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BALMING TIGER: SEOUL-BASED, SONIC SOUNDS


WORDS MAISIE JANE DANIELS - PHOTOGRAPHY NIKOLAI AHN - SPECIAL THANKS GOOD MACHINE PR







If Balming Tiger isn't the band on your lips right now, then why not?! This Seoul-based collective has dropped their debut album "January Never Dies" after a year and a half in the making. It's a dynamic blend of fun and versatility, effortlessly weaving together the individuality of each member to craft a cohesive, experimental masterpiece. From start to finish, it promises to entertain and uplift. While opinions may vary, there's unanimous agreement within the group on the album's central theme of trust. Trust us, if you haven't already, give it a listen HERE. Tickets to see Balming Tiger now available from balmingtiger.com


F Word catches up with these alternative K-pop sensations to delve into their songwriting process (hint: it involves a mountain), the formation of the collective, and what awaits us at their performance at Primavera this summer. We can’t wait! See Balming Tiger perform at Primavera here www.primaverasound.com.






Maisie Daniels: Thanks for taking the time to speak to F Word Mag! Let’s go straight in with why the name Balming Tiger?

BT: We wanted something very oriental, but also name people all around the world were familiar with. We found Tiger Balm, which is a healing balm, and we liked the idea of that so we switched around the words so we wouldn’t get sued haha.



MD: Tell me the story of how you all met and formed the collective?

BT: We were already friends and decided to form a collective, San Yawn collected us all like a Pokémon Trainer. There wasn’t a specific vision for the collective, but we just wanted to make good music with good people, everyone is super talented which made it super easy to kick things off.



MD: Your debut album “January Never Dies” came out in October and I can’t get enough of it! What has the response been like so far?

BT: So far it’s been really good, we’re so happy at how well people have received it. It was also nice for people to just see our vision! There’s a huge difference between releasing a few singles that can be made in a day versus a whole album, it’s been a training ground for all of us, and we’ve grown a lot musically and as a collective. We just realised the vibe we share is everything! We are also doing interviews for F Word magazine so that must be a sign it’s going well.



MD: The album is a versatile, fun and wholly expressive body of work where each member's individualism shines through, yet it all stitches seamlessly together to form a cohesive and very entertaining body of work - that’s a hard thing to create! Can you walk us through your collective songwriting process?

BT: Oh, it took a while, we were working on the album for at least a year and a half, and each song had a completely different process, but we would usually work in the studio on weekdays until 5pm, we treated it like a proper working day with office hours. When making the album we were very focused to the point where we once took off to a mountain, shared one car between us and completely switched off from the world to make some good music because we are already friends, it was so easy to bounce off of each other.



MD: What would you say is the main theme that runs through the album?

BT: We all have completely different opinions on this, but we would say trust is a big theme on the album, it kind of started with the track ‘Trust yourself’ and we thought let’s just expand on that song.





MD: What are you hoping people will take from this album?

BT: It may not be a seasonal album, but it is an album that can help people when they're going through a tough time. Our friends listen to our music and tell us they always feel inspired and encouraged, so if people are ever feeling down or they want something to feel uplift them this is the album to listen to do so.



MD: What are the best things that come with being a collective?

BT: Relationships with people, not only regarding work but having each other to turn to when you’re going through a tough time, it’s kind of like having a family, that’s what’s bigger than the views and the money, as a team it’s so nice to share the same vision and work towards one goal, that’s the real juice.



MD: Have there been any challenges that come with being in a collective and how have you overcome them?

BT: We never really argue, but I guess you could say we have healthy discussions, at the end of the day we can’t all agree on everything, so sometimes you just must be accepting of other people’s opinions, that’s the only thing we’d class as challenging. We are all growing with each other and a good thing too.



MD: If you had to assign a temperature, a colour and a taste to this album, what would they be?

BT: Pretty sure the temperature would be 99, the colour is bright orange, and the taste is Mala which is like a spicy Chinese hot pot… it’s so tasty.



MD: Let’s talk about the video for ‘Moving Forward' It’ SO GOOD. It’s silly, light-hearted, fun and visually beautiful. You can really feel the synergy between you all and the music… What were the memorable moments when making this music video?

BT: The music video for Moving Forward is a snippet of our short film that we released in Korea and played in theatres, it was a little flex, but one of our most memorable moments. The music video was hot in various locations, but there was this one summers day where we shot in this building in Japan, there was no AC and 20 people including our stylists, make-up artists, cinematographer and more, we were all pretty stressed out because it was so hot, but it was quite inspiring to work with a team that could still make us smile and create a good vibe even in a condition like that.





MD: We can’t wait to see you perform at Primavera in Barcelona this year! What song are you most looking forward to playing live and why?

BT: "Trust Yourself", it’s a hit every time we play and our track "Up" as it fits with the weather in Barcelona.



MD: Can you describe your performance style in three words?

BT: Cold and energetic



MD: Who are you most excited to see perform at Primavera?

BT: Billy Woods, Jai Paul and FKA Twigs as she’s an amazing performer!



MD: What’s in store for 2024? Will you be coming to London at all?!

BT: We have upcoming European shows in London and Paris, tickets are on sale now! We’ve also grown a lot since our previous album, we are conquering our own space and finding our style more and we can’t wait to release what we are making right now and share that with fans, it’s a level up from what we’ve done in the past.



MD: The world would be better without _______? The world would be worse without _______?

BT: The world would be better without comparison, The world would be worse without Balming Tiger baby!!



MD: Is there anything else you’d like to share with F Word?

BT: Thank you much to the fans for supporting us, please come to our shows in London and Paris, we also have a very exciting announcement for the fans coming soon so keep your eyes peeled because it’s going to be big.



MD: And finally, what’s your favourite F-word?

BT: Food, Family and Friends






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