Members of the Primary are, from left, Matteo Cinanni, Bob Massicotte, Camila Ugarte, Tony Boyd and Jon Lennon. / Courtesy of The Primary
By John Redmond
The Primary, an expat band from Cheongju that formed in 2011 will start a debut national tour at Club Freebird in Hongdae on June 8.
Comprised of five members, from Ireland, Scotland, Chile, Italy and the United States, the folk rock outfit will also play gigs in Cheonan and Daejon.
The lineup includes Jon Lennon from Ireland who is the singer and tunesmith, Tony Boyd from Scotland on guitar, bassist Bob Massicotte from the United States, Italian Matteo Cinnani on drums and Camila Ugarte originally from Chile playing cello and providing backup vocals.
The Korea Times recently spoke to two members of the band Jon Lennon and Tony Boyd who both thanked the expat community of Cheongju for their support.
“I wanted to start a band with a few likeminded individuals which I was extremely fortunate to come across through our thriving ex-pat community here in Cheongju. I had a couple of ideas for a number of tunes since my arrival in Korea,” said Jon Lennon.
“We realized very quickly that we were on to something good after grinding out some decent arrangements and finding our own unique folk-rock sound.”
The band members also try not to pigeonhole their sound.
“We call ourselves indie folk-rock,” said Tony Boyd.
“We are definitely a high energy rock band but the melodies and arrangements of the songs are influenced by folk music. On our EP, "Beneath The Tide" we use instruments like the banjo, mandolin, and cello to add texture to our music that you wouldn't normally find in a standard indie band.
“To classify the sound of our band, I would definitely say that there are a lot of individual influences throughout our band. Since we have all come from different parts of the world and all have very different musical backgrounds. I would like to think we're a folk-rock band with the emphasis on the rock side of things for sure,” added Lennon.
The two members shared their views on what Korea has to offer.
“I came to Korea with the mindset to stay just one year and pay off my student loan and travel back to Ireland. However, I am still here four years later with the mindset of building a life here and furthering my career as a teacher/musician,” Lennon said.
Boyd continued: “I really enjoy living in South Korea. I like the climate, the people, and the food. Korea has a lot of opportunities for musicians and bands. Almost every city has a thriving live rock music venue. Playing in Korea gives you a great opportunity to play to people from all over the world.”
The Primary play mainly in Cheongju but for this tour will bring a busload of some 50 to 60 fans.
The tour dates are Freebird, June 8; Ochang Ho Su, Ochang Lake, June 15; The Park, Bucheon, June 16; Dolce, Cheonan, July 13; and Cantina, Daejeon, July 14.
The band have been invited to play at the Jeonju International Sori Festival in September.
For more information please visit http://www.the-primary.com and https://vimeo.com/42490951..