage with Cock Sparrer. Dorothy would choose The Offspring and for MJ Sham 69.”

Rumkicks – Facebook

Interview and photos by Gary Trueman