Producer Kim Ki Sik could not shake his worries even while he was looking at a Kim Jong Suk full of assurance.
“Alright. Let’s say that’s true. But you know his skill is no joke, right? What if he decides to express himself with his music instead of singing?”
“Then we’re back to square one, no? If he won’t sing, we’ll end up with a really great instrumental. What are you so scared of? There’s nothing for you to lose anyway.”
Of course there was nothing to lose as long as he got on stage. Kim Jong Suk pushed again when he saw Kim Ki Sik worrying again. He could just cling to Kim Ki Sik’s weakness.
“Think about it. I heard the first stage is piano and the second is mixing? What are you going to do for the third? Is there anything other than the guitar? But didn’t you already use the guitar already by inserting it in the previews and broadcast? All that’s left is singing. Are you going to show a drum instrumental?”
Producer Kim was not forgetting this. He wanted to make Jun Hyuk dance for the 3rd stage if he could. They had milked him too much. They needed to show a new side of him now.
If he were to sing during the 3rd round and his song was good, they would have nothing to worry about after that. There were be a huge reversal and he would automatically win.
They might record the highest viewer ratings like they did in season 2.
“Hey! If I think I’m going to fail, I’ll say it completely honestly. Then you can redo it. What’s there to worry about when Jun Hyuk can make a song within a day or two?”
“Fine. But if there’s even the slightest problem, you need to tell me right away. Don’t hang on to him tight and have him not show up for the performance.”
“Okay. Don’t worry. Also, don’t put a camera on us.”
“That’s a little…..”
“It’s the 3rd stage anyway. There are a lot of participants, so use the behind the scenes of other people. Just think about it. If it were you, would you want a camera stuck to you when you’re trying to focus?”
The 3rd stage would be a contest between 8 people. Since it is a live broadcast, they would not have to put out a lot of what the VJs shot.
Producer Kim Ki Sik decided to take a big risk. Is a live broadcast itself not a risk?
“Do you know who I am?”
“Yes, I heard about you.”
“Then you didn’t know before?”
“No. I didn’t know at first, but knew once I heard the name of the band. I heard that you played the bass in your rock band? I’ve heard that band’s album before.”
“Really? It’s an honor. Yoon Jung Su was complaining that you hadn’t heard his songs before. Ha ha.”
Jun Hyuk did not know why he had been assigned to new producer alone. However, he felt at ease thinking that he would spend the next week with the bassist of the two albums he had listened to. Just like the music in the album he heard, Kim Jong Suk seemed to be serene.
“How was my bass? Was it okay?”
“It was mild for a rock band’s bassist, but too good for a pop bassist?”
“What? Ha ha. This… This is complete criticism.”
“No, it’s not. I meant that it is good. A bass that is calm and stable. Since you have an excellent sense of rhythm, you held the center of a progressive band.”
He did not write songs while he was in the band. The lead vocalist and guitarist made all of the songs in the album. However, Kim Jong Suk had been in charge of producing while working on their albums.
Saying that he is stable meant that Jun Hyuk had him figured out exactly.
“Of course. Your ear is just as I heard.”
“But what is this mission song?”
“That? You don’t have to worry about it. It’ll be done in a day. This time, don’t use an acoustic or electric guitar, and go for a calm performance with a classic guitar. You’ve lost interest anyway, right?”
“Since it’s the first live stage in 10 days, you want to quit everything and go home. Nothing is fun anymore. Right?”
Jun Hyuk smiled as he saw Kim Jong Suk who was laughing while looking at Jun Hyuk. He was different from the other two producers. He did not seem as though he cared about the mission song and it seemed like he was looking at him like a fun plaything.
“Then can I quit? Should I just go home like this?”
“This kid… You think it would be okay? You have to keep your promise at least.”
It was obvious that he had lost interest. He would need to get back interest first. Until he wanted to sing.
“But if the mission song can be completed in one day, what do we do for a week?”
“What can we do? You can hang out with me.”
“Excuse me? What do we do while we hang out?”
“First, I want a reassessment of my bass guitar skills. I’ll play the bass, you on the drum? Or guitar?”
Jun Hyuk smiled brightly as he spoke,
“The piano is more me.”
They began to play around like this.
His days with Kim Jong Suk continued like the first day as if they were playing around. Kim Jong Suk took Jun Hyuk to Hongdae everyday. Among the countless buildings in Hongdae, there were a lot with band practice rooms in the basements.
Though they craved stardom, there were a lot of people who had to give up their dreams early on because they either did not have the talent, or they were far from the public taste.
The band that Kim Jong Suk met were skilled and had already released critically acclaimed debut albums. But subcultures were hungry. Much less a record, they did not have a track that sold well and there was no place that offered to promote their concert. They were just skilled underground musicians. They toured the Hongdae clubs and lived as they performed.
Jun Hyuk hung out and performed with these people in these drab basements. It was music that he had only listened to because he did not have anyone to perform it with. Though they were small and dirty basements, he was performing with other people.
There were times when the bands assisted Jun Hyuk’s music, and there were times when he supported the bands. As they filled the basements with music, Jun Hyuk’s frustration was released.
“Teacher, we’re not going to Hongdae today?”
“No. We’re not going to go today.”
Kim Jong Suk answered nonchalantly and watched Jun Hyuk’s expression. His face was full of regret. The taste of performing together with each of their parts. Jun Hyuk had learned the taste of playing in a band.
“You like bands?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Aren’t you majoring on the classical side? I thought you liked classical more than band music.”
“Whether it’s a trio, quartet, or orchestra, they’re all bands. The instruments they play are just different and an orchestra is just a band with a ton of people. Orchestras are just more fun because they need to match a huge number of instruments. Even bands that have four members practice a lot to play one song. It’s all the same thing.”
Kim Jong Suk thought that he might be able to succeed. He was not bound to the genre, but had fallen into music itself. The time was coming for him for ‘speak’ for the perfect music. If that path was unveiled, he would sing.
“Someone is going to come looking for us today. They’re kids I’m trying to make albums for, but they’re fun. I’m pretty sure you’ll like them too.”
Jun Hyuk’s curiosity was fulfilled before an hour passed. The people who came to the studio were three men in their late 20s with heads shaved so it looked as if they were criminals who had just been released from prison.
“Say hi. They’re complete punks. Their band name is Threesome Bank Robbery. You guys know who this kid is, right?”
When Kim Jong Suk introduced Jun Hyuk, the three men started cheering.
“Wow – he’s the biggest star right now. It’s an honor.”
“I saw the videos online. There’s a rumor in the industry that you’re the best one-man band.”
The threesome surrounded Jun Hyuk and cheered like high school fan girls.
They looked like criminals, but Jun Hyuk was surprised that they were just chatterboxes.
“There, do well since this is a person who can brazenly assess your music.”
“What is this? If the assessment isn’t good, we don’t get an album?”
“Of course. This kid’s ear isn’t common. You guys are dead.”
Guitar, bass, drum – the minimal configuration of a band. Their music was a repetition of a minimal chord simple rhythm. There are a lot of alternative bands that use punk as their base.
It was easy to tell that Threesome Bank Robbery’s music had used punk as the base to create their sound.
While Jun Hyuk heard the three songs they performed consecutively, he kept bursting out in laughter. It was music full of the ‘fun’ that Kim Jong Suk had spoken about.
It could not be said that each of their performing skills were outstanding. It was not that the style of the song overwhelmed the outstanding skill, but the performance skills were lacking. Their songs showed simplicity by using just three chords.
Jun Hyuk was laughing at the lyrics. Honestly, there was nothing to call lyrics. It was just a chanting and chorus that could be seen in folk songs.
In a song titled ‘Maponaru,’ all of the lyrics were, ‘eogiyeocha, aeheara diya, row the oar’.
Kim Jong Suk spoke as he saw Jun Hyuk laugh continuously.
“What do you think? It’s fun, right?”
“Yes. There are a lot of hidden experts in the world.”
“Expert? Those kids are experts?”
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