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March 11, 2011
Big Bang-- a theory of astrophysics that proposes the creation of the world. Big Bang-- the ultra-popular idol group that has released their fourth mini-album after a two year Korean hiatus, topping music charts all over, causing Mnet and SBS to create special comeback programs for them. On the 4th of March, Big Bang revealed within their interview about how, rather than thinking about chart ranking or promotions, they hope to begin an idol group culture different from the present and expressed wishes for the music market.
As the boys of Big Bang have been gone for so long, many fans are curious as to see how the boys' perspectives are now. Thus, the interview has revealed much about how Big Bang has grown as a group and how each member has begun to mature into even more unique, special artists.
Q: There was a lot of enjoyment in viewing "Secret Big Bang" (laugh) Did you plan to show the clip on air?
G-Dragon: Yes, we did plan on it.
Q: Then from the very start, you must have felt a lot of pressure about it.
TOP: We did. It was already nerve-wracking that we were making our comeback after two years and three months, and to make this funny, even after the original show was so popular, we felt additional pressure.
G-Dragon: If this was just for our concert, then we would have been able to make the show even more hilarious. However, since this was to go on national television, we had to make sure that we filmed all of it within broadcast regulations.
Q: You mentioned that you felt pressured. Then you must have felt similarly when Mnet and SBS decided to make special programs for your return.
TOP: What was most worrisome was whether or not people would feel that we were getting special treatment. That was pressuring. Therefore, we made a large effort to demonstrate that we are working hard and have become increasingly attached to every stage we perform.
Q: After such a long time, how did you feel putting on performances? After the past two years and three months, didn't you each develop stronger individual personalities?
Seungri: Prior to our comeback we had many people tell us that... What would we do if people saw us as individuals and not as the group Big Bang because each one of us has become rooted in the industry after so many solo activities? Would G-Dragon's part sound like his sound from the solo album? However, when we got back up on the stage, we became aware we still looked good together and worked well. To demonstrate that, we've worked as if we're just rookies again, just to show that.
TOP: (laugh) We've always worked hard...
Seungri: Yes, we have, but now we work twice as hard. Our leader was strict about the rehearsals - to the point that whoever was tardy had to pay a fine, according to him.
T.O.P: We were actually worried about it a lot, but now I feel the public likes the energy we bring individually. We have pride as well, though, in the fact that we wouldn't be who we are now if we had weren't Big Bang members. We will try to display as many aspects of ourselves as possible, as long as it doesn't become excessive.
Q: Keeping that in mind, was that how you started on your album? With the mindset that you need to work well together in a uniform manner?
G-Dragon: We tried not to, since we didn't want our album to become too similar to that. We have worked on this album for about two and a half years, and around a year and a half ago, "Tonight" came out. As Seungri mentioned, while the album might appear to be a five singer collaboration, the overall vibe does not come off like that. Big Bang is about how easily we flow together, in my opinion, despite our differences and how unlikely we appear to be able to work together. Instead of finding problems, I actually kind of had fun producing the song. I think the song showcases rather well how we harmonize together.
Q: I think it must've been fun putting together song "WHAT IS RIGHT" because it seemed like subtle changes in the song fall in line with vocal changes.
GD: Each person's voices give off different feels, right? Taeyang's voice is similar to an R&B style but is also thin. In contrast, Daesung's got a bold Korean voice? Seungri sounds mournful, while TOP has a rough, husky, manly voice. My voice, like how I talk, is thin. Producing is fun for me because we're all so different. Everyone balances out the song differently when our sounds are put together, so things never get dull. Each song may only be three minutes long but I think that's why it feels like that time goes by quickly.
Q: Did your album come out late because you were trying out a lot of variations then?
TOP: It had to do with us being in Japan and pursuing a lot of activities individually. We didn't even know two years and three months had passed. And it's not like any of us had taken time off either. Hence we felt a lot of pressure to make a comeback that would meet people's expectations and were careful in making a comeback because we thought harder about what we should do to give our fans better music.
G-Dragon: This may be something that has been said amongst fans as part of fandom but we hadn't been out in public for two years and three months so there was a lot of talk about us, including the fact that there's discord in our group. But we would have been under the same understanding as well, if we were the public because we weren't coming out as a group although we were saying we're getting along fine. At the same time however, we had a tough time whenever we heard of such talk because we would've liked for our fans to show more support for us who were preparing our new album. Should I say I was sort of disappointed? Because we were working hard to meet with our fans as soon as we could and making the album while experiencing growing pains but we were hearing otherwise. So I wanted to place things where they used to be after releasing this album.
Q: Speaking of fandom, I remember you saying on cable music channel Mnet's "Big Bang TV Live" that you don't want to become musicians that get trapped in fandom.
TOP: It's because we want to show how much we grow. We believed that we should show our individuality to the extent it isn't excessive rather than do things that any other group does for the public.
Taeyang: I think it's dangerous to let ourselves stay who our fans want us to be as our fandom gets bigger because we'll be inclined to think we must do that. But what I want is on the other side so limitations will form to the music that I want to do. That's why I think we'll be able to show how we've improved by doing what we want to rather than mind fandom too much.
TOP: It's not like we have a huge goal or that we're heading for something but we're in an environment where we can easily get trapped inside the structure of being idols in Korea. That's why I'm hoping we'll become a group that will show a lot of things without being trapped inside that, do music that people really want even if we're idols and resolve unhappiness and serve substitute satisfaction by listening to us.
Q: I think substitute satisfaction and resolution has to do with the attitude your team has, not just music.
TOP: I think we're about freedom, not fake freedom where we're pretending to be free on the outside. We get stressed a lot when we're trapped inside something.
G-Dragon: And I think that defines our group. It has become what Big Bang is about and what are performances and music are like. We'd probably end up being the same idol group as all other idols if we get trapped inside fandom or a lot of other things. But we wanted to go about things differently, we believed that what we think is right and my opinion comes first, so we made a lot of attempts musically. I think that worked with our fans as well and gave them good opinions of us.
Q: I think there are things the public allows you to do because of such an image. For example, playing the guitar, then breaking it in "TONIGHT" could easily seem like a show but it's accepted because it's Big Bang.
G-Dragon: I think it's an issue of confidence and we've come to gain the confidence that whatever we do will pretty much be okay. And that's why we do those things but it's up to us to make sure that it doesn't come off as excessive or strange to people. Of course we're actually embarrassed though. It's not like we're actually playing the guitar but it would show if we kept thinking we're embarrassed.
Q: As a team doing the music you want, you must have a lot of thoughts regarding how idol groups like TVXQ or SS501 have recently split and go their own ways.
G-Dragon: Of course because they're our senior and junior singers. The reason we've ended up a bit different from them is that we resolved our differences in music through our solo activities. I think that's why we fight less or agree less when we're back as Big Bang compared to other groups. I think these are issues that go down to how they're solved when they came about so it would've been better if they had looked further ahead on a broader perspective.
Posted by Asterik @ Koreaboo