121224 Nell Christmas in Nell’s Room (11:59PM): Beautiful Stranger (+)
again, there’s an introductory blurb that i didn’t translate. ^^ i just translated what jong-wan wrote.
# Nell, when you think about concerts? —> WIth a cold glass of beer!
Hello. This is Nell’s vocalist, Kim Jong-wan. I debated for a long time over what I should say, how I should say it. But, without any decoration and without any exaggeration, I’ve decided just to show you ourselves as we are.
Would you like to hear? Haha.
Our first performance was in March 1999 at a small live club in Hong-dae. I don’t remember it clearly, but I’m sure that it was rather awful. Mmm … but because there was only one person in the audience? I don’t think we really inconvenienced him. Haha.
At that time, most bands would cover songs (they’d take an existing song and re-interpret it in their own style and use them as most of their songs when performing). That was the policy for performing then, so I don’t know what kind of audacity we had, but we performed our own songs that no one knew. It might have been because of that, but, whenever we finished, the expressions of the club owners were always dark. We didn’t get paid much, and, after we finished, they’d give us [non-alcoholic] beverages, and, as we were thinking, “Mmm, this isn’t it,” they switched out the grape-flavoured drink and gave us beer. “Ahh, we should work hard,” we thought.
That’s how we continued performing in live clubs for two, three more years.
After we released our first major album Let It Rain, we were able to create performances in a more organized system. Of course, compared to now, the scale was smaller, but … even so, it was the first time that we worked with other staff members other than ourselves to plan our performance. At first, it was uncomfortable, and we felt that it was hard to work with people, but we were able to learn about things beyond music, like lighting, video, the flow of a performance, etcetera. The things we learned then are helping us even now as we plan our concert.
That’s how our performances started, and it’s been our biggest motivation until now!
★ Wait! How did Nell become a team?
I met Jae-kyung and Jae-won in middle school, but we became close as third-years in high school*. At that time, I’d just returned from Switzerland, and, interestingly enough, at that time, Jae-kyung was playing the guitar, and Jae-won was playing the drums. And, to add to that, because Jae-kyung’s older brother and my older brother were very close friends, I think Jae-kyung and I were able to grow closer faster. (As far as I remember, I think we met every day to talk about music?)
* the US equivalent = high school senior
So I would see them everyday, and, as 1998 was coming to a close, through my school friends, I was able to meet beginner bassist, Jung-hoon, and I got the impression that he was an introverted friend. But, at the time, when I saw his boldness in wearing a hair-band and layered fluorescent-colored shirts, I thought, “What’s with him?” Haha.
# Concerts are our strength —> the interval between openness and privacy
Concert? Venue? I think it’s where we have our most private conversations in the most open space.
Because we have to stand in front of several thousands, sometimes several ten thousands, of people, it seems like we’d have to project an image that’s very well-cultivated and created and, if you look at it one way, artificial, but, at the very least, a concert is something that provides us the time and space to be ourselves without any embellishment.
Ah, of course, except for make-up and hair!
A concert is different from a televised program. On a music program, we only have to sing one song, but, at a concert, because we have to digest twenty, thirty songs, we have to prepare psychologically, physically. However! The moment we stand on stage, because we receive the energy of those who attend, I feel like it’s work that lets us recharge our energy as musicians.
The truth is, as we undergo this and that experience, there are times we feel like living as musicians, and, also, as a band, feels beyond our control, but, when we see a venue filled with concertgoers, I naturally think, “Ah, I’ve really been blessed.” In moments like that, it’s just regrettable that I can’t remember each person’s look and expression.
# Christmas? —> a day we perform!
Around Christmas, and, also, the end of the year, I think all sorts of feelings well up all tangled up. Is it just me? With the cold winter air and the joyfully lit city, when darkness falls, the many lights that become brighter and the sounds of music filtering from here and there make me feel conflicting emotions like warmth and desolation, loving-kindness and loneliness, anticipation toward the new year that approaches again and regret towards the year that’s ending.
Excluding the four years we were on hiatus because of mandatory military service, we’ve always spent Christmas performing. 2012 is of course the same. We’ve decided that, now that we’re active again, we’d spend this year with this kind of new feeling by holding our “Christmas in Nell’s Room” again.
I don’t know, but it could be that we’ve all been anxiously waiting for the warm cheer mixed with the cold winter air. And that we wanted to share the feelings mentioned above with different people. Whatever happens, when I’ve shared something I’m feeling with someone, I’ll be able to feel warmth for the first time, so I’m certain that this Christmas won’t be a cold day.
When I look at the lovers who come to the concert, I might feel jealous, but … what about it! I just have to look at the solo attendees who’ve come embracing their Christmas Eve loneliness and set myself free! I don’t worry about it~ haha.
Especially because we’ll be wrapping up this year with a concert in Busan on the last day of 2012, I’m really glad that it seems like this December won’t be just a lonely one.
To be honest, as much as this concert is one that we’re holding while resuming activities, we’ve raised the ball. More than previous stages we’ve shown you, we’ve been investing in a lot of sound, lighting, and video equipment, so the process of preparing itself has become very complicated.
Every time a staff meeting ends, I feel more tired than when we’ve finished one concert. But isn’t it enough that there are so many staff members who are working so many months for one day’s performance and that so many people are waiting for the moment we stand on stage? There’s no chance to be tired.
The kind of concert I want to show fans? Personally, I don’t really like eating at concerts. So putting aside taste, I want to hold a concert that satisfies the remaining [senses], sight, hearing, touch, smell. I want to create a stage in a place where you can see the ocean in the background with the forest inside and start the performance at sundown, and I think I could satisfy sight and smell that way, and, for touch … if I borrowed the strength of mosquitoes? Haha. Hearing will obviously be our music!
It’s okay if you look forward to it!
The first part has ended! How was it? I tried to express myself pleasantly and honestly, but did you feel that? In the second part, you’ll be able to hear deeper stories about Nell. How we became a mystery band? And stories related to alcohol. Please look forward to the next part, too~