J.P. of the one-man "kraken roll" band Octopoulpe eats takoyaki while on tour in Japan. / Courtesy of Octopoulpe
By Jon Dunbar
Octopoulpe, "a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers," approaches Korea's shores this weekend to spread madness and fast punk music.
J.P., the man behind the tentacle mask, returns to Korea after touring his one-man "kraken roll" band Octopoulpe through Japan.
"The tour is really good so far!" J.P. wrote to The Korea Times while on tour. "Every time I go to Japan, I know more people than my previous visits. It's especially because of the recent strong connection in the punk and hardcore scene between Japan and Korea. So every time I tour in Japan, I feel like the shows and the parties are funnier and better."
He started his 10-date Japan tour Jan. 24, with industrial noise act Klaus Legal, run by a fellow Frenchman. Last December, the two played 13 shows throughout China with Le Crabe, a French expat based there.
J.P., who has also drummed for Korean hardcore punk bands MyManMike and Arryam, may just be Korea's most-well-traveled musician, having toured Asia, Europe and the Americas extensively. Although MyManMike toured abroad frequently, with Octopoulpe J.P. has much more freedom of movement.
"I'm a freelancer so I can work when I'm on tour," he explained. "I don't have to ask any other member about taking holidays for touring, so I try to play outside Korea as much as possible."
This Friday, Octopoulpe and Klaus Legal will land in Busan for a show at Vinyl Underground, and Saturday they will be in Seoul for a show at Salon Nomad, near Hongik University in western Seoul.
Octopoulpe is an intensely memorable act. J.P., wearing only his tentacle mask and briefs, plays drums, accompanied only by an interactive screen playing prerecorded instrumental and vocal tracks. Some songs feature guest vocals by members of Korean bands including the Kitsches, MyManMike, Yuppie Killer and Billy Carter.
Despite the eldritch imagery of Octopoulpe, the songs are fun and J.P. is lighthearted and friendly on stage.
Once he winds up touring, J.P. plans to finish recording Octopoulpe's first album. He also hopes to take Arryam on its first overseas tour to Okinawa and Australia, and possibly return to Europe for another Octopoulpe tour later this year.