TIME FOR 2PM
2PM came back with 2 title songs. A comeback in almost 2 years. They are displaying the health and maturity of young men in their own way. Their last minute of leisure before the comeback activities was spent at the Vogue studio.
These days new words and phrases are coined almost instantly, but even if the world was about to change, such word combination as “beastly-idols” is set to remain.
This outstanding word combination that seems to be drenched with sweat was born because of 2PM. If it hadn’t been for 2PM, perhaps the teenage boy idols would be still focusing on faces only, without any display of abs.
2PM has come back. In an entertainment world where almost every other singer makes a comeback every single year, it’s their first comeback in 2 years. In the beginning of May they one by one revealed the two double title songs from their 3rd album GROWN – “Come back When You Hear This Song” and “A.D.T.O.Y”, and their music videos. They didn’t show off a muscular physique that would be unattainable for the ordinary men of the same age group.
Instead of that, there was a 2PM that enthusiastically expressed their emotion in a song with a musical-like choreography. There was a 2PM that, instead of displaying their bodies, tried to win a mature energy they have acquired over time. Although they did not betray the “beastly-idols” that are engraved in our memory, they have started displaying what it means to be healthy and mature young mean in their own way.
Right before the regular album activities began, 2PM had their last minute to spare.
The studio prepared by Vogue became 2PM’s hideout for recuperation. They spent a time of their own in front of the camera, and little by little they changed not into the “macho” on stage, but into men in their mid-20s who have a lot to say.
It’s a long awaited interview with 2PM who are about to drown the entertainment world in their own colours.
Vogue: Are 2PM idols?
Taecyeon: Right now we’re shedding off that shell and moving up towards a “male group” title. Aren’t we like that really? We haven’t really had any activities with a real idol-like concept.
Chansung: There’s also the appearance factor, and we haven’t really hidden anything about us from the very beginning.
Junho: We also didn’t sing pretty-pretty songs.
Vogue: Perhaps that is why you look a lot more mature despite your young age. In fact, in terms of age, your average is really similar to the usual idols bands.
Junho: That’s true. Actually we’re only a year or two older than SHINee.
Taecyeon: Right, I’m a year older than Onew.
Vogue: So are you still the beastly-idols?
Wooyoung: I guess we’re going towards “human” now…
Taecyeon: Heh heh. The term “beastly-idols” emerged because of the intense performance we displayed on stage. Actually it was Jinyoungie hyung who made this term first. If you take a look at our album pictures during the “Again & Again” promotion period, there’s me with the growling expression on my face, scowling and scrunching my nose. When Jinyoungie hyung saw that photo, he said, “Taecyeonie is too much like a beast; let’s change it into another photo”. But the album designer thought that the beast-like expression suited the concept better, so the picture was released.
Vogue: We’d like to congratulate you with the success of a solo concert at Tokyo Dome right before your comeback at the end of April. Perhaps there was a group member who had set performing at Tokyo Dome as one of the definite goals during his career as a singer?
Everyone: All of us.
Vogue: So what does it feel like when you have achieved one of your basic goals?
Junho: Of course, yet another goal has been set. Performing at a stadium.
Taecyeon: Tokyo Dome is a baseball stadium, while Nissan Stadium is a football arena. It’s a place that has a seating capacity of around 80 000.
Junho: But right after the Tokyo Dome concert, when we blurted out that our next goal is to perform at a stadium, we heard news that TVXQ seniors were confirmed to perform at the Nissan Stadium. Then I thought that this dream isn’t just a dream, but we can also achieve it, if we only work hard.
Jun. K: Although it’s a good thing to set your goals up high, I also think that it is important to sustain the kind of power that allows you to have concerts at Tokyo Dome, because maintaining one’s popularity is a really hard work.
Vogue: Maintenance of the status quo. How would you evaluate your own position in the entertainment world?
Chansung: Hmm… I think the problem is not about being high or low, it’s all about being in front or behind. There are still things that we can do only if we move forward.
Taecyeon: There was a time, when I was disillusioned thinking that everyone knew us. But actually during the promotion of our previous album, I heard that teacher Song Hae was right next to our waiting room, so I went out to greet him, and our conversation went something like this. “Teacher, hello! I am Ok Taecyeon”. “What’s your name again?” “Ah yes, I am Ok Taecyeon.” “Ah, you’re a solo artist?” “No, I’m a member of a group called 2PM!” “Ah… you’re rookies? Work hard.”
Vogue: Haha. At the moment out of your two title songs, you have revealed “Comeback When You Hear This Song”. Contrary to our expectations, it showcases the image of a youth, not a man. And when you say “comeback”, there’s a motion when you flex your hands. What was your reaction, when you first found out about this part of the choreography?
Taecyeon: This choreography was entrusted to foreign choreographers, and they sent us a video to show the complete choreography. However, since they didn’t really understand the Korean lyrics well, they kept on laughing while dancing to the song. And actually that atmosphere when you’re anxiously calling for your loved one, but you’re smiling instead of being dead serious was a lot better.
Jun. K: The choreography for the part of the lyrics that says “I regret letting you go” is actually clapping your hands. Regretting, but clapping your hands? It’s somewhat odd, but gives you a pleasant feeling.
Vogue: Taecyeon participated in the lyrics composition together with Park Jinyoung in “Comeback When You Hear This Song” and the other title song “A.D.T.O.Y.”. Now you’ve landed on a pile of money (laughs).
Taecyeon: Jinyoungie hyung is not handing me over the copyrights.
Jun. K: The original author of the song can write the biggest part of it, and then there are times when another person edits things.
Taecyeon: The rap part written by Jinyoungie hyung didn’t feel right for me, so I told him that I would like to write it myself, and he gladly told me to do so. I tried hard. And I got rejected 8 times. Each time I wrote something and gave it to him, I was told “This doesn’t feel right”.
Vogue: Did he give you any direction, when he told you to write it again?
Taecyeon: No. So I really had a lot of thoughts like: “If I were Jinyoungie hyung, how would I write this”. It was really hard.
Chansung: I also tried writing rap many times, but Jinyoungie hyung rejected it all… so I gave up on it.
Vogue: Did you do the things you can do the best, or the things you like the most while preparing these songs? Considering the fact that both title songs have really different atmosphere it seems that both aspects could be applied to them.
Wooyoung: I think that both songs are properly permeated with the things we are the best at and the things we like the most. It’s just that the concept and the atmosphere are different.
Vogue: When you hear the title “A.D.T.O.Y.”, you can even image what kind of a clipping it is, and apparently it is “All Day Think Of You”. Is this title Park Jinyoung’s idea as well?
Taecyeon: Yes. Previously, hyung used to say that main songs have to have English titles no matter what, because when you promote abroad at least the title would convey the meaning of the song. However, this time for some reason he said he wanted to use a Korean title. It’s the first time since our debut song “10 points out of 10”.
Vogue: It’s the first comeback in almost 2 years. It’s not something common for singers currently active on the TV shows. We’re curious whether you grew anxious during the long period before the comeback. Was there are transition of emotions?
Taecyeon: Hands Up from our previous promotions is the song that helped us sell the biggest amount of album copies both in digital and physical sales. Therefore we were in extremely good spirits. After that we held around 40 concerts abroad. We released 2 regular albums and 5 singles in Japan. Rather than thinking what to do if we got forgotten in Korea, our desire to just go back was a lot bigger. Right now we’re just like: Wow! We’re finally back!
Jun. K: A lot of things happened to us during these 2 years. At times it was so hard, that I even thought I wanted to just run away. At the beginning of last year my father passed away suddenly. There were so many things to be taken care of. With each and every thing that I took care of I began to realize that I’ve really become a head of a household.
Vogue: The expression of your face says that it’s really been a really hard time. It’s a relief that you’ve managed to take care of everything.
Jun. K: Yes. With that even my heart brightened up. I think I’m acquiring skills that allow me to cope with it all. I have to lead my younger brother as well.
Vogue: How was it for you, Nichkhun?
Nichkhun: As you know, I had an unfortunate accident last summer. I felt sincerely sorry because of the person who got hurt, the people at the company, the group members and our fans. In a way, it was a time that I needed, because until then I had worked without a minute of rest for 5 years. Even when we didn’t have a group schedule, I was busy with my personal schedule. There was nothing I could do, but stop because of the accident. So, it felt like I could actually find the real me. I met a lot of people during the charity voluntary service.
Vogue: You can really understand what kind of person you are, when you encounter hardships.
Nichkhun: It applies not only to yourself, but the people around you as well. Who wants me only for the money and the related work and who sincerely thinks of me.
Vogue: So how did you change afterwards?
Nichkhun: I think I became even more relaxed. I used to worry about many things before that. Some people used to even say I was “paranoid”. Chansung-ah, what did you tell me before? It was something impressive…
Chansung: Ah, we had a drink together during a company’s dinner, and Khunnie hyung was worrying a lot about his skin. But even apart from that the hyung that I see is always suppressing a lot. Can’t even say he’s suppressing it, he’s just not letting it show. So I told him that he should try and go on expressing his emotions. If it’s a situation when you cannot express your stress, one should at least try and resolve it through a hobby or something like that.
Nichkhun: I’m playing badminton lately.
Vogue: Perhaps you need a girlfriend, not badminton?
(Nichkhun and others open their mouths at the same time and one cannot make out who is talking) If you start dating, you start worrying even more!
Vogue: But aren’t you disappointed that your youth is flying by as you try to avoid these worries!
Chansung: Ahaha. We’re too busy to rest. If I had a free month or two, I would consider dating someone, but we don’t even have that much time, so it’s hard. You basically do not even think about it.
Nichkhun: Even when we cannot be seen in Korea, we’re always busy with something abroad.
Vogue: That’s really grave. Let’s look for a way out. Last year Jun. K had a real date with girl idol group members during tvN’s show “The Romantic & Idol”, and Taecyeon just finished filming the global We Got Married version for MBC Every1 with Taiwanese idol Gui Gui, right? At the beginning of this year Vogue even had a news article about “Idol-like dating” regarding these programs.
Nichkhun: I filmed “We Got Married” for a year and a half before that!
Chansung: I want to film “We Got Married” too.
Vogue: “The Romantic & Idol” was really fresh. It didn’t have a script, right? It looked like you all were really glowing, travelling around Jeju Island, and getting to know each other during your dates.
Jun. K (with a face that says he’s reminiscing the happy times with the female idols): Right…
Vogue: Jun. K, your character was revealed on that show. You seem to be a very considerate man.
(All together): Oh, seriously. When were you like that to us?
Taecyeon: No, but seriously, bending down the seat for a girl idol, who’s taking a nap right next to you? What on earth!
Jun. K: It’s not like that; I was the oldest among the idols over there, so I thought I should just guide them and create the atmosphere.
Taecyeon: What and who did you guide exactly? You mostly took care of the girls, didn’t you?
Chansung: Hmm… I think “The Romantic & Idol” is probably better than “We Got Married”.
Vogue: Dear, 2PM members. Let’s try and imagine at least, before the solo gene becomes stiff. If you were given 10 minutes to seduce a woman, what would you do?
Taecyeon: Oh, what a refreshing question! It’s the first time we are asked this. (With a face that says he needs time to think) Let’s start with Chansung.
Chansung: 10 minutes. Hmm, that’s hard. I think I would attempt to make a conversation while having strong drinks. I’m not that good at drinking, but I don’t have bad drinking habits. If it goes to the point where I can’t tell what’s what, I just fall asleep. Up until then I can have a decent conversation.
Vogue: What’s the reason behind choosing strong drinks?
Chansung: If you confess while drinking beer, you can’t take such a light talk seriously.
Wooyoung: “I like you, haha! Let’s date, or not if you don’t want haha!” Well, something like that?
Vogue: We’re curious about the Wooyoung’s lethal technique he would show during these 10 minutes.
Taecyeon: So, would you play a piano?
Wooyoung: 10 minutes is kind of long, no matter how you look at it.
Vogue: So, within 3 minutes, game over?
Wooyoung: If I really wanted to keep on meeting with that person, I think I would speak my mind straight away: I think I like you, would it be possible get closer? And if after that I get rejected: Okay, Good bye.
Vogue: Instead of displaying your charms indirectly, you’re just throwing a fast ball. What about Nichkhun?
Nichkhun: Hmm… Taking a walk… Hmm… I would ask for her number… Hmm, would also take a picture together, and finally would send her away with a kiss on her cheek so that she wouldn’t be able to forget me.
Chansung: You’d give her a kiss, and the woman would slap you…
Nichkhun: If she did accept to take a walk with me, wouldn’t she like me at least a little bit?
Taecyeon: You can never know. Perhaps that woman only wants to take a walk, why would you kiss her all of a sudden?
Nichkhun: That’s why it’s a kiss on the cheek, not the lips, heh.
Jun. K: If I really liked that person, I would prepare a small event within 5 minutes. By the time the song would end I would say it would be great if you could accept my feelings. It’s kind of cheesy when you explain it like that, but it’s proper.
Taecyeon: Umm, I think if it’s a woman who knows this, she would probably throw up, but in the US, there’s this saying among young people, that if a person is good at kissing, one of the ways to prove it, is to take a cherry…
Nichkhun: Ah! That thing with the cherry stem!
Taecyeon: Right. Tying up cherry stem into a knot with your tongue after you have eaten the cherry itself, or another thing is to eat a Startburst caramelo still wrapped up, and then peel the wrap off inside your mouth. There’s a commercial.
Vogue: So if the woman likes that man, she has to pick up the caramelo wrap?
Chansung: The woman has to untie the cherry stem?
Taecyeon: Heh heh, no, no. You’re just metaphorically showing that you’re good at kissing.
Vogue: I wonder what Junho would do. He had to leave in the middle of the interview, because of a recording schedule.
Jun. K: Junho is also kind of a… man among men.
Taecyeon: Even if he’s like that all the time, we can’t really know how he changes in front of a woman.
Vogue: We really wish that you manage to win over women’s hearts using the methods you’ve described. Now then, we’ve come this far talking about what happened during the past 2 years.
Wooyoung: We usually used to have album activities every 3 or 4 months. Rather than aiming for originality or developing oneself, we always felt pressured to succeed. And since Jinyoungie hyung would give us really great songs, instead of believing in me, I put all my trust in Jinyoungie hyung. I was just blindly hanging on the fact that I was only good at dancing, and I only listened to the music I would like to perform myself. At some point I began to think how much we have developed ourselves personally. Right now as I write lyrics from time to time, it feels like writing a book, because I get to think of a story, and this way I am changing little by little.
Vogue: When you were having solo promotions with “Sexy Lady” last year, you must’ve harboured an ambition. How much were you satisfied?
Wooyoung: I was satisfied 100%. Back then my goal wasn’t 1st place on charts. I decided it was impossible to reach no. 1. Since I don’t know much about music, and I was solely good at dancing alone, I’ve made up my mind to try and show myself as a solo artist on stage properly. Had I been greedier, I could’ve forced a solo debut with my self-composed song, but I really didn’t have confidence to write as good as Jinyoungie hyung.
Vogue: You’re very realistic.
Wooyoung: I’m changing towards it little by little. I was actually a kid who had a really big and high-end dream. But now one has to live taking the reality into account.
Vogue: What were these 2 years like for Chansung?
Chansung: It passed in a blink. Even though the fans who said it felt like a foreign singer stopped by in Korean for a short while will feel hurt about this. Whenever a schedule in Japan is complete, we sit down for an interview and we always get asked this: “So much time has passed, what you think when you look back at it”. Each time I get this question I catch myself thinking “What on earth did I do?”. When we keep on working thoughtlessly, I instinctively get used to it as well, but I also come to think that I wish to stand on a comfortable Korean stage. I think I need time to resolve and arrange the things that have piled up.
Vogue: We thought that you would be really nervous having left the Korean entertainment world for a long time, but it’s a relief you don’t seem to feel that way. However, working mainly in Japan and travelling around Asia, you could feel the K-pop fever first-hand, couldn’t you?
Taecyeon: Hmm, actually that hot period is gradually cooling down, I think. At least in Asia.
Vogue: Already? Everyone thought it should last for at least 2 more years.
Taecyeon: It’s because there are so many Korean singers. When there’s a boom, the demand is big, and it gets even higher, when the amount of content is low. When Rain hyung had an Asia tour in 2006, even the sound of it alone made everyone go “Wow, an ASIA tour!!”… I think that now’s the time to create elite troops who can provide good content.
Vogue: Then, leaving that situation behind and taking a look at our local market, what do you think about the current situation? You should’ve gotten the point already.
Taecyeon: Actually, I’m not too sure. Our friends who debuted at a similar time are sending us congratulatory messages for our comeback, and they always add: “But when you go to the TV station, there will barely be any singer that you know”. Thankfully, this time Hyori nuna and Shinhwa hyungs made their comebacks too.
Nichkhun: It will be really hard to reach no. 1, but it will be fun. That’s the most important thing.
Taecyeon: Not long ago, we went for a drink together and we met Shinhwa’s Hyesungie hyung. “You guys! You are really like us! I really look forward to us promoting together!” he said and left after having paid our bill.
Chansung: The thing we were sorry about was that it had been a while since we were out for a drink, so we had ordered quite a lot that day.
Nichkhun: We basically ordered everything on the menu…
Vogue: “Comeback When You Hear This Song” and “A.D.T.O.Y.” promotion will last for 7 weeks? You’ve come back after a long time, what kind of high result you are looking forward to?
Jun. K (after a mutual silence): Rankings are important, but to be honest, I think that the things related to digital rankings have been constantly changing. It’s kind of hard to explain.
Wooyoung: These days, almost everyone can easily approach music production. So from now on, producing music isn’t everything, I think that it is important to create music and performance that gives inspiration and some kind of message to the people. Rather than taking it off, and tumbling and saying “We’ve worked hard”, I want to implant an impression with a song and a matching performance.
Vogue: That is a mature thought. So after the 7 weeks, where are you going to disappear again?
Taecyeon: We will have a concert after that. And we have our schedule full up until the end of 2015, fufu.
Kor-Eng: Egle @2PMalways
MAY BE TAKEN OUT WITH PROPER CREDITS