It’s the Royal Pirates!
Royal Pirates (로열 파이럿츠) is a Korean-American rock band under Apple of the Eye Co. which debuted in 2013. They originally had three official members and one unofficial member, including Kim Moon-chul/Moon Kim (Main Vocals), Richard Kim (Bassist), Kim Soo-yoon/EXSY (Drums), and Enik who sometimes plays bass and sometimes keyboard. They officially debuted in 2013 but they were previously known as a YouTube band called Fading From Dawn from 2004 to 2008.
Are you curious to find out more about this band? Let’s get to know them!
Moon Kim’s Profile
Stage Name: Moon Kim (문김)
Birth Name: Kim Moon-chul (김문철)
English Name: Andrew
Position: Lead Vocalist, Guitarist
Date of Birth: September 2nd, 1988
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Height: 178 cm (5’8″)
Blood Type: O
Facts About Moon Kim
– Moon Kim had a brother named Richard Kim (who used to be in the band back when they were known as Fading from Dawn) but Richard Kim passed away due to a car accident on April 12th, 2008.
– He first debuted with the stage name “Moon” but due to search issues in both English (the Moon) and Korean (문- door), he changed it to “Moon Kim” in 2014.
– He describes himself as adventurous, sarcastic, and evil all at the same time.
– Although he has lived in America for about ten years, his hometown is in Incheon, South Korea.
– He is good at composing music, writing, and arrangement.
– Aside from the guitar, he can also play the bass, the drums, and the piano.
– He has been singing since the age of thirteen.
– He was inspired to become a singer after watching Titanic (1998) and grew up as a huge fan of Celine Dion.
– Ever since grade school, he has mastered hard rock, modern rock, alternative rock, psychedelic rock, electronica, J-Rock, Brit-pop, and various other genres of music, all while forming his own style in the process.
– He wrote their songs “Haru,” “Seoul Hillbilly,” and “Disappear.”
– He is deathly afraid of insects, especially cockroaches and praying mantises.
– He doesn’t like to eat any kind of “fishy” food, neither raw nor cooked.
– He is the most fluent in Japanese among all the members.
– He loves the movies Star Wars and Romance of Three Kingdoms.
– His favorite bands are Coldplay and Muse.
– He got the nickname “Moonsava” after his appearance on the variety show Law of the City.
– He states that the meaning for their band’s name is to represent the juxtaposition of the rock genre they specialize in to mirror the double-sided world of their music, meaning that they want to connect the “royal” lineage of rock-stars past with the freedom and spirituality of modern “pirates” to create a lineage that transcends time.
– He is quoted for saying this: “I won’t say what needs to be said but say what needs to be heard.”
Stage Name: Soo-yoon (수윤) / EXSY (액시)
Birth Name: Kim Soo-yoon (김수윤)
Position: Vocalist, Drummer
Date of Birth: December 17th, 1989
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
Height: 180 cm (5’9″)
Blood Type: A
Facts About EXSY
– His hometown is Seoul, but he has lived in the U.S. for about ten years.
– He is a composer, music producer, and lyricist.
– He wrote the lyrics for “Love Toxic,” “Supernatural,” and “Without You.”
– He can play both the bass and the guitar and had been playing them since he was fourteen.
– He also has been playing the drums since he was thirteen.
– He has a strong sense of a sweet tooth, and he especially loves chocolate.
– He is a secret video game nerd and has played all of the Pokemon games.
– Because he is an avid Pokemon fan, he is also a huge fan of Pikachu.
– He watches a lot of anime and reads a lot of manga. His favorite one is One Piece.
– He loves animals, especially dogs.
– He has a pet hedgehog named BamToy.
– He is the only members of the band who still wears earrings. He has one piercing on his right ear and two on his left one.
– He has five tattoos. Two on his chest, one on his back, and two on his arm.
– He dislikes rainy weather the most.
– He assists Moon in arranging most of their music.
– He has an eye for style and the chic.
– He has written and composed his own solo songs titled “One Hundred Roses” and “Like Butterflies.”
– He has been a regular on Arirang’s K’poppin Radio Show ever since April.
– His band members claim that he is an “experimental” cook.
– He has a fear of seeing dead animals/roadkill.
– He is quoted for having said this: “I don’t have enough talent to be a special artist. But I do have great passion.”
Former Member – Richard Kim’s Profile
Stage Name: Richard
Birth Name: Kim Moon-chan
English Name: Richard Kim
Date of Birth: October 4th, 1986
Died: April 11th, 2008
Facts About Richard Kim
– He died in 2008 from a car accident along with two other friends of the band, David Chung and Daniel Kim.
– He was Moon’s brother.
– After his death, Moon and EXSY decided to change the band’s name from Fading From Dawn to Royal Pirates (because it just wasn’t the same without Richard), and they added member James Lee.
Former Member – James Lee’s Profile
Stage Name: James Lee
Birth Name: James Lee Joohyun (제임스 리)
Position: Bass, Keyboardist
Date of Birth: June 9th, 1988
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Height: 190 cm (6’2″)
Blood Type: A
Facts About James Lee
– His hometown is Los Angeles, California in America, where he was also born.
– He attended California State University, where he majored in Communications and Entertainment.
– Korean is his second language.
– He wrote their song “Better Everything” and the English lyrics to “You.”
– He has been playing the bass since the sixth grade.
– He can also play six-string guitar and has been playing the trumpet since fourth grade.
– He was the last member to join the group on September 20th, 2009, introduced to Moon and EXSY through a mutual friend.
– His nickname is Adonis because of his well-sculptured body.
– When he signed with his label in 2011, he could only speak basic Korean.
– He is known for being friendly.
– He used to play water polo.
– He used to be a member of the metal band Azusa, starting at the age of sixteen.
– He, later on, became the frontman for the band The Clear and Conscious.
– His favorite type of food is Mexican, and he loves burritos.
– He is well known for his intellect and for being a true food addict.
– He was previously a server at Sushi Kamon in the City of Industry, California and was an intern at Music Saves Lives.
– He also worked as a data entry abstracter for a private company in a Los Angeles recording office.
– He admits to knowing most of the English speaking idols in the K-Pop industry, including Peniel, Eric Nam, Ailee, Amber, Jackson, Bekah, and Kevin.
– He also knows Arden Cho from Teen Wolf and popular YouTuber Jenn Im from ClothesEncounters.
– He has filmed multiple CFs (like the Shinhan Card App CF) and frequently models in advertisements (he also notably worked with the female contestants of America’s Next Top Model in March of 2014).
– He got into an accident in June 2015 and he hurt his wrist (a door frame fell upon him as he entered a restaurant to meet a friend for their birthday).
– Because of the accident, he had to give up playing bass and changed his position to the keyboardist/programmer.
– He is quoted for saying this: “Sometimes it’s good to slow down and practice being present.”
Pre-debut: Fading From Dawn, Richard’s Death, and Renaming
Debuting in 2004, the group was formerly known as Fading From Dawn, with the three members being guitarist-vocalist Kim Moon-chul, drummer Soo-yoon (later changed his stage name to EXSY), and bassist Richard Kim, Moon-chul’s older brother. Fading From Dawn was a YouTube band that occasionally played in Korean festivals in California. They made covers of DBSK, (now known as TVXQ) Super Junior, and other popular Korean artists. They had played at several Korean events in California, such as the annual Korean Festival in Orange County. After Richard’s death in April 2008, in a car accident, in Pomona, California, they rarely played live since they had no bass player.
After the death of Richard Kim in a car accident, in 2008, the group decided to change their name to Royal Pirates to honor the loss of a member. With the loss of Richard, a new bassist, James Lee, joined and Royal Pirates officially debuted on August 25th, 2013.
With their talent and originality, Royal Pirates gained fame on YouTube by uploading covers. In September 2008, Moon-chul and Soo-yoon posted their first cover “Time is Running Out” by Muse on their YouTube account. After that, they continued uploading rock versions of hit songs, such as “Nobody” by Wonder Girls, “Mirotic” by DBSK, and “Circus” by Britney Spears. The latter reached 18 thousand views in just two weeks and was also featured on Britney’s homepage.
In May 2009, Royal Pirates appeared on the Korean News Channel YTN where they were presented as an independent rock band who had become a new YouTube sensation, garnering over ten thousand views with their powerful instrumentals and brilliant videos.
They covered the song “Sorry Sorry” by Super Junior in the spring of 2009. After the video was posted on the Korean website Cyworld, the band received an invitation from the writer of SBS’ Star King to appear on his show. However, the band declined the invitation since they had “major conflicts with school” and “scheduling was difficult for both of [them].” They also did not want to portray themselves as a “Cover Band” to the world.
In October 2009, Royal Pirates appeared on KOME channel to introduce their new bassist, James Lee. Their first original demo released on the internet was “Royal Villain.” Soo-yoon’s song “Like Butterflies” was released very soon after.
In March 2010, Royal Pirates released the music video for their new original song and demo “Disappear.” They declared, “This is not the actual debut of Royal Pirates. This MV was made independently for the fans and also for the promotion of the band.”
Royal Pirates debuted on Inkigayo with “Shout Out” on January 15th, 2014. They then officially released their first EP Drawing The Line.
Two months later, on March 24th, 2014, they released their first album in Japan which consisted of the English versions of “Shout Out,” “Drawing The Line,” and “Fly To You.”
On August 27th, 2014, they released their second EP Love Toxic which held the English versions of “Betting Everything” and “You.” Later, they released a Taiwanese version of the EP as well as a Japanese version.
Let’s take a look at their live version!