"There are mountains left to climb"
BTS talked about their future steps.
BTS was awarded a Top Social Artist Award continuing on from last year. Billboard on May 24 forecasted BTS' FAKE LOVE to top Billboard Hot 200 next week.
They began with no.1 on the lists of major music charts in and out of the countries, bringing a sweeping shift in the music industry. BTS, who had an initial goal of charting in Billboard now achieved many things.
Even when they were surprised by their own records, they mentioned about bigger aim "Although it sounds too grand, it's always better to dream big. We would like to rank no.1 on Billboard 200 and Hot 100, and would also like to visit Grammy Awards. We want a stadium tour, and want to become the most influential artist in the world. We never spoke this out because it's an overreaching goal, but will go forward of it since we breathed a word today."
BTS returned to Korea from the US on May 23 with Billboard Music Award Trophy and held a comeback press conference at Crystal Ballroom, Lotte Hotel Seoul on May 24 11 am.
-It's not possible to leave out your records and grades on the third full album. It swept major music charts in and out of the country.
JIN "We long-awaited the album to release like our fans did. It was late at night in the US but I was awake to listen to the album together with ARMYs. I really enjoyed fans' response. Thanks for liking our album."
SUGA "It would be a lie if I say I've not concerned about our official album after 1 and half years of break. There was an ambivalent feeling inside me, where a concern and excitement both existed. Thanks for loving us. We really feel happy these days."
JIMIN "The records always amaze us. We appreciate the loves and supports from all around the world. We are always thinking of how we can repay our fans' support but concluded that most appropriate way is to pay back with more passionate, sincere performances on stages. We'll do our best."
-Can you briefly guide me through your third full album?
RM "LOVE YOURSELF is the album with 4 steps in composition: introduction, development, turn and conclusion. LOVE YOURSELF: TEAR is the third series of LOVE YOURSELF. LOVE YOURSELF: HER, a development part of the series had an album structure while introductory part LOVE YOURSELF: WONDER had a film structure. While these two former series conveyed romance and fluttering emotions, recently released album LOVE YOURSELF: TEAR delivers the sorrow of parting. It tells that parting is inevitable when one faces a fake love. It may seem that break-up also is part of the growth stages. We've attempted the concept of Emo Hip-hop for the first time, which might be quite unfamiliar to the audiences. It's rock guitar sound and groovy trap beat evoke melancholy atmosphere, and that atmosphere perfectly describes what this song is about. In our means, FAKE LOVE is a song well-elucidating one's parting."
SUGA "We concerned a lot on the title song FAKE LOVE before its release. However, we immediately felt this song would be a hit once the song started. This song gave us the confidence. I really liked it."
J-HOPE "The dance move cannot be left out. While DNA was rather energetic and bright, this song comparatively is cold and dark. Poppin dance moves were added to show the dynamics of the song."
-What was the greatest concern while working on the album?
SUGA "LOVE YOURSELF: HER was loved more than our expectation. We tried to walk our musical path while making the songs appeal to the mass and to satisfy the audiences who loved LOVE YOURSELF: HER. It was tough to come up with better outcomes with converging elements. We wanted growth in us along with our albums and craved to show diverse styles and capability."
RM "It was an honor to receive such spotlights. Each individual varies in their preference, and thus we held a dilemma whether how much of those preferences should be accorded with our identity. Many of the artists tend to release single tracks these days and I thought it consequently drops the concentrativeness on albums. In the midst of such trend, we came back with a full album of 11 songs with a structure of intro and outro. These were produced with the focus on how these all collaborate like a saw-toothed wheel. It's been a week since the release, and I personally evaluate that this album is reinforced with connectivity between tracks."
-SUGA said Outro: Tear'was the most challenging song in production.
SUGA "The verses were the toughest part. This hip-hop song sampled the main theme song of LOVE YOURSELF Highlight Reel by Shin Myung Soo producer who was nominated for Emmy Award as the first Korean. I concerned how this song should be handled, as it has a definite emotional path and I sought to express the song in a bit of different way. But thankfully the outcome was satisfying."
-You guys were awarded Top Social Artist at BBMAs for two years in a row.
RM "It was our second time receiving this award, and it got me thinking in many ways since "top social artist" doesn't really sound familiar. Some of our fans said our music changed their lives, and some said our music comforted their dark times. Their remarks loomed large to us. "Social" relates to society, and it gave us another opportunity to think back how BTS is connected to society. I really appreciate the meaning of the award."
JIMIN "ARMY didn't leave us nowhere, and we felt proud of our fans like how they feel toward us. We could not have earned this award without fans' presence. We should repay with better performances."
-You disclosed FAKE LOVE on BBMAs for the world premiere. Just after 4 days of its release, there was a 'group singing'.
V "It wasn't quite enough for us to receive an award without performing in last year's BBMAs. It really felt good this time. It was an honor to have a comeback stage on BBMAs. ARMYs all over the world waited for our comeback, and we felt proud to disclose our comeback stage at such honorable place."
JUNGKOOK "I never expected our group to stand on BBMAs, but it was indeed thrilling to have a comeback stage on BBMAs. It was touching to see our fans singing our songs word for word. ARMYs presence at the venue was the greatest encouragement to us."
-What were your impressions about experiencing BBMAs?
J-HOPE “We met so many artists that we like. I was so proud and honored to meet artists that we always liked, like Taylor Swift, John Legend, and other great artists.”
JUNGKOOK “We met a lot of celebs, It was so cool to hear that they’re a fan of us. In the middle of awards, when TV ads were being aired, celebs came to our seats and chatted and took photos with us. It was a pleasant experience.”
-JUNGKOOK’s abs flash was selected as one of the best moments of BBMAs.
JUNGKOOK “Yes, I heard that. I guess I’ll have to work harder on my abs while we’re promoting FAKE LOVE
-The fact that you guys didn’t attend any after-parties with famous pop stars was also an issue.
J-HOPE “In fact, we had a lot to do after BBMAs. We had to do a live broadcast for our fans and to be honest, we preferred to drink champagne just with our members than to go to an after-party. Also, everyone was tired due to jet lag. Sleep was more important.(Laughs)”
-Kelly Clarkson, the host for this year’s BBMAs, introduced you guys as ‘the biggest boy band.’
JIN “I thought if we could really deserve a compliment like this, when Kelly Clarkson, who we look up to, called us ‘the biggest boy band’. It was an honor. I think we could hear those words, thanks to our fans who always give love and support to us. We are making good music, and working hard on our performances, but I believe it’s because of our fans’ cheering, that we could be called ‘the biggest boy band’.”
-What was your secret to becoming ‘the biggest boy band in the world’?
RM “Everywhere we go, ARMYs, or our fans are mentioned. They are the background we could gain such a huge love. I believe the reason was that we stayed faithful to the essence of our team; that we do music and performance that we want to do. We tried to make our music and performance as perfect as we can. We also tried to communicate with the public through social media as an idol and a celebrity. The fact that our contents spread through Youtube and our words were translated into countries all over the world, following the age of new media, also played a big role.”
-Billboard predicted that FAKE LOVE will be ranked No.1 on ‘Billboard 200’ chart next week.
SUGA “We heard about the prediction, but it doesn’t feel real now and I think we should see the result. Now, we are half anxious, half thrilled. It would be good to be No.1 but we don’t want to cling to that.”
-You guys are a sixth-year group. You would be praised just by doing what you do well. But you guys always try new things.
SUGA “Even though we can make results similar to existing results by doing what we do well, the reason we keep trying new things is probably are competitions within us. When there’s a member who does something better than ourselves, we think, ‘Oh I should try harder’. We have positive influences on each other.”
RM “To be honest, when we first debuted, we had a simple goal to make good music and to show that many people. However, thanks to all the love we received, we could broaden our perspectives in bigger places. To speak in more detail, we cared about one measure of a rap in the past, but now, we look at one line of the lyrics, then a verse, then the entire song. Then, the whole album. Thanks to BigHit Entertainment’s support, we could experience various things and learn a lot. We also became interested in the narration and systematic parts of the albums too. I think we’re working harder as all seven of us each got a goal now.”
-After LOVE YOURSELF: Her, you guys released a new album in eight months and it’s a full-length album. Quite a lot of fatigue must have been accumulated?
SUGA “Eight months can be short for some people, but long for others. We released a full-length album with many tracks, but the way BTS work, it goes around perfectly like cogwheels. Eight months are not such a short time for us, since a producer organizes things, as we do our job perfectly in our own places. This was possible since we have the history of working together this way. But the accumulated fatigue is indeed huge. Fatigue builds up every album, as we have to start promoting right away when we release an album. However, I personally believe that we should take good care of our mental health and manage our health well. ”
RM “BigHit Entertainment tries hard to minimize our fatigue and musical burdens. They scouted new producers and are constantly preparing work with overseas experts. Therefore, doing our best is the answer for us.”
-JIMIN recently received a death threat. Perhaps for that reason, you had a grim face at departure to the US
JIMIN “The (grim) face was because of the two-days-long shooting for the ‘comeback show’ and also because I stayed awake on purpose for the long flight. Many fans are worrying too much since it was the second time after last year. But I have no time to be swayed by those words and staffs are helping me from my side, so I’m okay. I see many fans worried, but please don’t be.”
-We’re curious about your future steps.
RM “I think we should enjoy this moment right now. We get a lot of questions about our next steps or goals, but there are many mountains left to climb. We don’t know if we can take No.1 on Billboard 200 and we haven’t done a stadium tour yet. Even if we do achieve those goals, I believe doing the best every moment and working as hard as we can is the most ideal future steps.”
-If you would tell us a more specific goal?
RM “To tell the truth, we said we’ll aim for No.1 on Billboard 200 while we were preparing for this album. We went up to No.28 on Billboard Hot 100 last time, so we said let’s aim for No.10 this time.”
SUGA “It might sound too grand, but I want to take the top on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Billboard 200. I also want to go to the Grammys and do a stadium tour. We would like to be the most influential artist in the world. It seems difficult to achieve so it wasn’t easy to say. But now that I did, we’ll run for that goal.”
By Bongbong, Soohyoun Nam, and Jaeyeon Ryu email@example.com