HomeKorean AmericanCovid Mixed Bag for The Run River North Band

Covid Mixed Bag for The Run River North Band

Run River North photo

By Mimi Chen, AsAmNews Staff Writer

Run River North released its new album Creatures In Your Head just this past Friday

Unlike the stereotypical Asian parents who harp on a career as a doctor or lawyer, Alex Hwang’s parents were supportive with the thought of him quitting his job and pursuing his music career.

“With my parents, it wasn’t like something out of completely left field. I was in the entertainment industry and being responsible with my finances. And then when I brought the idea to my parents, it wasn’t like, Oh, I’m going to do this thing, and you’re not going to stop me it was more like, Hey, I have a plan. I’d like to try this out for a year. And then, if it’s still not, you know, working out, I’ll take up another job,“ he said.

He considers the picture of the Asian parent demanding their children pursue a career in medicine, law or engineering a stereotype.

“I think it would scare any parents, whether they were Asian or not, like you know, if there was no one doing it, doing what you’re doing in your field that look like you and you only saw certain types of people going for that, any parents would be scared.”

Luckily for Run River North, a band based in Los Angeles composed primarily of Korean Americans that originally had 6 members but in recent years was paired down to 3, Hwang’s plan seemed to have worked out just fine, at least for the past ten years. RRN continued to record and tour until Covid hit.  Now, with lockdown, the band’s frontman vocalist-guitarist Alex Hwang thinks having experienced ten years on the road is enough. Luckily, says Hwang, “they had just finished a tour.” Being unable to tour and stuck at home, they decided to “try to keep to a schedule to release something as a new independent band. And it (Covid) gave us the opportunity to really hone in on that.” he added.

Hwang additionally credits Patreon for helping the band stay afloat financially.  But, he notes, there were other benefits to Patreon.  “It was a way to directly connect with fans. And to monetize off of that, so that there weren’t middlemen, or Spotify or something like it, taking a percentage. And in that process, what I found out more than the monetary funds of support that we were getting from our fans or our patrons, was that we found a way to develop a community around Run River North using Patreon’s discord (discord being a chat oriented place for communities).

Being at home has enabled the band to record a new album released last Friday called “Creatures In Your Head” – which according to Hwang, they are “really proud of.”

And even though they are unable to tour, they are still able to perform virtually. You can see the band tonight on the Traktivist Stage at 8PM PT at the free Joy Ruckus Club Lunar New Year Event here:

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