SXSW — a convergence of interactive, film, and music conferences and festivals held annually in Austin, TX — began this weekend.
This year marks South Korea’s biggest showing in the city, with the number of events and showcase schedules spanning the full duration of the music portion of SXSW. Before the music at SXSW kicks off on Tuesday, March 17, I had the opportunity to interview Victim Mentality before their arrival.
Glam metal band Victim Mentality was founded by vocalist Krocodile and guitarist Kyungho Sohn through what I’m guessing was a pretty rad bonding session of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest covers. The outcome? A glorious ode to the 80s subgenre, complete with flamboyant clothes, and heavy eyeliner.
Read what guitarist Kyungho Sohn had to say about Victim Mentality’s style, the band’s love for 80s rock, and their upcoming shows at SXSW below.
Asian Junkie: Hello guys! For first time listeners of Victim Mentality, please introduce yourselves.
Kyungho Sohn: Hi, everyone! We’re a heavy metal band playing 80s glam metal and hair metal. We’re from Korea and our band includes four members — I play guitar, Krocodile is our vocalist, Scorpion plays bass, and our drummer is named Tarantula.
AJ: Why did you choose the name ‘Victim Mentality’?
KS: Krocodile and I were together with some friends. We were talking together and someone mentioned about a person having a victim mentality. We liked how the phrase sounded, so we adopted that as the name for our band.
AJ: I love your visuals! It reflects your music perfectly. Who are your biggest fashion inspirations and where do you find your awesome wardrobe?
KS: Thank you for the kind words about our visuals. I grew up admiring rock stars so I think it was natural for us to adapt their style! I think our hairstyles were influenced by bands like Vixen and Cinderella. And our wardrobe was inspired by bands like Motley Crue, W.A.S.P., and Poison. As for our clothing, we buy the fabric ourselves and take it to a boutique that makes custom clothes. We’ve become really good friends with the boutique’s owner through all of the unique clothing that we’ve had made!
AJ: You’re releasing your debut full-length album ‘Heavy Metal Is Back’ this Spring. Can you tell us a little bit about it and what statement you are trying to make with this record?
KS: With this album, our statement is simple — we want people to know that heavy metal is back!
We mixed this album to have a 80s feel to it. But the sounds in the songs include everything from old classic heavy metal to more modern sounds. Our goal was to create an album that people would want to listen to for a long time. I think we definitely achieved that. This album is great!
AJ: You’re also previewing music off the album at SXSW. How does it feel to be debuting new music at a festival of this magnitude overseas?
KS: We’re really, really excited to get traveling to Austin for SXSW. The US is the birthplace of glam metal, so we couldn’t think of a better place for Victim Mentality to play our first overseas concerts.
AJ: What would you like concert goers to take away from your shows at SXSW?
KS: We want them to see the power and fun of 80s glam metal. We think heavy metal is the best music in the world, and we’re sure that after people see us play they’ll agree!
AJ: Any final words you would like to share with fans?
KS: Victim Mentality will bring joy and great energy to your life. It’s as simple as that! If you can come to SXSW, make sure to catch one of our gigs, you’ll be happy you did. And if you can’t make it to SXSW, please check out “Heavy Metal Is Back” when it’s released later this month. Keep metal alive!
Victim Mentality @ SXSW
March 18 – Austin, Texas (3:20 PM) @ Club Metropolis (Heavy Metal Pool Party)
March 18 – Austin, Texas (9:00 PM) @ Karma Lounge
March 20 – Austin, Texas (12:00 AM) @ The Majestic (Korea Night II: Seoulsonic)