Korea's Extreme Metal Underground

Ian Henderson
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 -
7:30pm to 9:00pm
Second floor Residents’ Lounge, Somerset Palace
W10,000 (non-members), W5,000 (students with student ID), free for members

While K-pop and all its plastic packaging remains the growing symbol of Korea’s arts culture in the eyes of the world, there do in fact exist grassroots subcultures living and creating in the underbelly of the metropolis. One of these is the community of extreme heavy metal musicians, who have been portrayed recently in the full-length documentary “K-Pop Killers.” The film is the product of a collaboration between US expats Ian Henderson and Michael O’Dwyer, both of whom have been immersed in the local metal scene for years and spent over a year following and interviewing many of the key players for their documentary. 

Director Ian Henderson will discuss the film and how in getting to know the personalities involved in the scene, a few uniquely Korean challenges have emerged: strict social hierarchy, a tumultuous political history, and gentrification in a rapidly developing nation all conspire to thwart any chance of professional success. The saga of heavy metal in Korea is a strange one: starting as an illegal import under military dictatorship, to the rock explosion of the 1980s and 1990s, through its downfall in the wake of the K-pop juggernaut, the film follows the quixotic quest of these musical miscreants. Despite all the crushing demands of Korean society, these cultural underdogs continue to chase their dreams of heavy metal stardom...  

Ian Henderson has been living and teaching in Seoul for nearly a decade. Besides being involved in the extreme metal and punk underground, he has also written for Groove  Magazine and 10 Magazine, and is a mainstay at comedy and trivia events. For the last few years he has been focused mostly on documentary production, following a strict learning curve as he basically learned how to produce a documentary from scratch. He is currently in pre-production on his next film and will be leaving Korea at the beginning of 2019, destination as yet unknown.


Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is normally open as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
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Please call before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796

Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

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