Interview with Big Bang: The 5 members' music, love, and life
Big Bang is back with its new songs 'LOSER' and 'BAE BAE'. On May 4, I met the 5 members and interviewed them. As it has been too long since the 5 members all together were interviewed by Korean journalists, it seemed that they had much to say. Let's see what they talked about their music, love, and life.
Big Bang's Music
Q. You guys said you will release new singles on the first day of every month. It sounds like an uncommon project.
Taeyang: Just a month before, we worked really hard to decide if we will release singles or a full album. Actually, we have highly satisfactory new songs and we wanted to release a full album which contains all of them. However, we also wanted to film music videos for all of the songs and that’s why we decided to release singles every month.
Q. What kind of songs will you release from next month? Drop me a hint.
Taeyang: What I want to say is that all of the songs are different. We will show you something very different every month. We have an up-tempo music like “Fantastic Baby” too.
Q. What do you think is the characteristics of BIGBANG’s music?
GD: I can't say the color of BIGBANG’s music is red or blue. But we just do what only we can do and what we are confident of. As we've been working together for a long time, we could find what we do best. “LOSER” and “BAE BAE” are our first singles in 2015, but I can't say they are the best songs nor the worst songs among all the songs to be released this year. I love all the songs.
TOP: Yeah, it doesn't even matter which song is released first.
Q. When you were working on the new songs, what did you care about the most?
GD: I think all the singers have troubles on their minds. And we’re getting more concerned about our music as time goes on. When we were working on our new songs, we tried to decide what we must do and must not. And we cared much about the lyrics of the songs because we wanted to arouse people’s sympathy through the songs. Actually, we’ve learned a lot from the whole process of producing the songs. When we lost our way, Yang Hyun Suk and Teddy, who are great helpers to us, helped us a lot.
Q. I wonder if you tried to make new songs which have much popular appeal.
TOP: No doubt, BIGBANG is a pop group, which means we have to do popular music. We always try to make good songs which can be loved by many people.
GD: However, it doesn’t mean that we always focus on the popular appeal of our songs. I mean, we just make good songs. Of course, my solo albums contain some difficult and experimental tracks but when I work on BIGBANG’s album, I try to make songs which can be loved by many people. If we like our song and the public like the song too, it’s the best result.
Q. When do you feel you are a loser?
GD: Celebrities are ordinary people too. We also feel pain and sadness. So, through the song “LOSER,” we wanted to tell a story based on our real experiences.
TOP: The world of k-pop looks glossy, but we often feel like we’re in hell when we’re offstage. And we also feel gloomy for no reason.
Q. How do you usually write your songs?
Taeyang: Teddy usually frames our music and GD does detailed work. And then, all the members exchange opinions freely.
Seungri: GD and TOP write the rap lyrics and Taeyang takes part in creating melodies. I don't take part in writing songs, but I try to be help to the team.
GD: Even though Seungri is not an official lyric writer or composer of BIGBANG’s music, all the BIGBANG members including him actively take part in writing songs. What I do is just combining the opinions.
Big Bang's Love
Q. A twenty-five year-old girl is mentioned in “BAE BAE.” Does the age have a special meaning?
GD: When we were writing the song, we talked about love and woman. We thought it is the age at which men and women can have the most passionate romance. We tried to express in an abstract way.
TOP: Yeah, the song is about a selfish man who wants his girl’s perennial youth.
Q. So, didn't you have a specific person in your mind when you wrote “BAE BAE”?
TOP: No. We just thought about the age at which a girl looks blooming. We were torn between 25 and 26.
Q. OK, by the way, Mizuhara Kiko, who has been rumored to have a romantic relationship with GD is 25 years old.
GD: Is she 25 years old? I didn’t know that. Anyway, I think the age is just one of the interesting elements of the song.
Q. So, don't you want to date someone?
Taeyang: Just like other young people of a similar age, I think dating somebody is not a bad thing. And I need rich experience because I have to express my feelings through our music. By the way, in Asia, especially in Korea, people are too sensitive about celebrities' love.
TOP: The only thing I truly know is we need to respect the distance between our fans and us. There could be many side effects of opening everything about our private life.
GD: Love has a great effect on music. But, I think we don't need to be in an open relationship.
Q. Do you guys share each other's love life?
GD: Some of the members do, but the others don't.
Daesung: Anyway, it's important to meet good girls.
Big Bang's Life
Q. How do you create a balance between your life as a celebrity and your life as an ordinary person?
GD: It’s really hard for me to catch both of them because I always had to give up one of them. I usually had to conceal the man named "Kwon Ji Yong" inside me when I performed on the stage. However, I've been in the scene for about 10 years, and I think I finally found the way to create a balance between my life as a celebrity and as an ordinary person.
Q. Daesung, you've been active as a solo singer in Japan for a long time. How was it?
Daesung: Actually, I was not confident in myself at all. And I think I'm just the waist of BIGBANG because I've just tried to do what I have to do silently.
GD: Well, for men, strong waist is really important.
Daesung: Haha, anyway, I've suffered from an obsession because I thought I must not cause damage to YG and BIGBANG. But after releasing my solo album in Japan, I’ve changed. I feel less fear now.
Q. Have you experienced a slump as a singer?
GD: I experienced a slump last year. I couldn’t write songs and I was worried about it a lot. However, I could get the answer from the other members. At the back end of last year, we began to work on our new songs in earnest, and I could get out of a slump because the members were always at my side.
TOP: I think I always fall into a slump because I perform a rap with a strange tone in my voice whenever I just finished filming my movies. And it sometimes takes all day for me to write my rap lyrics.
Q. TOP, you recently began to use instagram. What made you to do that?
TOP: I knew my fans felt sad because I didn’t communicate with them often. So, I began to use Instagram to communicate with them. And of course, I will use it to promote our new songs too. But, actually, I get bored easily with something and I can quit doing it any time I want.
Q. Is there any sense of rivalry among the BIGBANG members?
Taeyang: No. We’re not solo singers and we know it’s important for us to have a sense of balance. We always make efforts to fine tunes for a consensus.
TOP: It has been a long time since we began to work together, and there is no sense of rivalry among us at all.
Q. Have you ever fought each other?
TOP: No, all of us have different characteristics, and that’s why there has been no conflict among us. Frankly speaking, we don't have a lot of friends, and the members are the only friends I have.
Daesung: The members are my friends to turn to in times of crisis.
Q. I think Seungri is very loved by the other members because he is the youngest.
GD: He's cute, haha. Actually, he is a little bit different from us. He is the oldest son in his family, while rest of us are all last sons. In the old days, he was scolded by us, and it’s true he felt uncomfortable around us. But it was nothing. We made fun of him because he couldn't eat kimchi. He only ate sausages and hams, and he even couldn't roast meats. However, he became the most mature BIGBANG member now.
Seungri: It's been 7 to 8 years since then. I think I'm loved a lot by the members. Especially, GD wants me often. That’s why I could sing the most important part of “LOSER,” haha. I’m so proud of it.
Q. What do you think is the driving force of your growth?
Taeyang: It was very lucky for us to experience difficulties when we were young. When we were trainees, YG was badly off. Young artists who recently became YG family can’t learn such a lesson.
GD: When we debuted, we couldn't even dream of being ranked high on music charts. We had no money, and we should borrow money from a TV producer who filmed our documentary to buy snacks. Each person's food expense per day was just 5 USD.
TOP: At that time, we loved to eat Korean chocolate cookie Diget. I like the cookie even now.
TOP: I want to hold our concert even after we reach our 70s and 80s. But we all agree that we should stop singing if we become old-fashioned and unenergetic.
GD: We've been active as BIGBANG for 10 years under the protection of YG. I have no reason to leave the agency. If we are passionate about music and Yang Hyun Suk is passionate about supporting us, we'll be able to be together for many years to come.