I noticed that in the past when you were booked for concerts they were all acoustic performances, but lately when you had these concerts you’ve toured with a full band. Now why has that changed?
Well, I did like three runs around the United States with just acoustic guitar, and I felt like it was time for a change. Even for me personally, playing with the band just feels a lot better for me; I feel more confident on stage. It’s not bare bones, just me and the guitar, like you hear everything. When you have a bunch of musicians on stage with you, you’re allowed to screw up and nobody can tell [laughs]. But yeah, it’s a new sound, and it’s just more enjoyable to perform your songs with a full band, and I think it gets across a different message.
How was your recent tour with Clara C?
It was great! We shared a band, we toured 21 different cities across the United States over the course of a month or two, month and a half, got to know those guys really well, and they’re like family now, so hopefully I can work with them more in the future.
Do you think you would ever do another tour co-headlining?
Co-headlining? Maybe. We’ll see, yeah.
Your dad recently performed with you on stage. What was that like?
That was interesting, it was fun. I’ve never performed with my dad; I grew up singing with him when I was a kid and then I just stopped after a certain age, never sang in front of him. But yeah, he plays an instrument called the autoharp, and it was for a show called “Kollaboration Acoustic” at the Ford Amphitheatre and that was a really special moment after all these years of not singing in front of my dad, here we are on stage performing a couple songs together. It was pretty cool experience.
Your dad is an autoharp champion, and hands down, autoharp is probably the whitest instrument you could choose.
Yeah, it’s the most folkiest. It’s just straight up American instrument.
How did he get into this autoharp business?
You know, I don’t really know. I guess he chose an instrument and he said, “Someday I’m going to work to become the best autoharpist in the world,” and he did it at the age of mid-50s. He finally reached that goal and he’s become the world champion, this Korean old man mastering an American instrument. It’s a pretty interesting thing.
Are you and your dad very similar in that way of being an overachiever?
He’s kind of an overachiever in some regards, like yeah he had a goal of succeeding in this instrument — although it’s not a mainstream type of instrument — he set a goal and he accomplished it, so yeah, that’s pretty respectable for me.
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