Here is the interview with 10 asia
2PM | We are extremely excited because we got a really great song for our new single.
When did time go by so fast? It’s been almost a year since 2PM debuted. In that time, they released 2 mini-albums, got 1st place on pop programs, appeared in their own cable variety show, and along the way lured in many ‘customers’ (fans) like a giant fishing net. Thanks to their tightly packed schedule, <10Asia> actually had to book the photoshoot and interview session on different dates. I wonder how 2PM are reflecting on the past busy and extravagant year. I heard the stories of the humorous 2PM, who are still busy after ending ‘I Hate You’ promotions.
10: I think your popularity is soaring as you promote the second album. Can you feel it?
Chansung: That’s a question we get asked often now. (*laughs*)
Jaebum: I can feel that the feedback on the 2nd album is better than the 1st. We even got 1st place, and there are more people turning up to fan signings.
Nichkhun: At first we didn’t expect much, but we were loved much more than that. I am thankful for our fans.
10: What were your feelings when you got 1st place?
Wooyoung: That moment is one of which is most memorable.
Taecyeon: I thought the screen was wrong. During promotions for ’10 out of 10’ and ‘Only You’ we always stood at the back. But when they announced 1st place, being up front was awkward. We had to say a little speech but I wasn’t sure what to say. Junho was yelling ‘Park NamYong!’ (JYP’s dance teacher). (*laughs*) The 1st place was unexpected, so it was hectic because I hadn’t prepared anything to say.
Nichkhun: I was really happy, but I think that was still a small award for us. That’s just the start, and from now I want us to work even harder to get even bigger awards.
“Even if we don’t practise much we all go crazy onstage once we start filming.”
Jaebum “I liked the concept of because we could do whatever we liked.”
10: Especially after ‘I Hate You’, I think the feedback got a lot better. I really think you guys have risen.
Jaebum: ‘I Hate You’ is just our follow-up song, but we got a Triple Crown for it on a program, so I was really surprised.
10: I felt that in ‘I Hate You’ the dance was the opposite of ‘Again & Again’ because you were loosened up.
Chansung: Actually ‘I Hate You’ preparations were rushed. There were a lot of worries because we didn’t have enough practise, but once we went live, everyone went crazy.
Taecyeon: When we found out that ‘I Hate You’ was our follow-up song, there was only a week to go before our first stage. So there was no time to prepare, and Khun had to learn his moves the day before. Everyone had a hard time learning the dance because we only had about two days. I was so relieved that my rap part didn’t have a dance to it. Really! I was happy. (*laughs*)
10: Instead of the dance, Taecyeon’s growly (*laughs*) beast noises were a hit. What are the thoughts from the other members?
Chansung: Why did Taecyeon hyung do that? When we were recording it was only a ‘ye-ye’ but when we started performing in turned into more of a ‘Yeahuhyeahuh!’
Taecyeon: That’s not true. When we were recording, there was something wrong with my vocal chords. The songwriter wanted that kind of thing, so they asked for a throat-scraping voice like rapper DMX, but it was different from my usual style so it strained by voice. But as my throat got better and when we were promoting, the audience cheered me on so I strained harder and then… it was back to sore vocal chords.
10: For a while your nickname was ‘Businessman Ok’, what’s the story behind changing to beast?
Taecyeon: Because I was growling doing ‘I Hate You’, people described me as a beast. Actually when we were trainees, everyone teased me, calling me beast. During MBC Every1’s the nickname ‘Businessman’ stuck and made my image quieter, but I think the true me has been unveiled.
Wooyoung: I think he’s drunk on himself.
Junsu: My little brother is at military, and he called when we were doing our last official performance for ‘I Hate You’. Usually soldiers only like girl groups, but 2PM is popular there too. But he told me that lots of them exclaim; “Oh, don’t take it off, don’t take it off!” when it’s the part where Taec takes his sunglasses off. Because it’s so strong…
Wooyoung: Not because it’s weird?
Chansung: Oh, I think we have to apologise to Taecyeon hyung now. Say that hyung looks cool even to us, or about how awesome the beast noise is, stuff like that.
Junsu: I think we’re a step too late. (*laughs*)
10: I think Junsu has become stronger in the last few months.
Wooyoung: It’s because he’s attacked by us all the time.
Junsu: I suppose that it was the only way to survive. (*laughs*)
10: There was lots of talk about the length of your part for the 1st album, but that’s improved in the 2nd, I think.
Junsu: Songs like 10/10 should disappear forever. Songs that only require my adlibs!
Chansung: Junsu hyung was quite upset then.
Junsu: I was so startled when we first got the song. I thought JYP hyung made a mistake.
Chansung: He had to do adlibs, but a few times the microphone didn’t even work onstage.
Junsu: Not a few times, most of the time. Sigh.
“Honestly, we can’t do much about our dorm. There are too many guys for that.”
Wooyoung: “Nobody understands Junho’s jokes. I’m the only one that laughs.”
10: Lately it feels like 2PM has ended music activities, and are doing TV activities. What was it like to get out of the dorm on Mnet’s ?
Junho: That day it was pouring rain so I wanted to sleep instead, but I felt like that would be the only chance to get out so I escaped with all my might.
10: You went to Hongdae, what were the people’s reactions when they saw 2PM?
Junsu: They were wondering why we were there.
Chansung: Truthfully, the only reactions we got were caught on tape anyway.
Junho: As well, there weren’t very many people because it was a weekday.
10: You struggled because of money problems, don’t you have wallets?
Wooyoung: Of course we have wallets.
Jaebum: It’s just that there’s no money in them.
Junsu: Yeah, because there’s 3200 Bahts in there and stuff. (*laughs*) We don’t usually need them.
10: revealed your dorm, and it was a total destruction of human rights. (*laughs*)
Wooyoung: That was one of our good days.
Junsu: It’s because there’s no room to put things. Since there’s 7 of us.
Jaebum: No, including our managers it’s 9. And fans give us presents every day, and there’s no time to clean up because of our schedule, and our housekeeper lady can’t handle it so she just leaves things there.
Chansung: As she comes in she just goes “Sigh….”
Junho: Once it was just me and her, and she said “You guys are gonna drive me into an early grave”.
10: Doesn’t Wooyoung want to clean up though?
Junsu: Wooyoung at least makes an effort.
Chansung: Wooyoung hyung has a habit of cleaning up.
Jaebum: Wooyoung picks up rubbish if it’s there, but now it’s too much to handle. Well, it’s 7 guys… Honestly, there’s not much that can be done. We’re so crowded.
10: In Jaebum’s room we saw piles of shoes.
Chansung: He just loves shoes and holds them dearly.
Jaebum: Since I have so many I can’t put them all by the front door.
Taecyeon: It’s not like we have a military uniform, so there’s lots of clothes, hideous amounts of shoes, and they must be colour co-ordinated.
10: Anyway, Taecyeon seems to be walking the path of a fashion terrorist. Wearing orange pants. (*laughs*)
Jaebum: Taecyeon just likes it when people go “OMG, are you out of your mind!?!” He wants attention.
10: Taecyeon couldn’t appear in the photoshoot. If he was there, I think he would have bragged about his artistic senses. (*laughs*)
Taecyeon: While I was watching, everyone except Wooyoung made my heart ache. Didn’t Wooyoung get lots of attention as ‘Toshio’ after the episode aired? (*laughs*) And if it were up to me, I would have expressed a traffic light. With a colourful background.
“If we do other programs like we do , there is the hazard of making a huge mistake”
Junsu “The photoshoot was the hardest moment”
10: What about the members who participated? The photos became a hot topic.
Jaebum: To be honest I liked the concept for best. Because we could do whatever we liked, however we liked.
Junsu: For me, it was the opposite as it was difficult and heart-wrenching. I planned the wrong concept.
10: Didn’t you choose Joker yourself?
Junsu: Yeah, but if it’s to be featured in an editorial it must be at least to some standard. I think that was my biggest mistake. In the second concept I coloured my eyes, but it was the same colour as the lighting so it didn’t show up.
10: But when you watch Wooyoung’s the one that does his best.
Junho: That’s his true self.
Junsu: He’s like that originally.
Wooyoung: I don’t lie.
Chansung: This kiddo is a bit… yeah.
10: Can the magnae say stuff like that?
Wooyoung: It’s magnae power.
Junsu: Sometimes he doesn’t say anything. But once he starts talking, you can’t stop him.
10: Wooyoung does a lot in cable shows like or where the members are free to do whatever, but becomes quiet in KBS or SBS .
Wooyoung: I’m comfortable when it’s just us, but in shows like that, there are sunbae-nims which makes things difficult. Sunbae-nims tell me to relax, but it’s not so easy.
10: I think you could if you treat it like ..
Wooyoung: ………. There is a major risk of making a giant mistake.
10: Apart from , Mnet also became a hot topic. Wasn’t Taecyeon worried?
Taecyeon: The response wasn’t as vicious as I thought. I know because I monitor frequently on the internet. (*laugh*) But it was quite scary when someone cut out the lady and only left photos of me. Hahaha. I filmed with a business mind, to be honest. The reason that idol stars can’t have a girlfriend is because the fans might get upset, but it’s also because of the risk that some extreme fans might hurt her as well. I don’t think I did everything I would want to do for a real girlfriend.
10: Nichkhun appeared in Mnet as well.
Nichkhun: When the teaser was first released I was spoken badly about. “Why are you like this, why are you doing this?” But once the episode aired I think everyone was okay with it.
10: I think you treated the other person with manners.
Nichkhun: That is me. What you saw. If I get a girlfriend I want to be like that.
“In Thailand, we’re known as ‘Nichkhun’s 2PM’”
Nichkhun “1st place is just a start, I want to try harder to get even bigger awards.”
10: Nichkhun’s Korean has improved tremendously. And I think you’re getting used to variety programs too.
Nichkhun: In SBS there were a lot of things I wanted to do, but I couldn’t. I still remember those times. So now, I am quick to seize every opportunity. Because I missed them before. Now I am more fluent in Korean, and have a better idea of what’s going on.
10: What do you think is the similarity between Korean show programs?
Nichkhun: I don’t know about Thailand, but I think in Korea showing how hard you try is the best. Even if it means wrecking a perfect image, I think the point is to be as natural as you can without thinking about looking cool.
10: Before, you were a man that would laugh at everything, but now I think other elements have been added.
Nichkhun: Of course! Back then in talk shows, my only expression was smiling. But now there’s things I can show, and many more expressions. And we don’t care much about our image. If you think about it, you get stressed at how you might be captured. But I think that if you have fun, viewers will have fun too.
10: 2PM went to Thailand, Nichkhun’s home country. What are your thoughts?
Jaebum: The feedback in Thailand was extremely hot. We released a special album, and 8000 copies were sold in a week, so we even got a Golden Disc award. We also met the prime minister. I heard we were the first foreign singers to meet the PM. I was very happy.
Taecyeon: So the media in Thailand was quite surprised, and the Prime Minister was very good-looking. Of course Khun hyung is better looking still. (*laughs*)
10: What did the Prime Minister say?
Junho: He only talked to Khun hyung… It was really Khun & 2PM.
Junsu: Even the press headlined it: Nichkhun’s 2PM.
10: Is Nichkhun really that popular?
Chansung: The best.
Jaebum: He really seemed like a Thai prince.
Junsu: He’s a prince in Korea too.
Jaebum: In Korea, he’s loved-by-everybody Khun, and in Thailand he’s just really a prince.
10: How did you feel, Nichkhun?
Nichkhun: I was nervous. It had been a long time since I spoke for so long in Thai.
10: You even appeared in a Thai talk show.
Nichkhun: There, the people asked me unusual questions. Was I gay, did I get plastic surgery… Truthfully I liked those questions. They weren’t the same-old same-old.
10: You went over it naturally without faltering.
Nichkhun: I’m usually honest, and try to make sure nothing bad happens. So there was nothing to hide. I can answer straightforwardly if a question is asked.
10: You even played the piano and sung there, I think you are better at expressing emotions than before. How do you get vocal training, being so busy and all?
Nichkhun: There’s no time to get lessons so I sing while moving to and from places. I practise when I have time. I might need to sing someday.
10: I suppose that’s the only way to do it, because of your schedule. Do you have any problems lately?
Nichkhun: I want to practise lots, and get better at everything. Because I don’t want to hear from others that I’m not very good. But it is a bit hard lately because we have so much to do.
“The dance for ’My Ear Candy’ was easier said than done”
Junho “I think my wits are best left offscreen.”
10: But hey, I think Junho doesn’t participate in the conversation much, unless talked to.
Junho: Well, the conversation isn’t about me.
Wooyoung: There are hidden thorns under what he says.
10: Then I’ll ask Junho. (*laugh*) Do you think you’ve got the hang of variety programs now?
Junho: It must be better than when we did for 1st album promotions. I’m human too. (*laugh*)
10: How do you think?
Junho: Before when you said ‘Variety’ I was desperate to be funny, but now I’m more acquainted with timing. I learn from what Wooyoung or Jaebum hyung does.
10: When was the highlight of your variety potential?
Junho: Recently I did Outsider’s rap on radio, but I failed.
Jaebum: That was crackup.
Wooyoung: Usually he’s really funny. But I think I’m the only one that laughs. I don’t think the other members understand.
Chansung: I laugh occasionally.
Junho: ‘Occasionally?!’ I think my jokes are better left offscreen.
10: But Junho became a hot issue because of the highlight part in ‘Again & Again’.
Junho: Really? In the 2nd album I got the highlight so it was cool, but as we changed to ‘I Hate You’, I just dance at the start and disappear so…
10: During activities you even sung ‘Seosi’. The fans’ reaction was good.
Junho: I think I’ve improved, but I think they took it well because it was my first time singing a serious song after watching me dance on TV. (*laugh*)
10: Taecyeon also did a ballad number at the fan meeting.
Taecyeon: Originally I liked rock, and as I came to Korea I fell for black music. But in the last six months I’ve been listening to Kim DongRyul sunbae-nim’s songs so I sung a ballad. Maybe because I’m a rapper, I started wanting to sing more. And I chose a song like that on purpose because I didn’t want everyone to think that I could only do rapping. I practised for about three months.
10: The stage setup was quite simple.
Taecyeon: Actually I was going to wear a Burberry coat and a felt hat, but Junho and Khun already snatched the ‘comic code’ off me. My humorous side failed, so that was a bit disappointing.
10: But lately isn’t Taecyeon more of a beast code than a comic code? There are a lot of fans saying how sexy you are when singing with Baek Jiyoung.
Taecyeon: We’re kids with such distinct personalities and qualities, so when it was just me I wanted to show more of myself. The song’s concept is quite sexy too.
10: The dance moves look more comfortable than something clearly worked out. Like clubbing, I guess?
Taecyeon: Actually it’s not comfortable at all. When I first saw the moves it was quite daunting. Especially what I was gonna do with my pelvis…
10: And putting your hand on her hip?
Taecyeon: I was really surprised because the dance required me to touch her lots. I’m the same Chinese zodiac as Baek Jiyoung noona (12yr age gap), but she treats me well like an older sister.
“The new single is a style that’s never before seen in Korea”
Chansung “Even if we don’t get much practise everyone goes crazy onstage once we start”
10: I think you show different sides of you as you do individual activities. Jaebum mixed acrobatics and B-boying while skipping ropes in KBS . Does your style change when you mix acrobatics with the B-boying you did before?
Jaebum: Before, I didn’t do acrobatics while B-boying. Too dangerous. I just mix it in as we learn it. And truthfully I haven’t had much time to practise my break-dancing so my skills have decreased. A little while ago I went to the States and saw by B-boy friends. I was a bit disappointed that I had to leave after just a week, because I hadn’t seen them in 3 years.
10: Do you ever feel like blaming your boss for the hectic schedule? (*laugh*) Nichkhun even said once that he couldn’t forgive JYP in a talk show.
Wooyoung: Me, I love my boss…
Junsu: I love him. We all love him. Do you think you’re the only one that loves him?
Chansung: If you had a little sister would you pair her up with him?
Junsu: He’s lost his marbles, I say.
Junho: We all respect him. (*laughs*)
10: The boss is currently around Wonder Girls in America. Have you seen the photo of him up a tree?
Junsu: Why was he up a tree?
Junho: Because of the Wonder Girls.
Chansung: I was a ‘Dumb hyung’ character in MBC , and every time I look at that photo I think that character is a bit… There were similar comments as well.
Junsu: And there’s the photo where he eats dduk (Rice cakes).
Chansung: Ssukdduk at that. (Sagebrush?)
10: Does he usually eat that much?
Jaebum: He eats it very well.
Chansung: Usually in the mornings.
Junho: But how did he find it in America?
10: But you must receive songs from the dduk-eating boss you are teasing right now. (*laugh*) How are the preparations for the new single?
Taecyeon: I feel like dying because we keep working on it without a break. (*laugh*) I have to promote with Baek Jiyoung noona as well so personally, I lack practise time compared to the other members. We have to go practise for the next album early in the morning. But Jinyoung hyung has written a monstrous song for us so we’re extremely excited. It’s amazingly new, never seen in Korea before.
10: At the end of the year, there will be important stages; do you want to do anything in particular?
Jaebum: I’m quite greedy. I like performances like on MTV’s . Or remixing one of our songs.
Junsu: I think a joint performance will be fun too.
10: 2PM can grow if you promote more after releasing your next single. What goal have you made for yourselves, bearing in mind the year-long experiences since becoming 2PM?
Taecyeon: I think it’s really good to keep the bigger picture in mind. I like being 2PM, who runs ahead with a big dream. And since we’ve seen the growth process of Rain hyung and the Wonder Girls, I realised it’s not impossible to become an international group. I want to learn from that.
Nichkhun: Firstly I want us to receive the GayoDaesang (A major popular song award). But I think it’s wrong to have that as our only goal. I want to dream of bigger things.
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