Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder has teamed up with Korean-American vocalist Heeya So for his first-ever solo single, Haenim.
An unapologetically fuzzed-up shoegaze cover of Korean singer Kim Jung Mi's 1973 track of the same name, Haenim sees Schroeder employ an array of massive-sounding powerchord lines and plenty of inspiring leads to boot. Watch the track's accompanying music video below.
“The song is about finding a certain type of spiritual rejuvenation out in the countryside – being refreshed and renewed by the experience of being close to nature,” Schroeder explains. “I really liked what it was about, particularly considering what the world has gone through for the past year.”
For the recording of Haenim, Schroeder was joined by bass guitar player Arion Salazar and drummer Shane Graham at The Cave Studio in Los Angeles. He later added additional layers of guitar at his home studio.
In typical Covid fashion, So recorded her vocals remotely. “I had to find someone that was comfortable singing the song in Korean, but also [that] understood the vibe,” Schroeder says. “I wanted someone who could bring a Nico-esque character to the vocal performance. Heeya did such a great job.”
As Schroeder explains, he sees Haenim as a nod to his family's roots in Korea. “Much of my life, my existence of who I am, is because my mom was born there, and was from that generation,” he says. “Haenim really connects me to that culture.”
“What's influenced me more than anything is an internal spiritual journey,” he continues. “You realize at a certain point in your life that you have all these experiences within yourself – all these tastes and likes that I have, and things that I enjoy – and then there's part of you that has to translate that and present it to the world.”