You got a lot of new parts in the . What’s your favorite part?
I like the rap part in “Couple”. Tablo wrote the rap, and I think it’s pretty and it suits me well. There’s a part where we all draw a rainbow on stage, and that was Jiwon hyung’s idea.
Are you finally over the deprivation of MVs? To be honest, I never had that much feelings against our MVs. Old MVs have some cons, of course, since they were filmed at our office or were a mashup of other videos. But I think they turned out pretty well. This time, I tried harder because I wanted to keep showing better sides.
How was the filming? What I liked the most about it was the fact that I went to Japan with the members. It was disappointing that we didn’t really get to spend much time together except for when we were eating because of tight schedule. We had to wake up at 3~4 AM, get ready, film, and we couldn’t even stay out for long because it was cold. I wanted to watch other members awkwardly filming the couple scenes, but I couldn’t. I watched the indoors ones, but they all did well when they started shooting.
Any memorable episode? Snowflakes were as big as the \500 coins, so we watched it snowing. Jaejin, Suwon, and I finished first, so we went to Sapporo’s beer factory to get a drink. We also went to a park together, and Jaejin made chimpanzee noises there, which was really funny.
Is the team activity different from before? I think individual personalities and styles are the same as before. But everyone did get more mature. We all have a lot more responsibilities now. We did what was asked without thinking much back then, but now, we all try to participate voluntarily.
Do you feel that there are a lot of new fans? When I read fan letters or go to filming sites, I see a few young fans. I think it’s cool. I want to tell them, “You’re sad that you’ve come to know us so late too, right? Since you’re late, please like us more, and let’s be together for a long long time”.
Do you feel the difference between 20th century fan culture and 21st century fan culture? The most obvious one is camera. Back then, there was no camera even on cellphones, but now, they bring huge cameras to take pictures of me. Not only are they good at taking pictures, but they’re also good at editing them, so sometimes I get surprised looking through my SNS. Also, back then, fans crowded around us when they saw us, but now, they don’t approach us. They just take pictures from far away. But one thing that hasn’t changed is their eyes. Regardless of age, everyone still looks like a young girl because of their innocent eyes full of excitement.
Do you read all the comments on your SNS? Yes. Fans leave comments that can encourage me and make me laugh. There are touching ones. By reading those comments, I try to fix my mistakes. I think it’s good that I can always show improvements through those feedback.
Fans call you ‘Duck-Chael’ (Jaeduck+Michael). Isn’t the angel image sometimes burdensome? It was Michael that came after my name? (laughs). But everyone likes nice people. It’s good that people view me in that way. But did I really seem that nice? I have weaknesses too, but I guess fans see more of my strengths.
What was your favorite move when you were in charge of choreographing? It was mostly Jaejin who made the choreography, and I just helped on the side. It’s already 20 years ago, so I don’t even remember which choreographs I participated in. I think “Road fighter” was really cool, and “Pom Saeng Pom Sa” was very upbeat. But the recent choreos are more fun. The new “Com’ Back” and “Chivalry” choreos have completely different styles from before.
How did it change? Before, we almost always danced right on the beat, but nowadays, you split the beat a lot. It gets awkward sometimes because my body’s not used to it. The dance itself did get harder, but it’s also that my brain can’t follow as quickly as it could before.
What was the most exciting moment since the reunion? I think the most memorable ones are of course guerrilla concert on and our recent concert. At Yellow Note concert, they played a video of our fans singing to “Couple” and that almost made me cry.
Your style changed the most since the reunion. Do you like it? At first, it was hard to accept. It’s not easy when everything suddenly changes at once. But I just trusted the stylists, and I’ve heard that I look good in the style, which boosts me up. Depending on the style of my clothes, my attitude and facial expressions also change. I like such changes.
Have you gotten used to doing photo shoots? It’s still awkward. But there’s always an excitement at photo shoot sites. You get to meet new people at a new environment. It’s new, but it’s exciting.
I’ve heard that you filmed in Busan with the memebers. How did that go? At first, it was a bit awkwrad because I wasn’t used to such setting, but as time went on, I got to have a lot of fun. I think I would’ve had more fun if it wasn’t being filmed. I try not to be conscious of the camera, but sometimes it doesn’t work. I do think it could’ve been better without the cameras.
Do you have any plan of travelling with the members, apart from filming? We’ve talked about it, but as of right now, carrying out our schedules is the most important.
Do you have any member that you want to form an unit with? I think I’ll be able to show stronger sides with the black kies members, Jiwon hyung and Jaejin. We’ve been on stage together just as three, and I liked it. I think it’ll be fun.
[Jang Su Won]
You were the second most active member, after Eun Ji Won. It might seem like I did a lot because of the robot acting, but it’s only been 2 years since I started doing individual activities. I try to be honest and accept everyone’s opinions on variety shows, and I think people like that side.
Robot acting could’ve created a bad reputation, but it was an opportunity for you. At first, people did criticize me. Then people started laughing, and it became my charm. My personality and attitude changed a lot because of it. If I kept being criticized like I did in the beginning, I would’ve lost all my confidence, but I was lucky. If this happened in the past, I could’ve been forced to leave the industry for a while. Luckily, it became an opportunity for me.
I’ve heard that you played a big role in the reunion. As time passed, I started to miss the times we were together more. I was a Sechskies member for only 2 years and a half, but back then, it really felt like I was just having fun with hyungs and friends that I liked. I always thought that if there’s a second chance, I want to have more fun with it.
Nowadays, there’s a lot of idol groups that work together but aren’t close. I think some friends nowadays want get more attention than other members in the group. There’s no one in Sechskies that wants all the attention in variety shows, or wants to do individual activities like acting or going solo. I think that’s why we never felt like we were in a business relationship.
You were the only person that kept in contact with all the members even after the break up. I keep relationships a broad group of people I don’t really cut anyone off just because that person is different from me. Unless there was a fight or some harm done, I keep in contact.
Such quality must’ve been helpful in your business. Yes. I finally understand why adults say connection is more important than money.
Isn’t it hard to both own a business and do Sechskies activities? I’ve been thinking that recently. I can go to my restaurant once a week at most, and recently, I could only once or twice a month. If the CEO isn’t there, management gets neglected even if there’s a manager. I didn’t know things would get this big in terms of scale, so I had opened up two restaurants. I did it just in case I don’t get work, but it’s now worrisome because we’re getting more work as Sechskies.
You said in that drinking with Eun Ji Won is uncomfortable. Is he more careful after that? Not at all. That person is never careful to his dongsaengs. He’s only weak to people who are older or stronger than him. (laughs)
You’re the maknae in the team, but don’t you have desire to lead people? Now I like taking care of people and taking them to places, but when I was young, I liked being with hyungs even if it’s a little uncomfortable. But as I’ve aged, I don’t like it if it’s uncomfortable no matter where hyung takes me. I don’t mind being the one to pay if I’m eating with dongasaengs that I like.
You called a person who nags while drinking a fogey. Even people who are normally quiet tend to nag after drinking, calling themselves life sunbaes. If I keep repeating myself and nagging a lot, then I’ve become a fogey. I try not to nag or make it uncomfortable for dongsaengs. Even if I do, I only do it once.
How do you want to age? I want to age fine, instead of trying too hard to look young. I want to look my age, but still have some charm. Just looking young as a “frozen man” isn’t as important. I don’t want to dye my hair pink and pretend like I’m young, like someone.
Are you targeting a specific member? No, it was just an example, hahahaha.
Were you always blunt like this? I never showed this side on TV, but I always was in waiting rooms. When filming for a show, I had to wait until other members talk first. Sometimes, I just stood there without coming up with any answer in my head because I felt like my turn wasn’t going to come. Back then, I only sang and other members did the talking.
Weren’t you disappointed that you didn’t have as many opportunities to show your talents? No. I’m introverted and I don’t think I have that much talent. It was only recently that I started talking on variety shows, because I had a lot of things that I had to do on my own. Even when I talk on shows, I have to first think “What if I say this?” I don’t think I have talent in speaking well.
You’re good at dancing and singing, but sometimes those get covered up by the robot character. Performances that I had mistakes in on were rehearsals. But I think they just aired the rehearsal instead since it’s not a music program. The robot image does get in the way sometimes, but it’s an image that I’ve created, so I have to bear with it. It’s not easy, but I try not to be stressed about it.
There are a lot of edited videos of your past performances and recent performances. It shows that Jang Su Won is constantly improving. I don’t really watch either of them. The old ones are too bad and embarrassing. I’m not the type to monitor performances and analyze. I just try my best day to day.
In what aspect are you going to improve more? Jekki is my one and only goal right now. It’s only been half a year since we made a come back, and we only have one new song. We still have a lot of time left. I want to make better songs, and I want jekki to be more global. Wouldn’t it be possible since YG has a lot of resources? I want to focus on jekki activites without thinking about anything else.
Were you always this ambitious? Catch me on variety shows saying some nonsense, if this all fails.
[Lee Jae Jin]
Is there a reason you got rid of your SNS account? Because there’s a Sechskies official website now. I wanted the fans to all gather there instead of being spread out on various platforms. I want other members to get rid of their personal accounts too.
Your hair is blue today. I just got it done today. To be honest, the members have been suggesting that I dye my hair blue again, in a mocking way. I think they thought that I wouldn’t do it. I had pushed it off until now, but I finally did it.
You’re the only one who did V-live regularly. I told everyone that I’ll do it every week since other members weren’t interested. I said I’ll do it whenever I go to my art studio, which I go to at least once a week. If you watch the first episode, I literally just draw. Since I can’t really read the fans’ comments while drawing, my professor at the studio chooses a couple of them to ask, and then I answer.
The way you were so focused on drawing in a sleevless shirt showing arms, was like a scene from a movie. V-app is a live broadcast and I don’t even have a script, so there isn’t really anything to do. It was just my most natural state. In the summer ones, I had to wear sleveless because I get hot really easily. I didn’t really think ‘oh since I draw with my right hand, my right biceps are going to look nice’.
Did you focus on art after the military dischargement? It hasn’t been that long since I started drawing. In 2010, I had a chance to join YG’s design team. Ten of my pieces made it into Big Bang’s album. And in 2014, when my nephews were older, the company’s director suggested that I should study art. But I really just like going to theme parks and Jeju Island with my nephews. I don’t really spend that much, anyways.
Fans told you not to marry, and you responded with “Then we’ll just cohabit”. Both are taboos in idol culture. Why does all that matter at this age? I think living together is better than getting married. I don’t have to legally change my address.
You’re good at “fan training”, like deleting your picture on SNS 10 seconds after posting it. You should be good at that stuff, even in relationships. Not really. You know how people always check up on eachother when in a relationship? I answer if the other person asks, but I never ask first. It’s not like I’m going to run to the place anyways. It was out of respect, but they thought I was uninterested in them.
Contrary to your carefree personality, you ran away when Sechskies was about to disband and hid. It was unexpected of you. I came to Seoul from Busan when I was in second year in high school. I thought when we disband, my life in Seoul ends. Everything that was right in front of my eyes was about to disappear and I didn’t even know which was going to disappear first, so I was anxious and frustrated. And it took me especially long to become close with the members. Looking back, the members were so precious to me. So I disagreed to dreaking up, but some released their solo album in less than a year, and everyone was living well. (laughs)
You released three solo albums too? I personally really don’t like those albums. I was just going to enlist after disbanding, but my mom kept saying “why don’t you release an album too?” after seeing other members doing so. I had to release it because of her.
Are you satisfied with the remake album? Things that reflect an era get old, eventually. So the remade versions are better than the old ones, of course.
You had a yellow badge on you on . I was working out when the Sewol tragedy happened. I was watching it live on TV, and I was frustrated. I clearly remember thinking “Why don’t they save the kids?” I was really heartbroken. I put the ribbon on to remember the deaths of the young students.
You’re known as the ‘4D, alien’ one, but do you have a member that you think is weirder than you? Hm. I’m not interested. I don’t really care if there is or not.
Then are you only interested in your nephews? No! I’m the most important to me. Of course, I blend in well without thinking I need to be the most noticeable, when I’m with my members.
You were in . Have you read some bad comments? Yes, I read them because I’m curious. Sometimes, I stare at them blankly. I ask myself, “Why do these people put an effort of logging in, just to comment some hateful comments, and dislike the article? Do they really hate me enough to slap me when they meet me in real life?”
I heard you researched where the fans lived and chose the intermediate area as where your birthday party was going to be hosted. Thanks to that, I found out that Daejeon is the best place for fans from all over the country to gather. I know which pubs are good, too.
Until when do you plan to do Sechskies activities? I think we would have to see how things go in 2017. I’ve asked the members, “Do you think we’ll do this until we completely lose popularity, or until someone makes a big mistake?” But since we’re old, Sechskies won’t disband again because of individual activities. I am pretty sad that I don’t have enough time to draw for my exhbition, but right now, Jekki is my everything.
————————Thank you for reading! Feel free to share the link, as always
You guys came back from Japan after the MV shooting. Did you get that ‘high quality’ that you all wanted?
JW: We’ll have to wait to see if it’s high quality, but the budget was definitely high (laughs). We monitored in between, and we all looked good.
SH: We wanted a background with snow because of the song’s concept. We had almost no hope when we left because there was no forecast that said there’ll be snow. But when we started shooting, it started snowing a lot. We were lucky.
JD: We stayed for 3 nights, but we worked so hard that we couldn’t even have a party afterwards. We had to hurry back and forth and film before the sunset.
You were selected as ‘Person of the Year’ for 2016 by <Atstar1>. This year must have been the most dramatic one in your lives.
JW: We had the grateful opportunity of getting together through <Infinite Challenge>, and it has already been a year since then.
JD: And it’s exactly today! The first time we discussed the reunion with the <Infinite Challenge> staffs at the Chinese restaurant was today’s date (11/2) a year ago.
SH: It really was a lucky year. I feel like we’ve done a lot of activities, but thinking back, we really haven’t. Our physical strength is different from before for sure. Jaeduck-hyung became more haggard day by day during the MV shooting.
JJ: I had dark circles before I got my makeup done today (laughs).
How is it to be with the members after 16 years?
JW: I think personality wise, we’ve changed. I have become more talkative, and Jaejin (Jaijin) has become brighter. But the way we mess around each other is still the same. It’s still fun to mess around Jaeduck and Suwon.
SW: I also have that ‘one-shot’ that I can attack Jiwon-hyung with.
SH: I’ve become less talkative than before. When I was younger, I talked a lot partly because the company wanted me too, but now that I’m old I don’t really like talking. Now the fans tell me “Please talk”.
JD: I think I was the most energetic one back then.
JW: Our team’s image was damaged because Jaeduck talked too much using satoori.
SW: That’s why we couldn’t get as big as H.O.T. (laughs).
It’s your comeback in 16 years but all of you have those “frozen man” faces.
JW: When we look at ourselves, we think we look pretty much the same as before, even though we do look less youthful. But I’m surprised that the public feels the same way. I think Suwon and Jaeduck look even better now. The J-walk days were just unbearable.
JD: Sure, what’s important is that we get better over time (laughs).
SH: I think now, we take care of ourselves more because we’re more considerate. We’re a group, and a member of a group shouldn’t be viewed as the odd one out.
The song <Three Words> became a hit, as shown by its 1st place in Gaon’s October monthly chart.
JW: It’s still hard to grasp because we’re part of the CD/Album generation. I feel like if a song wins 1st place, you should be able to hear it everywhere in the streets. I couldn’t hear <Three Words> anywhere (laughs). To be honest, I worried a lot about not getting any attention. I worried that people would think we’re forgotten because <Infinite Challenge> is just a temporary bubble. If that happened, it would’ve been an automatic end, so it’s a relief that we had good results.
SH: I was driving and got caught in traffic, and there was <Three Words> coming out of the car that was next to mine. It was a young man listening to it, and it made me really happy. I wanted to say thank you.
SW: You shoudl’ve sung along if you had your window open (laughs).
JD: It made our next step even more important. I wish this kind of reaction will carry on.
How would you spoil the new song coming out soon, using only three words?
JW: YG style.
JJ: Oh this is hard. I’ll give it more thought and answer later.
You are holding additional concerts in Daegu and Busan.
JW: It wasn’t part of our initial plan, but we’re doing them because the Seoul concert turned out good.
SW: I want there to be slightly different ways for this concert. When the audience can guess “The first song will definitely be <Com’ Back>”, it’s not fun. Oh, and Jaeduck-hyung is going to dress as a girl.
JD: No! But I am thinking about what would make our fans happier.
JW: We want to take individual opinions into consideration and put unexpected songs. You know, for those individual stages that you can perform only at the concert. Those that you can’t perform on a broadcast show, but can only perform in front of fans who like you.
JJ: I’m going to sing a ballad song. i already have a song chosen in mind.
How much chance do you have of working together with Sechskies’s ‘last dragon ball’, Ko Jiyong?
SH: We always have our doors open, but it’s a little hard considering Jiyong’s job.
JJ: Wouldn’t he be able to appear as a surprise guest for our 20th anniversary? To be honest, we can’t ask him directly, but we subtly hint at it through our fans.
SW: But I think if we have him on stage once, I’ll miss him even more after that. I really like us being on stage all together, so much that I would be even more disappointed if he doesn’t come back.
JW: I can’t ask Jiyong a favor anymore. If we were in the same place, I could’ve asked him, but he’s a kid with different things to lose. That means the best I can say is ‘I know your situation, but please just come’, but I’m afraid we’ll destroy everything that Jiyong has worked so hard to achieve for the past 16 years. We need to respect Jiyong’s life.
Next year is Sechskies’s 20th Anniversary. Do you have a bucket list of things that you want to do with the members?
JW: To sell 200 thousand albums.
JD: What if we have to buy all those albums with our own money (laughs)?
JJ: To release the new album in 20 different versions.
JD: No, the design team would suffer too much.
SH: I think it’ll be fun to travel abroad together, apart from work.
JJ: What do you mean travel! We gotta work hard for the 20th anniversary. Give me more work to do.
SH: Then I think it’ll be cool for Jaejin-hyung to work on artwork that celebrates our 20th anniversary.
JJ: I like it. If I can do something in terms of artwork, I’ll do it anytime!
I think you guys might have a plan for individual activities as well, for next year.
SH: Not at all. Team comes first.
SW: We have to release Sechskies 5th album next year. And 6th album.
JD: Personally, I’m thinking that we need to plan our 20th anniversary concert well.
JJ: Shouldn’t we sing more of our old songs than we did at our last concert, since it’s the 20th anniversary? I think it shouldn’t end in just two hours (laughs). I’m preparing an art exhibition.
JW: I have some thoughts of international promotions. We disbanded shortly after debuting in Taiwan with the name ‘
水晶男孩’ and planning on Japan promotions. If we have the opportunity, I want to meet more international fans before it’s too late.
Let’s go around and give advice, since 2016 is ending soon.
JW: Jaeduck, gain some weight. I’m worried about him because his stomach problems won’t allow him to eat much so he is losing weight.
JD: I’m trying. Don’t worry, I’ve gained 3kg already. I’ll give one to Sunghoon. I’m worried about your toe. Cheer up! It hurts my heart to see him feeling sorry to us when he himself is probably disappointed too.
SH: I am really worried, so I’m trying not to move as much as possible before the concert. I’ll say this to all the members: Right now seems to be perfect, so let’s take care of ourselves a little more! We never know, anything can happen at any time.
JJ: I’ll do one for the fans! While 2016 was focused more on talking about the past 16 years, next year will be the year that we will get to write our new story. We’ll work hard to exceed your expectations, so let’s have fun and spend a good year together.
SW: Jiwon-hyung’s knee cartilage is in a really bad condition right now. If it gets worse, we won’t be able to do team activities, so I would like for him to not use his foot to “caress” us- use your hand instead (laughs).
JD: Now that I think about it, Jaejin’s wrist is also bad. I think we really are at that age where we have to care about our health.
SW: As our bucket list next year, let’s all get a health check-up.
Ok, it’s time to give us the last hint about the new song.