101220 JYJ’s First Interview “We Consider Ourselves As TVXQ Before JYJ”
JYJ, comprising of Yoochun, Jaejoong and Junsu from the original Hallyu idol group TVXQ, have taken their first step once more. Through their first heart-to-heart interview, they conveyed their honest opinions on the current situation, plans for the future, and their lawsuit with SM Entertainment.
They, who have been born again as JYJ from TVXQ, stated that they have never forgotten their ‘TVXQ’ roots. Though they are walking down a tunnel that wears them out physically and emotionally with many ordeals such as their continued lawsuit with SM, and the TV appearance restrictions that face them due to this problem, this is something they had been anticipating from the start. JYJ, who sing of hope amidst the chaos and adversities that surround them, are thankful of and treasure even the smallest things, as if they’ve embraced once more the feelings they had during their times as rookies.
What should be especially noted is that fans are an absolute presence to them. If talk of fans came up even when we were conversing pleasantly, their voices would drop deeper, and their eyes would tear up. We listened to JYJ’s story of spreading their presence out into the world with the fans’ support on their backs.
-What’s different about having activities as JYJ than before? What are the good and bad points?
▲ A good point would be that we’ve definitely fixed what needed to be fixed contract-wise, and the agency and the artiste are now on equal levels. We control what we do and how we do it from the beginning to the end. Those would be the advantages and we’ve formed an attachment to them.
A disadvantage could be that our current agency is weaker system-wise than our past one as it is quite new, which may be causing some of the ordeals we are still facing. But we don’t see it as a disadvantage because we see this as the process of becoming stronger. We are slowly but surely strengthening our system.
-The two members of TVXQ under SM will begin their activities in January? What do you think about this?
▲ We hope everything goes well for them. Our two friends’ comeback is something to welcome and we wish to support it. But honestly, we do feel sad that they’re using the name TVXQ. It’s not that they are TVXQ and we are JYJ. We consider ourselves as TVXQ before JYJ. It isn’t that the name TVXQ and the members are separate, it is that the name is meaningful only when the five of us are together. That is why we decided, after much thought and consideration, to use our initials to create JYJ instead of using the name of our group TVXQ so their decision makes us feel all the more sad with mixed emotions.”
-The Beginning album is in English. Why is it in English? Why did you choose to make a worldwide album?
▲ It’s not that we insisted that it had to be in English, we just decided to create a worldwide album because we have fanbases, not only in Korea, but in other places such as Asia and the US. We are so happy to have been able to meet with such top producers.
-Participation by representative artistes such as Kanye West and Rodney Darkchild Jerkins made your album a hot issue. What was it like?
▲ Before we met them, we felt a little pressured and wanted to keep our distance because they are such famous individuals. But once we met them, we found them to be great people who made us feel comfortable. Though we were distant at first, in the end, we felt that, ‘They’re people, just like us.”
-Your concert ended recently. There were many ups and downs, but how does it feel to have ended your concert well?
▲ The story of the concert is like a movie. We prepared so much, our anticipation was so high and we did our best to get ready, but we were met with hail and snow on the first day, which meant that we had to take down the roof cover that we had devoted the most time and energy on; it was so distressing. Because of this, there were 3~4 programs that we didn’t get to show our fans and we were upset because it felt as though we had failed to keep our promise to our fans.
But we were satisfied with the new type of choreography that we tried out with America’s best choreographers, the performances and the new songs. We were happy to have fans there with their warm support though it was such a cold day and we believe that the concert was a satisfactory one overall. After it was over, the members got together and cried our eyes out. We suffered by sleeping two, three hours in a week and there were many up and downs, but we feel happy to know that we showed our fans everything we wanted to show them.
-The lyrics for the song ‘Pierrot’ became a hot topic because of their profound meaning. What meaning do your compositions have for you? Do you write songs in your spare time? Does that mean we can presume that these compositions will be included in a new album soon?
▲ We do not feel that you have to write songs in order to be a musician. We write songs in our spare time for fans because we like music and we enjoy composing music and find it fun. Another reason is because we wanted to sing songs in Korean for our Korean fans at our concert. Because the songs were well-received, we want to release a commemoration album and we’re preparing one right now.
(Jaejoong) For the songs I composed, I wrote them thinking back to the times when I first began writing songs. Nine, which was written with the most basic chords in music, is meaningful as it reminisces of past memories, and I wrote Pierrot because I’ve always wanted to write a song criticizing society, much like many of the songs that came out during our rookie days, and I wanted to write about the stories of students trapped in school.
-Haven’t there been interferences in your activities, such as problems with appearing on TV and distributing your OST? How do you feel about these?
▲ We think it would be more adequate to call them hindrances, rather than interferences. Those were difficult times. But this was something we had anticipated from the start. It’s hard to decide to leave your agency if you aren’t prepared to accept that you may never be able to sing on stage again. We had mixed feelings and would think ‘How could they do such a thing’ at times, but we never gave up and thanks to our fans and our management family, we were able to reap good results. We believe we are now making great progress.
-We can’t not talk about the lawsuit. Recently, there has been much talk about your relationship with C-JeS, your current agency, what kind of contract do you have with them?
▲ C-JeS isn’t our ‘entertainment agency’, they are our ‘management agency’. We are trying to integrate a system that has never been tried before in Korea but is used in Japan and the US. It is where you sign a contract for each specialized job, such as management, distribution and advertisement. Not only are we using this system because we can’t sign on with another entertainment agency, but also because we want to work hard with a sense of duty as many people are watching to see what we’ll do next. C-JeS respects artistes and have been taking the role of an assistant till now, helping us to achieve good results.
-Your Japanese agency decided to suspend your activities indefinitely due to your relationship with C-JeS, what will happen to your future activities in Japan?
▲ It’s a frustrating problem. We’re trying as hard as we can to resolve the issue.
-Please say a couple of words to greet 2011 for your fans, who have been waiting to meet JYJ.
▲ (Yoochun) Because 2011, full of hope, is approaching, I don’t want to talk about this and that of my past anymore though it may be hard to keep it in. JYJ is prepared to show you the ‘epitome of working hard’ by working as hard as we can. I want to meet with fans in a casual environment. Next year, I will have fun while participating in our activities.
(Jaejoong) Me too. I don’t know what I should say because I have so many things to say, but honestly, these days I feel a bit confused. Please take this in a good way. I was confused as to who I should put as my priority in my life, is it me, is it our fans who helped me overcome the many waves that crashed down on my life, or is it best to prioritize both myself and our fans. People probably saw the fluctuations in my emotions through the tweets on my Twitter account. If I think of myself before others, I feel cold-hearted but if I think of our fans before others including myself, tears spring to my eyes. It’s been hard trying to find a balance, but I don’t think there will be any days in the future that were harder than those early this year. I will work hard for myself and for others.
(Junsu) What I can honestly say is that it’s a miracle that we’ve been able to come so far though we’ve gone through so many ridiculous ups and downs and it’s all thanks to our fans that we’ve been able to attain such an opportunity. I sincerely thank our fans. And our members, who held on much better than I did. I’ve been able to stay strong thanks to those two. We’ll keep knocking as hard as we can to open up more doors and possibilities.
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