Drinking Boys and Girls Choir are an anomaly. The band hails from Daegu, South Korea, and even more unlikely genesis for an indie rock band than their pals and labelmates, Say Sue Me. Busan may be a world away, but offers its beaches and energetic club scene. Daegu, by comparison, is mostly know for being hot, with the highest temperatures in the country.

Yet, succeed DB&GC have, signing with Damnably preparing to bring their debut album, Keep Drinking!!, to audiences worldwide come this March. It hasn't been an easy road. The band formed as drummers and eventual members MJ and Meena met, with Meena taking on bass duties, and Bondu, returning from military service, answered their ad and became guitarist, and Drinking Boys and Girls Choir was born.

So, recording for Keep Drinking!! began all the way back in 2017, yet as MJ suffered a grave motorbike accident, the band took a hiatus for her recovery. As she healed, so did the band, and the album soon to fall into our hands was quickly, energetically born.

It's no surprise, then, that Drinking Boys and Girls Choir play like a band without time to waste. Their songs are beyond economical, nearly pure raucous energy and bombast, a rather heavier offering for anyone expecting more of Say Sue Me's more gently earnest surf rock.

Rather, DB&GC are far more influenced by NOFX and their own hometown's 90s-00s hardcore punk bands, and it shows in the burst of raw energy that is Keep Drinking!!.

The album arrives March 8th, via Damnably, and you can catch them live at SXSW this year. Prepare your bones and get excited with both a new song, 'Just Fucking Me', which The 405 is pleased to premiere, as well as a quick Q&A with the band below.

So just to start
 off with, what do you feel are some of the challenges you’ve faced being a band in South Korea?

I guess it is not just in Korea but meeting good band members is a real pain. A friend of mine said (on Facebook) that, ‘People say we can only meet members for our lives by God’s blessing. If I can meet God, I want to punch Him.” (Because he couldn’t find a good drummer for a long time). (Laughs)

Was it challenging finding an audience in a K-pop obsessed nation?

Oh! Sure. So we don’t expect to be a full time musician. We have money jobs. Not many punk bands here earn enough money for living.

What was your first great fan interaction / when you felt like you just might make it?

When we started DBGC in Daegu there was a moshing crew called ‘999family’. They were really supportive and they gave us such a positive energy. And when we went on a tour to Indonesia recently, a fan of ours sang along in Korean and it was really impressive and moving.

How did you guys link up with 999family in the beginning?

999family’s founder likes ska, punk, hardcore. And just coincidentally existed at the same time.

Do the foreigners staying and teaching in Korea support you guys? I know Say Sue Me have an expat fanbase in Busan.

Sure! We met a lot of good people from different countries. I would like to thank our friend Phil from Ireland who’s working for Angle magazine. He’s a good planner, promoter and a founder. We want to say thanks to Cindi for helping us writing lyrics and words in English. A friend from California felt happier than us when SXSW announced to have us.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

Definitely Crying Nut, a very famous Punk rock band in Korea. And we got influenced by bands like ...Whatever That Means, Billy Carter and so on. We also like Japanese bands like Dust Box or Hi-standard.

Growing up, who did you listen to / what band or artist kind of introduced you to punk and rock and roll?

In 90's Korea, punk bands like Crying Nut, LazyBone, and No Brain were so popular that we could easily listen to Punk music on the TV or radio. Later, MJ and Meena were sharing a band studio, there was so many older friends and they introduced us to some good music. We also listened to the radio and we started using streaming medias as well.

When I was working
 in Korea, I’d show my older students music, some Radiohead, Miles Davis, David Bowie, whatever - and their reaction would often be “we didn’t even
 know
 music like this existed” - I feel like it’s harder to even be exposed to “different” music in Korea - when you were younger how did you first begin to find music that truly spoke to you?

Ah? Who doesn’t know Radiohead, Miles Davis, David Bowie? (Laughs) Before I was born, my mom already had copies of the Queen, the Velvet Underground and other world famous rock bands’ albums and I still listen to them.

All that said, are there K-pop artists you genuinely like? How do you feel about that scene?

We really like IU, BOA, Girl’s generation, Wonder Girls, and HOT.

When you first starting out, what was the musical scene in Daegu like? How was it there for you?

It’s not big here but we got a good relationship. We are not divided by genre and we support each other. There comes and go but still there are some support crews.

I've read how the local punk scene in Daegu influenced you, can you tell a bit about some of the bands and the history there?

Um.. the Daegu Punk scene is not big. A band is here named Geuk-Ryul (극렬) , they are a big brother of the punk scene in Daegu. 10 years ago they were really active, we did 'Wednesday show' on every Wednesday, and online radio program, and made a Street show together. but suddenly they were disappear. After that time I moved to other city and I don't know. In 2012 I back to Daegu and met MJ again and organized DBGC.

Are you all originally from Daegu? What was it like growing up there?

Meena was born and grew up in Daegu, MJ was born in Pohang but when she was young moved to Daegu and grew up here. Bondu, he was born and grew up in Chilgok, a small city around Daegu. And he moved to Daegu to go to university.

I know it’s not really a “question”, but could you tell a bit of the story about how you guys met?

MJ and I met in 2008. We belonged in each other teams as drummers. We wanted make a ‘girl band’, so Meena changed to bass and a girl guitarist joined but that band broke up very quickly. The band's name was ‘Chicken mayo ABC’. Then I moved to another city and MJ still wanted to form a punk band. So she posted on her university's online board, the title was “ Let’s do rock band!!” and Bondu replied to MJ. And then I came back to Daegu, and MJ introduced Bondu to me.

For Bondu, how was it returning from military life to play in a band? I can’t imagine! I was always sad when my friends had to go do their 2 years in the army while I was in Busan.

Not for just band, I was really happy because I could do what I wanted to. Military duty service is fuck.

MJ: No more than you feel comfortable doing, but did getting back into making the album help your recovery at all after the accident? I’m sure that was a really hard time for you, and all of you.

I am not that person kind of concern everything even I can't control it but just give up, so the recovery process was not that hard for me.(If I could never get back to drumming, it could be very sad but I might think it can't be helped and found other things.) But I didn't want to rush only because we release the album, so I took the time for my rehabilitation and practicing the drums very calmly and carefully. I had the members who waiting me so I had little bit accelerated but I guess it is quite lucky that I had enough time to take rest and get back much more strong figure in both physically and mentally.

Have you played a lot in other cities around Korea?

Sure. Korea is small and we can play around at a day from a city to another city. We’ve played in Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, Ulsan, Jeju, Cheongju, and Ulleungdo.

How would you describe your sound?

Fast, melodic and fun.

What are your biggest dreams moving forward?

We don’t have big dreams. We don’t know what’s going on in our future. We could die tomorrow. Every morning I’m happy because I wake up. For now, I just want to have a good time at SXSW and break our legs in the UK tour.

Where would you most like to tour?

Indonesia again. It was fucking good and unforgettable. I felt our tour mates ‘SNK’ as my family members. Of course we’d love to visit some other countries, too.

Can you talk about how you chose your band name?

We met winter in 2012, and started practice together in December. After a few months we wanted to first play so we did applied to rock band competition , that was one of a program in festival of university of MJ and Bondu. So, we needed a name but we couldn’t make a decision, so listed up what we like words and then attached together. That’s all. (Laughs)

I often heard Korea drinks more than any other country - I certainly had a lot of soju when I was there. How did you decide to name your band after drinking? / How much does drinking actually influence your music/lives?

I think the best way to become friends with someone is drinking. We love drinking. We’ve been drinking together and having great times since we met when we were students. We drank a lot, we had fun a lot. It’s a good memory which still bond us together. We love afterparties drinking with bands we played with. We decide what to drink depends on the food goes together. We usually drink soju but we like to drink beer with pizza or fried chicken.

Do you have any interest in writing songs in English? Naturally there's always a bit of unfair and annoying pressure towards foreign bands touring in English-speaking countries.

I prefer to sing mainly in Korean. Sometimes if I have a idea in English I write in English. I think language is not important. We are Korean so we sing in Korean. When I was young I couldn’t understand about pop songs but I liked it.

What’s your favorite memory from a show you played thus far?

Once we were on an Indonesian tour, our gig got cancelled because of the police. They pounced on our visas. It was the hometown of our tour mates SNK, and the members were sorry for us and the bassist even cried for us. They made a secret show for us and it was at some studio at midnight. It was late and we hadn’t had a chance to promote the show that we didn’t expect it would be crowed but all the audience people from the cancelled gig came and enjoyed our gig. We felt them and it was really moving.

Why did the Indonesian police give you guys such a hard time?

After our first show in Indonesia we stuck in the venue for over a hour. A police man never stopped speaking in Indonesian but we couldn’t understand and didn’t know what happened. So it was frustrating. After we were released we heard from Prabu (who is the guitarist and singer in Saturday Night Karaoke) about the reasons. It wasn’t our fault but at that time we couldn’t do anything. And at the 4th city in Bandung, the venue was outside, maybe we did our rehearsal in prayer time, or not, or no reason, anyway: police saw us and stopped our show. SNK members were really angry because there was no reasonable reason. Before leaving there, SNK did a jam singing “fuck the police”. That was really awesome and it was impressive. And then they made a secret show for us, so we could keep touring.

What inspired that
 amazing cover art? Is there a reason behind each piece of it (say, the snake) or is more random?

The cover was drawn by our bassist’s partner ‘Pallo’. He designed our logo, sticker and the jacket of our first EP. Every object he draws has its own meaning but he said it’s just meanings he gave and he wants people understand as they feel.

What sounds are you interested in exploring moving forward?

Faster, tighter, more powerful but lyrical.

For such a joyously ferocious band, would you ever be
 interested in trying a “slower” record, or would that feel like going against your core ethos?

We have thought about slow music or a concept or slowness but we are too lazy to try something different. We listen to many different genres of music and try to express in some different ways too but after we complete any new songs, only fast songs are there.

Look out for Keep Drinking!! come March 8th via Damnably, and catch Drinking Boys and Girls Choir live in Austin at SXSW.