[TRANS/Magazine] AtStar1 August 2016 Issue: BTS Interview (Complete)
They set the world on fire in just three years solely with their Bangtan style music and performances. The group represented the dreams and happiness of teenagers but since last year they expressed youth with their music for a year and experienced the most beautiful moment in life. They ranked No. 1 on local music and album charts, secured the 1st place on US Billboard world album chart for 4 straight weeks, entered Billboard’s main album chard 2 straight times and they were the first foreign artist to rank No. 1 on Japan Oricon Single weekly chart. These keywords that prove them to be a peerless match. However, they still sing until they lose their voices and dance until they break their bones as if today is their last performance. We met with BTS who is still enjoying their most beautiful moment in life.
You guys started your Asia Tour since early June. How do you feel about meeting your international fans after a year?
I always enjoy being on stage and it makes me happy. I can feel that more fans come to cheer us compared to our previous tours. I think that gives us a reason to work harder and advance further.
No matter what country or what city we go to perform, our fans sing along to our songs from start to finish. This makes me to think “It’s good to be alive”. I’m really happy and I hope we can spend more time with our audience.
I always feel grateful and nervous before we get on stage. It’s physically exhausting to perform advanced choreographs on stage but I think I receive bigger strength from our audience when the show ends.
How was your 10 days long Northern Europe trip you guys went on last May? It’s been gaining a lot of attention after the V APP Live broadcasts.
I was really nervous because this was our first trip. We got to experience so many interesting things in a far away country where I never thought I’d visit in my life. I would like to thank Naver and our company Bighit Entertainment again.
Our travel concept was 20s backpack trip but it really felt like a youth trip with my close friends. We planned our schedule and saw many interesting places. We wandered around in groups, took photos and we also had our own little meat party.
We were always looked after by producing staffs or managers so when the 7 of us were stranded in a vast country we were quite confused. We would leave our things behind and faced unexpected situations but it still was a pleasant trip. Hyungs prepared a surprise Coming-of-Age-Day party for me. It was literally a surprise party. I could feel the strong bond and friendship between our members so I think it was a meaningful trip.
We think you might feel mixed feelings to let go of “HYYH” since it received lots of love. The album was responsible for making you globally influencing group and it could also be the point that could easily make you conceited.
I could feel that more people recognized and cheered for us after this promotion. We won the first place for the first time and we also got the chance to perform on our dream stage, Gymnastic Stadium. I can’t express how grateful I am. I noticed that many of you worried that BTS might come to an end because of our album title “HYYH”. (laughs) I think even our fans are sad to say goodbye to HYYH as much as we do. We promise to show you more things in the future so I hope you won’t be sad.
I think one could think s/he needs more recognition for his/her effort but it’s absurd if one arrogantly thinks “They can’t do anything without me” without making any effort, I believe that s/he should really change his/her mindset. I’ve been with my members for 5 years now, ever since my trainee days but none of our members are like that.
I believe that every beginning has an end. Personally this was a great album which I’ll never forget in my life but I think stagnant water is bound to rot. We will be back with better music and concept as we’re able to say a beautiful goodbye with “HYYH”
Do you ever feel pressured to comeback with a better work that should surpass “HYYH”?
I think I never had a moment when I wasn’t pressured with such feeling. I always think we should return with music that’s better than our previous work. Our next album will be equally important to us as our previous albums so we’re working hard to make a better album. I always work with the intention to reach the highest point but I do make many changes. I’m also curious to find out what we’ll be expressing in our next album.
The pressure is big. I would be lying if I said we aren’t pressured. But that’s how we felt with all our albums. Until now we’ve been producing albums that contained our own stories and I think more people would enjoy our work if we continue to create songs that really capture our own style. BTS is confident to receive your love! (laughs)
“Epilogue: Young Forever” lyrics are very impressive. Could we interpret this line,“It’s can’t always be mine, this loud applause” expresses the true feelings of BTS?
I often think about our future. I used to think more about things I could lose compared to things I could achieve so I used to get many feed backs from others saying that I’m not enjoying the things in the right moment. I don’t think I could change my nature. I stay cautious by thinking about things I could lose and I feel like I’m becoming an adult by growing up.
Just like our lyrics, we know that the applause from the audience will not last forever. But we usually don’t worry because of lyrics like that. We share our little concerns with our members. We believe we should communicate with each other all the time and stick together to reach higher.
You guys worked harder and faster than any other groups in the last 3 years. Is the current BTS closer to the goal you’ve dreamed during your trainee days?
We have really surpassed. I honestly never thought we would receive so much love and achieve all these achievements. I sometimes think about this before I go to bed. I tell myself that we’re receiving love more than we deserve and that this is my happiest moment.
I think we ran forward without any regret. If I look back from this point, I’d like to pat myself on the back and say “You’ve worked hard, Hope”. (laugh) We went through many things but we took a step at a time to reach here and I think that makes our last 3 years much more meaningful. I hope we would continue to work hard together and grow as a better team.
When senior Lee Minwoo advised to Jungkook on <Flower Bromance> about the possibilities of members conflict of interest due to each member’s greed, Jungkook replied “Lately BTS members have been discussing about this”. It’s possible that BTS members would face disagreements on music or opinions since this is your 4th year.
We try to find solutions to every problem by talking with our members. We are people too so we do have troubles but through conversation we resolve the problems in a day. We are all aware that every one of us is important to one another than any other person.
I once fought with Jimin over dumplings. Sometimes we fight because of trivial matters but we also untangle them right away.
Your group gained attention with powerful hip hop base songs like “No More Dream”, “Boy in Luv” and “Danger” but with “HYYH” series you also showed us that the group can pull of various genre and you proved yourselves as artist who can create songs with meanings on your own. Did it increase the popularity among general public?
When I was younger than now, I thought it was right to produce songs I love but I started to realize at some point that I was wrong. I realized that popularity was equally important to musicality but the process of re-adjusting myself wasn’t easy. I work hard to approach popularity when we’re working on our title tracks and for the other songs I work hard to present you with BTS’s own music.
I think we could say that before our HYYH series we focused our albums on a specific topic. Although it might not be popular, we focused on our music and performance we wanted to show our listeners. Even “HYYH” had it’s own story but we hoped to present our album to a bigger crowd so we focused on popularity. But if we concertrated only on popularity, we were crumbling the things we had to keep with us so we tried our best to keep the two well balanced.
When creating your music your company and the role of the leader that leads the company are important. Could you tell us what kind of company Bighit and Producer Bang Sihyuk are like to BTS?
Our CEO is a person who tries to talk a lot with us to communicate with us. Honestly I think our CEO is someone I find both comfortable but also uncomfortable in some ways. We’re close but sometimes I’m uneasy because he’s a person with strong pose. I’ve never been to another company beside Bighit so I’m not sure but Bighit is like a family. Our CEO and the staffs all care about the artists and we’re grateful for their hard work.
They let us do what we want to do. When we’re working on our title tracks, it’s harder because we need parts that will grab the listener’s ears and the melody has to be great but he has been advising us a lot since our trainee days. However, he doesn’t lay a touch on our other songs in the album and mixtape tracks. He’s rational and not an oppressive person. It’s been 7 years since I came to Bighit and I can proudly tell you that we’re like a family than any other companies.
Even the general public is watching the growth of BTS, the group’s boyhood to adulthood course. What is the image you’d like to represent during the stage of adulthood and could you tell us BTS’s opinion on true HYYH?
First of all, my goal is to always be together with my members. I want the 7 of us to bond stronger and achieve bigger and valuable results. My dream is for us to win the Daesang award and to become a group who is recognized globally but I know that we still lack a lot. Music-wise, we’re always greedy so I hope we could reach our goal by working harder.
Actually, I was never a boy (his age) since we made our debut. (laugh) I think all of us will passionately dance on stage until we break our bones even when we are no longer “boy scouts”. I want our group to be the amazing team that doesn’t change on stage even after many years. Our fans are happy for us whenever we achieve something great. I hope we could win a Daesang with great song to make them happy.
We have talked about changing our greeting to “It’s Bangtan!” without the “Boy scouts” part. I think it would be a good idea to say our English name, “BTS” instead. Ever since our trainee days, our goal was to hold a concert at Gymnastic Stadium and to win the Daesang award. And gratefully, we were able to hold our concert at the stadium. I hope we could win the Daesang award, the biggest award for singers. And we try to do our best to become a suitable artist for the award.
Message for members and “ARMY” who’ve been supporting you constantly though the pleasures and pains during the last 3 years?
We shared more pleasures than hardships. I hope I could continue to experience more joy with my members. Our fans are special people who give me a reason to go back to my workspace after opening my eyes in the morning, no matter how many times I breakdown while working on new songs.
Our members are hard working people who try to learn more about themselves to become a better person and they surprise me. It’s a blessing to stay with these wonderful people. And ARMY is the reason for our existence. I think BTS is alble to shine because of our fans. I want to repay their support with better music.
I’m grateful to our ARMY and members for the hardships we went through during the 3 years. And Bighit is a hit! A hit! Let’s become happier by combining our strengths together and your lifes are a hit.
I’m honestly not good at taking care of people around me because I’m a “Tsundere” person. We were complete strangers at first and we had times when we didn’t get along very well but I’m grateful to our members for adjusting and understand each other. These days I’m happier because we have our ARMY who we can share our happiness with. I want to always present you with good news and I support your future.
(T/N: a person who is initially cold and even hostile towards another person before gradually showing a warmer side over time)
I’m grateul and proud of our members who work hard to improve themselves by using their sleeping hours. I’m always grateful to our ARMY. I hope you understand my tanner skin I got after filming dramas under the broiling sunlight. (laughs)
We’ve lived together for a very long time but I hope we can continue to live together for a very long time. Every member is very important in other member’s life. Staying beside someone for 3 years could both be a long and a short period but I’m very grateful to our ARMY who stayed beside us. I would like to stay together with you for very long time too.
I lacked a lot ever since my trainee days but my hyungs taught and helped me a lot. I’m grateful to our hyungs for always showing me great images and helping me to think I shouldn’t fall behind. I will work hard till the day I catch up with my hyungs. ARMY is irreplaceable to me. I’m always grateful and I promise to make you walk only on flower path.
Idris Elba on the cover of Interview Magazine - August 2016 (X)
“Whatever its constituent parts-talent, sure; charisma, definitely—the combined quality Hollywood moguls and gossip columnists used to refer to as “it”-ness (as in, “So-and-so has it”) remains ineffable, mysterious, almost occult in its indescribableness. Whatever “it” is, Idris Elba has it in droves. Enough to fill a room, a movie, a long-running series, a planet probably.”