Saturday, July 7, 2018

Interview: Kyuho Lee (MADMANS ESPRIT)

    From the realms of experimental post-black, I bring you the mesmerizing, agonizing sound of MADMANS ESPRIT! Straight from Seoul, Kyuho Lee is here to talk about his journey and give us some insight on the new album 무의식의 의식화 (Conscientization of Unconsciousness), that you can pre-order HERE !

pdn: Hello, Kyuho. It is an honor having you here! First, please tell me a bit about how Madmans Esprit was born and respectively, when and how did you start getting into music in general?

Kyuho: Hello, Madmans Esprit was formed in 2010 if my memory is correct, there were a few people who had the same interest in music as me, we’ve been knowing each other for awhile and I had a couple of songs to start a band. Both of my parents have a very deep understanding of music, since I was little I grew up surrounded with classical music, jazz, pop, rock and metal. Like waking up in the morning listening to Beethoven’s string quartet and going to bed listening to Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

pdn: The atmosphere in your music is truly wistful, with a good dose of lethargy. At the same
time, your previous album contains very in-your-face titles, with some sexual innuendo. Is there any way you can explain how you created these connections?

Kyuho: I like to hide meaning in between texts. It might seem very in-your-face, but mostly, all of my texts always lead me to almost the same conclusion through differently written words. Life and death, existence.
I always have this idea that everything is one, and one is everything. Not in political meaning, in almost Buddhistic sense.  

pdn: What are the main themes that drive you when you write music? Please tell me about what inspired you on Nacht, versus what inspires your next release. Judging by the difference in song titles, the theme or just the way of expression will be a bit different maybe?

Kyuho: NACHT is a very dark album. It includes various suicidal emotions, sadness, anger, emptiness... I write music always very impulsively, nothing is in plan most of the time. It’s just how I am, how I exist. It’s still the same.
The next album will include a larger variety of emotions, it shares the certain ‘Madmans Esprit-ish’ atmosphere with NACHT, but the emotions inside are much more specific and even the text can be read just as emotional poetry or even as a very political statement.

pdn: Speaking about your next album: do we know the release date? I want to make sure we excited folks mark it in the calendar. What can we expect, how would you describe it as a teaser for us, in addition to the video sample below?

Kyuho: The new album will be released through the German label ‘Gan-shin’ on 1st of October. But there will be a pre-order for a signed copy soon which you can get shipped earlier than that. I put my entire 4 years since NACHT in the album. Only the very best. All the music I listened, all the emotions I felt throughout those 4 years. I guarantee you a very odd but very satisfying, genre-breaking masterpiece. 
pdn: Being as dedicated as you are, how do you share your time between Madmans Esprit and your other band, Ms. Isohp romatem?
Kyuho: Also with Human Traces, I basically work 24/7. I don’t have any other hobby. I don’t sleep that much. It’s just constant works one after another then it somehow works out. Depending on which band has which activity at the moment, I focus on different things.

pdn: I understand you had health problems and were hospitalized some time ago. No need to go into detail more than you feel like, however I am curious: to what degree can you confirm the famous concept of art being born as a result of painful problems?

Kyuho: From the conversation I had with my friend yesterday, people say “they sold their soul to devil”. There is a boundary in art, which you can not cross over unless you cross the boundary of sanity at the same time. If you want to remain a decent, healthy human being, your art will stay in that decent, healthy and harmless safe space. Art should be threatening. Art can be an ultimate weapon that destroys us all, but also can resurrect us all from the ashes. That’s what only art can do. What can not kill you will not make you great.

pdn: Who are your favourite artists, the ones you can relate to best?

Kyuho: Dir en grey, Shining, Radiohead and Sukekiyo.

pdn: I know you went back and forth between Seoul and Berlin for a long time. Which were the most prominent differences between the life you had in each place?

Kyuho: Quality of life. It is a waste of time to say how fucked up  South Korea is as a country in comparison to Germany. In the sense of human rights, labour rights, sexism, racism and so on, South Korea is nothing compared to Germany. No wonder why South Korea has the highest suicide rate from OECD countries.
And well, if I can add, there is almost no music scene. The entire country is devoured by factory pressed K-POP shit.  
pdn: What are your future plans, both musically and personally speaking? Maybe a tour and we can catch you live? ;)

Kyuho: I’m currently planning a tour in Asia. Hopefully in the near future I can go back to Europe and have an European tour, too. As for personal plans I don’t have much to say, I don’t have much else than music.
pdn: Thank you so much for this conversation, I definitely appreciate it. Is there anything you would like to add for our readers, anything at all?

Kyuho: Thank you very much, too.
I would like to thank the people who read it until the end. Please stay excited for the upcoming album, it won’t disappoint you. Hopefully, see you all at some shows, too.

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