JYJ on their U.S. tour, their fans, and airport fashion at ‘2011 World Tour’ press conference
We’ve been reporting that JYJ would be heading to Los Angeles this week to begin preparations for the North American leg of their ‘2011 World Tour‘. On May 16, JYJ’s Jaejoong and Junsu held a press conference to answer questions regarding their upcoming tour. Unfortunately, Yoochun was not able to attend due to his prior engagements in Korea.
The press conference was held at the Clive Davis Theater at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. Initially, there was an awkward tension in the air because of how there were only two chairs on stage. It was immediately broken by Jaejoong’s entrance as he greeted the press with a casual “Hi” before stepping onto the stage with Junsu. Hilariously, Jaejoong noted that the chair was a bit too high for him, and caused a chuckle to reverberate through the room.
The press conference took on a more official air when C.S. Hah, the founder of Powerhouse Entertainment, brought about the first question of the day.
< Tell us about the upcoming tour and how you feel about it >
Junsu: We have been given the opportunity to have a concert tour in America. Though we’ve performed in the States on previous occasions, this is our first time headlining our own tour. Because it’s also the first time we are touring a variety of locations (including Vancouver, New Jersey, San Jose, and Los Angeles), I am that much more nervous and hold higher expectations.
Since it’s our first concert that we are headlining with our own name, we’ve prepared a lot. Please anticipate it.
Jaejoong: I feel great to have the opportunity to hold concerts in America and Canada. Because it’s a concert that came after our Asian tour, we are much more at ease. However, the anticipation of meeting new fans makes me both nervous and excited. We will work hard, so please enjoy our upcoming performances.
< Will there be anything special for your American fans in this upcoming tour? >
Jaejoong: We have prepared several performances that we have never done before for this American tour. And I don’t know if our fans will like this, but we have increased the number of our female dancers. Therefore, we hope to show more sexy performances.
Junsu: We will continue with the basic format of our Asian tour, but our dancers are residents of the States, and so we’ve prepared many new performances for this particular leg of the tour. And as Jaejoong mentioned, our dancers have always been mostly (if not all) male. This time, 6 of our 10 dancers are female and so there may be performances befitting of those changes.
We are also making the effort to sing more English songs. I think considering all those things, the feeling of the concerts will be different. Although we’ve experienced an American showcase tour in the past, there are many aspects that we are not as familiar with in comparison to our Asian concerts. I think it will be key for us to be attentive of our American fans’ responses so that we could create concerts that fit more naturally for them.
< Jaejoong, what are your thoughts on having been the concert director of the Asian tour concerts, and do you plan on directing the North American tour as well? >
Jaejoong: I was able to serve as the concert director for our Asian tour. It was a new challenge that made me feel excited, curious, and inspired to take on bigger concerts. As for the American leg of this tour, Jeri Slaughter (who directed our first JYJ Korean concert) will be directing the concerts. Changes are being made to our Asian tour stage for the American stops. I myself will be working with Jeri Slaughter to direct the concerts.
< Were there any difficulties in preparing for this tour while continuing with your solo activities (ie., musicals and dramas)? >
Junsu: There were no difficulties because most of what we have done so far were group performances and activities. Really, we’re not used to having personal solo activities.
Since group activities are something we have always done, and because we recently finished our Asian tour, there were no hardships with regards to that.
< Will there be a DVD release for this concert? >
Jaejoong: It is currently in production but no date has been set yet.
< Will Rodney Jerkins or Kanye West be featured during this upcoming tour? >
Jaejoong: They will not be.
< Any plans for a China tour? >
Junsu: Nothing has been planned as of yet. We have always thought of having a tour in China. If the opportunity comes, we hope to have a concert solely within China.
< Were there any difficulties singing in English for your global album? >
Jaejoong: Aside from our member Yoochun, the rest of the members had a lot of difficulties due to English. We tried really hard for the recording of the songs, and will continue to try to learn more English.
< You have met many fans of different nationalities through your Asian tour and previous U.S. Showcase tour. Do fans of different countries have characteristics unique to their countries? >
Jaejoong: Each country seems to have unique characteristics. For instance, American fans seem to be very free. From the way they (American fans) listen to music to the way they enjoy performances, like waving their hands, I think we in turn are able to be more free in our performances. On the other hand, Thai fans are very conscious about their manners, and so we seem to be more conservative in our behavior as well. I think we try to adapt to the different qualities of fans from each country.
< There are many ahjumma fans who are advertising in support of JYJ. How do you feel about having middle-aged female fans? >
Jaejoong: It feels great. It’s always better to be loved than to be hated. It’s great to know that we have fans of all ages. I never refer to ahjumma fans as ahjummas, but rather I call them ‘nunas‘. It seems that some even come to our concerts to hear us calling them ‘nuna‘.
< Many fans are disappointed because they are unable to meet you guys through broadcast performances, or even through mediums such as pictorials. Is their any particular reason for JYJ not being featured in magazines and other printed materials? >
Junsu: It’s not that we are not doing them intentionally. It is true that besides our concerts, JYJ hasn’t had many pictorials for magazines because of our personal schedules. If we are given the opportunity to be in magazines, we will take the opportunity. It is not that we were avoiding them, but rather an outcome of circumstances.
<What do you do between flights to look fresh after such a long journey? >
Jaejoong: Honestly, we don’t do maintenance. (laughs)
Junsu: We are not fresh. Yesterday, we didn’t have any specific schedules so we took the day off and rested in the hotel together.
< Airport fashion is a big issue lately. On some internet cafes, people have claimed that Junsu got fashion advice from Jaejoong. Does the strong focus on airport fashion give you any pressure? >
Junsu: I originally didn’t have any interest in the matter because I only wore clothes that were comfortable to me. But since there are high expectations, it only seems right for us to look into fashion to try to dress well. At some point when I began to dress better, fans began to ask if I had taken Jaejoong’s clothes. Lately, it seems like fans are a bit disappointed to see me dress well at the airports. Photos of my poorly dressed days seem to spread more. I just enjoy it.
The boys quickly wrapped up the press conference due to their strict schedules. The press immediately began to pack up, but the room was abuzz with high expectations for the boys’ four-city U.S. tour. Judging by the warm affection JYJ holds for their fans, it certainly does sound like this tour will greatly exceed the success of their previous one.
JYJ will be heading to Vancouver, Canada later this week for the first stop of their North American tour on Friday, May 20th.
[ Also, if you haven’t done so already, check out JYJ’s greeting to their fans for their upcoming North American tour! ]