The Volunteers, the South Korean band led by R&B singer Baek Yerin, have opened up about their friendship, the group’s formation and their recent debut.
The four-piece act – comprising Baek Yerin, Koh Hyung-Seok, Jonny and Kim Chi-Heon – released their self-titled debut full-length album last month. In a recent interview with The Korea Herald, The Volunteers discussed their long-time friendship, debut and the formation of the band.
Baek shared that the members had previously helped her with her own music, especially during a time where she was “going through a hard time” and was on a long hiatus. “During then, Jonny and Hyung-seok would help me out on my work, playing instruments and recording without any compensation,” she said.
“Even if we were good friends, it‘s not easy to help without any reward, but they did,” Baek explained, citing this as the inspiration behind the band’s name. “I thought we could be the people who volunteer to provide music that can do good for others.”
The band also talked about finally making their debut, despite making music together since 2017. “Nothing about this band was planned. We didn‘t set a goal before we started on anything. Of course, to us, Yerin’s voice sounded like rock material, but that was only one of the reasons why the four of us came together. The whole thing was just fun for us,” said bassist Koh Hyung-seok
“We wanted to debut sooner but due to various situations, [such as us all being] under different roofs,” shared leader and guitarist Jonny. “With our current label Blue Vinyl launching in May this year, we were able to finally pronounce ourselves as a band and start official activities.”
Their debut album ‘The Volunteers’, which dropped on May 27, consists of ten tracks, six of which they had previously released on their SoundCloud account. “The songs are based on the ’80s and ’90s rock band music, mostly the alternative and grunge rock genres,” said Jonny.
Prior to the launch of The Volunteers, Baek had released a slew of solo albums and EPs from 2015 to 2020, the latest being ‘tellusaboutyourself’. From 2012 to 2015, she was part of the JYP Entertainment duo 15& with Jamie Park.