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 EE before their arrival.
EE are the husband-and-wife duo Hyun Joon Lee and Yun Joung Lee. If Die Antwoord had a South Korean counterpart, EE is the closest thing to it. EE’s music is artistically entrancing and hard to describe without scratching your head. They fuse an eclectic array of fashion, art, and music to deliver an electronic experience that is as uniquely bizarre as it is hypnotizing.
Asian Junkie: Hello EE, for readers that may be discovering you for the first time, where should they start?
Lil E (Yun Joung Lee): Maybe with our music video for “Curiosity Kills”? That was our first single so it seems like a good place to start!
AJ: I can’t quite put my finger on your musical style, as it has evolved and grown a bit over the years. How do you describe your sound and where do you draw your inspiration?
LE: We don’t describe our sound at all. When we make music, we’re not thinking about how the public will feel about it or what genre it will fit into. Instead we think of ourselves as a performance group, which is why we think that our music videos and live shows give a better impression of what we’re trying to do.
We’re married so we spend a lot of time together. Our inspiration comes from our daily conversations about life and things happening in the news. We usually try and make sounds and visuals that deal with contemporary issues.
AJ: Considering you are two very expressive artists with distinct artistic point of views, what is the creative process like when you’re crafting music together?
LE: We make a list of words and then study them. Then we scribble, write, make melodies, and create images. We develop our ideas based upon these things.
AJ: If you could hand pick any musician and/or artist (dead or alive), who would you call upon to work with given the opportunity?
LE: Joy Division, Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and many others.
AJ: You will be in the US very soon! How does it feel to be playing SXSW in Austin, TX this year? I’m excited to watch you live…
LE: We’ve been working hard to prepare performances that we think people will find exciting. We’re also excited about coming to Austin. We think that SXSW will be a blast!
AJ: You consider yourselves a total art performance group. Is it safe to assume that we can expect an eccentric showcase from EE at SXSW?
LE: Yes! You can expect something strange but fun. Freak flag fly!
AJ: Any final words you would like to share with fans?
LE: We just released our new “Dear Door” EP on March 13, and we made a new music video for our song “Wiggy Dawn.” Check them out and keep banging till you die!
EE @ SXSW
March 18 – Austin, Texas (11:00 PM) @ 405 Club
March 19 – Austin, Texas (10:30 PM) @ Elysium (K-Pop Night Out)