FTISLAND is back in 1 year and 4 months with a stronger hard rock music.
Since releasing their 5th official album ‘I WILL’ on March 23rd, FTISLAND is currently promoting the album with its title song ‘PRAY.’ The song sings about a prayer to God for the truth from a world filled with lies. The heart-filling band sound and vocal Lee Hongki’s explosive high notes stand out. The song is filled with rock that FTISLAND always favored. It’s composed by Choi Jonghun and written by him, Lee Hongki, Lee Jaejin and Song Seunghyun.
‘I Will’ the most like FTISLAND and includes the band’s everything. How do they feel about coming back to Korea with the album?
Q. How does it feel to come back after a long time?
Lee Hongki: It feels awkward. Ha ha. The entire atmosphere feels strange. We are out with the music that we’ve always done but with a brand new genre in Korea. My heart nearly burst. My throat opens up at night so I usually can’t sing during the day. My throat is finally cleared up.
Q. Lee Hongki’s unique hair color stands out. Was it your choice?
Lee Hongki : Yes. I first colored it green because I wanted to. But after bleaching and coating it, I picked this color between purple and navy. The color washes off easily.
Q. It’s the Korean album that FTISLAND members and fans wanted so much.
Lee Hongki : The pressure is crazy
Lee Jaejin: We have a busy schedule but it feels good. It’s our first promotional activities in a long time and it’s the music we released after fighting with the company. Ha ha
Q. What kind of a song is title song ‘PRAY?’
Lee Hongki: We wrote the lyrics based on our experience. About the sound, we made sure that it’ll impress other bands to think “can Korean albums make sounds like this?” We recorded this in Japan and invested everything from money, time, hard works and sweats.
Lee Jaejin: We went to a countryside in Japan to record this
Q. Rather than catering to the general public, this album includes songs taht the members want to do. Weren’t you worried about this?
Lee Hongki: We weren’t. To be honest, would it be a big deal if we sing a song for the general public? Ha Ha. Maybe if I was 18. But that’s not the case anymore.
(Members: Hey, we were handsome back then)
Lee Hongki: The Korean music charts currently have limits. It’s the same sound and the same system, but wouldn’t you like dynamic K-POP? That’s why we wanted to do this.
Q. Are there any particulars when performing on stage?
Lee Hongki: We tried to make it as same as the music video. I tried to bring up the MV’s mood while singing LIVE. But like I said earlier, I thought my heart was going to burst. Ha ha.
Q. What do you feel confident about this album?
Lee Hongki: Personally, I made this album a long time ago. It was difficult to find a sound like ours on music programs. In a way, you might question it. But because the song has strength, it can sound different between mp3 and LIVE. I hope many people realize that there are people like us doing this kind of music in Korea.
Lee Jaejin: We also worked hard on the tone since we can’t play our instruments on music programs. Each member practiced on the tone for more than a week.
Q. You worked in Japan for a long time. How does Japan feel about rock?
Lee Hongki: We tried many different genres in Japan. We changed them based on the season and we say by genre, but we tried different things with basic band sound as our foundation. In Korea, many people still ask if we are trying to be like X-Japan.
Q. Aren’t you a little disappointed with the response in Korea?
Song Senghyun : I think it’s time to bring change with our album since this isn’t something we’ve always done. I hope we can tell the general public that we are doing this kind of genre and that the Korean rock sounds cool as well.
Q. Do you plan to perform often?
Lee Hongki: We made that request to our company. Due to our schedule, it will be realistically difficult to perform in many different places. But when we do have time, we want to perform LIVE at a small theater or anywhere. The company said ok. I think it’ll be different this year. We already scheduled many concerts.
Q. Title song ‘Pray’ is written by four members. Does it have a special meaning?
Lee Hongki: It’s overflowing with it! It got rejected about four times. Ha ha.
Q. Were there any clashes while working together?
Everyone: We had so many of them
Song Seeunghyun: We edited title song ‘PRAY’ even towards the end of its production
Q. How do you reach a compromise when you face disagreements?
Everyone: We take a vote
Lee Jaejin: We follow the majority’s opinion and if one person had said, “do it again,” he quickly changes his words to “it’s ok.”
Q. Do you have a song you feel more special about?
Lee Hongki: We feel special about every song in the album because the members took part in everything from the concept. It’s disappointing that we can’t perform every song on air. It’s true that we have to promote via variety shows. That’s obvious but we thought about a plan that suits us. We can’t take care of ourselves like idols and we aren’t just that kind. So we signed up for Afreeca TV and we are also shooting a reality show. He He. The reality will include 19+ comments from episode one. It’s no joke. He he
Song Seunghyun: All you may hear is “beep.” Ha ha We try hard to make it fun
Q. If its 19+, what about FTISLAND’s teenage fans?
Lee Hongki: No way. Many of our fans are now in their 20s. (But there could be new teen fans?) Ha Ha. There are many teens who don’t know us.
Q. You said you fought a lot with the company preparing this album.
Lee Jaejin: The company has its own situations and the members have their own opinions. In a way, we are the company’s first son. Since there are other artists and from rearranging things, there were many things we couldn’t do. We released this album because we wanted it. Rather than wishing for its success, this album is for us to look to our future. The CEO said “yes, it’s time for you to do what you want.”
Q. Do you have expectations through this album?
Lee Hongki: Many good things happened lately. Yoon Dohyun fans and rock mania websites have been complimenting our album. On SNS, someone told us that he is watching us. That made me happy. We got to get rid of some of our traumas.
Q. FTISLAND has an image of an idol band. How did you try to get rid of the image with this album?
Lee Hongki: We don’t have the personalities to be an idol. We weren’t called to become idols but to play instruments and sing. We practiced hard in the basement. Because we debuted young and didn’t know the system, we just did as we were told. But the more we did it, we realized we shouldn’t.
Q. Fans waited for FTISLAND album for a really long time.
Lee Hongki: We did too. Ha Ha. I’m thankful each time. So on SNS, I tell them that “we’ll become an artist that you won’t feel ashamed of to cheer on.” I wanted to thank them for waiting for us while there are many idols lately.
Q. If you have a strategy to win #1?
Lee Hongki: No way… (But!) Erm…Because we think of this album as our first child, each member tried to buy 50 CDs and give them out to friends. If we win #1, we’ll give them to the audience.
Song Sunghyun: What? Wait a minute.
Everyone: Wait a minute? Ha Ha. If we win #1 on a music program…
Credit: 10Asia + DJ. Pri @tumblr.com ;; Twitter @ChocopieK