INTRO:Q: This is a special time of the year; it’s BIGBANG’s 6th anniversary of Japan debut. We have interviewed few staffs who have been working with the five.
Q: First of all, could you recall your first impressions of them?
Staff A: The first time I met them was in August 2009, when they held an even at Tokyo Intl Forum. It was when “LIES” made a great hit in Korea, and I remember they had a great aura already from back then. I was a new staff back then and when I was sitting at the waiting room, Seungri came in and asked, “Are you a new staff?”
He asked me numbers of questions in Japanese. I think one reason was that I was new, and another reasons was because he wanted to talk in Japanese for learning.
ABOUT SEUNGRI:Staff B: Whenever we work, Seungri is very thoughtful and caring. I respect so much about his attitude.
Staff A: When we all went to eat yakiniku (grill meat), he cooked the meat and served for us. He probably has in mind that he is the youngest (so must do those things.)
B: Seungri is the closest with the staffs.
A: Last time we met, he asked me, ‘How are you these days?’ and I just didn’t know what to say at the moment and I was like “eeh…” He told me “You have to say ‘I’m doin so so!!’ (in a Western Japan dialect).”
Q: He is also a master of western dialect.
B: When he is in Japan, he only speaks Japanese so it feels very weird when I hear him speak in Korean (laughs). Let me tell you; he doesn’t need scripts during concert MC time.
A: His script only says “V.I. Talk”. During last year’s concert when he started singing “Attakainndakara~ (It’s very warm~/ A famous phrase by Japanese comedian)”, most of the staffs didn’t know about that phrase. We thought it was his original song.
Q: He is good at catching the trend of Japanese comedy. If Seungri does something at the concert, that comedy phrase becomes famous.
A: Fans are also praising how fast he catches the new comedy trend. When I told him that, he seemed happy (laughs)
Also when we were planning VI fanmeeting, he would call us over whenever he thinks of an idea.
That time, he was very busy with solo activities in Japan but his enthusiasm and his strong feelings toward everything made us work hard to achieve his goals.
ABOUT G-DRAGONQ: GD is the leader of the group and also the music producer who has the important/absolute presence within BIGBANG.
A: He does have the center role in the group, but he never tells other members to do things. Well…it may be different when we (staffs) aren’t with them but…. I think the other four has strong trust toward him. Actually, I have never seen GD having snobbish/stuck-up attitude.
Q: I heard the five lived together when they first began activities in Japan.
A: Yes, it feels like long ago. GD with Seungri in a same room, Taeyang and Daesung, TOP and a staff.
Q: I heard that when Seungri fell asleep with his music on, GD went to turn it down carefully so he won’t wake up.
A: GD seems like a complicated person because of his charismatic image, but he is actually not. He is actually down to earth; he likes to go hang out in the city.
ABOUT TAEYANG:Q: How about Taeyang?
A: When he lived in Japan for a little while, I went to Fujikyu Hi-Land (amusement park) with him. When foreign celebrities come to Japan, they all want to go there, but most of them don’t want to get up early. However Taeyang knew that it would be better to go early, so we all woke up early and drove there.
B: I can imagine him all excited (laughs)
A: Taeyang was sitting in the passenger seat. He was addicted to edamame at that time and he was sharing them that he brought. He told us that he actually boiled them (laughs)
Q: It’s like a field trip.
A: When we are done with a ride, he would make us all run to the next ride! Because he wants to ride as much as possible.
A: Unfortunately, the ride Taeyang wanted to ride the most, Fujiyama, wasn’t running that day because of strong wind. We kept riding other roller coasters and suddenly there was an announcement that Fujiyama will start running. The moment he heard that, he dashed to it and were able to ride it. Taeyang seemed so satisfied. We ran too much that all staffs were super tired when we were heading home (laugh)
Q: Taeyang is very fit, so he should be fine.
A: But he gets everybody else involved in running (laugh) He charges to things that he loves. Well, that is a common fact of all five members.
ABOUT TOP:Q: TOP’s world is also unique. I first thought it would be difficult to deal with.
A: He is funny. TOP tends to do funny things with a straight face. When I over-react and say “You scared me!”, he just smirks and leaves!
B: He doesn’t do anything further.
A: Yes, he smirks, and it’s over. There was this one time he gave me a snack saying “Here you go!”. I said “Thank you.” Then he told me “gimme 500 yen.” (laughs)
B: I think his posture is very good all the time! Even when he eats, his back is always straight. Very elegant.
A: TOP is usually funny and a prankster, but right before he begins his acting roles, he does strict self-management. He is probably a very strict person when it comes to those things.
ABOUT DAESUNG:Q: Daesung is also usually funny, but very strict about self-management.
A: Yes Daesung wanted something healthy for his solo tour catering, such as tofu meals and fruits. I remember when we were having a meeting about his solo tour during BIGBANG dome tour, Taeyang came in and said, “I thought of a merchandise for Daesung’s solo tour. How about a bottle that is a shape of his body?”
B: So that was Taeyang’s idea.
A: He also said something like, “How about freshly baked bread?” But we just had to say bread is difficult (laugh).
B: I see. Ah, I think of D-kun when I talk about Daesung! He made that character and loves it.
A: Daesung thought of his original goods and ideas of goods interlude video, and made everything actually happen.
B: Like “kabe-don” (when a guy corners a girl against the wall.)
He was having fun shooting that.
SECRETS ABOUT BIGBANG’S JAPANESE SKILLSQ: Members who weren’t good at Japaese improved so much compared to when they debuted. Do they study Japanese and memorize MCs?
A: Actually, I have never seen the members study Japanese. I am always surprised like, “where did you guys learn those words??”
When they have activities in Japan, they talk and sing in Japanese but they never show that they are learning. They each work hard where staffs can’t see. They are pros.
Q: So they do their own “finishing touches” for their stages.
A: To tell you the truth, we initially thought of bringing an interpreter on stage. But they personally told us they never want that to happen.
Q: But there are members who aren’t really good at speaking. That is a risk right?
A: But they want to pursue what they believe in to look good on stage. The policy was to establish their presence as “five”.
B: How they fight for their win so hard at fanmeetings is so BIGBANG-like.
A: We never tell about the details of the games before hand. It’s not fun if they knew everything right? When the game happens to be boring, they tell us to change the game from the stage (laugh)
B: That is right. I think it’s awesome how BIGBANG never ever slack off. They are always serious.
ABOUT BIGBANG BEING “COMPLETE”Q: Are there things that changed about their relationships compared to when they debuted?
A: They each have strong personalities and they all seem “not in order”, but the fact that GD who is the “core” is there makes them have freedom and organization at the same time. I think that they are becoming closer to each other every year. That is why they could do MCs like that.
B: What all members have in common is that they care about their fans so much. They continuously think how to entertain the fans. During dome concert rehearsal, Seungri walked all the way to the 3rd floor of the dome and checked to see how fans see from that view.
A: We were worried that he was gone and looked for him. We tried zooming into the seats at the top and he was there with sunglasses (laughs). He has the strong feeling of wanting every single one of the fans in any place to enjoy the show.
Q: GD told before that he can never forget being a fanboy himself when he was young, so he knows how fans feel. It was impressive when he said he wants to look into fan’s eyes as much as he can.
A: BIGBANG first started off holding fanmeetings in a small venue, then moved on to a hall venues, then arena venues. They have stepped up one by one. The members believe that they have moved on to dome together with the fans. They never think that dome is their usual venue. As the venue get bigger, the distance between the stage and the fans grow bigger, but they believe that their relationship with the fans are growing closer and stronger. I also feel that they are improving every time I m . Especially after their solo activities…. I may not be someone who can say that but…
Q: So what they achieved during solo activities are returned to BIGBANG activities?
A: I can think so deeply about the past 6 years. Us staffs are always watching the members growing and improving; we always get that good motivation from them that we can’t be satisfied with the current situation. We can’t really tell the future but I am looking forward to what they will show us at dome tour this year.