Junsu: This tour is an extension of the worldwide album, not a new one. There’s nothing much changed for this tour. Instead, we are going to have European dancers on stage with us. A popular star in Spain (Rafa Mendez). He dances passionately, with acrobatic skills. We combined those kind of dances with our performance. That could be the difference.
Q. It’s the first solo concert in Europe, unlike combined concerts of other companies. You mentioned that being able to narrate or do a storytelling is a difference(between JYJ’s concert and other combined concerts). What does that mean?
Junsu: In a project concert by companies, many singers show up, sing their title songs, and that’s all. However, JYJ can show diverse things through talking. The difference starts from there. The dance songs and ballads have a story. On the other hand, when singers just sing their own songs and leave the stage, it could be awkward when moving on to a ballad after a dance music. Those are the different points. In other words, this is a performance in Europe, putting up our team’s name, not a company’s title. It’s meaningful for the fact alone that we made the first step in Spain and Germany, where no one tried before.
Q. Do you realize the K-pop fever, as you’re actually in Europe?
Jaejoong: I think the K-pop fever we imangined is exaggerated. In Thailand and China, you can hear K-pop just walking on the streets. You can also commonly see selling (K-pop) CDs. To be honest, in Europe, it’s hard for a star to feel the fever if not around the venue. It’s a step where K-pop market is just initiating. The fire is about to start. People are calling it K-pop fever in Korea, because there are more and more Hallyu manias forming as time goes on. Because there is this fever, they want to know about K-pop. In our case, it’s a small scale performance, as it is an exclusive concert. It’s a concert without profit. To tell the truth, if there’s no profit, usually there are no plans for a next concert. Because we need profit for a next concert. However, we are performing, looking into the future.
Q. How was the response of the Spain audience?
Yoochun: When we see a fan from a country, we see the culture of the country. We could see the culture of Spain. It was powerful, unlike the passion we experienced in Asia. It made us think we would like to have more concerts in this country. If the stage gets bigger, I think that feeling will grow too.
Junsu: The fans drew out that power. When it was over, we felt like we did something more than we could actually do. They drew out a kind of energy, an energy impossible to draw out intentionally.
Q. I think you will feel like promoting the national glory when you perform in Europe like this?
Yoochun: It gives us more paths to go, and we feel responsibility on our shoulders, making us not think it is because we’re good. In a way, it is a concert that makes us not settle (for the current situation.) At performances in Europe, we try to be honest, without bubbles. We try to be not shy at articles saying, ‘we are this popular in Europe.’
Jaejoong: How many artists will there be among Asian artists, able to make a bubbleless, honest performance in a small venue, doing the first concert in Europe? Someone could say it was successful, even though it was not, but we don’t like that.
Q. What do you mean by ‘more paths to go’?
Jaejoong: When we performed in Japan, we had about 200,000 people per concert. We have nearly 1,000,000 people when we have four concerts, two in Osaka and two in Tokyo. When we have concerts in big venues like that, even we start to settle for our position, thinking ‘Where would be bigger than here in the future,’ or ‘Do we have a place to go up,’ and start to be too proud. It’s painful for an artist if there’s no goals to achieve anymore. However when we have smaller concerts in other countries and see the empty seats, it becomes a new goal for us, rather than a hollow feeling.
Junsu: We had to start from the very bottom in Japan too. We felt our popularity becoming more strong and solid, and at last, achieved a grand slam. It is right to start like this in Europe too.
Q. Isn’t it hard, not able to appear on music shows in Korea?
Junsu: It’s sad when we people look down on us, saying we aren’t popular. It feels terrible when they belittle us, like lowering the number of fans to prove they’re right.
Q. How do you think the relationship will be with the seperated members?
Yoochun: I thought ‘is it that hard to reunite?’ when I was young, watching teams breaking up like Seo Taeji and Sechs Kies. It is hard. Because it’s not what we, just the five of us, can do. It’s difficult to give you a definite answer.
Anchor: It’s about 10pm there, right?
Junsu: Yeah..nice to meet you..it’s morning here.
Q. It’s a day before the Berlin concert. How do you feel? Nervous?
A. Excited, rather than nervous. I think because we have an experience in Barcelona, Spain, the tension and excitement is lasting. We’re preparing well for a better stage.
Q. I’ve heard a lot about the Spain concert. Some says you danced more powerfully, encouraged by the fans’ wild appluase.
Q. How were the European fans’ response?
A. First, I was amazed that a lot of European fans recognized us when we were walking around. I think the response was so enthusiastic because Spain is the country of passion. We thought, the fans drew out something more than we got, not really because we worked hard.
Q. You answered modestly.
Q. An oversea concert is not an unfamiliar thing. Is there a paricular reason for choosing Spain and Germany, Europe among all the countries?
A. First, the geographical factor was dominant. We could embrace Western Europan fans in Spain, and gather Eastern, Northern European fans in Germany, so we put these into consideration. On top of that, in many apsects, we thought it would be meaningful to make a first step in a country where Kpop isn’t introduced directly.
Q. As you are the first to have a concert in Europe, it must have been not easy. I’m sure there were some hard parts.
A. First, it was a country that we, JYJ, have never been before even as a trip, and we were also worried about having our exclusive stage and performance in an unfamiliar country. However, we are so thankful that so many fans came, and it made us think we should make more chances to meet Euopean fans in the future.
Q. It was reported that you recieved favorable responses from the local press. Why do you think the Europeans like Kpop?
A. I think it’s probably because the Korean singers’ music improved so much and the music is so nice. A singer is defined by music, and I think there is a good response because the music is great. In addition, what should I say, Korean singers’ closeness? There is a sene of closeness, and through SNS, the effects related to that part amplified.
Q. They like Kpop because the music is great.. it is something natural, but it’s not easy to make the music ‘great’, right? I guess you’re proud about popularizing Korea by music to Europeans.
A. We are of course proud, but as much as proud we are, we feel heavy with responsibility, and it makes us think more about many things. When we take a step forward, we first think if this benefits JYJ, if this might be harmful to our country. Starting from there, we are working hard, thinking that nothing can be better than being able to let the world know about Korean culture, and show our own stage through these opportunities.
Q. You had concerts in Thailand and Japan. Isn’t the taste in music different in each countries?
A. Yes, I think the taste in music must be different in countries, but Kpop is especially recieving love all over the world. In that aspect, I think maybe Korean music has a special power, different from the power that other kinds of music have. Also, the fans who keep loving and listening to the music works as a motivation to make better music, and this circulates.
Q. You are saying the popularity of Kpop is global. Is there a moment you realized it?
A. As I said before, some people recognized us.. I walked around Berlin for a moment yesterday, and I saw JYJ posters hanging, and people recognized us. It was amazing, and pleasant. However, we should work hard and make a great show not to disappoint them.
Q. I’m sure you talked with other members. Have you ever talked about we made it this far?
A. It was rather more like, this is a chance to experience a new culture, and take a new step forward… if we stayed only in Asia, we could have settled for what we had, but taking this opporunity, a passion and desire to accomplish something more formed. And it also became a stimulation to us, to satisfy the fans with our music and JYJ schedules. Of course it’s meaningful to show our music through the Europe tour, but it also became a good stimulation for our music, and made us think we should work harder.
Q. What are you planning for after the concert?
A. This year, I think we’ll be having a short break after the Europe tour. We call it a break, but it could be a preparaion process for next year. Due to the individual schedules or the Europe tour, we didn’t have a chance to write many songs, so we’re also planning to write more songs for our next album, or our next step. We’re going to have a time to refresh ourselves.
Credit: YTN news
Translated by With Junsu