BTOB, to where do they go?
Today’s photoshoot concept is Halloween. Do you like it?
Peniel: We like it and it’s fun too. There’s a broomstick, pumpkin, skeleton but I think the Halloween candies aren’t here? Give me candies. (Laughs)
We’re sorry. We didn’t realize that. (Laughs) Since debut, you guys have been slowly gaining recognition. Do you feel that the responses changed with ‘Thriller’ promotions?
MinHyuk: I didn’t take note of it, but we have done diligently like we usually do, and they seemed to have fun, so I think there are good responses.
IlHoon: I agree. When we go for music broadcasts, staffs know us and recognize our names.
Hyunsik: Last year when we first went for MBC ‘Weekly Idol’ recordings, we had to wear a large name tag on our chest. When we went there in September, Hyungdon-hyung said to us, ‘You don’t have to wear those name tags now. We already know all of your names’. (Laughs)
Eunkwang: In our early debut times, when we go for activities, the valet would ask for our names and then checked the name list before allowing us in. Now, they would immediately let us in upon hearing our names. These little things make us really happy and thankful.
BTOB has made a cameo in G.NA’s episode of tvN ‘SNL Korea’
Hyunsik: It has been our wish to appear on ‘SNL Korea’, and that’s why we have lots of fun. We want to show even more, but there’s a limit to our roles. We will wait for the day when we become the hosts (of SNL Korea).
Changsub: I played a short cut as Clara-ssi’s boyfriend. We don’t usually have this chance to appear on the show, so I practiced diligently on my expressions. I wanted to grab that expression at one go, but unfortunately! (Laughs) After ending the shoot, I told my friends that I filmed with Clara. Within 5 minutes, everyone scolded me in the group chatting room. “Why is it you!?” and so on. (Laughs)
Zombie transformation in ‘Thriller’
You had fun songs such as ‘Insane’ or ‘WOW’ and cute songs like ‘Second Confession’, ‘I know nothing but love’ but a powerful concept song like ‘Thriller’ is your very first. To portray a zombie character on stage, you may need some practice as well.
Minhyuk: As part of our image training, for the whole week, I closed my eyes and whispered to myself, ‘I am a zombie. I am a zombie.’ When we’re promoting fun songs, we just smile and do a playful look on stage, but ‘Thriller’ requires us to show our madness. Undoubtedly, we have to show our body abs and even use all of our face muscles. So, after we have ended performance, our whole body trembled.
Sungjae: For me…
IlHoon: Sungjae pretends to be extremely handsome (Laughs).
Sungjae: Well, I don’t ‘pretend’. (Laughs) ‘Thriller’ stage has lots of special effects and fireworks. It was so hot that I frowned, but I think that’s handsome. It felt so hot, but when I monitor our performance, I looked good, so I just continue doing so.
IlHoon: MinHyuk-hyung was ‘I am a zombie’ while Sungjae went with ‘my body is on fire’. I, on the other hand, thought to myself, “I am a lunatic. A really crazy one’. (Laughs) Since our production process, I have thought about how would I portray such image. Since there are some fantasy elements in it, it won’t be unnatural if I portray a insane image. Therefore, I acted like a psychotic in the music video. I hope that people who watched it felt scared and mysterious at the same time.
Hair styling, makeup are all so glamorous to suit the concept. Do you like it?
Peniel: Actually, I don’t really like my makeup. Although I’ve accommodated to it, still, I would prefer if we don’t have makeups.
Sungjae: Peniel-hyung is a free man, so he dislikes anything that is done to himself. He’s really primitive in the dorm…
Peniel: I actually don’t wear underwear, but since I’m living with the members, I had to. (Laughs)
Sungjae: I, on the other hand, likes to be stylish and I have a greed for it. I would ask the makeup artist, ‘please makeup for me. I want to try wearing contact lenses’. I would even ask my hairstylist that way too.
Changsub: During our debut times, Sungjae also kept requesting to dye his hair. (Laughs)
Sungjae: Now that I’ve become a celebrity, I need to request for a celebrity-like hair style. (Laughs) This time, it’s called ‘Electrostatic hair’. Previously, I asked for a straight hair like Shinhwa Lee MinWoo-senior but when I watched the broadcast of Inkigayo, only the back of my head was straightened. I really like to experiment different hairstyles.
IlHoon: I went with a double colored pupils ‘Odd Eye’ concept. I wanted to show a fearful and powerful look. I actually wanted to wear these colored contact lenses, but I looked too much with both double colored pupils, so I took off one of them. Manager-hyung took a look and asked if I really have to do it like this, so…. (Laughs)
Thriller was a mysterious zombie dance, but the intro of the dance gained the ‘Group Chicken Dance’ nickname. (Laughs)
MinHyuk: Actually, our company was strongly against the choreograph, but we insisted on it. We don’t just want to show a handsome look with that choreograph, but it has a demon-like, kinda comical look to it. We were laughing on our first practice, but mysteriously, it was quite addictive too. We like it that this part is the most memorable part to the audience.
The Start of BTOB
In the planning stage, we heard that BTOB actually started out to be a band. How did all the members come together?
Eunkwang: I, Changsub and Hyunsik were in charge of guitar, drums and piano respectively, we were preparing to be debuted as a band. IlHoon is our one of our early member. After about a year, Sungjae joined us.
Hyunsik: All of us wanted to specialize in practical music even during our schooling days. Initially, we planned to be a band where all the members sing well. Although there are rapping parts, there isn’t any dances.
Peniel: I was born in America but came back to Korea to try out for an audition in 2010. I trained in JYP Entertainment for about two years before I quit. Then I heard Cube was preparing for a new group, so I went for audition there.
Minhyuk: As for me, no matter how you see it, it seems to be my destiny to be a member of BTOB.
Members: Oh Oh~! (Laughs)
MinHyuk: In 2009, I failed the final audition of another agency, but Cube contacted me. I went to another company to train for about two years though. One day, I was contacted by Cube’s talent scouting team through another person I know. He said that I’m an ‘extremely capable person’ and asked me to try out there. Although I talk about this now, my friends whom I was initially with had a very hard time.
Frustrations that you face?
MinHyuk: When I first started training, I wanted to drink alcohol and grow close with grown-up friends, but this isn’t the team’s image…. (Laughs)
Hyunsik: We prepared ourselves centering on vocals but with the growing number of members, we seemed to have become a dancing group, so we frustrate on that.
Changsub: After our alcohol session, we went to a cybercafe. Every time I play rock-paper-scissors, I would always lose to Minhyuk-hyung, so I had to pay for the chicken and gaming fees. (Laughs)
Looking back, you did not debut as a 5-members group but it seems that you guys are at an advantage now that the other members joined in. (Laughs)
Changsub: It’s definitely an advantage!
Eunkwang: We won’t pull out well if we were a 5-members group. Indeed, we have to trust and follow our company. (Laughs)
We make our own music
In this latest album, most members participated by writing and composing, in particular, Hyunsik was in charge of the production of ‘Star’ and ‘Why. How was the experience?
Hyunsik: I wanted to do this so badly and because it’s my dream, I’m really happy about it. I sit in the directing chair in the recording room, and it felt so blissful.
IlHoon: After our recordings ended, he sat there for a while. (Laughs)
Hyunsik: Actually, there’s a long road before you can sit on that chair. I directed while recording all six members and myself, but time seemed to pass very quickly. But I like it. What we are supposed to do is music, but there are times where I trembled in the recording room till I can’t show my abilities. That said, I understand the strong and weak points of each members whom I have trained and lived with, so, I was comfortable (in directing them) until the song come out well. After we’ve ended the recordings, I sent thank you messages to the members. In the future, I want to personally produce songs even with different members.
‘Why’ was a song co-produced with BEAST’s Lee Kikwang. How was the process?
Hyunsik: Kikwang-hyung and I share the same production room. ‘Why’ was initially a song written for BEAST-hyungs. Therefore, we worked overnight before their album release. Kikwang-hyung has a strong concentration. He would attempt one work at his fullest, while I was in high spirit. Despite a broadcast schedule the next day, I just continued on with the production. And because I did it alongside Kikwang-hyung, there’s a new music color that I can’t produce if I were to do it alone.
Minhyuk and IlHoon also wrote lyrics for their rap parts. Looks like you have been learning these skills. How did you practice on writing lyrics?
Minhyuk: I continuously wrote lyrics during our blank period. I was confident in my rapping skills when I was young. When I was 20, I trained at another company and went to university, so there wasn’t time for me to rap. I hadn’t rap for more than two years when I became a BTOB member. It was hard to do it again and I felt like I couldn’t do it. Since my position is kinda ‘halved’, it’s not good for both the team and myself, so I committed myself to write lots of lyrics and practice rapping them. As much as we live, we will go through various experiences and I recorded these emotions and thoughts on a memo. That helped a lot, and now my confidence level rose. I have the confidence to do even better in the future.
IlHoon: Like how vocalists want to sing, we had our moments when we want to rap too. With that thought, I immerse myself in writing lyrics, be it 30 minutes or 5 hours. In fact, I wrote the raps part for Hyunsik-hyung’s ‘Why’, but forgotten about them, so I had to memorize and gain back those feels the day before we record it. (Laughs)
‘Grill Fairy’ and ‘Fast Kid’
Rookie group promotes as they conduct personal activities in order to raise recognition. IlHoon is a fixed host in ‘Weekly Idol’. Do you feel burdened to increase awareness for the name, BTOB?
IlHoon: I barely had any burden. I feel that variety program is a place where I show my original self while laughing and talking. Without having to be pretentious, I think showing my own personality is the best thing.
How do the members think while watching you on broadcast?
IlHoon: Is there anyone who watched me?
Changsub: Yeah, you did well… (Laughs)
MinHyuk: On days where IlHoon barely talk, we would worry if ‘is he in difficulty lately? Why is he so quiet?’. On some other days, he seemed to do well.
IlHoon: I was always with HyungDon-Hyung and Defconn-Hyung as an assistant MC, and we seemed to be getting along well gradually. Since both Hyungs are really famous in the variety world. Ah, I feel that there are many people who know me as ‘The beef griller on Weekly Idol’. Lately, I’ve been doing some talking parts. Everyone, I no longer grill. (Laughs)
Minhyuk, on the other hand, was a two-crown champion in last year’s MBC ‘Idol Sports Championship. This year, you won a silver medal in 100m sprint and is known as the ‘Fast Kid’. Were you prepared to get the gold medal at the starting line?
MinHyuk: Actually, I wasn’t confident in winning the gold medal. But ‘since I’m at it, I should do well at it’ was my thoughts. (Laughs) At first, I was like ‘you shouldn’t support me’ but then I was ‘I must get to the final round’ at the starting line. For this year, because I was a former champion in last ISAC, I was in high spirit to win the medal. As I started running, the competitive nature of a man grows.
In the preliminary round, you made a new record and was a strong candidate for the gold medal, did you regret that you weren’t able to win?
Minhyuk: Speaking honestly, I am regretful but there’s a limit to my capability, so there’s nothing I can do about it. I actually feared that I would feel bloated during the race, so I didn’t eat the whole day but when it comes to dinner, I couldn’t stand it anymore and ate a whole bowl of spicy beef soup. I then went ahead with the competition immediately after that. As I squat to get myself ready, it felt like my dinner is rising up from my stomach. I was confident in running but because I felt like vomiting, I couldn’t speed at the start. Ah… It’s all spicy beef soup’s fault… (Laughs)
Tomorrow and tomorrow
What dreams do you have for the future as a team known as BTOB?
Eunkwang: We want to produce a variety of music that allow us to span across different generations. We want to show them one by one. I think we may show our charms as a band or we may sing songs by our four vocalists.
Hyunsik: Bearing the title as an idol, we need to show an idol-like music and performance. However, since we distribute our parts to seven members, we don’t really have sufficient opportunities to show each of our capabilities. Some day, we hope that we will have the chance to show our own colors through solo songs.
MinHyuk: I want to do a concept!
Sungjae: Each of us in the team has their extraordinary skills. If we were to have a concert, I think everyone would have the greed to have a solo stage.
Sungjae: Why, isn’t that true? (Laughs)
Changsub: If I have my own solo stage for our concert, I would want to sing while playing the piano. When I sing, I hope they would stay quiet, Shh! and just sit there, listening to my song. (Imagining heartwarmingly) When the song ends, everyone would clap. (Smiles)
Peniel: I want to have a stage where we can play with fans.
IlHoon: Solo is good. Or if we form a team that focuses on Hip Hop music, I would love to try that too. Hip Hop that fuses Jazz elements or trendy Trap genre in which Peniel-hyung and I like. Together with Minhyuk-hyung, I think the three rapper line may produce something good too. We are idols and it’s hard to show each personality so if we really have the chance, we want to show each and every one of our colors.
After the interview ends
We heard that you choose your position on a first come first serve basis. So which is the most popular seat?
Sungjae: It’s the passenger seat. It has been Eunkwang-hyung’s reserved seat for about a year, but he started to give out his seat some time ago.
MinHyuk: That’s the ‘King’ seat. It’s comfortable and you can decide on the song to listen to…
IlHoon: After ending our schedule, we would give our farewell greetings and immediately rush to where the car is at. It’s really amazing. There was once where our manager-hyung was late after dealing with the staffs there. We reached the car first but because manager-hyung wasn’t there, we weren’t able to open the doors. Fans who came by had a ‘What are you doing’ look… (Laughs)
Hyunsik: We even rush with a strange voice. It’s like ‘Euhihihihi, euhooooh.’ But for far places like Busan, we decide by playing rock-paper-scissors.
Who’s the winner when you are fighting for seats?
Eunkwang: Why am I good in winning lately? (Laughs)
MinHyuk: I find running very troublesome, and I’m little embarrassed, so I don’t compete with them. After this interview ends, all the members will definitely run. (Laughs)
Please take out with full credits
Source: Magazine ize