Teenage Heartthrobs Return to Stir Up Passions Among Fans

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Teenage Heartthrobs Return to Stir Up Passions Among Fans

The Moffatts, a young rock band from Canada, came to Korea this month to promote their third album "Submodalities." Wearing jeans they had bought the previous night at the Dongdaemun market, the four brothers held a publicity concert for invited guests.

After a televised interview, the band performed its latest songs and followed with an hour-long session of autograph signing for fan club members only. As non-members were turned away, a grief-stricken fan pleaded, "But I brought them a gift!"

EMI Music Korea had posted invitations on various Web sites, including The Moffatts Maniac Fan Club's official site, (cafe.daum.net/moffatts). Students of various ages responded, packing the small SBS Taema Studio in Lotte World, Jamsil.

The band attracts a widening age group of fans because older followers remain loyal while younger listeners are continually attracted, according to Donna Kim, a pop promotion team member at EMI. The Moffatts themselves are still teenagers.

The four brothers, Scott, Clint, Dave and Bob, first came to Korea two years ago to promote "Chapter 1: A New Beginning." Many of the fans who snatched up the album have remained loyal to The Moffatts throughout their musical evolution. The band has come to Korea three times.

With each album the band has experimented with different music genres. They first appeared as a country act in the early 1990s, then broke into the pop music scene with "Chapter 1." "Submodalities," released in Korea in September, is an experiment in rock. Clint, the bassist, called this transition a "natural evolution."

The new album features music written almost entirely by the brothers, under the guidance of Bob Rock, who also produced albums for Metallica and Bon Jovi. When asked about influences on their current album, the four named the Beatles, Nirvana and Radiohead. Bob, the drummer, wore a Beatles shirt during the sound check.

The concert began with "Just Another Phase." In a studio lit by flashing stage lights, fans sang along, waving rolled posters and balloons.

College students sat side by side with junior high school students despite their usually divergent music taste. The audience started screaming when Scott, the guitarist, began shaking his hips.

Their translator, Irene Tae, would later laughingly recall Scott as "the charismatic, crazy one." Scott livened the stage with his antics, playing his black guitar on his knees during "Who Do You Love?" and jumping off Bob's Yamaha drum set during "Bang Bang Boom."

Scott and the bassist, Clint, danced in front of a huge sign that proclaimed, "We Love The Moffatts." The stage was almost level with the floor and since there were no barriers, the fans went ballistic whenever Clint wandered to the edge of the stage.

But it was Dave, on keyboards, whose name was called out the loudest. After he sang his favorite song, "I Don't Want You to Want Me," fans took up cries of "David, I love you" in both English and Korean.

Called back for an encore, Scott yelled, "Thank you for calling us back out," as Clint started strumming the bass. They finished with "California" and "Spy." Before leaving, Scott flashed an "I love you" sign.

"They're so cute," said one fan after taking a photo with the band and getting an autograph. "I was so nervous, I couldn't say a word. I hope they'll come back again."

According to EMI, The Moffatts may return next year for a summer concert.

After wrapping up their concert, the band left for Malaysia, its last stop before returning home to Canada for Christmas.

by Joe Yong-hee

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