120705 Super Junior talks past and next 7 years – Super JuniorJuly 5, 2012 at 7:29 am | Posted in 6th Jib Sexy Free & Single, Events/Concerts/Perfs., News/Rumors, Pictures/Videos, Wonderboys | 26 Comments
“Sexy, Free & Single” documents the past seven years of Super Junior’s singing career. They are no more simple and no more sorry, but what they have for us this time is the sexiness of ten successful, mature single men; or maybe nine, leaving out Shindong. The boys have moved on from sticking to the funky electronica genre to widening the scope of their music, and ready to repay for the support of fans who have long waited Super Junior as one, with Kangin.
At the outset of kicking off their new activities, the members have opened up about their past and next seven years as Super Junior, at a press conference held in Seoul on July 3.
Super Junior talks past and next 7 years – Donghae, Kangin, Kyuhyun
What’s special about “Sexy, Free & Single” in musical aspect?
Kyuhyun:We’ve worked with some of the most famous composers and choreographers from abroad, so it will satisfy the audience visually as well. We’ve tried to make it modern to meet the expectation of both local and overseas fans.
Does it mean that you guys were targeting the global market from the early production stage?
Kyuhyun:The purpose was not targeting the global market per se, but we wanted to show something special that other idol groups don’t have. It was to show Super Junior’s style.
Using repetitive lyrics in electronic pop music was highly addictive. But it seems like the album’s genre slightly changed this time.
Kyuhyun: We’ve been walking up the ladder with SJ Funky genre [The term used for Super Junior's style of a musical genre, coined by Super Junior and their fans] from “Sorry, Sorry” to “BONAMANA” to “Mr. Simple.” Partially, we wanted to show something different, and partially, there were worries about keeping the same musical style for new albums. We’re trying to make a different appeal.
The group’s career is greater than ever. Do you feel a pressure about trying something new?
Kyuhyun: Well, I don’t feel pressured. Rather than thinking about how many copies of our album we’re going to sell this time or how high we want to rank on music charts, we’re telling each other to savor every moment. So I don’t necessarily have a burden on my shoulders and think it’s going to be fun this year.
The album’s title is “Sexy, Free & Single.” Can you point out the sexiest part in the dance moves?
Kyuhyun: I don’t think there’s anything sexy (laugh).
Kangin: The thing is, we’re not dramatically exposing our skin or anything. But you know, a guy can look sexy just with a hairstyle and black suit. That’s what you call sexy, isn’t it? Several years ago, when female singer Ivy released “Sonata of Temptation,” she shot to stardom as a sexy icon without wearing nude outfits. It’s sort of like a male version of that.
Kyuhyun, you’re really on a roll these days on KBS’ variety show “Radio Star.” To look more attractive for the album’s concept, is there anything you’re trying or working on?
Kyuhyun: I’m…I’m not sexy (laugh). I’m thinking of rather making myself look like a sexy dracula for “Sexy, Free & Single” by wearing pale makeup. Something like a foundation color code 19? (laugh)
Kangin, what is it like being back in the group?
Kangin: It has been a long time since I was on the stage and honestly, I feel a bit awkward and worried. What I mean by worrying is that I don’t want to be an obstacle on the team’s career path because they’re doing so well these days. I’m worried that I might make a mistake. To be more honest, I’m happy. I’ve been wanting to get back on the stage and I’m happy.
What was it like watching Super Junior from a far distance?
Kangin: I was at a position where I can look at Super Junior as a third party. Seeing the team prosper, I was truly happy. I was thankful that Super Junior was doing so well and supported them from behind. I’ve also noticed that they have matured so much, in terms of their musical and performance level, and thought Super Junior is not an easy team.
Any advice to other members who haven’t finished their duties in the army yet?
Kangin: As long as you don’t have a special excuse not to go, every man should serve their duties in the army. I think Super Junior members will do great and become role models for other men. They’ve been living in a group life for such a long time (that adapting to the environment will be not a problem). I have no doubt that they will return as real men.
Kyuhyun: Are you already expecting us to leave? (laugh)
Till when are you guys going to sing and dance together as Super Junior?
Donghae: I’ve seen other senior idol groups pursuing their singing career for about four and five years and quit. Five years felt really long when I wasn’t in this business but looking back the seven years we have spent together, it seems so short. We jokingly tell each other that we should keep our title as performance-based singers but… (I don’t know how that will turn out). Aside from our singing activities and holding concerts, we’re going to put our utmost effort in different fields such as acting and hosting TV shows.
Super Junior talks past and next 7 years – Siwon, Eunhyuk, Yesung, Shindong
We’re seeing the peaking trend of electronica music here. It seems like Super Junior is trying to make some change from what you guys have been calling, ‘SJ Funky’ [The term used for Super Junior's style of a musical genre, coined by Super Junior and their fans]. How would you define Super Junior’s music?
Eunhyuk: From “Sorry, Sorry” to “Mr. Simple,” we’ve been focusing a lot on the SJ funky music. Those songs pretty much set templates of our musical style so it was a bit worrisome to try something totally different from the past works; probably one of the reasons why we have put more emphasis on the stylistic and technical aspects of performance. Likewise, when you listen to our new title track, you might think ‘hey, it’s pretty much similar to their past songs.’ That’s understandable because our title tune needs to go well with what we pursue on stage. And when you go through all the tracks in “Sexy, Free & Single,” you’ll notice that Super Junior has tried out many different genres this time.
Siwon: Majority of people recognizes us as a dance group. I personally hope we could try more ballads. Since we’re all artistically sensitive, we’re good in expressing our feelings.
What differentiates Super Junior from other K-pop idol groups to keep the strong fandom?
Siwon: We don’t hesitate reaching out to our fans first. Some artists avoid that (direct communication with fans) but we try to get along with our fans freely; talking through social networking services and when we receive funny posts on Twitter, we retweet them too. I guess people are fond of how we are different on and off stage.
Shindong: I think we owe a lot to the modern social trends. It’s now common for people to search videos (of their favorite stars) on YouTube. And whatever Korean show they’re watching, it’s funny that at least one of our members is on the show. For example, Leeteuk is the co-host on SBS “Star King” and I’m on MBC “Show Champion.” This is probably because we’re active in all fields (of the entertainment business). We’re on duty 24/7, 365 days a year. Whether it’s a good stuff we’re doing or bad, I think it helped (receiving attention from the public) that we were open to people whatever we do.
Any burden on your shoulders of meeting fans’ expectation for this album?
Siwon: I have no burden. I’m thinking positive that people will like it if we do our best. It’s more like challenging myself than being weighed down with pressure.
Shindong: What was most burdensome is learning foreign language. I’m learning Chinese and Japanese at the same time and it’s really confusing sometimes. Let’s say I’m being interviewed by a Chinese reporter and without noticing, I say, ‘Hi’ [a Japanese word for 'yes']. And when talking with a Japanese reporter I say ‘Nihao’ [a Chinese greetings meaning 'how do you do?']. But that began to change a little bit because people were starting to learn Korean. So I thought, this is it. People were starting to learn Korean and wherever I go, I sometimes don’t even need translators and people were singing along to our Korean songs. I feel like a member of a national sports team in that regard (promoting Korea and the culture).
How are fans’ reactions different in other countries?
Eunhyuk: We read Twitter messages by using the translation service, and it’s pretty much similar everywhere when judging solely by (the messages people send us on) social networking websites. But every single country is different when we actually go there for concerts. Japanese fans are very calm and they are in order, while European fans are actively expressing their excitement at concerts. Someone tried to kiss me by grabbing my face at Paris concert.
Yesung: She was a true sexy and free single (laugh).
Siwon: In the past, French musicians were flying to Seoul to perform and they had received so much love from Korean fans. And it’s overwhelming that now we’re going to France and French people are giving us so much attention and love. When we had just arrived at the airport, it didn’t feel real (that we were going to stage a show there). But once we were up on the stage, gosh. It’s an indescribable feeling. You get goose bumps and the moment we appear on the stage lifts right after the opening, I feel electrifying excitement. It’s the best. So you were electrified (laugh).
Shindong: Yes. Very.
In which country do you receive the strongest fan reaction from?
Shindong: We’re too humble to say…It’s the earth (laugh).
Siwon: (The nationality of fans is meaningless now because) People come to Korea now to see us. We’ve gone through a number of problems since releasing “Sorry, Sorry” and since then, we’ve noticed our fans gathering in Seoul, like a safe house, as a cohesive unit. Just because we’re promoting our album in Korea, it doesn’t mean that it’s only for Korean fans. Wherever we go, whether it’s KBS’ “Music Bank” or other music programs, we see overseas fans supporting us.
Shindong: We’re more known as singers in other countries, whereas in Korea, we’re more recognized as TV personalities that are active in various areas. We’ve been doing radio DJs and TV show emcees too, which are probably difficult for us to do so abroad.
Siwon: We just came back from Taiwan and someone had complimented us there that there’s no Taiwanese singer who is as funny as Super Junior. I guess what we show on TV has helped us to be perceived as humorous and entertaining artists abroad.
Super Junior talks past and next 7 years – Ryeowook, Sungmin, Lee Teuk
You’ve been receiving the outpouring love of Taiwanese fans. Why do you think Taiwanese people are attracted to Super Junior?
Leeteuk: I think it was because we were living in Taiwan for a short period during our promotional period there.
Ryeowook: We were in Taiwan for three to four months last year. People have told us that we’re familiar though we’re Koreans. Learning language was another merit and our songs are easy to sing along. I guess these elements mixed well and worked for us (to earn popularity). And people were watching our concerts and Korean variety shows on YouTube. So that also helped us to gain the honor of 100 straight week win.
What are the biggest worries you have these days?
Sungmin: I guess it varies from person to person. For me, I worry a lot about my future. As the members all have their own worries, we chat (to get rid of stress). The uncertainty of the future; what I should do from now on; what I’m really good at; how people see me and so on. I have many concerns about my life and I haven’t found the answers to them. I’m good at a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but nothing particular.
Ryeowook: I made my debut when I was 19 and now me and my friends are either 26 or 27. We’re at the point of our lives when we start to become part of the society. Me and other members debuted around 19 and 20, and I feel we’ve kept that mindset we had at the beginning of our career. As celebrities, we’ve gained success, fame and wealth, but at some point, I began to question myself whether I’m a mature human being. The members all have helped me when I was tormented by the thoughts.
Sungming: Because our age is all a year apart from each other, we share common grounds. When someone talks about problems he’s going through, the other members are like, ‘I had that last year!’ We’re walking up the road together.
Leeteuk: The biggest worry for me these days is…waking up early in the morning (laugh). (Back to the story,) I think we were able to work hard because we all had the uncertainty about the future. Working hard in our 20s will pay off in our 30s. I was blue and depressed at the early days of our debut but later I thought everything in my mind. Overcoming that stage has made my personality brighter and even influenced people around me.
Do you have any foreign artists or groups you’d like to collaborate with?
Leeteuk: AKB48 [Japanese girl group] (laugh). Why? Uhm… They have many members in their group and we’re ten.
Sungmin: I think he has a different purpose (laugh).
What’s your key in keeping the team together?
Leeteuk: It’s out teamwork that has made everything possible. I don’t know about other idol groups, but we fought a lot and went through a slew of (good and bad) events together. Those all have allowed us to create stronger bond. If we weren’t desperate and had much (wealth) in our hands, then it wouldn’t have lasted this long. Each member was desperate to succeed (as singers) and we were able to bring out more powerful teamwork when going through difficult times.
Ryeowook: It’s been seven to eight years and we’ve faced a countless number of problems. I was going through a slump last year and Leeteuk helped me. Because we have many members in our team, at least one person is there to help the other.
Leeteuk: We all know how to enjoy the moment. A genius can’t win a desperate one and a desperate one can’t win someone who knows how to savor and appreciate things.
Sungmin: Every member in our group is pure in mind. No one in Super Junior is difficult to get along with.