Every music scene has its own history, and Korean indie music scene is also not an exception.
3rd Line Butterfly (3호선 버터플라이) is a band that was among the first generation of Korean indie music, and they are considered the first “superband” in the scene. Founded in 1999, its members were already-famous musicians from bands like Huckleberry Finn, Pippi Band, and 99.
Initially, 3rd Line Butterfly started making rock music heavily influenced by grunge and no wave. But they have slowly expanded their musical territory by adopting old Korean pop and electronic textures, intellectually. Their third album, “Time Table“, is considered one of most important masterpieces in the Korean popular music’s history, not only in the indie scene.
Released in January, “Divided by Zero” is their fifth album and a follow-up to 2012’s “Dreamtalk”. It is the most electronic album they have ever made. Rock-oriented structures are deconstructed by electronic beats thoroughly, and by numerous sound and effects collaged like fireworks.
The single “Ex-Life” represents this change most successfully, as Nam Sang Ah sings: “Me who was bound by my legs and time is Ex-life! / Me who was worried about the old days is Ex-life!”
Maybe that’s why me and other Korean indie enthusiasts respect their bold challenge. “First Generation” is usually regarded as old and grumpy being, which has only historical meaning. But 3rd Line Butterfly refuse to settle in the past.
In one interview, they said “If ‘1’ means beginning, and ‘2’ means continuity, then ‘3’ means take-off. That’s the implication of our name.” 19 years passed since they formed, but it seems they made another take-off in 2017.