1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Has anyone worked in South Korea?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by dhadleyray, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Hey guys and gals,

    Has anyone here at TB ever been to S. Korea? I have a friend who is producing and writing for a lot of acts over there. He says that the market is wide open because there aren't that many bassists there that are as versatile (alledgedly!) as little ol' me;) and that I could make some good bread.

    Has anyone ever been there? What did you think of it? I would sincerely appreciate any advice. Before I sit on a plane for 20 hours :bawl: I'd like to be sure it's worth it!

    My friend (drummer) said he made 6 figures last year, and he's been there for awhile.

    Please, advice or intelligent speculation is appreciated.... REALLY appreciated!
  2. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Any adults?
  3. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    I have some friends doing this in Japan, and there's some musicians here on Guam that have done hotel circuts (I think one was the Hyatt) where they went to Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, (not sure if they did any in Korea) and stay for a few weeks to a few months at a time and played every night at the hotel nightclub. Made good money (not 6 figures though, more like half) and got free room/board. The ones I know that have done it in Japan make more but are paying their own expenses, so the high cost of living evens it out.
    I've been to Seoul for a few days, didn't catch any bands while I was there for work though. Truthfully, I didn't really care for it, not as clean as most cities in Japan and I didn't think the shopping was as good as I expected.
  4. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Thanks bro, I appreciate that... I used to be in a band with this guy in the 80's. Funny as it is, one of the keyboard players was Dallas Austin. I trust Chris, but the lure of real money makes me lean towards taking a look. Playing music I don't really care for, and being paid "less than" stellar fees, makes me feel that I need to risk it.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I lived in Seoul 30 years ago (not playing, I was stationed there in the Army). Yes, GOOD Western musicians can make money there.

    Of course, they're not looking for creative innovative players they need people to crank out the hits from the USA and UK, it's not going to be much different than paying weddings or cruise ships.
  6. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    What about someone with a C.V. that includes Jeff Beck, Peter Green, etc. I mean, my friend is writing songs more than gigging. I'm not really looking to gig, more like sessions. Although, if the price is right, I'll do anything...:) musically speaking!!

    BTW, thanks for the replys, I really need the help thinking about this.:(
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Aside from the music thing, consider your personal preferences.

    Do you have a problem being away from friends and family?
    A 20 hour plane ride, and $1000 plane fare will make that difficult.

    Do you like the unfamiliar?
    Do you mind constantly hearing a language you don't understand, being around people who don't look like you, and eating food that is unrecognizable (but delicious).

    Do you like crowded urban environments?
    Driving around in Seoul would make the hardest New York cabbie break down in tears. Even the "smaller" towns like Pusan and Taegu are very crowded. Sometimes there's no room to put your feet down on the sidewalk.

    Just some questions to consider before making the trek.
  8. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Take heed with what this man says... :eyebrow:

    ...my wife is originally from Incheon. We go to South Korea every-other-year, and usually spend three weeks visiting her family...

    ...'jive1' knows of what he speaks...:D
  9. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I was up there working with KAIST in Seoul during the dot-com years. I think Seoul is a bit boring. The Koreans can be very warm and accomodating once you break into a group, but it's a very cliqueish culture ... I think Japan is a nicer place to be as a Westerner.
  10. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    If he does then why do we still not know who the Qintar is? He put a lot of effort into the cause and 100 pages later we are still not sure... his A.S.S. has failed us again... do not trust this man as he can’t find me!
  11. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    I tend to agree with this, since we also have family in Osaka, as well as friends in Tokyo, and we usually stop-over to see these folks during the same 'vacation' trip we make to Korea.

    When we do go to Korea, we make it a point not to spend our time in the megagopolis otherwise known as Seoul/Incheon. We have family in Taegu. My brother-in-law has a nursery... he grows various kinds of trees for landscapers and developers, and he also raises chickens, which he sells both the birds and their eggs. We use his farm as our hang-out. Now that the Koreans have their bullet train up and running, it's only little more than an hour ride to Seoul for shopping, visiting one of the other sisters and her family, or whatever. Pusan is now just about a 45-minute ride on the bullet train from Taegu... The farm is so much better, because the air is cleaner. Seoul's air is horribly polluted, and I hope the Koreans are going to get their act together and do something about it. We actually take face masks with us when we go to Korea!
  12. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I lived in Ulsan for several months on business at Hyundai. Let me say that I cannot recall ever seeing a bassist playing any kind of gig ever. Loads of keyboardists running tracked bass lines.

    Adding to what jive1 said ...

    do you LOVE kimchee and 'fresh' seafood? you better if you plan to live there

    are you adventurous and willing to step out beyond your comfort zone? if not, you'll go hungry and live an isolated life

    do you love the challenge of learning a new language? if not, you'll soon be hating the beautiful and mathematic language

    most important of all ... do you want to live in Korea? would you go there even if there wasn't a paying gig? if the answer is 'no' then look for opportunities elsewhere. there are always paying gigs to be found in places you would prefer to be. life is too short to sell out for the quick cash, and too precious to waste it being some place you'd rather not be.

    for me - another opportunity to live in this most intriguing country would be a welcome opportunity. Japan is easier to visit with family, as there is more for them to do. both places have their own unique charm

    All the best in your endeavours,

  13. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    ...another excellent point of view! :D
  14. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Hmm, those are good points...

    but, If the chance came up to make enough for a juicy downpayment on a house within a year arose, wouldn't you take it? I'm not a fan of the english by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm learning that as a human being, i can find people i do and don't like anywhere.

    I'm scheduled to be out there for 3 weeks. My plan is, if there are good offers, then I'll consider staying awhile. I recently learned that I'm going to be responsible for a family.:eek: I only enjoy playing when I'm playing jazz or getting paid respectful money. I've become more of a businessman than a player regarding mental processes. Why not get paid the money if you've acquired the mindset?

    I lived in Spain, and it was a palatable experience. England has been worse. If the money is right, I hope I can deal with it for a short time. At least it will be a more honest mindset for me. I'm going out there to earn money, not to enjoy the people, not to sample the culinary delights.

    Money allows freedom to play what I want. If you've never had any, and you see the lifestyle of those with it, well.....

    I'm absolutely terrified, but at 39, I'm out for my family. When I found that the business people were more honest than the musicians, generally, it was a slap in the face. I've gotten to a point where I consider everything from a business, i.e. "monetary" perspective. You guys are making me consider it more and more....:bag:
  15. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    thanks for the help guys, It really does help. I don't enjoy thinking like a hardass, but I've been naive in matters of business regarding music.

    Bo Diddley told me "all musicians are selfish, but some are more selfish than others.." Ya gotta think business when you are responsible for others.
  16. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Well... I just got back.

    Damn, I've never seen driving like that! People ignore red lights and drive on the sidewalk when they want to.

    I played one gig in front of 70,000 people at the olympic stadium for an "K-pop" boy band. Unfortunately, it was lip synced.

    I went to Soyosan mountain and visited the buddhist monks there, as well as the Seoul tower. It was nice tourist fodder basically.

    The music scene is young and I believe the Korean pop stars will be more popular than either the Chinese or the Japanese in Asia eventually.

    I found the cultural differences amazing. I could be wrong, but it seems there is some kind of "inferiority complex" that comes over koreans when ther're around their Asian brethren (I would have to discuss it more with other people that know what I mean roughly).

    It is a different way of doing business, especially when regarding royalties. I don't think you can get them in korea yet. At least not the way we're used to it in the western world. Lots of dodgy, underhanded **** going on with companies.

    I enjoyed the food, but I am still not convinced by Kimchi. Although a friend of mine called having sex in korea "The Kimchi shuffle." That had me laughing for 5 minutes...

  17. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    If you really want to go there, good luck, Korean is tough and involves learning 5 different politeness levels in order to understand everything that's thrown at you.
    Duh, that'll teach me to read the entire thread before posting. ;)