The twelve wolves spread their wings on stage. They are men who captured the public’s gaze with their strong and rough charisma like a roaring wolf. We are talking about EXO that is split into six members each to promote in both Korea and China.
EXO, who made a challenge to the music world last year from SM Entertainment, started promotions with twelve members with their official first album title song ‘Wolf and Beauty.’ Could it be because the strength that was branched off joined back together as one. One year after debut they gathered a big growth. There was a preorder of three hundred thousand albums in the record market that was going through a recession, and they adorned the triple crown by winning first place on the three major broadcast music shows. Not only that but thanks to the overflowing love from the fans, when they appeared on KBS 2FM ‘Super Junior’s Kiss the Radio,’ they led the listeners’ explosive reaction to a situation where their server went down for the first time.
What is EXO’s charm. eNEWS met them in person and they were full of a devilish something that makes one fall for them. Not petty idols who give out model-like answers but they were twelve wolves with a twist from their carefreeness.
First off they gathered gazes with their attractively tall appearances. On top of that, they told stories with their wit-filled words, showing their charms throughout the short time. Sometimes they seem like prankster boys but they also showed a form of a passionate man overfilling with ambition.” Starting from innocence with “We ate hanwoo meat to our hearts’ content thank to placing first place” to serious sides with “We still have a long way to go,” eNEWS investigated EXO who have a variety of different faces.
▶Next is a series of interview questions and answers from EXO
-You guys got first place one year after debuting. It is a shining growth for EXO, so I think your thoughts would be different than others. Especially the fact that invisible tears were spilt became a hot topic.
“Our practice time up to the album release was a long time but we also were nominated for first place. While I was anxious wondering if we would be awarded the trophy or not, the moment they called first place ‘EXO,’ the past times till then passed me in a flash. I instantly met gazes with the EXO members and then my tears fell. Because I was shaking so much, I wasn’t able to say the words that I needed to but kept repeating my thanks to my parents, CEO Lee Sooman, and the members over and over again (laughter). Because it was an overwhelming moment and my heart was full, I wanted to cry, but because I had to express my thoughts, I tried to keep my tears in (laughter). Thanks to that, amongst the fans, the invisible tears became a speaker.” (Suho)
-I think you guys wouldn’t be able to just spend the day away because of your emotional hearts from first place.
“Because we had practice the next day, we played by taking pictures and celebrating amongst ourselves.” (Baekhyun)
“We ate black bean noodles that were quite nice and beef (laughter). Our leader Suho hyung said he would pay so he even took his card but because we celebrated with over thirty people, our manager hyung payed. Sadly, Suho hyung only paid for the drinks (laughter). Next time we get first place, I think hyung will buy it.” (Chanyeol)
-Were there any other words after you won first place from chairman Lee Sooman?
“He contacted us saying really congratulations, and he also said although we got first place, to always be humble.” (Chen)
-I think this year is EXO’s year. Aren’t you piling a lot of records although it’s your first official album.
“Thank you for seeing it like that. I think we really were a bit lucky. Although our hiatus period was quite long, we worked that much harder on this album, and we put in our heart and soul. I think because they recognize those aspects, we are able to raise numerous records.” (Suho)
“I think we were able to get a good result from this album because the fans’ interests were as high as we have an attachment to the other songs and performance in this album. We’re really thankful that as soon as comeback news came out, there were a lot of talks about it.” (Lay)
“After the release, for one week we recorded 118,000 cds on the Hanteo charts. On KBS 2FM ‘Super Junior’s Kiss the Radio,’ the listener board was down and there were over one hundred thousand posts posted. When I see things like this, I think that our reaction must be hot (laughter).” (Xiumin)
“Like the hyungs said before, I think we were really lucky. I think it’s the result of not only domestic fans but overseas fans, especially the Chinese fans that love EXO, supporting us.” (Kai)
You guys promoted with six members and are now promoting with twelve members. I think there would be more good aspects but if you had to pick, in which aspect did you feel discomfort.
“First, a strong point is that although with six members, the performance on stage was fancy, with twelve members we are able to show a more closely packed form. If I had to pick an uncomfortable aspect, I think it would be when we wash up (laughter). We have five rooms and two bathrooms but when we get ready, we end up using two-three people to a bathroom. That aspect seems like a negative point but even that is happiness (laughter).” (Baekhyun)
“Because we have a lot of members, even we think that it’d be a bit hard to control us (laughter). We split into two cars to get around and even though in these living aspects there might be discomfort, because we are twelve members, we gain more strength, have more fun, and the days we stand on stage, our hearts always flutter.” (Chanyeol)
“Because we’re twelve members, when we’re doing our own schedules, it’s a bit tough and also when we’re working together with twelve members, there are some hard aspects in living. However, thanks to it, our twelve members were able to release our first album so there are more nicer aspects.” (Kai)
-I’m curious as to how you use your rooms with four managers, 16 people living together.
“The manager hyungs arranged the rooms. I (Chanyeol) Baekhyun Tao Xiumin, the four of us use the biggest room, and Luhan D.O Sehun use another room. And Kai Chen Suho together use a room while Kris hyung and manager, Lay hyung and manager use a room like this. We have five rooms and two bathrooms but like we said before, when we wash up, there are times when two-three members wash up together.” (Chanyeol)
-In the title song ‘Wolf and Beauty,’ what type of EXO’s charm can we see in the song.
“Because it’s a wolf concept, this style is to strut the stage as if possessed by a strong organism like a wolf. I think our charm is that although we’re like that, when we’re not on stage we have a puppy like form.” (Chanyeol)
“Starting from when I first heard the song, I thought ‘This is the song!’ We debuted first with the song MAMA and a lot of people were interested because of the grand and strong performance at the time. Because of that, during the time of comeback after one year, while we were wondering how we should bring about EXO’s strong point of performance, the song we met was ‘Wolf and Beauty.’ The song itself was fresh and because it’s a performance-based song, I thought we’d be able to embody it with our individuality.” (Suho)
“The song was fresh and the choreography that matched it was fresh as well. Especially because this song’s genre is a type that not a lot of people have tried so I thought we’d be able to nicely save our individuality and went on stage, the reaction was really good too.” (D.O)
“When we sing, because we have twelve members, our parts are limited but for choreography there is no limit and we can express the members’ intensity. I think it is a song where one can look at EXO’s choreography and without pointing out a specific member, the individuality is shown, and us twelve’s color is shown well.” (Chen)
-What does EXO do in everyday life. If you had a hobby.
“Because the place we live is close to the Han river, we go there often to bike ride or play basketball. We like playing soccer and badminton as well and we also go shopping by ourselves at night too.” (Xiumin)
“We like to go to the gym or exercising but there are also times where we simply spend time by riding bikes by ourselves. Whatever we do, it’s fun when we’re together.” (Chen)
“On the weekends when there are no schedules, we occasionally cook but recently because we’re together as twelve members, there are more times where we go out to eat or order food.” (Kris)
-I’m curious of the members’ ideal types.
“I like a person with pretty eyes. A person with eyes that are clear and pretty that I can only see their eyes is my ideal type.” (Chen)
“I like Miranda Kerr. She came to our country this time but because I wasn’t able to meet her I was sad (laughter).” (Sehun)
“I like the style that is cute and round. And not too skinny.” (Baekhyun)
“Looking far, the person must have similar music taste as me and a person who has a similar gag code and can speak well is my ideal type. These days I haven’t talked to a girl so it’s hard to really exactly pick someone but in terms of foreign actresses, Scarlett Johansson is my foreign ideal type.” (Chanyeol)
“A woman that is as beautiful as an angel is my ideal type (laughter).” (Kris)
“There’s no thing called falling in love at first sight but while meeting, I like a person that can relate with me.” (Xiumin)
“I like a girl who has long hair and has knowledge in Literature. I like a girl who although her image is pure, her personality is unruly (laughter).” (Suho)
“First off a kind girl is my ideal type and I think I’d like it more if her face was also small and pretty (laughter).” (Lay)
“Although externally I like long hair style, quiet, and a white skin toned girl, I think the most important part is someone who can relate with me.” (Luhan)
“I like a girl who smiles well and her smile is pretty. In terms of foreign actresses, Amanda Seyfried is close to my ideal type.” (D.O)
-To where is EXO’s goal for this year planned.
“This year I want to receive a good and big award (laughter).” (Kris)
“Because we received the rookie award last year, this year we set a goal that is a little bit better. This year we want to stand at a place that is a little bit higher than the rookie award, next year a solo concert, and three years from now I want to do an Asian tour. Although seeing the seniors do world tours, it’s cool, for now we set our goal like this.” (Suho)
“And our final goal is to become Korean and China’s icon. I want to work hard so that the phrase of having no end matches well with EXO.” (Chanyeol)
“Perhaps it’s because after we finished promotions for our single ‘MAMA’ and then had a comeback after a long time, but I missed the stage. I’m so happy right now and it’s more fun because it is the first time our twelve members are officially promoting in Korea.” (Kai)
“Rather than doing a comeback, I want to work harder and not lose the heart of when we were rookies and receive acknowledgement.” (Chen)