By Han Sang-hee
Korean singer Seo Taiji
, known as "Culture President" to fans, appeared at a press conference prior to his ETP FEST 2008 (Eerie Taiji People Festival) last night, along with American band Death Cab for Cutie and Marilyn Manson.
The venue was packed with reporters and photographers and the singers expressed their thanks during separate Q&A sessions.
The first to appear were members of indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie, namely Jason McGerr, Chris Walla and Nick Harmer. Vocalist Ben Gibbard didn't show up due to health problems.
Though not familiar with Korean music, the members revealed they knew a little about Korean movies, particularly "Old Boy"
(2003) and "The Host"
When asked what they have prepared for the concert, the members smiled.
"We'll have less make-up than Marilyn Manson", Harmer laughed. "(Our) records are pretty controlled and put together. Besides, we're a rock band so it may be pretty scrappy, I guess. (The performance) will have lots of energy. It (won't) be shy".
The members said that this was their first-ever press conference, let alone visit to Korea, and admitted that they were "a little freaked out" by all the cameras, but showed their excitement by taking pictures of local press.
"Coming to Korea and sharing music, what better way is there than a festival? We're really happy to be here", Harmer added.
Following the 11-year old band was Seo. Dressed in black, he looked quite tired and explained that he had just been rehearsing for the concert.
"Music is the foremost importance of the ETP FEST. We are striving to bring it to the next level and eventually turn it into a global rock festival", he told reporters.
Seo hesitated revealing details of the event, saying it was a secret.
"I want to show you all, but it won't be fun if I tell you", he smiled.
The singer is planning to make the concert an annual event. He added that his fans, who have grown old with him over the past 16 years, are still as energetic and enthusiastic as ever.
Marilyn Manson walked into the room last, dressed all in black and wearing dark sunglasses.
"I only got to talk to Seo properly for the first time (here). For him wanting me means a great deal and someday I'd like to invite him to America", he said. Manson has performed here twice already.
When asked if he was planning to hold a rock concert similar to the ETP FEST, the 39-year old singer humbly said that he was not yet appreciated in the U.S. like Seo is here.
"If I had the opportunity to have a concert (like) this, I'd love to include Seo. It would be worthwhile to bring other cultures to America. Music is what keeps me alive. It looks easy, but somebody has to take arrows in the back, put themselves in the line", said Manson.
Mentioning legendary artists like Kurt Cobain and John Lennon, he also quietly said that "we owe them".
Receiving criticism and support alike from fans, the singer was asked what he thought of bad reviews and comments about his music and his answer was quite simple.
"I want to create something that make people feel something. If I did the same thing, (it) doesn't mean anything. There are too many lazy people who just (criticize). If people don't like it, I expect you to write a review or record something better", he said.
The ETP FEST 2008 will be held at the Jamsil Baseball Stadium Aug 14-15. For more information visit Open the link