<strong> Jaejoong's DBSK SHINE 2nd Artist Book interviews<br /></strong><br /><strong><em>[Emotions]</em></strong><br />Q: First "happiness". I'd like for you to tell us about something that made you happy.<br />A: Something that made me happy was Budoukan. What did the other members say?<br /><br />Q: "Budoukan." The same, huh?<br />A: If that's the case I will go for something different (laughs). Our Budoukan performance really was something that made me happy, but something else that made me just as happy was getting to stand on the same stage ("SOUL POWER SUMMIT 2007") with The Gospellers, who we respect. Because up till now I've watched The Gospellers in videos, and always listened to them on CDs, my iPod and so on. I was really happy to have been able to meet them, but being able to stand on the same stage with them was truly an honour.<br />
Jaejoong’s DBSK SHINE 2nd Artist Book interviews
Q: First “happiness”. I’d like for you to tell us about something that made you happy.
A: Something that made me happy was Budoukan. What did the other members say?
Q: “Budoukan.” The same, huh?
A: If that’s the case I will go for something different (laughs). Our Budoukan performance really was something that made me happy, but something else that made me just as happy was getting to stand on the same stage (“SOUL POWER SUMMIT 2007”) with The Gospellers, who we respect. Because up till now I’ve watched The Gospellers in videos, and always listened to them on CDs, my iPod and so on. I was really happy to have been able to meet them, but being able to stand on the same stage with them was truly an honour.
Q: How was it actually meeting them?
A: There wasn’t that much pressure. Rather, they were very kind to us, I was really happy. They were good-humoured, it was somehow as if they were our older brothers from next door (laughs).
Q: Next is “anger”. Is there anything that has gotten you angry recently?
A: The fact that I was unable to speak Japanese.
Q: I see, that’s the same as the other members too…
A: Eh, the same?! (smiles bitterly) But that really was a big problem for us. Just shooting a normal comment*, even though the Japanese would be able to finish it in ten minutes, because Tohoshinki would have to reshoot and fix our Japanese countless times we would take about an hour. Interviews and stuff, also communication with our Japanese staff was stressful at first. We’d want to say, “Tohoshinki wants to do it this way,” but being not really able to express this, there were times when this invited misunderstanding. And the misunderstandings were our mistakes after all. We’d want to make excuses for the mistakes we made, but we couldn’t express those well either. During the period we came to Japan, most of the misunderstandings we had were never cleared up. I was angry at myself for being that way.
Q: It was difficult, wasn’t it? But there shouldn’t be any problems by now, should there?
A: There are still. Because there are sometimes occasions when I can’t say things well. There are many times where I get angry at myself because even though in my heart I’m thinking, “I want to say this properly,” since I still know little Japanese vocabulary I am unable to express it perfectly. But what I feel is the most important. Personally, I hate artists who betray their own staff members the most.
Q: Hearing that, it gets across that you treasure your staff members. That feeling that even though you being an artist are standing at the front, that’s only because you have staff members that support you.
A: There is also your talent and hard work, but isn’t it impossible to do it using only your own energy?
Q: That’s true. You’re outstanding. Most people aren’t able to think that way. So next is “enjoyment”. Will you tell us about something you enjoyed?
A: Something I enjoyed was “a-nation”. It was so fun. When last year’s “a-nation” ended I immediately said to my manager, “I want to appear on the next a-nation too!” (laughs)
Q: So it was that fun (laughs). It’s great that you got to appear this year, too. And you’ve fixed your eyes on next year’s, too (laughs). Well then, what’s something that made you sad?
A: Hasn’t Tohoshinki not just remained in Korea, but gone forward into Japan, Asia, the whole wide world? But when we came to Japan at first, even though we were supposed to have come into a wide world, for some reason it felt like we were trapped in a small one. There was a feeling as if there were high walls surrounding us and we were put inside them. It could have been the problem with language that I mentioned earlier, or I might have had anxieties about holding activities overseas.
Q: Even though Tohoshinki were superstars in Korea, they came to Japan and were a group of newcomers. Didn’t you think of these circumstances as saddening?
A: To be honest, I did at first. We became top stars in Korea and then came to Japan, didn’t we? So “If we go to Japan we’ll immediately be able to sell”, there was that kind of feeling. Because we had gotten the number 1 spot in other countries besides Japan, to be honest there was that confidence that we’d be able to sell in Japan as well. But there were all kinds of circumstances, there was also the problem of language, in reality it didn’t go well… Even though we were singing the same music there was the problem of emotions and the differences in culture. Because I totally didn’t know anything about that kind of thing, I also gave things complex thought. There were a lot of things I had to learn. Because I was in Japan for one half of the year, it became a good learning process for me not just as an artist, but for my life as well.
Q: Instead of breaking through from the very beginning, I think slowly selling more while maintaining a steady interchange with your fans builds stronger bonds with your fans. I thought this while watching your performance at Budoukan: “Tohoshinki is warm to their fans, there’s love there.” I felt that was, after all, because there was a period for you to deepen and cultivate the bond with your fans.
A: Thank you very much. The fans are all pure people. In one’s short life, to be able to experience two successes is something I feel is very difficult. There are times you fail and also times you succeed. Even within one’s successes, I think being able to experience two types of success at the same period of time is something you don’t get. I think in Korea, and in Asia before we came to Japan, we swiftly had what can be called “a success”. But in Japan we have still not been able to match that success. It feels like we are steadily and slowly climbing upwards from the very bottom. I think it is a happy thing that because we experienced that, all the members have not changed. If we can make it to the top in Japan like this, it’ll probably feel like reaching the summit of Mount Fuji (laughs).
Q: In your long life, the first one or two years that you suffer through are short. Since the future after that is much, much longer.
A: Life may be long, but isn’t there a period where you are simply in perfect form? I think for Tohoshinki, that is the period of time from when we were 16 till we are around 28. We are able to perform intense dances, and we are able to carry out intense schedules. Physically, I am able to do everything I want to. But I think the period where you can do your very best is surprisingly short. What’s more it’s not just in Japan, but the whole of Asia that we want to be active in…there is not enough time. Because it seems people of other countries also think, “I want Tohoshinki to hold more activities in my own country!”
Q: If only you had three bodies (laughs).
A: (laughs) I really think so. But I think there is no person out there that can imitate Tohoshinki’s music. So I think, that’s probably why there are many fans existing out there who love Tohoshinki’s music. I really think that’s a great thing. That is what Tohoshinki is confident of!
Q: You’re saying it is thanks to the very five members of Tohoshinki’s voices that this music is born.
A: Yes. When the five of our voices come together, there is a special something there. That is something that I know.
Q: You mean there’s some kind of magic that happens when your five voices become one?!
A: That’s right! That magic really does happen. That is Tohoshinki’s top secret weapon. Songs like “‘O’ – Sei.Han.Gou” and “Rising Sun”, when sung and danced to on an especially big stage, have amazing power.
Q: Which travel destination remains most strongly in your memory till now?
A: Thailand for me.
Q: What about it was good for you?
A: I had many memorable experiences in Thailand. Because too many fans gathered in the airport, it was deemed a “hazard”, and without going through customs, we went straight from the aeroplane runway to the bus outside (laughs). To be honest, I was thinking, “Eeehhhh?! Is it okay for us to do something like that?” (laughs). What’s more something even more outrageous happened, on the very next day after we went back to Korea there was a coup d’tat. An internal struggle in Thailand. But it was alright because it happened after Tohoshinki left.
Q: So is there anywhere you’d like to travel to in the future?
A: The North Pole. I want to see it before it disappears.
Q: Because it’s in grave condition due to global warming, isn’t it?
A: It’ll disappear someday. Our world, our planet is in danger.
Q: I’d like to know who your recent favourite artists are.
A: Color Me Badd. It’s made up of one black person and three white people, and you can see they have the characteristics of black music. Even Asian people can listen to them without feeling uncomfortable. They’re good at singing, and have beautiful voices.
Q: Which song do you especially like?
A: I like “For All Eternity”.
Q: How about Japanese artists?
A: I’ve always loved Kubota Toshinobu. Even yesterday I watched a video of him again, and thought, “This person is not Asian.” His voice may be Asian, but his feeling and groove isn’t. You can see the hard work he put in in America. Ah, yesterday I had an opportunity to meet him, but because our timing wasn’t synchronised I didn’t get to (makes crying face).
Q: Which song do you especially like?
A: “Just the Two Of Us”, a cover of a Western song. When in Korea I heard Kubota-san’s English album that he released in America, and I thought the person singing this song was an American. The vocal director who created this English album is the same person who was Tohoshinki’s vocal director about one-and-a-half years ago. Not being able to express emotions in Japanese or pronounce well, there were times I was angry at myself due to that stress. At that time the vocal director said, “I know very well that Tohoshinki is having a lot of trouble with Japanese, but in the past when I worked with Kubota Toshinobu, he suffered a lot, too. The song that he had trouble with due to his pronunciation and rerecorded countless times was “Just the Two Of Us”.” From the time I heard this, I thought, “I’ve gotta do my best, too.”
Q: Which Korean singer do you recommend?
A: Naul. This person was the lead singer of Brown Eyes, but has now gone solo. I think he has the largest R&B scale out of all the artists I know in Asia. He is the artist that gave me the hope that Asian people can do this, too.
Q: By the way, I heard that recently you’ve brought your equipment over in order to compose music, but do you compose songs a lot?
A: Yes. I did till four in the morning today, too (smiles wryly). Lately, there’s been time to sleep, but I don’t sleep, because I compose music.
Q: So it’s more enjoyable to compose music rather than sleep. It’s like you feel, “I don’t even have to sleep”?!
A: No, I want to sleep! (laughs) I want to sleep, but once I start I can’t stop. Today I thought it’d take three hours but five to six hours passed just like that. It’s really interesting.
Q: You compose on a keyboard?
A: Yes. The one I have now is small. Two weeks from now a bigger one will come, so our music work room seems like it’s going to get even narrower.
Q: It seems Junsu has been buying furniture and changing up his bedroom in a variety of ways.
A: Junsu bought all kinds of equipment for him to compose music with, but he says, “Until they arrive I’ll spend my time playing video games.” Lately Junsu has been becoming a lazy sloth (laughs). The equipment is arriving today, so I wonder if he’ll be starting to compose again tomorrow…?
Q: What are you into right now in your private life?
A: Bicycles. I bought a bicycle. Recently, if I’m going shopping or something, if it’s a short distance away I’ll ride my bicycle there. It works as a sport, too. But I kind of don’t want to go to neighbourhoods with lots of people in the daytime.
Q: It’s when it gets crowded, right…
A: You can’t move forward. That, and recently when I went to the electric appliance store on my bicycle, there was a Korean person there. “EH?! DONG BANG SHIN KI IS RIDING BICYCLES IN JAPAN!” she said. It was embarrassing (blushes). But the truth is it’s something I’m proud of, being able to ride bicycles in the street. Is that not considered something to be proud of? (laughs) In Korea it’s not really a custom to ride on bicycles.
Q: So the Korean who saw you riding in the streets on a bicycle may have been surprised, huh?
A: I think so. But I’m getting a little high over myself being able to run through the streets (laughs).**
* “Comment” refers to the short (a minute or so?) TV segments featuring artists that normally have them saying a thing or two about their latest releases, info, etc.
** The phrase he uses literally means “I’m a little drunk on the me that runs through the streets”, as in the alcohol kind of drunk. Lol. It’s sort of like getting self-absorbed and giddy and happy over something you do, often unreasonably. Had to reword it somehow. XD
credit: pinkulemon LJ