b2st’s 10asia interview
10: HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE MOMENT WHEN YOU GUYS SCORED YOUR FIRST WIN EVER SINCE YOUR DEBUT WITH “SHOCK” ON MNET’S “MNET COUNTDOWN?” THE IMAGE OF THE GROUP CRYING AND THE THANK YOU SPEECH WAS MEMORABLE.
Jun-hyung: Unlike the other idol groups, we didn’t have a smooth debut and when the results were announced all the difficulties that we had in the past just came pouring through. I wouldn’t really say it’s bad but we had a lot of hard times and the sweat from practices just flashed in my head like a panorama. However, the tears had another meaning because it was the first time since our debut we reached No. 1 and our fans wanted it for us for such a long time.
10: I’M SURE YOU GUYS HAVE HAD A HARD TIMES OR DIFFICULTIES STARTING FROM YOUR DEBUT UNTIL NOW.
Du-jun: I think after five months since our debut instead of every moment being hard it was fun. It is harder than when I was a trainee but I’m having a lot of fun doing what I’m doing now.
10: CAN YOU GRASP THE REALITY OF HOW THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS ON YOUR FAN SITE IS GROWING AND THE RESPONSE TO BEAST ON AND OFFLINE IS BETTER?
Jun-hyung: When we first made our debut the reactions that we got were “Who are they? I bet they will disappear soon” and also I read a lot of sarcastic comments from those who didn’t like us. But even though not a lot of time has passed the response towards us has gotten better. I think the group likes how the public sees us as “a team with no holes.”
10: WHENEVER I SEE YOUR PERFORMANCE FOR “SHOCK” IS IT DIFFERENT THAN YOUR PERFORMANCES FOR “BAD GIRL” AND “MYSTERY” BECAUSE THE MOVES FOR “SHOCK” SHOWS HOW THE MEMBERS PUT STRENGTH AND EFFORT IN YOUR MUSCLES FOR EACH MOVE. IT SEEMS THAT THE DETERMINATION FOR THE PREPARATIONS ON THE MINI-ALBUM IS DIFFERENT FROM YOUR FIRST SINGLE.
Jun-hyung: We get greedy in many aspects every time we release a song particularly for this song because everyone really liked it. We also had a famous dance instructor for the choreography. Ha Woosin, ranked No .6 worldwide in dancing, the director and leader of Prepix style helped with our choreography. He is usually overseas for his activities and he usually doesn’t choreograph for singers but I knew him since I was in high school and he agreed. But we weren’t that great and at the same time we worked really hard to meet his expectations because we didn’t want to ruin his reputation.Gi-kwang: When we first received the moves for the song, I was worried if we could sing live while doing these dance moves. So whenever we practiced we would sing live and practice the moves at the same time.
10: GI-KWANG, I BET IT WAS A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE FROM YOUR SOLO CAREER AS AJ THAN PERFORMING POWERFUL MOVEMENTS FOR “SHOCK” ON STAGE FOR THREE MINUTES.
Gi-kwang: The dance moves for “Shock” has a completely different feeling to the moves that we practiced as trainees. As trainees we focused on the steps but for this the moves are slow and then all of sudden it becomes fast so we need to put strength in our muscles. At first it was really hard to master the whole song and moves but now my body and muscles are used to it because of the practice.
10: THE DANCE MOVES AND ALSO THE CHORUS SUNG BY YO-SEOP HAS A DISTINCTIVE FEELING TO IT. I THINK IT’S BECAUSE NOWADAYS A LOT OF ARTISTS USE AUTO TUNING TO MAKE IT SMOOTHER BUT COMPARED TO THAT YOU JUST SING STRAIGHT THROUGH.
Yo-seop: When I first heard “Shock” it had a sort of rock feeling to it and when we began recording the producer told me instead of clearly raising my voice to just bellow out the notes like a rock song. After the recording, I was worried if I would be able to pull it off on stage. I think practicing has helped with the live performances because it increased my muscle mass and stabilized my breathing.
10: COMPARED TO “BAD GIRL,” THE LISTENERS ARE ABLE TO HEAR EACH MEMBER’S VOICE IN “SHOCK.” DID ANY OF YOUR FEEL THAT YOU WANTED TO PUT YOUR OWN PERSONALITY FOR EACH OF YOUR PARTS OR ADD ONTO THE SONG?
Yo-seop: I think for this album we were able to show our own colors in this album because I was able to sing a rock song and Jun-hyung was able to rap. We also have songs that have harmonies. We want to try something different for our next album because we want to show various aspects of ourselves.
10: YOUR STYLE CHANGED AS WELL; COMPARED TO “BAD GIRL” HYUN-SEUNG CHANGED THE MOST. YOU BECAME MORE BRIGHT AND PRETTY.
Hyung-seung: Personally, I don’t like being called pretty. I think I hear less of that since I cut my hair. It’s a relief because it’s sort of a complex for me. (laugh) I like my style right now. I am interested in fashion and I searched for the eyeliner, makeup and hairstyles myself. The hairstyle I have now is not what I wanted instead I was going for the look of Brown Eyed Girls’ Narsha. However, it isn’t a hairstyle for the stage but better if it’s for a model on a runway. The style is not for a singer because whenever I dance it doesn’t secure a clear view.
10: GI-KWANG, YOU WEREN’T ABLE TO CHANGE YOUR HAIRSTYLE BECAUSE OF YOUR ROLE AS SAE-HO IN MBC’S “HIGH KICK” BUT NOW I BELIEVE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE THAT YOU DYED YOUR HAIR.
Gi-kwang: I always wanted to change it but I had to maintain the black hairstyle for my role in “High Kick.” Now since it’s over I tried dying it and I cut my hair short which I really like. My scalp hurt because it was my first time bleaching but I don’t think it was as bad as Yo-seop.
Yo-seop: It isn’t that kind of bleaching! (laugh) Since my roots began to show underneath my blonde hair I had to bleach my scalp and that hurts.
10: DONG-WOON, LATELY YOU ARE STANDING OUT AS THE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF THE GROUP.
Dong-woon: I am the youngest member but now…(laugh) After I cut my hair I heard a lot of people saying that I look rejuvenated which is a definite thing but I am thankful for it.
10: I HEARD SOME THINGS HAVE IMPROVED IN YOUR LIVING QUARTERS SINCE THE SUCCESS OF BEAST.
Dong-woon: Now we have a gas stove.
Jun-hyung: We have a TV and dishwasher.
Dong-woon: A waste-disposal unit.
Yo-seop: We have a veranda.
Jun-hyung: The best part is that we can eat altogether in the living room…
10: HOW BAD WAS YOUR LIVING SPACE BEFORE?
Jun-hyung: So bad that it was unlivable? (laugh) The halls were so narrow that two people couldn’t pass through. At first, it wasn’t as bad but after going to autograph sessions we would get more gifts than we thought from our fans. We didn’t have a separate storage space for them so we would just pile it up but now we have a large living room and a veranda. Also, long time ago whenever we had to prepare for our next schedule it would be chaotic two hours before because we only had one small bathroom and the washing machine was in there as well. But now we have two bathrooms and the washing machine is in a different spot.
10: YOU GUYS LOOK EXTREMELY HAPPY. (LAUGH) BEFORE MAKING YOUR DEBUT ON “MTV B2ST” IT WOULD SHOW ALL SIX MEMBERS SLEEPING TOGETHER IN ONE BEDROOM. WHAT IS IT LIKE NOW?
Dong-woon: It’s still the same. We just decided to sleep in one room instead of dividing into two groups.
10: SO WHO SLEEPS IN THE BUNK BED BELOW THE FLUORESCENT LIGHTS?
Du-jun: It’s still me. But it’s okay because now the fluorescent light is further away and the ceiling is higher.
Yo-seop: It’s not exactly a fluorescent light where it tans your skin but more of a soft light. (laugh)
10: DID A LOT OF THINGS CHANGE FROM BEFORE SINCE NOW YOU GUYS HAVE A NEW PLACE AND BUSIER SCHEDULES?
Jun-hyung: Du-jun is the busiest because he sometimes goes abroad and the empty feeling is quite big when the leader is not around. Even though we all have our individual schedules and we don’t stay at the house for a long time but it still feels cozy. Before our living quarters felt more of a place to just sleep but now I can actually rest. It feels like home.
10: I THINK THE LONGER THE GROUP LIVES TOGETHER AND PRACTICE LONG HOURS FOR DANCE MOVES LIKE FOR “SHOCK” IT CREATES TEAMWORK AND CHEMISTRY.
Hyun-seung: Of course. The performance for “Shock” is cool but if one of us is missing it feels like it will fall apart. During our activities, I thought a lot about how if someone is missing from the group we can’t perform as a group. We became a lot closer, but we were close from the beginning as well. (laugh)
10: BESIDES YOUR ACTIVITIES AS A GROUP WHAT OTHER ASPECTS OF ENTERTAINMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO PURSUE?
Gi-kwang: The most important thing right now is promoting the new album, but I would like to focus more on singing and dancing.
Yo-seop: First of all, I want to be acknowledged as a vocalist. I began singing songs by Stevie Wonder and Brian McKnight so I would like to study R&B songs again. Lately, I’ve been interested in modern rock.
Dong-woon: I want to do radio, reality shows and variety shows! I really want to do those things. I want to show my natural state off stage.
Jun-hyung: I think Dong-woon feels that he missed out on a lot since making his debut because he’s at the age where he should be hanging out with friends and going to school.
Du-jun: I am satisfied with what we are doing now, but if I was greedy I would like to try various things to popularize BEAST more.
10: JUN-HYUNG, HOW DID IT FEEL MAKING YOUR DEBUT AS A STAR SINGER IN “HIGH KICK?”
Jun-hyung: I was so embarrassed. The day before we began shooting, I met actress Yoo In-na in the dressing room for some advice on how to approach my role. The first scene that I shot was with In-na, where we were both very close and I began to sweat a lot more than I did when I was practicing my dance moves. When I was in high school I performed in numerous plays but it is completely different from shooting a sitcom. I wanted to show what I can do when I first decided on doing the show but after receiving the script for the show I only had three short lines…and we had to shoot the scenes fast without any delay. In the end, there wasn’t much that I could show the audience. (laugh)
10: WHAT WAS THE REACTION FROM GI-KWANG, WHO ALSO APPEARED IN “HIGH KICK?”
Gi-kwang: I was watching from the side.
Jun-hyung: He was off on the side snickering. He didn’t have any reaction but just snickered and disappeared to shoot his scenes.
10: JUN-HYUNG, YOU WERE ABLE TO SHOW OFF YOUR RAPPING ABILITIES FOR HYUNA’S SONG “CHANGE.”
Jun-hyung: At that time I wasn’t promoting BEAST but I wanted the people to see how I can harmonize with others. I usually like to use my own lyrics but when HyunA was composing the lyrics for “Change,” I was busy with other schedules and I felt that I missed out because I didn’t have time to write them. Once, I performed with K.Will and he asked me “Do you want to write your own lyrics?” but I gave up because I only had one day to prepare the chorus for the already laid out MR. If I went on stage without any preparations, I would have messed up his performance. I hope I have more chances to show my abilities.
10: DO YOU HAVE A RAPPER OR PRODUCER THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH?
Jun-hyung: I started to enjoy listening to rap when I was in high school and I really like Supreme Team. The two were both pursuing solo careers but when they released a mixed tape together I became a big fan. While we were in the final stages of promoting our song “Mystery,” I became close with the senior rappers of Supreme Team and since Simon D and Gi-kwang shot “Hot Brothers” together all the members became close with them. He told me that if I have a hard time writing the lyrics for a rap I can call him any time and of course I would like to work with them. However, I am still embarrassed to rap in front of them because they were my idols. (laugh)
10: YO-SEOP AND GI-KWANG, YOU TWO WERE HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS, WHAT WERE YOU TWO LIKE THEN?
Yo-seop: When we were in high school Gi-kwang was a trainee under JYP and he would hand in an official letter and leave. As for me, I didn’t do much and I did everything the school told us to do. I was in the band but I was also envious of Gi-kwang whenever he left…
Jun-hyung: I don’t think he has any memories of school. Honestly, I bet you only saw Gi-kwang sleeping. (laugh)
Yo-seop: Yeah. He would always sleep. (laugh) He wouldn’t sleep on the desks but he would be sleeping while hugging the music stand. Maybe because practices ended really late.
Jun-hyung: Gi-kwang made a habit of practicing long hours and after he signed with Cube Entertainment and began preparing his debut as AJ he would still be practicing even after we left.
10: IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHOW INDIVIDUALLY IF YOU GET TO HOLD A CONCERT?
Hyun-seung: My specialty is dancing so I want to put on a great performance where I will both sing and dance well. I respect Usher and Omarion so much that no matter how busy I am, I’ll always watch their videos and my dancing has been influenced by them a lot so I want to be able to put on a performance where I can perform like them.
Du-jung: I want to try putting on sort of an unplugged performance, with sessions members and a piano in the middle of the stage. There are so many songs I want to sing although I don’t know if I’d be able to pull them off. Hyun-seung: “I’m in love”?
Du-jun: That would be good too. Or maybe create something like a jazz bar…
Dong-woon: I like to play the piano so there are many times I’ll be practicing alone. I’ve never shown it to anyone before but I want to sing a soft ballad song while playing the piano under a pin light. Maybe Jung-yeop’s song? The style of song that ‘melts.’ (laugh)
10: WHAT ABOUT YOU, GI-KWANG?
Yo-seop: Dancing shoes!
Du-jun: Good choice!
Gi-kwang: (laugh) I want to choose a fabulous song and show my singing and dancing properly. For me, maybe something more steamy like R&B.
Jun-hyung: I want to sing songs for my fans that aren’t in our album, that I’ve made but nobody has heard of. I’ve written more of the lyrics than composing songs but I also talk a lot with a composer so if I was given the chance to, I think I’d be able to do it right away.
10: RAPPERS ARE ALWAYS TELLING THEIR OWN STORIES. WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT?
Jun-hyung: Rather than wanting to write about something in particular, I write a lot about my thoughts or worries. And a lot of people think I probably wouldn’t, but I talk a lot about love too.
10: MAYBE ABOUT YOUR PAST GIRLFRIENDS? YOU SAID YOU DON’T EVEN ASK ABOUT THAT TO EACH OTHER ANYMORE BECAUSE YOU ALREADY TALKED ABOUT IT SO MUCH.
Jun-hyung: Yes, we know everything now. Everything! I recently did a video interview with Du-jun told me to lift up both hands and feet and then said, “He can’t count the number of girls he has dated even with all his fingers and toes!” (laugh)
Du-jun: It’s a joke — I was just exaggerating. And there’s nothing wrong with having met a lot of girls either. (laugh) But Jun-hyung is quite popular with the girls and he knows how they think.
Hyun-seung: I wish he would write a book.
Jun-hyung: Well, I’ve never really counted… so I’m not too sure about that. (laugh) I have met more girls than these guys have. And such experiences help in writing lyrics. The more you know about love, the it helps in singing and creation.
10: WHAT WAS IT THAT KEPT YOU GUYS GOING, DESPITE HAVING GONE THROUGH A TOUGH PROCESS IN THE GROUP COMING TOGETHER AND CARRYING OUT ITS ACTIVITIES?
Yo-seop: I think it was all possible because of the efforts these guys put in. If I had been the only one who went through a rough time to debut and the rest had debuted easily, I might have had an inferiority complex and disliked them but all six of us went through tough times. So I was able to sympathize with them and felt bad about complaining because I knew they would all be having a hard time too. So I think we were able to pull through because we would resolve by talking and resolve by having fun.
Jun-hyung: We actually don’t have that many friends. When we’re given a few days of break to meet people we haven’t met in a long time, we just meet up together. We tell each other that we shouldn’t meet but end up calling each other.
Yo-seop: Jun-hyung does it. (laugh)
Du-jun: And that’s when we all end up meeting. We’ll meet outside and play games when we’re at our place.
10: WHO’S THE BEST AT GAMES?
Du-jun: At all video and board games.
Yo-seop: You’re so lucky.
Dong-woon: Du-jun is athletic so he’s good at sports too. I think I may be the worst at sports.
Yo-seop: I’m probably the worst at games. I don’t really like computer games either. And when I lose, I won’t go again but just say I don’t want to play anymore.
Du-jung: I love playing games in teams. I recently played back stage with Gi-kwang up against SHINee’s Minho and his manager. We played Winning 11 and Minho was good so we ended up losing 3 to 0 or 4 to 0.
Yo-seop: What? You lost?
Du-jun: Gi-kwang blew about four shots.
Gi-kwang: Oh! I remember. I missed about two shots right in front of the goalpost.
10: WHEN YOU WON FIRST PLACE ON MUSIC CABLE CHANNEL MNET’S “M! COUNTDOWN” RECENTLY, WHY WERE YOU THE ONLY ONE WHO DIDN’T SHOW ANY EMOTION? I THOUGHT YOU WOULD CRY THE MOST.
Hyun-seung: I’m the type that’s gentle in appearance but tough in spirit. (laugh) We got first place in five or six months of our debut. It’s a great honor to have gotten there in such a such time but I had been dreaming about it for the five to six years that I had been a trainee so the moment it actually happened, I thought ‘This is what I wanted…’ and then went blank.
Yo-seop: Before all the singers went on stage at the end of the show that day, something kept grabbing at my hand so I looked and saw that it was Hyun-seung’s hand. He said he was nervous. He was really shaking a lot. (laugh)
Hyun-seung: I had the mic when we were told to give our acceptance speech. But I didn’t know what I should do and it happened so suddenly that I just handed it over to Yo-seop.
Yo-seop: I was going to tell Hyun-seung to speak when he gave the mic to me so I looked for Du-jun since he speaks the best. But I saw that he was crying while hugging members of 2AM. So I turned around to look for Jun-hyung but saw that he was all tears too, I concluded Dong-woon wouldn’t be able to speak either since I had seen him cry from the very beginning, so from then on, I gathered my senses and thinking I shouldn’t leave out anyone starting with my parents… mentioned everyone I was grateful to. Then after I went back stage, talked to my parents on the phone, I started sobbing.
10: WHAT DID YOU THAT NIGHT?
Dong-woon: We were set to perform on KBS’ “Music Bank” so we prepared for that. We ate meat for dinner, met with our parents briefly, went back to our place early to practice and then went to sleep early.
10: JUN-HYUNG, YOUR HAIRSTYLE FOR SONG “SHOCK” WAS THE TALK OF THE TOWN. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON GETTING SUCH A HAIRCUT?
Jun-hyung: We usually have draft designs laid out for our hairstyles but there hadn’t been one set for me even by the time we were supposed to shoot our music video. So everyone on set, including my company people, the members of my group and the hairdressers, all sat me down and said they would just start cutting away bit by bit. They kept going until I had lost all my hair. We were worried that I may look disagreeable but I got a nickname for it and everyone said it was interesting so I’m satisfied with it. More than anything, it’s comfortable when I’m sleeping.
10: YOUR IMAGE HAS BECOME STRONGER, ESPECIALLY MORE SO SINCE YOU’RE THE RAPPER WITH THAT HAIRCUT NOW AND A TATTOO.
Jun-hyung: I don’t feel any pressure when my image changes. I actually hadn’t been able to show my style while promoting “Bad Girl” or “Mystery.” And I had always been wearing sunglasses so I’m glad I didn’t have to wear them for this album. As for the tattoo, I didn’t get it because I needed it for our concept or fashion, but I had just wanted one for a long time and the president of my company allowed me to.
10: HOW DID THE MEMBERS OF YOUR GROUP RESPOND TO YOUR NEW HAIRSTYLE?
Jun-hyun: They werent’ that surprised in particular. Their response was something along the lines of “Doesn’t look too bad.”
Du-jun: I said I liked it because it looked cool.
10: BUT DO ALL OF YOU THINK YOU COULD PULL OFF THE STYLE?
Du-jun: … Um, I would if I it would suit me…
Gi-kwang: It’s only for those who can actually pull it off.
Yo-seop: I think Jun-hyung would look that best in it. So only for him!
10: YOU HAVE TO REHEARSE A LOT NOWADAYS AND ALSO HAVE MORE INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES TO PURSUE, SO I THINK YOU WOULD FEEL PRESSURE IN BEING THE LEADER OF A GROUP WHERE TEAMWORK IS CRUCIAL, ESPECIALLY TO PERFORM THE DANCE MOVES TO A SONG LIKE “SHOCK.” WHAT ARE THE DIFFICULTIES YOU GO THROUGH, IF THERE ARE ANY?
Du-jun: I think I don’t really feel much pressure about that because they do well for themselves. I don’t really have to mind to them since the rehearse a lot too.
10: THEN LET ME ASK YOU, DONG-WOON. YOU’RE THE YOUNGEST OF THE GROUP — WHO IS THE MOST AND LEAST SCARIEST MEMBER?
Dong-woon: I don’t think there should be anyone that is scary. We’re all members of a single group. There’s no pushover either — they’re all just my members and older brother.
10: YOU ALL LIVE TOGETHER. DON’T THEY MAKE YOU DO THE CHORES OR ANYTHING?
Dong-woon: Well, now they… Oh, I didn’t mean that. No, they don’t. (laugh)
Hyun-seung: But really, I think our team doesn’t have that… We’re more easy-going when it comes to ranking. We let him choose as we do and we don’t really give him chores to do either.
Jun-hyung: But honestly, very rarely I’ll ask… no, not ask just request whether he can get me something. But I don’t think I’ve ever said, “You do this because you’re the youngest.” Hmm, was there? (laugh) And when we give Dong-woon a choice, most of the time he’ll say that he will go with what’s left over.
10: ALL SIX OF YOU HAVE BECOME ADULTS AFTER DONG-WOON’S GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL. HOW MUCH CAN YOU ALL DRINK?
Yo-seop: None of us really drink that well. We’ll have a drink very occasionally, when there’s a week where we have no TV appearances. We’re all similar when it comes to drinking but I think Du-jun is the worst. His face will turn red even on the first drink so we made fun of him when we first drank. But I’m glad everyone is a bad drinker. If anyone was a good drinker, he would have no fun.
10: ON MTV’S B2ST WHICH YOU SHOT AHEAD OF YOUR DEBUT, I SAW THAT THE REST OF THE GROUP PUT ON A SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR HYUN-SEUNG. WHAT DID YOU DO FOR GI-KWANG’S BIRTHDAY?
Gi-kwang: They put on a surprise party for me. Although I didn’t fall for it. (laugh)
Du-jun: We just ordered chicken and ate it with cake at our place.
10: YO-SEOP, I UNDERSTAND YOU GRADUATED FROM THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL AS GI-KWANG. HOW AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET?
Gi-kwang: Um, we first met at JYP. I think we were in 10th grade. Dong-woon was there first, then I joined after passing their audition and then Yo-seop joined so there was a time we were all trainees there together. Then Yo-seop moved agencies and I left for Cube too where I was the only trainee. My company then asked if I could recommend anyone so I told them about Yo-seop and he joined our agency after passing our audition. We actually went to Ahyun High School together too for about a year. So we’re just destined to be…
Yo-seop: A tenacious relationship!
Dong-woon: I wouldn’t be surprised it you were sick of each other!
10: GI-KWANG, ARE YOU STILL WATCHING WHAT YOU EAT THESE DAYS?
Hyun-seung: He always does. He just ate a bit more than he usually does today.
Gi-kwang: I had lost too much weight recently so I’m actually trying to gain more weight so that I can beef up.
10: HOW DO YOU ALL HANDLE ALL THAT SORT OF STRESS — FROM YOUR TIGHTLY-PACKED SCHEDULE AND HAVING TO WATCH WHAT YOU EAT.
Gi-kwang: I wasn’t allowed to have a cellphone while pursuing my solo career as AJ but we can have after winning first place. (laugh) It was actually very uncomfortable not having a phone in the first month or so but you get used to it.
Jun-hyung: And once you actually have one, you sometimes wish you didn’t have one. (laugh)
Dong-woon: To relieve stress, there’s a gym in the third floor of our building so I’ll play table tennis or…
Jun-hyung: You may think we probably do something quite fun but there really isn’t much to it.
Dong-woon: Halli Galli, Halli Galli!
Yo-seop: We even only have one video game — soccer. And then a couple board games. So we’ll just talk and play board games.