**Photo by Ars Alopex
Smoking Goose Interview
(Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 9:00pm)
Smoking Goose is just a few short weeks away from releasing their new full length album. In the months leading up to the release, they’ve been debuting the album one song at a time with professionally shot live videos. We had a chance to sit down with the band and ask them a few questions about their new album….
WDI: Releasing one live performance at a time is a pretty original way to debut a new album. How did you come up with this idea?
Smoking Goose: Because of COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, it’s really difficult to plan a show, and we’re not even sure if having a show is possible. And even if there is a show, with the current rules, people would have to wear masks and sit in seats. That just doesn’t feel like a punk rock show to us. So we decided to show our new songs through these live performance videos because we wanted to makes sure people could feel the energy behind these songs instead of just conforming to the current show requirements.
The most disappointing thing while working as a band was the 'absence of high-quality live video'. Everyone has the experience of burning a battlefield by watching live videos of famous bands that they cannot see directly through the Internet. With big famous bands, it’s easy to watch high quality live videos online and feel the excitement of their show. However, small indie bands without much money, like us, have always lacked high-quality content to entertain their listeners on the Internet. With this in mind, we took the pandemic crisis as an opportunity and tried a new plan so that more and more people could watch Smoking Goose's live.
So basically, since we can’t do what we would’ve done for a release show in previous years, we hope people can enjoy watching a different kind of Smoking Goose live performance through the internet!
WDI: How long did it take to you film all the videos?
Smoking Goose: Actually we just finished all the filming last week. We started on July 25th, so it took about 3 months to shoot them all, but we started planning back in January. It took several months to figure out all the details and prep work like finding a cinematographer, figuring out lighting and the overall video concepts, finding locations to shoot at, and mixing the songs.
We definitely couldn’t have done this on our own. It took a lot of help from many people to finish all the filming and produce some great videos. We really want to thank our cinematopgrapher Min-Seok Lee, who passionately filmed and edited all the videos, and Hyung-Rae Cho, our engineer who gave us lots of advice on recording and did a great job mixing. We also want to thank Pan Company’s presidents Pan-Su Park and Dong-Wook Yoo for helping with renting and installing the lighting equipment.
WDI: “May Day” is the 5th live video you’ve released. What the story behind this song? What’s it about?
Smoking Goose: “Mayday” is a song that contains a hopeful and active message like we’ve always sang in other songs. The most difficult thing for young people of our age to struggle the most is the gap between ideals and reality. As an ambitious 20-year-old we can just push and push to focus only on our idealistic goals, but as we get older, we have to think about other factors, such as our jobs, marriage, and parents. When this happens, sometimes people start to hesitate with every decision and stop moving forward. The point of this song is to encourage people to have the courage to keep moving towards you hopes and goals, even if it’s just a small step forward.
As for the video, it’s the 5th song we’re releasing this fall, but it was actually filmed in late summer when we first started making these videos. We were pretty nervous then and had less time to prepare than for other videos, so it may be a little sloppy compared to the other videos. We had to stay up the whole night before we filmed it, so that didn’t help either.
“May Day” is also the song we recorded for the compilation “Them & Us 3,” which will be released by our label World Domination, Inc. sometime soon. After both albums come out, we think people will enjoy the subtle differences between the 2 versions.
WDI: The new album is called “About Extinction.” What’s the meaning behind that?
Smoking Goose: “About Extinction” is the title of our 2nd full length album and an actual song on the album.
“About Extinction” is the title of a song on our 2nd full-length album as well as the title of the album itself. The overall idea behind the album is based on the current situation bands have to live with during this pandemic. Because of the pandemic, we can’t play live shows. And without live shows, it almost feels like we’ve lost our goals and our identity as a band. And then there’s the worry that if this lasts forever, it’ll almost be like live music is just something that exists in a museum. So if live music is something that will go extinct someday, this song is about the attitude we want to have on stage while we can still play!
The live video for “About Extinction” will be released soon, so you’ll be able to clearly understand its message then, and the whole album will be released on November 23rd.
WDI: How long have you been working on this new album?
Smoking Goose: We started working on the album last winter (2020). It’s been 3 years since we released our first full-length album “Pieces of Mind” and we’ve been putting out new EPs and digital singles every year since then, so we thought the timing was right for a new full length. We gave ourselves a deadline of getting the full length our before the end of this year, but when we made that decision, we didn’t actually have enough songs written yet, so Dongkil was pretty stressed out because he’s the main songwriter for us. But we all worked together to push ourselves and get this big project started and moving along.
The album started just with a single keyword in mind: “extinction.” But because we didn’t have a clear plan from the start, we hit some hurdles along the way. But again, the irresponsible plan created numerous loopholes. There were times when we couldn’t practice. We had to write, reorganize, and rewrite lots of songs. Video shoots were delayed, and then the shooting concepts changed. We had lots of meetings with our video and album designers. It all took a lot of work, but we were finally able to make our final deadline of November 23rd.
WDI: It’s pretty normal for bands here in Korea to spend a few years playing their new songs before actually recording them. Are there any brand new songs on the album that you haven’t actually played yet?
Smoking Goose: “About Extinction” has 11 songs in all, including 3 pre-released digital singles from 2020 and one intro track. There are many brand new songs on this album, but technically we’ve played them all live now since we previewed the whole album for the first time at our show on October 16th. Since that was our first face-to-face live show in a long time, we decided to surprise the audience by giving them a sneak preview of the new album.
Despite that, most people haven’t heard most of the new songs on the album, so I hope they enjoy hearing them for the first time through our future live videos.
"About Extinction" will be released on November 23rd. Be sure to grab a copy and/or check it out on your favorite streaming platform :)