Tiny Tour, Big Talent : a Q&A with Balming Tiger
This year has left us concert lovers with a lot of disappointment. We went from planning and saving to see our favorite artists to cancelled shows and refunds. Lucky for us, the artists we love to see perform love us in return, and in the face of adversity they found a way to still bring joy to their fans.
With the decline of live performances came the increase of online concerts. And though not the same, fans all over the world were able to livestream their favorite artists and bring concerts to the comfort of their own homes. Balming Tiger took this innovation one step further by creating their Tiny Tour concert. The nine member collective transformed the concept of online concerts by giving it a little extra sparkle. Not only did they allow fans to watch online, but they also gave some the opportunity to see the collective perform live and in person, right on the Han River. This was both a safe and unique (much like the group themselves) way to bring their music to longtime fans and potential new fans alike.
We, at Not Your Average Fangirls, were not only lucky enough to watch part of the talented crew perform at KCON LA in 2019 but, we were also able to have a little chat with them to get their take on everything from who they are to how the pandemic has affected them.
Q. For those that are not familiar with Balming Tiger, how would you describe the collective?
*Balming Tiger: We are an alternative K-pop group, record label, and Asian music collective. Our members are performers Omega Sapien, sogumm, wnjn, Mudd the Student, producers San Yawn and Unsinkable, DJ Abyss, film-maker Jan'qui, and editor Henson Hwang.
Q. You were set to go on a world tour this year but had to cancel due to COVID, who’s idea was it to film an online concert?
BT: We tried to go on a world tour until the end since we had already announced the tour and there were fans expecting it. However, COVID made everything fall apart. We knew that our fans would be disappointed about the cancellation of the tour, so we naturally thought of the online tour among the members. We wanted to comfort our fans.
Q. How did the idea of filming in the Han River come up?
BT: We should have originally gone to cities around the world, but because of COVID we couldn't go there. Likewise, worldwide fans cannot come to Seoul, Korea where we live so we wanted to show them the recent status of South Korea. That is why we made the Han River, which represents Seoul, the background of the video.
Q. Was it hard to perform on a moving platform?
BT: It wasn't as difficult as we thought. It was rather fun because it was a new experience. Of course we were a little scared to fall into the river, but it was fine because safety guards and rescue boats were ready.
Q. What was your favorite part of working on this project?
BT: It was good to be able to show the fans all of the members gathered together. It's been so long since we've all performed together. It was also good to show the natural appearance of Seoul, with people by the riverside, trains passing by the bridge, flying birds, and even fine dust.
Q. What has been the hardest part of being an artist during COVID?
BT: The most difficult part is that it is hard to meet fans in person. We released Balming Tiger's single "Kolo Kolo" and Omega Sapien's first EP, "Garlic," this year and we used to always have parties and shows, so we wanted to play our new music directly to our fans through festivals and concerts. It's a pity that we can't meet them in person and communicate with them.
Q. What can we expect from Balming Tiger in the future?
BT: The unreleased tracks with all of the members, which you can hear in our online concert, will be released early next year. From albums and singles to worldwide collaborations, we have a lot to prepare for now. We would appreciate it if you looked forward to it.
Q. Since you were scheduled to perform at SXSW this year, if you could create your own music festival what 3 artists/groups would you include in the line up?
BT: Pharrell Williams, Radiohead, & BTS.
Check out Balming Tiger’s The Tiny Tour: Online Concert video on YouTube!
Listen to our podcast episode where we talked about the Tiny Tour online concert!
*Answers were edited for clarity purposes*