— As culmination of your Japanese activities for the past two and a half years, your first “Best” album, “The Best of BTS”, has been released recently. Do you have any songs from the album that you think of as meaningful?
JH: It’s “For You”. I think it’s the most meaningful song because it is our first official Japanese song.
SG: For me it’s the Japanese version of I NEED U. The Japanese lyrics are a bit different from the Korean lyrics, so I like it.
—From your past activities in Japan, which memory left the largest impression?
J: I’m not sure how to put this out, but… Whenever we’re at the last song in our concerts, I always look around the concert venue. At that time, I cannot say if I’m happy or sad, and it makes me have unexplainable feelings. Endings [of concerts] remain to be the most memorable for me. With every performance, it makes my heart feel full.
JM: Our first showcase (in December 2013), we performed in front of around 500 fans. Every time we perform live concerts, the venue [where we perform] gradually gets bigger. Recently, I have met a lot of fans during our arena tours. It impresses me every time.
SG: To be able to participate in big music festivals such as Summer Sonic and A-Nation. I am really happy!
—You were awarded as the ‘Artist of the Year’ at Asia’s largest music award ceremony, the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards. We witnessed you (shedding) tears on stage.
SG: When I heard that we won the award, all the memories from when we were trainees 7 years ago came flooding through my mind. Moments of hardships, of happiness. Memories just filled my head, my heart felt full. Before I knew it, I was already crying. I couldn’t stop…..
JK: I felt grateful towards ARMYs (the fans). (I told myself) I didn’t want to cry on stage no matter what, but when I saw the fans, my tears just fell. Because they struggled with us and supported us… I was overwhelmed that I cried. I am- We are truly happy.
RM: Because we were so happy, we had dinner together as soon as we returned from Hong Kong! We ordered pasta and pizza.
JH: And the day after we won was also Jin’s birthday.
V: We celebrated those together.
J: We ate really delicious food (with a serious face)!
JH: We ate while talking about a lot of things/memories with the members.
JM: It was fun.
—In addition to the awards you’ve received, the album ranked 26th on Billboard and 1st on iTunes in 27 countries. It seems that 2016 has become a memorable year.
SG: I think I am receiving the benefits of this age, I felt love from people from countries, like Brazil, which is on the other side of the world from Korea.. I felt really lucky.
V: But I… want to be loved more in Japan! (And made a dog out of his fingers, imitating JUNGKOOK’S arm beside him)
JK: (While escaping from V, as always) Yeah, I think the same way.
RM: It is really mysterious. Whenever we do overseas performances, people with different nationalities and languages sing our songs together.
V: It’s amazing.
RM: This year, a new “era” will begin again. For us, and for our fans as well.
JM: I’m thinking of a stage right now, actually. Everyone is looking cool, we all look like we’re having fun. I’m going to run towards that goal.
JK: I want to grow more! That growth will be our weapon.
—Continuous efforts have made the BTS of today. By the way, what has and hasn’t changed since your debut?
SG: One thing that did not change since before we debuted is our attitude to think about our songs and stage first. I think there are things I want to do for each of our members, but one of our strengths is to first think about the direction we must go as a team, the place we need to head on, and so on.
RM: The rest is to practice. 1. To practice, 2. To practice. Right now, what used to be perfected after 10 times can now be done with only 5 times. I think we’ve become efficient over time.
—When we watch your performance, the fierce choreography seems to be really difficult……
SG: (Looks with a serious face) To be honest, it’s really tiresome.
RM: But, those difficult dances made us what we are now, so we can’t just stop.
V: We can’t stop!
—Sometimes, you need to stop and rest too.
SG: It takes hard work to perform hard-choreographed songs continuously. Until around two years ago, I was doing things lazily. However, recently, since I knew it’s not good for the body, I started to take healthy food and health supplements, and I’m performing on stage while taking care of my health.
JK: We have to build strength.
—This will probably bring you back to the past, but what do you think changed the most about yourself?
V: When we debuted, I didn’t understand anything so I simply tried my best in doing whatever I was told. Now, I try to understand my role as an artist and to think for myself.
JK: Hm. Nowadays, I’ve been pondering deeply about various things. Rather than changing as a person, I simply feel that my attitude towards my job as a singer has matured.
JM: Both my thoughts on stage and towards my fans have changed.
JH: The way I perform, how I interact with different people, and I myself, as a person, has matured a lot. But the most important change is how I hold myself in my mind. I always tell myself, “I’m a professional now.” It’s something that I’m aware of and I hope it can be reflected both externally and internally.
JM: “I am a professional now…..” Certainly, it seems that everyone has changed a lot.
RM: When we were all trainees, not everyone was good at dancing or singing. Even our fashion sense wasn’t properly polished. (laughs). But now I hope that we’ve at least reached some sort of recognition as artists.
—Well then, that means 防弾少年団 (BTS) will continue to grow as artists right?
J: We will continue to advance!
RM: We can’t stop growing as artists yet. (laughs)
— RM x JIN
RM: My working room inside the office, because my favorite bear bricks are put on the wall. Recently, since there were no places to put them, I decorated my room with them instead.
J: It is so messy (laughs)
RM: I didn’t have this habit of collecting things, but now, I do……
J: You have lots of it (laughs). My favorite place is a yakiniku restaurant near our dorm. I love beef!
RM: By the way, when we went to eat chadorubagi (sliced beef) together, it was out of stock at the time that I ordered……
J: Assorted beef. I ate them all!
RM: Jin grilled meat.
J: Because it’s essential for meat lovers!
[A song to sing to a woman you care about.]
J: Of course, I wonder if I sing “Awake” (a solo song included in the album “WINGS”, which was sold in Korea at the end of last year.), she will be pleased. In front of her, sing “Wide awake～♪”
J: WHY DID YOU LAUGH?
RM: I thought that you’d choose your own song (lol)
J: So, what will you sing?
RM: I will invite her to the park near the river with a natural feeling, then we sit on the bench, like humming a song……
J: (While looking regretfully at the other person) So, you’ll sing Reflection, right?
RM: With my own song (recorded as a solo song in “WINGS”), I’m a bit embarrassed (laughs). [I’ll sing] “A Little Girl” (a song from “Reply 1998”, which was a big hit).
J: ……If, you can get away with her, what will you do?
RM: I am just……as long as I can convey my love it will be okay.
— SUGA x J-HOPE
[A song to sing to a woman you care about.]
JH: I would sing Atsu Otsuka’s “Cherrybo.” I always love this song. The lyrics are full of love and the song is extremely bright, just like my personality. I would prepare a trailer and once the loading platform opens, it would become a stage and I would yell, “It’s an event!” and then dedicate the song to her alone.
SG: I’ll say, “You don’t have to come to the concert.”
SG: I don’t go to Karaoke so I never really sung too much outside of the stage. I’m more of a musician that makes music (as a profession).
JH: I see…
[Goals in 2017]
JH: I really want to travel Japan~
SG: I want to go the gym. I’m unhealthy because right now, I’m not really doing anything.
JH: In terms of music, I want to make and publish a mixtape (For rap as a genre, a DJ usually compiles already existing songs and then edits them) this year. I want to grow as a rapper.
SG: For this year as well, I think I must make many good songs. There’s also going to be overseas tours and I’ll have to work hard so that more people can come to love BTS.
[Lock Screen Wallpaper]
SG: (showing his phone’s wallpaper) Here!
JH: Wow it’s black!
SG: I don’t really care about wallpapers.
JH: For me, it’s my favorite artist.
JH: Who is it, I wonder?……(laugh)
SG: Isn’t he your favorite artist though?
JH: I forgot. (laughs). Oh, It’s Frank Ocean (R&B singer)! But it’s been the same wallpaper for half a year, so I should probably change it soon.
SG: Even though he’s your favorite artist?
JH: Doesn’t it depend how you feel? As expected, showing your own wallpaper is embarrassing…
— JIMIN x V x JUNGKOOK
[Lock Screen Wallpaper]
JM: My wallpaper is of BTS! I love pictures of all of us together. My wallpaper right now is pictures I took from my fan meeting in Korea. Before, it was a picture from our concert, but I recently changed it.
V: (showing his screen) Tada, It’s Chet Baker! (Jazz Trumpeter)
JK: Mine’s completely black.
JM & V: Completely black?
JK: Yea! Wait a second. (takes out his phone and shows his screen) Look.
JM & V: It really is!
[A song to sing to a woman you care about.]
V: I won’t be singing…. There’s a trumpet player called Chet Baker who made a song called “I Fall in Love Too Easily.” There’s even a movie that features this song (Born to be Blue). Instead of singing, I’ll play this song for her while explaining the story of the movie.
JM: That’s good. I would make a song for her.
JK: Me too! I have never written lyrics for a girl before but if I ever liked someone, I’ll probably write them a song.
JM: What kind of song I can do depends on the person, but I’ll never really know until I try. My ideal type is the person I’ll come to like. I would really like it if we could be together all the time.
[Goals in 2017]
V: I want to aim to become an acting-dol (an idol who is skillful at acting). I’m in a drama right now (Hwarang) broadcasting in Korea and it will be broadcasted in Japan soon. Please be sure to check out the drama. Just look at me!
JM: Just look at me (laughs). I want to travel with my friends and family.
JK: That sounds good. But, right now, I want to debut as a professional bowler.
JM & V: ?
JK: I have a teacher that’s been teaching me since last year at the end of November and my score went up to 240.
JM: Three months ago, I was better than that.
JK: What?! Is that so?
★ぼうだんしょうねんだん（英語表記は、BTS）★ (Bou-Dan-Syou-Nen-Dan (In English, BTS)
The group name, BTS, which means to protect suppression and prejudice directed at teenagers in their 20’s, debuted in Korea in 2013. In June the following year, they debuted in Japan. They ranked 1st on Oricon Weekly Ranking in 2015 with their Japanese single “FOR YOU.” Just last year, their album “YOUTH” was also able to rank first on Oricon. The members participated in the lyrics, composition, and the production of their newest album, “WINGS,” that was announced in Korea last autumn. BTS broke the record as the highest ranking Korean artist on the US Billboard Chart by ranking 26th, grabbing attention worldwide.
Birthday: Sept 12, 1994 (22 years old). 181 cm, Blood type A. Rapper/leader. Has solo activities, like collaboration with other artists. A clear-headed leader that has a reputation of being clumsy. When he entered the studio, he saw me and said “Hello” and… oh! he stumbled on the stairs while greeting me. He’s a nice person.
Birthday: Dec 4, 1992 (24 years old). 179 cm. Blood type O. Vocal. The eldest in the group and the one who loves to eat the most. RAP MONSTER says Jin is someone who “does not have a lot of stress”. (Jin:) “I tend to forget once I get to bed and sleep at night, the difficulties and even the things I learned” (laughs). “Ah, is that tea mine?” (laughs). That honest personality has cheered up everyone around him.
Born on March 9th, 1993, he is 23 years old. 174 cm, O Blood Type. In charge of Rap. Considered “Genius” in music and performs solo activities as Agust D. According to him, “when I work, I work. When I rests, I rest.” That’s the type of personality he has. When the group is waiting in the studio for their turn to put on make-up, he sits on the set bed with Jimin. His self-analysis is amazing.
Born on February 18th, 1994, he is 22 years old. 177 cm, A Blood Type. In charge of Rap. When he was still in school, he did street dancing and is now known as the group’s dance leader. With a command, “So, let’s start!” he initiates the learning process of each dance. During his free time, it was very impressing to see how he was carefully practicing Japanese with a smile that’s full of “希望 (HOPE)” (Kibou means hope in Japanese).
Born on October 13th, 1995, 21 years old. 173 cm, A Blood Type. In charge of Vocals. He went to a Performing Arts High school and majored in the dance department when he was a student. He’s known for his abundant expressions in his dances. His nickname is “ChimChim (MochiMochi)” because of his plump cheeks. When we commented on how his jawline looked sharper before the interview, he said “I’m on a diet right now.” He then reported to Jungkook, happily saying, “They said I lost weight!”
Born on December 30th, 1995, 21 years old. 178 cm, AB Blood Type. In charge of vocals. He’s currently starring in the Korean Drama called “Hwarang.” (Broadcasting in Japan on March on CS DATV). He’s quite a funny fellow. During an earlier interview, while everyone seemed sleepy, he was the only one that entered the studio humming a song happily. He even asked, “Where do we get our make-up done?” in fluent Japanese. Although he seemed eager to work, it seems like he was fighting the sleepiness as it was seen that he began showing his sleepiness when the interview was over. (laughs)
Born on September 1st, 1997, 19 years old. 178 cm, A Blood Type. In charge of vocals. From dancing to singing, and even exercising, he’s called the “Golden Maknae” (youngest). During a photoshoot, while he was trying a difficult pose, J-Hope pointed out, “Your legs are trembling!”. When the staff offered to help, he quickly dismissed them and smiled, saying, “I’m okay!” He has the masculinity like most Busan men, which made our hearts flutter.
Trans by ARMY Base | @bangtanitl | Please take out with full credits.