Henry Demos, left, and Lewtrakimou of the basement-pop band Nice Legs perform at Boogie Woogie in Itaewon, Seoul, Sept. 2. / Korea Times photo by Jon Dunbar
By Jon Dunbar
U.S. expat band Nice Legs is having one more show before guitarist Henry Demos moves away. At 9 p.m. this Friday, they'll bid farewell at Freebird Cosmic Live near Hongik University in western Seoul, with opening bands, a pro-wrestling act and the release of their 7" vinyl double-single "Strange Family."
Demos is moving to Kyoto, Japan, to work for video game developer Q-Games. The opportunity arose during a Japan tour last year when the band met gaming legend Dylan Cuthbert, Q-Games president, and recorded a still-unreleased improv album together at Cuthbert's music studio.
"The rest is for my future ghostwritten autobiography," Demos said in an interview with The Korea Times, "Not So Nice: The Untold Stories of Nice Legs."
It is not uncommon for local expat bands in Korea to break up as soon as a key member leaves. Ever since the start back in early 2014, the members of Nice Legs have had one foot out the door.
"I had a plane ticket booked to leave forever when we first started the band ― before we even had a name," vocalist Lewtrakimou (Lew) said.
"Henry told me ― Okay, you can go home, but we're making an EP first. After recording and playing our first and potentially last show, I thought ― dammit, I guess I'm coming back, because being in Nice Legs made me happier than just about anything."
Nice Legs first started with Demos and Lew busking in public. Their first indoor concert was in April 2014 for a funeral. Soon after, they chose the name and added a drummer.
Since then they have became one of the most beloved expat acts of the local music scene with their dreamy blend of pop music, artistic sensibility and on-stage charisma. They've taken their act to China, Taiwan, Japan and the U.S. This weekend will be their fifth ― but possibly not final ― album release.
"I guess I should clear the air because we are in no way stopping Nice Legs," Demos said. "I'm all in. That said, I am going to miss not being around my best friend all the time."
"Without getting real sappy, Nice Legs is more than a band and Henry is more than a bandmate ― we are family," Lew said. "I have no doubts that it won't be long before we're up to our old tricks in Kyoto. In the meantime, though, I will be thinking about how much better knowing him has made scooting around this planet."
"The future is freaking bright for Nice Legs," Demos added.
At Freebird, they'll be joined by an eclectic mishmash of acts including local wrestling league Pro Wrestling Fit, DJ Airbear, Grey Watson's new band Tallulah Bankhead and Ali Safavi's latest band Machines.