[INTERVIEW] Rock band Nell's new release reflects 'dark' thoughts - The Korea Times

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[INTERVIEW] Rock band Nell's new release reflects 'dark' thoughts

Rock band Nell released its eighth studio album "COLORS IN BLACK" on Thursday. Courtesy of Space Bohemian

By Dong Sun-hwa

Rock band Nell's music is poignant. The four-piece group excels in reading people's mind and expressing their raw emotions in songs, mostly in melancholy and pessimistic mood. The tracks make listeners' jaws drop because they are realistic stories of themselves crafted in artistic ways.

There was no exception for the group's eighth studio album "COLORS IN BLACK" released on Thursday. The album comprising nine numbers ― all composed by vocalist Kim Jong-wan ― is gloomy as usual, according to Kim.

"My head is full of 'dark' thoughts so I couldn't pretend to be bright to make songs," Kim said during a recent interview with The Korea Times and other media outlets at a cafe in Mapo-gu, Seoul. "I cannot specify what kind of negative thoughts I have, but if I have to pick one, I personally believe that the end is fixed for everything in life. The end always seems quite obvious."

Kim added that Nell ― composed of lead guitarist Lee Jae-kyoung, bass guitarist Lee Jung-hoon, drummer Jung Jae-won and Kim ― had undergone some hardships in recent years too, although he did not give details.

"Nevertheless, I believe our music will sound different depending on the listeners," he said. "Some may find it comforting, while the others, who share a similar experience with me, may take it more seriously."

Nell's vocalist Kim Jong-wan. Courtesy of Space Bohemian

The lead track of the EP is "See U in Five," which reveals the bitterness of an estranged friendship. In the song, the members call a friend to come out and see them in five minutes.

"We meet our friends once or twice a week when we are young, but as we grow up, the frequency decreases," Kim said. "This is something natural, but I was sorrowful because we might not have much time left to see each other. We can die anytime at this age. The number epitomizes such an emotion."

Other B-side tracks, such as "Cliche," "Slow Motion," "A to Z," and "Love It When It Rains," all deliver different messages about life. Some center around love, while others deal with scars and pain.

"The nine songs boast different styles," Kim said. "To work on the album, we stayed in a studio in Thailand. We could relax and have in-depth conversations there. I think this made our album a bit brighter than we had previously planned."

He added that Nell, which debuted in 2001 with the album "Reflection of," could have come to this point thanks to the members' friendship and affection for music.

"We are all friends, so even when we have clashes while working, we can still settle them as friends," Kim said. "We also prioritize music in our life and are fond of it. I think this is why we have been together since 2001."


Rock band Nell released its eighth studio album "COLORS IN BLACK" on Thursday. Courtesy of Space Bohemian

By Dong Sun-hwa

Rock band Nell's music is poignant. The four-piece group excels in reading people's mind and expressing their raw emotions in songs, mostly in melancholy and pessimistic mood. The tracks make listeners' jaws drop because they are realistic stories of themselves crafted in artistic ways.

There was no exception for the group's eighth studio album "COLORS IN BLACK" released on Thursday. The album comprising nine numbers ― all composed by vocalist Kim Jong-wan ― is gloomy as usual, according to Kim.

"My head is full of 'dark' thoughts so I couldn't pretend to be bright to make songs," Kim said during a recent interview with The Korea Times and other media outlets at a cafe in Mapo-gu, Seoul. "I cannot specify what kind of negative thoughts I have, but if I have to pick one, I personally believe that the end is fixed for everything in life. The end always seems quite obvious."

Kim added that Nell ― composed of lead guitarist Lee Jae-kyoung, bass guitarist Lee Jung-hoon, drummer Jung Jae-won and Kim ― had undergone some hardships in recent years too, although he did not give details.

"Nevertheless, I believe our music will sound different depending on the listeners," he said. "Some may find it comforting, while the others, who share a similar experience with me, may take it more seriously."

Nell's vocalist Kim Jong-wan. Courtesy of Space Bohemian

The lead track of the EP is "See U in Five," which reveals the bitterness of an estranged friendship. In the song, the members call a friend to come out and see them in five minutes.

"We meet our friends once or twice a week when we are young, but as we grow up, the frequency decreases," Kim said. "This is something natural, but I was sorrowful because we might not have much time left to see each other. We can die anytime at this age. The number epitomizes such an emotion."

Other B-side tracks, such as "Cliche," "Slow Motion," "A to Z," and "Love It When It Rains," all deliver different messages about life. Some center around love, while others deal with scars and pain.

"The nine songs boast different styles," Kim said. "To work on the album, we stayed in a studio in Thailand. We could relax and have in-depth conversations there. I think this made our album a bit brighter than we had previously planned."

He added that Nell, which debuted in 2001 with the album "Reflection of," could have come to this point thanks to the members' friendship and affection for music.

"We are all friends, so even when we have clashes while working, we can still settle them as friends," Kim said. "We also prioritize music in our life and are fond of it. I think this is why we have been together since 2001."


Dong Sun-hwa sunhwadong@koreatimes.co.kr


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