As the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Sunday, South Korea united to cheer for the national team, chanting and singing songs together.
Local artists release World Cup-themed songs every season to add to the festive spirit. “For Victory” and “The Shouts of Reds” are among the popular cheering songs released by veteran modern rock band TransFixion.
“We went on a hiatus for about four years after releasing our debut album ‘Come Back to Me' in 2002. … ‘For Victory,’ however, made a breakthrough amid the fate of perishing CD music and other physical music record formats in 2006,” the band’s vocalist Haerang said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul.
Explaining the background of the song, bass guitarist Dongwook said, “We didn’t know much about soccer. When (rock band) YB performed ‘Oh Fighting Korea’ at Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall in 2002, we started dreaming of performing onstage there, too.”
Recalling the band’s showcase at the venue four years after with explosive sing-alongs, Haerang picked that performance as the best concert to date. The band was able to widen its fan base to people of all ages after the release of “For Victory,” drummer Chungi said.
In addition to the megahit cheering song, TransFixion released “The Shouts of Reds” series every four years since 2010 with former figure skater Kim Yuna, Girl's Day's Minah and Oh My Girl as featured artists. For this season, the band dropped a collaborative EP, “Become One,” with up-and-coming hip-hop trio Homies and rapper Uneducated Kid on Wednesday.
“Since this year’s soccer championship means more to the national soccer squad and local soccer fans as the country reached the 10th straight World Cup finals, we wanted to release a new cheering song, rooting for good results,” Chungi said.
The band’s bass guitarist also hinted that the band is planning to host live concerts to support the World Cup squad with fans together.
Ahead of the release of “Become One,” the quintet put out the new single “Phoenix” earlier this month in celebration of its 20th anniversary. In the music community, TransFixion is known as a band that seeks to introduce trendy rock music. This time, the band fused the EDM genre into the song featuring rapper D-Hack.
“I’ve listened to recent K-pop songs and wanted to sing a song that includes the young generation’s tone and music style. We wanted to let the listeners know TransFixion’s new leap forward with the song,” Haerang said.
When asked about the major reasons behind the act taking on new challenges in its 20-year music career, Hojin, the guitarist, said, “We’ve wanted to give rock music’s unique energy to listeners.” The band’s vocalist further mentioned the bandmates perform their songs out of a sense of duty to popularize rock music here.
The bandmates felt bitter about the rock genre being considered minor in the local music scene although it has seen much more popularity globally. “That’s a fact of life. Rock is no longer a young music genre,” Hojin said. “To promote our rock music more, we’ll hold an exclusive concert next year, which will likely mark the first one in the last 10 years.”
Haerang said, “If we keep trying to revitalize the music, rock will dominate the local music scene again because trends come and go.” ID:Earth, who joined the band last year as the keyboardist, further shared her belief by saying, “The 20-year rule holds true for music like fashion.”
TransFixion hoped the band could serve as a bridge between rock musicians of different generations.
“While seeking originality and trendy music, we want to provide a vital link between generations,” Haerang said. “Our ultimate goal is to be remembered as a band that lingers in listeners’ memories like an immortal phoenix.”