POP: Firstly, congratulations on ‘Wolf and a Beauty’ winning first place! The sales for your first official album are completely daebak!
EXO: Oh Wah Oh~ Thank you (currently applauding clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap)! POP: Next up, the promotions for your follow up track are soon about to begin. ‘Growl’ has given many people the feeling that it will be a huge success, it sounds really good. We really want to know, what do you think is the biggest killer (T/N: what they think is most powerful and affects the fans the most)?
SUHO: (looks at LUHAN) Say it.
LUHAN: (blurts out Korean) Rather than saying that it is killer, why don’t we say that it is the charms of our follow up track?
POP: You can explain it that way as well.
LUHAN: Mm, I feel that we are rather confident in terms of it being fresh and appealing; what we must say is that ‘Growl’ has a melody that is unusually addictive. After listening to it once, you will be able to sing it, right? (Xiao Dang nods) In our previous album, there were many songs with different genres, but this song is different from them all. When we first heard it, we liked it a lot, and got captivated by it.
BAEKHYUN: (To Xiao Dang’s recorder: I am Bo Xian) With ‘Growl’ we acknowledge the melody and lyrics. Be it the recording or dance practices, we enjoyed it very much. The choreography this time has been matched with unique dance moves, using a lot of crotch and waist, but it will give fans a brand new feel, and will give the masses a different kind of impact visually.
LAY: I’d like to add on that this song has a very different style from the previous ones we’ve shown. When it comes out, you’ll know – its beat is very clean, and the melody easy on the ear. It is easy to get addicted to the chorus, and as a whole, this song gives a laid-back feel. You can say it’s sexy yet cool; it’s very fresh.
POP: Actually, both ‘Wolf’ and ‘Growl’ emphasise dominance. ‘Growl’ kind of gives off a, ‘don’t touch my woman’ tone. In the lyrics, there are many suggestions and lots of sexiness. When you guys were digesting these lyrics, did you not feel shy or anything?
SUHO: This … actually, the lyrics are quite meaningful, no? It’s not something particularly targeted at a certain audience, it’s not just for older people, younger people, or people of the same age … The lyrics are something that is not hard for everyone to digest, so when we sing it it’s even more natural, not too hard to deal with.
TAO: Didn’t you talk about the feeling just now, it’s something that can only be felt.
LUHAN: Hahaha it’s not as complicated as what he said. Actually, with our first official album, what we wanted to showcase is our growth during this period of time. I think that one of the points of our growth is being able to express lyrics that take on a more mature perspective.
LAY: Our songs previously had a lot of romantic lyrics to do with fairy tales and fantasies. The lyrics now are starting to emphasise a more mature feeling. It’s more realistic, and it’s able to reflect on our growth.
POP: Because ‘Wolf’ sold really well, has it created pressure for your activities with your follow up track ‘Growl’?
KRIS: It’s only with pressure that there is motivation. ‘Growl’ has opened up a brand new side of the members; we cannot wait to show these differences, we cannot wait to start the performances for ‘Growl’. ‘Wolf’’s results have urged us not to be burnt out but to continue moving forward. Of course, we do hope that ‘Growl’ can have good results too. Up till now, it is most regretful that this year we haven’t been able to show brand new stages to the fans in China as we have in Korea, but the fans still spare no effort in supporting us. We have no reason not to continue working hard, to make up for what is lacking.
POP: So the sexy feeling and melody has been matched with an equally sexy dance. In the moves, what draws people’s attention is that you’ve maintained neatness like that of sharp-as-a-knife dances, while simultaneously there’s a freestyle feel. What is the point (T/N as in the focus) of this choreography?
KAI: Actually this song uses hip hop as a base, so regardless of the song itself or the dance moves it all emphasises rhythm. You can see lots of our movements that have ‘strength’. But it is different from the magnificent charisma with a musical-like atmosphere in ‘Wolf’; because of ‘Growl’’s street style, it further emphasises personality and an easygoing demeanour.
POP: Speaking of dance movements with personality, ‘Growl’’s choreography gives people the feeling of breathless handsomeness. Why don’t the main dancer line talk about this?
LAY: (Looks at KAI, the latter hand signals to him, ‘please do it instead’) After looking at the dance you would be able to tell that compared to the ‘strength’ from last time, this song’s dance focuses on ‘feeling’. Other than guaranteeing a neat sharp-as-knife dance, we have also specially designed many details. (Dang: Caps!) Hahaha yes yes, that is one of the details. When choreographing, the choreographer required us to dance out the mature feel that was mixed into the lyrics. Some movements are very daring and rather challenging, but I feel the members have executed it very well.
POP: In the dance, the crotch moves are very daring, but the waist moves are actually very dangerous, the floor moves are not any less than those in ‘Wolf’. On a whole, it is very challenging – was anyone unable to complete it?
CHANYEOL: (Realises that Xiao Dang kept looking at him while asking this question) ^皿^ It was indeed very hard while we were practicing, but because we had to care about the entire group, no one could escape. Everyone had to dance the entire choreography excellently for it to be okay.
KRIS: We still hope that everyone will have lots of anticipation for the stages of our follow up track.
SUHO: The members completed it very well. During the group dance part, I too felt that it was ‘very handsome’.
CHEN: You can say that we’ve discovered an entirely new look for the members on stage, and it has raised the level of completeness to the song.
POP: The follow up track has particularly revealed everyone’s manly beauty. The lines from everyone’s arm muscles are very striking. In the past, we already knew that XIUMIN’s arm muscles are very impressive, so this time, did everyone do special training?
XIUMIN: (after having his name mentioned, gets a little terrified) Ah, yes, thank you.
LUHAN: Before our comeback with the first album, everyone all paid particular attention to managing their own bodies, although it did not reach the extent of us heading to the gym. But everyone did do a lot of exercise, riding bicycles, playing basketball and so on. Furthermore, because of our training and daily schedules, we are required to dance a lot every day – actually the dance this time helps in creating muscles and lines. So, this is the result that everyone is seeing now.
Equal emphasis on wisdom and chastity
The manager is very nervous
“What happens if you’re showering and suddenly the water stops?” “What happens if you go up to the wrong person, but end up getting hit on?” “What kind of shocking things will you do to get back your girlfriend whose heart has drifted away?” “What will you do when you borrow another member’s laptop and see things that you weren’t supposed to see?” During questions like these, the members panicked or showed changes in their expressions. During this all, the manager who was standing at the side looked torn. Erkang reached his arm out and didn’t bring it back in.
But questions like ‘the water in the shower stopping’ and ‘getting hit on’, doesn’t everyone really want to know what they answered? The members looked like they found it really fresh and really wanted to answer … But since the ‘don’t touch my girl’ kind of attitude has already been displayed here, aren’t some questions unavoidable whether you’re trying to protect your idol image or not?
POP: During the ‘Wolf’ promotion times, “rich and powerful” was very relevant to EXO. We know that EXO have a lot of people who are like this in different areas. For example, the group has a “rich in older sisters” and also the “rick in bank books” right?
SEHUN, LUHAN & LAY: Yeah.
POP: But about the one who is rich in bank books, I’ve heard from the manager that it’s not disclosed. Then this has nothing to do with savings. Who is the one with so many clothes that it doesn’t even fit in the wardrobe and is even outside of it, the “rich in clothing”?
CHEN: This one’s totally great!
BAEKHYUN: The amount of personal clothes Kris owns reaches the point of even being quite terrifying – they’re all over the dorm. There are different styles, designs and a lot of them are designer too~~ Although, Kris-ge is really good with fashion. He has his own way of matching.
KRIS: It’s just, it’s alright, I guess, it’s that extreme. I just have a few more personal clothes than the other members.
POP: Then you should have quite a bit of makeup too, right? Then, aside from Kris, who else is quite careful with their wardrobe?
KRIS: Who else is there?
LUHAN: (looking at TAO) After debuting, everyone is quite careful with their image. But with their wardrobe, no one is that meticulous about it, just being natural is fine. Everyone has their own preferences, like with me, just something simple and comfortable will do.
TAO: (suddenly looking at Little Pop with eyes shining brightly) No matter what, it’s all in order to present an even cooler image to the fans.
EXO: Hahahaha (the members burst into laughter)
POP: Then who’s “rich in the soul”? (T/N: literally the ‘spiritual magnet’)
LAY: (dumbfounded) Rich in the soul?
LUHAN: Do you mean ‘chicken soup for the soul’?
KRIS: Do you mean someone whose inner world is remarkable?
POP: Actually, there are a lot of interpretations, you can think of it like that too. Then who’s “rich in the soul” as in, whose inner world is always wonderful?
CHEN: Our two ABStylers, I guess. When they’re thinking about the answer to questions or looking at things they’re always quite colorful, their actions are always unpredictable.
SUHO: I’m quite envious of the energetic and abundant heart of Tao’s. The more splendid one’s heart is, the more they yearn for. Therefore meaning that they would be filled with much more vitality, right?
POP: To be honest, “rich in the soul” can also mean “one’s breadth of mind is very vast and wealthy, being able to contain a lot of people.” This sort of meaning.
EXO: Oh! SUHO!
XIUMIN: That’s definitely Suho then.
BAEKHYUN: Suho-hyung is extremely rich in the soul, containing our all, he’s the person that worries about us everyday as soon as he opens his eyes.
LAY: When the mind is as broad as the sky.
LUHAN: As wide as the sea.
KAI: Always having taken care of us.
D.O.: The schedule ah, the matters needing attention ah, hyung is always the one who first thinks of it and does it before we even have. It’s really been hard on you.
POP: So during the rehearsal, did Suho give D.O some specific guidance?
SUHO: Yeah, you saw? Hahahahaha … If you say that I’m rich in the soul, I really can’t help feeling embarrassed and uneasy. But honestly, it’s because the kids are very reliable so that’s why I have to do my utmost best even more.
POP: So …… You are one.
EXO: We are one!
POP: Do you have any schedules for activities in China in the next half year?
KRIS: This really depends on the company’s plans, but our hearts that wish to come back even more are never changing. For example, today, every time we travel to China everyone’s really happy. It’s already been a year since our debut; I hope that all the fans will see us growing as well as changing images.
LUHAN: We really want to show our grown-up sides to the eager fans who have been waiting for so long.
LAY: We’ve prepared a number of stages that we have yet to perform on a mainland stage properly. Also we know that a lot of fans are waiting; every time we come they do their utmost best to make us feel welcome. I’m honestly incredibly grateful. So we will do our best no matter what so that they won’t have waited for nothing, we will not let them lose heart.
POP: You want them to feel as if it’s been worth it?
LUHAN & LAY: (nodding strongly) Yes.
POP: What situations are there that do not fulfill your desires?
CHANYEOL: There’s quite a lot that we are not satisfied with, one being that we want even more people to recognise EXO. But all idols are all in this situation, so that’s something we can’t change.
KRIS: So that’s why we’re working hard to reach this ambition of “allowing more people to recognise EXO.” Not only our fans, but we also hope that EXO may also leave an impression on normal citizens, allowing more people to get to know us, understand us. Also, we’re not saying that at the current moment we’re unable to fulfill our desires but truthfully it’s that we haven’t done enough, so the distance between us and our ambition is still great. We still need to continue to work hard.
POP: In particular, what aspects do you feel are incomplete?
LAY: We still needs loads and loads and loads of practice.
CHANYEOL: Yes yes yes, we still need to work hard.
TAO: Yep, body management.
POP: Tao once stated in one of our magazine’s interviews that in order to help your body become more flexible you’ve been doing yoga, is this still happening?
TAO: (remembering) Aah …… You’ve got a point ……
LUHAN: (laughs his head off) Get yourself together, explain it properly.
TAO: Yeah …… getting myself together …… Leader, help me out here.
KRIS: (never thought it’d end up on him) Ah? Aah?? Erm, the areas that we’re lacking. I feel that this year promoting in Korea is different from the previous activities in China; the intensity is greater, the pace is faster, and these are activities as a complete group as well. The members still require time trying to adjust their body and work pace and get used to it. Now, as we go through our schedules, the members are still very very exhausted. In this area, we still need to put in a lot of effort to adjust, and to reach our best condition.
CHANYEOL: In order to catch up with the rhythm and pace of the senior artistes, we have to digest such a pace.
POP: Then EXO-K, having come back to China after a year for activities as a complete group, what changes have there been to your state of mind?
CHANYEOL: I didn’t expect to find out that there were so many passionate fans when I came to China last year, and I want to express my heartfelt gratefulness. This year, coming back and seeing such warm faces, it feels just like seeing family.
BAEKHYUN: And China is so big, we’ve heard that this time many fans took a plane or train from far away just to rush over and see us. I’m really just too grateful.
SEHUN: (Called on by SUHO) Ah … There’s nothing I’m not used to, I can live well in any city. (Geges burst our laughing, LUHAN laughed till he was saying aiyo aiyo)
POP: So, using this interview as an opportunity, why don’t you, through this magazine, confess to the many fans who chase after you?
SUHO: (looks around the tables) Due to time constraints, let us four be the representatives! In this round of schedules, we’v received a more solid idea about just how much the fans in China like us. In previous schedules, it was the same; there would always be a large group of fans putting in all their efforts to chase us, support us. It is very tiring, so everyone please still take care of your health!
BAEKHYUN: Fans in China, we have properly received your unselfish love and passion, but at the same time we are a bit regretful. We have to do better so that we can be up to par with your sincerity that is like gold, so we will not stop working hard!
CHEN: Sorry that we were not able to come back here much, but we are working extremely hard so that we can come back, so don’t get anxious, just wait a little while more, yes?
KRIS: We have never stopped working hard, please believe our hearts that want to come back to China more often, and continue cheering us on, I love you! (makes a heart shape)