Run River North are a Korean-American folk rock band from California. Their music is an amalgamation of tradition folk and alternative rock. They are releasing their debut album this November. I reviewed this album before the release date was pushed back in September 2014. You can read it here. Recently, I managed to get an interview with the band about beginnings, the road to success and indeed how success has the effected this young band.

How did Run River North come into fruition? How did you all meet?

The song Monsters Calling Home is the reason for the band. I wrote the song after talking with Joe (bassist) about some of the same skeletons in our family closets. I wanted to audition the song at a LA music competition called Kollaboration being held at the Nokia Theater in DTLA. It was a big stage so I filled the stage with friends that liked the song and I thought would look/sound good together. We lost the competition but people asked for more gigs and that’s how it started.

What music did you grow up listening to? What inspired you to become musicians?

This is a six headed beast of an answer, but personally, I would say Disney soundtracks, some Kpop and then loved the Killers, the Strokes, the Arctic Monkeys.. Along with Dr Dre and the Streets.. And Damien Rice. For me, I wanted to tell stories and found music to be a great medium for that.

Your single is entitled “Monsters Calling Home”. Could you speak about using the monster metaphor and what you mean by that? I really love the song.

Growing up, I loved Ahhh! Real Monsters. And as I grew up, I enjoyed where people’s imagination went whenever you ask them to describe a monster. In regards to the song, I think parents and children could see each other as monsters and I just wanted to play off that imagery.

How has the experience of an album release been for you so far?

It’s been quite a journey. From touring the country twice, going up and down the west coast twice, shows in London, a couple music videos and our song Growing Up in a major motion picture – it’s been wild. There are definitely some more goals we wish, for this album release but it’s been a rewarding and long year of release.

What’s your personal favourite track off your album Run River North?

Off the album, I enjoy the production and capture of Lying Beast. It’s got a lot of elements of our show – harmonies, story telling, sweeping instrumentals and dynamic bursts of energy. Also, we snuck in arirang – an old Korean folk melody into the chorus.

Is there anyone in the music industry you’d love to work with?

Dave Grohl, Brandon Flowers.. Ben Gibbard

Is there anywhere in the world you’d love to play? Or alternatively, where did you play your most enjoyable gig?

Iceland or Korea (both north and south).
Asheville, NC was my most enjoyable show thus far. Chill outdoor show with some awesome fans who danced, sang. I’ve got a fond memory of that show.

I’d like to thank Alex Hwang of Run River North for this responses. It was a pleasure to review the album.