We’ve featured fabulous musicians on APEX Express. There’s all the folks featured in Ellen Choy’s Women in Hip Hop Series, punk rock by The Little Bits and Digma, and of course the folks that are featured tonight.
But go back to the 1990s and the pickings were slimmer. In mainstream music, there was James Iha from the Smashing Pumpkins, in hip hop there were the Invizible Skratch Pickelz, and in indie rock, there was Seam.
What’s special about Chicago-based indie rock band Seam and their front man Sooyoung Park is that not only was he Asian American, but he also actively participated in Asian American media. He’s a co-founder of FAAIM, the Foundation of Asian American Independent Media, with Bill Shin and Ben Kim. FAAIM put on the Chicago Asian American Showcase, which features Asian American film, music, and spoken word. That trio of folks also produced “Ear of the Dragon,” a CD released in 1995 that featured music by American and Canadian indie bands which contained Asian-American members.
Back in October, Sooyoung was in town with his first band, Bitch Magnet. After touring Europe, North East Asia, and South East Asia, they finally returned to play a five-stop tour in the U.S. Guest interviewer Melissa Hung, founding editor of Hyphen magazine, and producer Robynn Takayama caught up with him.