Seo Tae-ji Concerts Eagerly Awaited by His Korean Fans

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Seo Tae-ji Concerts Eagerly Awaited by His Korean Fans

Seo Tae-ji, who exploded onto the Korean music scene in the early nineties with his exploration of the heavy metal genre "pimp-rock," will go on tour in Korea from Dec. 23 through Jan. 17.

"Currently Tae-ji is pouring all his energy into preparing for the upcoming concerts," said manager Lee Sang-chul of Yang Goon Entertainment. "During the concerts he will perform with five or six other Korean pimp-rock bands whom he auditioned and is personally training," Mr. Lee added.

Pimp-rock is a mixture of rock, alternative rock and heavy metal. Among the world's leading artists included in this genre are Korn, popular for the album "Blind," and Limp Bizkit whose album "Three Dollar Bill Y'all" and their song "Take A Look Around," the theme song for "Mission Impossible 2," have been very popular in Korea.

"Particularly, he wants to show his aggressive pimp-rock style, and will give full play to his musical genius for his fans' enjoyment," said Mr. Lee.

Mr. Seo has been given a variety of nicknames by the Korean media, such as the "Culture Guerrilla," "Monster" and "Messiah of Music." Last June he surprised his fans with his sudden return to Korea after going into seclusion for nearly four and a half years in America. Despite his long absence from the music business, Mr. Seo's popularity seems undiminished; hordes of adoring fans gathered at the airport when he arrived in June.

Seo Tai-ji first made his debut as a bassist for the rock band "Sinawe" in 1989, and later formed his own band "Seo Tai-ji & the Boys" in 1992. Since then he has a released eleven albums, including "I Know" (1992), "Hayeoga" (1993), "Come Back Home" (1995) and "Monster Encyclopedia" (1998).

Labeled as a hardcore/pimp-rock album, Mr. Seo's second solo album "Ultraman" has sold over 1.3 million copies to date.

"Tai-ji is probably the first artist to introduce this kind of music to Korea's mainstream culture, but he has also been highly criticized for this leadership by those who view pimp-rock as a bad influence on youth," commented international webzine (

His songs and lyrics are popular with young people and typically criticize social prejudice, the prevalence of corruption, dishonesty and bribery in Korean society.

"Most critics accuse Tai-ji of merely plagiarizing the music of Western hardcore bands. But he has broken Korea's musical conventions in every way possible by closely adhering to his principle of pursuing new challenges and adventures in music," commented

Ticket sales for the concerts will begin Friday. Concerts are scheduled to be held in Seoul at the KBS 88 Olympic Gymnasium on Dec. 23, 24, 25, 30 and 31, and in Pusan on Jan. 6 and in Jeonju on Jan. 15. According to Mr. Lee, Seo Tae-ji will also appear in a joint concert with the American band Limp Bizkit on Feb. 6 in Korea.

by Kim Jae-seon

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