It feels like yesterday when they played their instruments and sang on stage with young faces. But it’s been six years since his debut in 2007. Enough time has passed for them to become role models for aspiring musicians. FTISLAND is becoming someone’s dream or hope.
Prior to the release of their special album ‘THANKS TO,’ ‘Tenasia’ sat Jonghun, Hongki, Jaejin, Minhwan and Seunghyun. Beginning with Miyagi, June 15 FTISLAND spent the summer in ‘FTISLAND Arena Tour 2013: Freedom’ round the outside of Japan. With a total of 11 concerts, where 100,000 fans swayed. Now, they are practicing hard for their sixth anniversary concert to be held in Seoul on 28 and 29 September.
Like their younger days, members are still playful, honest and confident. But now, they are also mature enough to talk about “real” music and enjoy it. FTISLAND say they feel blessed to make music anywhere. And as we talked, it is clear that it can not be considered as a group flowerboy ….
It’s been a while since we all sat down for an interview. What would you like to tell your fans in Korea?
HK: I want to thank. So this time, I expressed gratitude in a song. special album ‘THANKS TO’ have a song for the fans.
SH: Hongki did and played with the heart in it. (Laughs)
Please describe briefly the special album.
HK: It celebrates the sixth anniversary. We put together because we wanted to share the songs we’ve done. It is a mini-album, but we are not calling the fifth mini-album or anything. Just as it says, is a special album. Includes a song for the fans as well as songs about people who have been waiting for us.
You have successfully completed this summer concert tour. It is another great concert since 2011 with Budokan. How do you feel?
SH: It was a good experience and I feel we grew. As we act, we want to do more. So we are preparing for another concert at this time.
HK: This was our first time to choose and set list on our own. Cooperate with staff and plan the show the way they wanted. Since we have a lot of songs we wrote in Japan, was more significant use.
You were working on the set list while waiting?.
HK: We have to prepare for our sixth anniversary special concert on 28 and 29 September, and a month of Zepp tour in Japan. We must be ready for them whenever we can.
After Budokan Arena, only lacking leadership and stadiums. Want to try?
HK: You can say that the greater our place got more fans. I told our fans at a concert once that bigger is better, but not great all the time. We like to be close to our fans. That’s similar to a band, and we’re not in a rush to introduce in a bigger place. That’s why we’re making our way back Zepp. We want to breathe near the fans.
I wondered what they were doing Zepp Tour again after ‘Arena.’
JJ: I’m trying to compare, but a dance group benefits from a large concert hall. It is important for them to appear. But for us, it is a good sound, and the sound quality gets worse as the place is bigger. We wanted to feel the intimacy with our fans again.
HK: Above all, Zepp Tour is more fun, so we’re excited about the tour.
Asia tour ‘Take FTISLAND which began in Seoul in September also finished in August in Hong Kong. But in the fan meeting in Hong Kong, said they will start a new tour Asia.
HK: I think we will go to Asia Tour again. If you look at our program since last year and this year, we have an average of 30 concerts a year. Is carried out through our album activities too. Promote in Korea, Japan tour, release an album, start Asia Tour, and after we have concerts in Korea or Japan in winter, start another tour in the new year.
JJ: They all overlap. When we are doing a tour, we are also practicing for the next, and after that, another begins.
Even when you are so busy, many fans in Korea do not know what you are doing. Perhaps this is because they only got to hear ‘Flower Rock’ singles the 11 official albums and 3 Japanese.
HK: We did this to separate our Japanese and Korean style. Currently we are talking to our CEO on the release of our favorite songs Japanese in Korea.
JH: We already decided what songs we want
HK: Oh, so were those? And re-write in Korean.
That reminds me, you sang ‘Theory of Happiness,’ ‘Black Chocolate,’ ‘Freedom,’ and ‘Time To’ in Korean in Hong Kong concert.
HK: That was our first time . We worked on the Korean version until a day before the concert.
SH: We rehearsed once and then immediately sing. That’s why a vocalist Hongki call genius. (Laughs)
What is your favorite song made by members?
HK: I did a lot of songs but I love them all. I like my first song ‘Orange Sky’ and ‘Black Chocolate.’
SH: I like ‘Live’ from Jonghun. It’s a good song to start or end a concert.
JH: ‘I confess.’ Because many fans like and love. (Laughs)
I saw many posts online young people say they want to be like you. There are even videos of male foreign fans.
HK: A member of the school band I tweeted a video of the band doing our cover of a song.
JJ: It’s amazing to see the young fans play our music.
HK: The funny thing is that foreign fans are copying our Korean songs instead of those in Japan. (Laughs)
Just out of curiosity, do you write your songs Japanese in Korean and then translate?
SH: Sometimes, first decided on the theme and story in Korean, and then changed gradually in Japanese. When we have enough time, write in Korean and Japanese company translates it into Japanese. Often we communicate with emails. We waited for everything from the way the song translates to how the story changes.
HK: Each of us write songs differently, but we worked face to face with my translator in Japan. That’s the easiest and fastest way
That must mean you’re fluent in Japanese.
HK: I know enough to survive.
MH: Hongki is pretty good at it. You can even get married in Japan. Do not go out, but married! (Everyone laughs). Other members are pretty good at that too. We learned a lot hanging out with friends.
HK: We are close friends with One Ok Rock, Redwimps, and Alice Nine. Also hang out with the young male actors. Members of One Ok Rock are all older than me, but they are as friends. We often talk about the music and the difference between Japanese and Korean music system.
What system are you talking about?
HK: In Japan, you can make any type of music you want. His own music market is different from that of Korea, and so is the public response.
Since I like their Japanese releases more than the Koreans, I think I understand what you mean.
HK: We like our Japanese releases more too. While in Japan goes for music with artist colors, just looking for something familiar Korea. We launched ‘I wish’ and title song of our fourth album last year due to various circumstances and the company.
If you cast another official album in Korea, do you think your own song will become the main song?
HK: Maybe if we write good songs. We have a few candidates for the title song of our mini-album in November. Includes songs by other composers. Jaejin wrote a bit, and is very good. We’ll be taken as a song title.
JH: To be honest, the song title is not important. We do not care, as long as other outstanding songs are good.
But you know how it is. Fans hear the entire album, but the general public hudge your image based on the title track. Is not it disappointing that Korea does not recognize their best songs?
JH: Okay. We are happy that we can make music.
HK: First, we are to succeed in Korea. But lately, we realized, we were blessed to make music. From making the recent concert tour as we wanted, we realized, “so this is what it feels like to make real music.”
Do you think your position in Korea is different from Japan?
HK: The color itself is different. In Korea, they think we’re a ballad singer. That’s not true. We are a band.
JJ: Honestly, Hongki can only sing our Korean songs for himself and no matter. Do not you think so?
So the music should show that you do together in Korea too?
JJ: Yes. That’s why we’re working harder. We have to be as a band and satisfy the general public at the same time. We succeed in Japan, and of course we have to do better. But since we are Korean artists, we want to show everything we do. That thought makes us work harder.
You have been seeing each other since they were young. Do you think they really have grown?
HK: I do not know because we are always together. But when someone tells us that our skills have improved, we agree.
MH: I have the DVDs of concerts in Japan. I saw all of the above as well as the most recent. Although they are just a year or two apart, are so different. I did not know until I saw them. But really I can see our growth in each DVD. I am excited about our Asia Tour on DVD.
Speaking of video tour, Minhwan remember playing ‘Satisfaction’ at the 2011 Budokan concert. It was a short-soo. He was very focused on your battery while sweating so much.
HK: What has seen on Youtube? What is included in the DVD. It has 2 DVDs, and one of them focuses on individual members.
MH: To be honest, I think of other things much when I play drums. I was just playing what practice while wondering what other members are doing. (Laughs)
What do you think when you are acting?
HK: You can say I’m like Minhwan. As a singer, I’m wondering if the fans are listening and if my voice is getting delivered too. But basically, I’m doing what I’ve always done. No had other thoughts before. I had to concentrate and try because I was nervous. But now, I’m more relaxed and I can see other members. Even when I realize wrong.
JJ: Oh, look, there’s a girl in the front of the stage. She wears a bikini. Thanks, things how are you. (Laughs)
(FTISLAND – laughter)
Can not we forget about ‘Summer Sonic 2013’ in Japan. My friend who went to see him in Tokyo (August 10), said he was crazy.
HK: That concert was amazing. But my pants ripped. (Laughs). Jumped, threw the towels in the air, we get excited. This is how we usually fun. FTISLAND is like Japan. Or are we a bunch of fun or emotional band. We are a band with winter and summer.
Do you have a priority for a concert?
HK: Communication! When not feeling well, we can not influence our fans more. Sometimes fans help us feel better. It was then that I realized, ‘Oh, this is the power of the fans. “My throat condition was not good when I present, but looking at our fans, listening to hear their cries and sing our songs for me, helped me stay firm.
MH: I think the presentation is important. Even when we are not funny, that’s an emotion, so we have to think about the emotional aspects. After doing many concerts, I can think of these things now. It’s not just about matching the songs with the mood, but also thinking about how to present it differently next time.
You are thinking even in small things.
JJ: It’s like an old formula. Artists often want to sing the popular song and avoid those that are less popular. But lately, we realized that there are different songs that are ideal for concerts. There are songs for the concerts, and there are songs to CD. Even if the song is famous, if CD, then I do not have to play it in a concert. It’s definitely different when you make a list of songs for our concert and rearrange. We only realized that recently. In our recent concert, our company let us do it. It was great. Everything, including the effects and rhythm were different. Our tension was different too.
HK: We played non-stop for the first 45 minutes. I died. (Laughs) But it was fun. My heart feels like it is about to start, but it’s fun. The fans run out at first too. We rest together, and then we run together. I think that’s why we call our fans our friends. Because breathe together.
You said that there are songs for concerts and songs to CD. What is the best song for a concert?
JJ: ‘I wish.’
MH: But the song feels amazing.
HK: When ‘I wish’ first came out, I had to think hard about what to do on stage. I was not sure about my shoulder motion, but a staff member in the filming of the MV thought it was fine. So I did and that became an issue on television and helped get the song popularity. So when I jump on the song, fans jump and sing with me too. Now, I’m trying to do a song to replace it. (Laughs) In Japan, songs like ‘Flower Rock,’ ‘Freedom,’ and ‘Time To’ are good for concerts.
Are we talking about music. (Laughs). Are you dating anyone lately? All of you are very young.
JJ: I’m interested anyone. (Laughs). In fact, I have no time to date for the last 3-4 months with musicals and tours overlap, so only slept for 3-4 hours a day. Practiced from morning to night! Now that the musical term, I will try to leave again. (Laughs)
HK: I have a girlfriend and then not. I have Not right now.
MH: It’s not about finding someone I like. It must be fate.
JH: I am so, so
FTISLAND: So cool!
HK: We are very relaxed about dating. We think it’s important to leave to make music. As long as we’re not doing anything wrong, and if and when we find someone we like, then no problem!
While we’re on Jaejin music, just finished ‘High School Musical’.
JJ: I learned many things. Since I have been a member of a band for a long time, I sort of had a feeling of comfort of a computer. This time I realized that they think of me only for my character.
Seunghyun also made music ‘The Three Musketeers,’ and Minhwan was in ‘Princess Hours.’ What have you learned from working alone?
SH: I realized my responsibility. I worked hard because I was alone. I was not only Song Seunghyun, but Song Seunghyun in FTISLAND. I did my best to serve my elders. I bought lunch and took over the main actors, the ensemble members and staff members. I asked Kim Buprae of ‘Jack The Ripper’ and ‘The Three Musketeers’ a drink, but he is so busy. (Laughs). got met by sunbaes. Shin Sungwoo rarely gave me a compliment, but I said this time I prepared well. And because D’Artagnan dr ‘The Three Musketeers’ is similar to me, I was lucky. He plays around a lot, but it gets very serious too.
MH: I’m a coward. As a drummer, I’m always in the back of the stage. I am far from the audience, and members standing in front of me. So that helped me overcome my stage fright. But when I had to be in front of the stage by myself, I was very scared. I hesitated to make the music, but in the end, I think it was a good decision. I think that helped me fix my personality too.
Probably ask them about this. They think about being compared to their peers CNBLUE?
HK: I think that you can avoid.
MH: We compare ourselves too. ‘Look, CNBLUE doing this.’ ‘Let’s try it too.’ ‘Let’s do something else.’ We have a friendly rivalry. But the really bad people compare us as “these guys are like that, but the guys are.” We musical colleagues.
I saw the tweet from Jonghun from the last day of 2012. ‘2012 Was a hard worker, but also insufficient. Let’s try hard to not miss anything in 2013. ‘2013 Is about to end. How was it?
JH: I always think it lacks. But this year, I realized many things as a band, and learned more about rock and LIVE. I feel like I went a step further.
HK: (For members) do not think we will feel proud at the end of this year? Because we did a lot? (Laughs)
Finally, what is the music for FTISLAND?
HK: Half. My middle is always full of music.
SH: One thing I can not let go. Music is what I hear everywhere I go, the music is what I play. It’s like a shadow that does not depart from me.
MH: I dream one day make music as a hobby. When you are doing something you love for work, sometimes you have to do something you do not want to do too. It’s something I can do for work and for hobby. It’s like a job and a game to me.
JH: The music is good, but sometimes bad. Prepare for a LIVE and write a song are so exhausting. But all feel very good at the end.
JJ: Music is everything! I think that my life itself is made of music. All that has happened so far took place because of the music. Thanks to music, I met my lovely members and fans. (Laughs)
Credit: Tenasia l DJ.Pri l @ChocopieK via https://www.facebook.com/ftislandworld5