[INTERVIEW] BTOB, practice room ambushed! recall the 90s…

BTOB has set the 1990s alive. What do these guys who, born in the first half of the 90s, know about the 90s? BTOB revealed their stories in the 90s.

Lately, BTOB has been receiving attention with their comeback song, ‘WOW’. Due to famous group Deux and ‘Na Na Na’ hum which was brought in by Yoo SeungJun in the 90s, ‘WOW’ is a song that uses a familiar beat along with a modern twist which is enough for BTOB to touch hearts of many. Reporters have made a secret ambush on BTOB who tries to depicts the 90s, giving a glimpse in their day-to-day lives.

On the second floor of Cube Studio which is situated in Seoul’s CheongDamDong. BTOB was found wearing hips sacs and denim vests – an unfathomable complicated fashion. It was a village-like fashion along with some modern elements to it.  Even the atmosphere itself, did not let loose on the 90s memories.

Yook Sungjae was seen passionately playing with a yo-yo at a corner of the practice room. He said, “I will show you my yo-yo skills”, and he did a rare yo-yo move. Yook Sungjae swung the yo-yo and shown a “땅강아지” technique well. “Ah, I really did this everyday when I was younger. I remember,” as he described his childhood memories with smiles.

At another corner, BTOB’s leader Seo Eunkwang and vocal MinHyuk were absorbed in flipping cards. These guys were competing blowing to overturn these round cards. Eunkwang said with confidence, “When I was in my elementary school times, they sold lots of these in front of my school. I won over my classmates!”, as Minhyuk smiled subtedly and easily overturned Eunkwang’s card.

They had now gathered and started to play ‘딱지치기’ (flipping packet). We shall not reveal each of their ability in folding these packets, but them trying to fold the packets were cute. Especially Changsub who even tried to exert force in folding those packets. Changsub laughed mischievously and said, “Do it like this, and it will be thicker. It will be easier for others to flip it.” In order to prevent their packets being flipped that easily, Hyunshik and IlHoon continuously pressed it to be flatter, a different approach from Changsub. However, it was Peniel who took most of the attention with his packet. Peniel was seen folding something with much effort, as he laughed and did it in secret. Instead of a packet, Peniel’s hand was holding a paper crane. Peniel said, “Until I was 17, I stayed in America and I’ve never seen anything like packet. However, instead of packets, I’m good at folding cranes.”

After a happy time spent, we have brought on a talk session with BTOB who made their comeback after 5 months since their debut. They last stood on stage in May, and after 5 months were passed, they have once again made their comeback. They said that ‘WOW’ is a hidden card. Members have shown a keener and mature look as compared to debut times, and indeed looking even more handsome. Firstly, they were asked how did they spend their time (before comeback).

(Jung IlHoon) “During our hiatus period, we were practicing and preparing for this album, so we spent it busily. Also we have our individual broadcast activities too. We want to accumulate more broadcast and stage experience, although we do have our breaks, we felt more sense of responsibility to that extent. While we were on hiatus, I’ve lost 6kg. I’ve controlled my diet and exercise. (Laughs) As I lost my weight, I’m slowly hearing people saying that I’m good looking. Haha”

BTOB’s song this time round is a song that has an intense beat that reminisces of the 90s era. Their latest song, ‘WOW’, reminds us of Yoo SeungJun and Deux, and is able to cast a spell on those in their 30~40s age group. These guys who were born in the early 90s, it must be hard for them to understand the 90s style.

(Seo Eunkwang) “The fact is, we were still preschoolers and elementary school students. There are parts where we are not familiar with, but as we prepared (for this song), it indirectly gave us much insights to it. Also the 90s music itself was originally great too. Not only in the local music scene, but also Michael Jackson and other international musicians listen to these songs often. We can understand the 90s music, so it wasn’t a big problem, but to add in our color along with that feel, that’s our main priority. Fortunately, it seems to have been interpreted well with our personalities, and so we are satisfied.”

What are their charms with their new looks they have delivered through ‘WOW’ after 5 months? First of all, they’ve presented a dazzling grown skills. As they are on stage, the members showed a liberal and variety of looks, grabbing the hearts of the audience, a showmanship unlike any rookie groups.

(Hyunshik) “Exactly! We have put in lots of effort through this album, in hopes to remove our rookie air. So, we have researched about our expressions and gestures too. Even our style changed a lot. During our ‘Insane’ promotion, it was a love song, right? This time with ‘WOW’, we will show an energetic look that can raise to the climax of the atmosphere. In our album this time round, I have personally made the sexy dance. As we perform a lively ‘WOW’ stage, there is a sexy part in it. In order to highlight that sexiness, the choreograph will have to compliment it. Probably through this comeback, BTOB will be able to show a new look.”

What was BTOB’s 90s? And how was their school times? While they start to tell stories to their school life, their eyes were filled with light. The members started recalling about stuffs in their memories, and singers that they used to love.

(Yook SungJae) “I totally like Deux, Yoo Seungjun, GOD, H.O.T. Especially when H.O.T’s song, ‘We are the future’ is popular, it was the period for goggles and even their outfits too. In this album, it’s similar to the 90s music, so we have to search and monitor our seniors’ videos. As we replayed it several times, we have discussed stories and items that has to be in our album, of course.”

(Lee Changsub) “We couldn’t just ignore those items in our memories. Perhaps, do you know that? It was supposed to be a ruler, but if you filled it round your wrist, you’ll get a wristband! Also, we have this competitive period with our friends about our pencil cases, right. And there were pencil cases that transforms into a robot or one that allowed us to play football too! I wanted to buy those pencil cases, so I’d begged my mother for it, but because she doesn’t buy it for me, I have no idea how much I fretted about it. Ah I really miss (those times).”

(Yook SungJae) “As for me, I played with Flover (Game). Also Dalgona  ! I liked  beer-flavored sweets  and even though I was a boy, I played with doll stickers too.  Haha. It’s really our memories. I bought and ate lots of junk food. It was 100 Won then, but how much it is now…?”

As they reminisces their younger days, smiles and laughter couldn’t leave the room. As they were about to end the interview, they have also expressed their aspiration for this promotion.

(Lee MinHyuk) “I think the public listens to our music and will first think of how much those days have changed. Having to promote alongside our seniors such as G-Dragon, there is this opportunity for us to learn. We think that the timing is great. The concept of our song is special, so our hearts are different too. We are having fun earnestly on the stage. We hope that people would be reminded of the past as they watch our stage. Please look after us. BTOB’s look which has grown through ‘WOW’!”



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