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GD: To simplify, this album (MADE) represent what BIGBANG is able to express at this moment in time. Each song was born because we have experienced a lot and our perspectives have changed. Honestly, we could not create something like this 3 years ago when we released our last album.
Anan: GD explained about their new album as above. His fashion also changed over time.
GD: I liked to wear flashy, shiny fashion when I was younger. Now I wear all black with just one point of accent; minimal chic-like. It feels like I am able to preserve all of the passion inside of me when I wear all black.
Anan: Japan tour, which was part of 13 country world tour, is coming to an end.
GD: In Japan, there are so many people who have been seeing us from when we were still zero before becoming successful, so I feel the “familial love” here. It is one of the important countries to be in.
Anan: During the US concerts, the media praised the group. Why were people who have rich taste in music getting attracted to your music?
GD: There are so many Asian groups out there that trace American music. BIGBANG was probably accepted because we make music that express our original colors on top of grasping the roots of hip-hop.
Anan: BIGBANG is an outstanding group in the world. Some of the charms are “having alternative sides and distinctive characters.”
GD: Our music shows “toughness” but we are actually playful like students of all boys’ school. We only think about joking around during MC time (laughs); each having distinctive character is also our strength. It seems like we may come into collision at points, but each of us have the “good guy heart” so everything ends up being positive.
Anan: Your alter egos?
GD: People often think I am slim and orderly, however, I am really a lazy person. When I have a day off I usually sleep all day. When I do wake up, I just chill (laughs). I use up all of my energy on song production, so I guess I need “charging” period.
Anan: Unseen characters of other members?
GD: YB’s sense of humor is like a kid. Sometimes I don’t understand why he thinks they’re funny, but when he gets addicted to a joke, he keeps saying it for at least a month. What’s he into now? I don’t focus on them so I forgot (laughs). SR has no unforeseen characteristics. He is full of vitality and does not sleep. I really want to know what he does flying back and forth.
Anan: What does the leader, who brings together this unique group, see in BIGBANG’s future?
GD: Just believing in each other, helping each other, and moving forward no matter what happens. It may be difficult for us to stay as “singers” for our entire life. But we could definitely stay as “artists”. Music wise of course, visual arts and any other field, my hope is to keep expressing ourselves and keep buildinging new culture.
YB: I kept thinking about the fans for these past 3 years. I did feel that we need to show our new music as soon as possible, but my strongest thought was that we need to show the very best for the fans who were waiting for a long time.
Anan: From the beginning of the interview, SOL-san has passionately talk about his state of mind on their comeback. As a result, they have created MADE series.
YB: We have worked on it for nearly 3 years. Like the title, we have “made” it to the fullest than any other past works. That’s why we are confident.
Anan: BIGBANG have finally appeared in music shows in Korea after a long hiatus.
YB: Our first appearances in a long time were very fun. Whenever we went to a TV station for a recording before, there were many sunbae artists. But we are the oldest now (laughs). We were able to relax in a way.
Anan: SOL has been answering in fluent Japanese during most of the interview. His sense of linguistics is great.
YB: But now, isn’t my Japanese pretty bad? I used to speak better before…
Anan: He smiles shyly. How does he keep his high motivation in these busy days?
YB: If I don’t, I will be the one suffering on stage. I just work hard in order to feel comfortable. This is something common right?
Anan: Music, dance, language… he is a tough, hard worker indeed, but…
YB: Honestly, I love beautiful things. Flowers and sky. Especially flowers, whenever I walk by a flower store, I end up buying them. I often keep them in my room. My favorite is dandelion because it has a unique beauty that can’t be found at the flower store.
Anan: He has talked about other members’ truths.
YB: DS is surprisingly…secretive. We’ve been working together for so long but I only know a little about him. He never gets in touch with me outside work schedule and that sometimes hurt my feelings (laughs). TOP is surprisingly delicate like a bubble. Our houses are close to each other now and he often calls me at night saying “Come, now.” When I reach to his house, he is there being sentimental (laughs). As for GD, we have been together from when we were little. I know too much about him so I am not sure what is unforeseen. You all think SR is active right? In reality, he is 100 times more active than what you think. I’m worried about him… He is active no matter how busy. His manager gets too tired and thinks of quitting his job. To stop the managers from quitting, SR has to give them presents occasionally (laughs).
Anan: Not only as a member of BIGBANG, a successful actor Choi Seunghyun has starred in works such as TAZZA, and a web drama SECRET MESSAGE with Juri Ueno. He tells us that the 3 years until MADE came to life was “just very very busy every day.”
TOP: Personally, I was spending time traveling around the world for the tour and filming a movie, and these years were very busy. Hence it doesn’t feel like this comeback has been a long time since the last one. I am actually surprised thinking, how did these years go by so fast….
Anan: The group is praised around the world, having the label “ Super Stars that represent Asia.”
TOP: We represent Asia? THAT is a lot of pressure (laughs). But if people do think that way, we must feel the responsibility and keep doing our best so we could stay worthy.
Anan: He tells us that out of 13 countries, concerts in Japan are impressive. He feels the “warmth.”
TOP: I get hyped up every time I come here. We come here very often but I get so much energy from the fans every time. For me, Japan is where I can feel fan’s sincerity.
Anan: The group marks its 10th year. Members’ reality that TOP has seen in this long history?
TOP: GD has a flexible heart, YB has a strong core. SR has so much energy, DS is very reliable.
Anan: He says that the details of these facts are secret….
TOP: If I talk about the members, it would take a loooong time, and it would lose its mystique. And honestly, talking too much may end up with facts that disappoint the fans (laughs). So I would leave it up to all of you on why I think so. I hope you all could discover members’ different sides.
Anan: He smirks, then he tells us his deepest secret…
TOP: Actually I am a ghost, not a human (with a straight face).
Anan: …and seems to enjoys our silence. He always talks at his own pace. What does “the ghost” see in BIGBANG’s future?
TOP: I actually don’t have anything in particular; I just wish for members’ and fans’ health and happiness. That is a ghost’s wish (laughs). And this would be a far future but I want to see members’ kids! I do imagine it frequently. How fun would it be for each of us to get married and all 5 families go on a trip… Imagining those things gets me happy.
Anan: During the interview, there’s that famous, non-stop “angelic” smile of D-LITE. But he tells us that his reality is “opposite of what many people are imagining.”
DS: I like being alone. My favorite time is when I buy all the food I love and stay inside the house and eat. All of my hobbies are something that I could do alone, like Lego and drums. Japan has Ohitori-sama (one who enjoys hanging out by him/her self) culture, so I think this is a great country for people like me (laughs).
Anan: Do other members also have unforeseen sides?
DS: GD is actually a money saver. He thinks a lot before buying something. Then, he buys it a lot (laughs). TOP is lonesome; BIGBANG’s baby. I keep watching over his back.
Anan: How did it feel coming back to BIGBANG after the group’s hiatus?
DS: During the three years, I was focusing on solo activities. That time I thought “I want to work as five.” Then when we finally do, I came to think solo is better (laugh). When we are apart, I miss the group and when we are together, I miss being alone. It’s like a relationship of long-married couple. Members each have different personalities. Honestly, I think we had misunderstandings in the first five years of our career. Then we went through a lot and our bond is stronger now. I don’t have a lot of people around me that I could call as friends. I met BIGBANG members just to start a career but they became beyond friends; they are my family now. I feel that so much, especially these recent days.
Anan: The group have decided to record the songs together from their last ALIVE. He tells us “There is definitely a strong power by gathering.”
DS: For people to know about BIGBANG’s music, Bang Bang Bang represent the team color the most. We released LOSER in the very beginning in Korea, and we ended up being “winner” with its success (laughs). Oh I wanted to connect it to the topic of our donsaeng group WINNER who have recently released a new album. I have been watching WINNER and iKON from when they were trainees… and I did not give any advice (laughs). But I always pray for them so they could give their best without any injuries.
Anan: D-LITE have often made us smile throughout the interview adding some humor, but he put a serious tone while he talked about the future.
DS: BIGBANG never kept working while picturing a future goal. We have pictured what we wanted to on each day like today is today’s, tomorrow will be tomorrow’s; we have been pursuing music that we wished to do each day and as a result, we have done that for 10 years. I just hope the five of us to keep getting along and pursue fun music. I believe that the time we spend from now will be more and more valuable. We have worked seriously on these MADE tracks and I hope each of the songs get the spotlight.
Anan: SR wants people to have fun anyhow. I’ve asked him to explain about the fellow members and he answers “Can I have a little time to think? I want to make it interesting…” Then he thinks of an idea to compare them with great people.
SR: G-Dragon is Asian Michael Jackson. He is outstanding in everything, having strong presence as a star of music, fashion, and has great aura. TOP is James Dean. His handsomeness as a man is over the top! SOL is EXILE’s Hiro-san. (T/N: Hiro is a leader of a well-known Japanese vocal/dance group EXILE.) He is good at dancing, has leadership, and great at bringing the members together. D-LITE is usually quiet but he suddenly speaks up with striking words. His commenting skill is like Beat Takeshi. (T/N Beat Takeshi is a well-known Japanese comedian/movie director.) Me… I am Bae Yong Joon! “Winter Sonata” is a K-drama that everybody wants to repeat. I am also a guy who people would want to repeat.
Anan: SR does Japanese comedy jokes that even the fans here have not yet discovered and hypes up the audience. He is a master of bringing together the crowd with his magical communication skills.
SR: Rather than just making a “BIGBANG’s show”, I want the entire crowd to “breathe together” from the beginning to the end and enjoy the friendly atmosphere. When people don’t laugh at my jokes, I tell them "Sorry, let me try again”! That’s why people think I am a local comedian, but I am really a foreign artist (laughs).
Anan: VI’s Japanese is perfect. He also speaks English and Chinese.
SR: It’s a happy thing for the fans for us to learn their language right? By expressing emotions even though our language may not be perfect, we could show our motivation. If we never show our motivation, nobody would open up their hearts for us and they would feel like, “They don’t have the motives…”
Anan: As a result, BIGBANG has fans all over the world.
Anan: The basis of his thoughts on fans is that “people in any country who likes our music are all important.“ But he tells us that Japan is a special place.
SR: While making a debut in my teens and living as a member of a successful Korean group, sometimes I forgot the importance of showing my gratitude or apologizing from my heart. 4 years ago when I began working on TV shows in Japan, I have realized those basics. The two Japanese words: "Arigatou (Thank you)” and “Sumimasen (Excuse me/sorry)” made me grow as a human being.
Anan: He states that MADE series represent the group’s musical growth.
SR: It did take a while to release it, but instead of rushing like “we must release asap!”, we perfected each and every song. From powerful songs to ballad songs, the album is filled with music made by grown men. Bang Bang Bang is a perfect song for karaoke to heat up the atmosphere!
Translation by MMVVIP. Scan by Brin.