1st LOOK, Magazine Vol. 224 - TXT Interview
Q. It’s a hotter summer than we’ve experienced, right? How are you spending this summer?
YEONJUN: We’re having our comeback soon! We’re practicing hard to show ourselves in front of you guys in a cool way. We didn’t fully get to experience the midst of summer because we’re in our company practice room the whole day, but we get to experience this summer day to our heart’s content through this outdoor shooting today.
Q. It was tiring for you to do this shooting in this heat, right? You’re wearing long-sleeved shirts under this hot sun.
BEOMGYU: My passion is hotter than this heat. This much heat is no problem for me. Haha. To be honest, it was extremely hot but I lit up my passion for cool photos.
TAEHYUN: It’s okay because we got nice cuts that make up for the amount we sweat. I think that especially today, you could see our members’ handsomeness. I think we match well with the classy vibe of Polo Ralph Lauren.
Q. You guys are having a comeback with a repackaged album on August 17th.
YEONJUN: Yes, we’re having a comeback with the repackage album of our 2nd full album called <The Chaos Chapter: FIGHT OR ESCAPE>. This is the album that wraps up the <The Chaos Chapter> series, following <The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE>. We have the title song <LO$ER=LO♡ER>, along with the Emocore Mix of our title song from our 2nd full album, <0X1 LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) feat. Seori>, as well as our fan song for our fans, <MOA Diary>, in the album.
HUENINGKAI: This is an album that we prepared because we wanted to meet the fans that are cheering on us and waiting for our songs as soon as possible. We also wanted to more deeply show them the things that we didn’t end up showing fully during our last promotion. You’ll be able to encounter newer and clearer music by TOMORROW X TOGETHER.
Q. You guys have reached new <The Chaos Chapter> without a second to catch your breath. What is the biggest characteristic of this repackage album?
TAEHYUN: It’s the fact that it contains the first fan song that we’ve released since our debut. It’s a song that we’ve created with the emotions of first meeting our MOAs until now, as well as our hopes of being with them for a long time from now. Our members wrote the lyrics with sincerity. We had an endless amount of things we wanted to say, so we struggled to cut it down. It was a shame that the song had to only be 3 minutes. We picked and chose all of our emotions towards our MOAs and packaged it all into this song.
Q. What was the biggest worry or difficulty while preparing for this comeback?
BEOMGYU: It was “how can we differentiate ourselves?” We’re having our comeback 3 months after our promotions for our 2nd full album. Since we also have the remix song, we were worried that people would receive only a similar vibe. We worked hard to express a more plentiful narrative and concentrated emotions.
Q. How would you like your album to be evaluated?
SOOBIN: I’d like it to be regarded as “TOMORROW X TOGETHER-like”. We'd like to gain recognition for the fact that we’ve more clearly found our own style. Personally, I have great pride in the fact that there’s a very clear style when you think of TOMORROW X TOGETHER. We’ve tried all kinds of styles of music from debut until now rather than being restrained by a particular genre, and although there are infinite genres, I think we have a very clear and particular sound. Even so that we’ve heard criticism that we’re being obstinate. Although we can’t explain it through any standard vocabulary, we’d like to continue making music that people find to be “like TOMORROW X TOGETHER” and make this course of action more clear through this album promotion.
Q. The response is amazing not only nationally, but internationally. You’ve broken the highest record in major global charts such as the Billboard and Oricon Charts, so how do you feel about that?
YEONJUN: We’re so happy and proud. It feels somewhat like a dream that so many people, both nationally and internationally, are liking what we are doing, and it’s also so cool. It is quite a shame that we can’t meet these people in person though. To be honest, our members aren’t the type to really get bogged down by numbers of records, so we often move past it without knowing, but people around us such as our family and friends tell us about the news first. In those times, it feels like we’ve been accepted as much as we’ve worked hard, so I feel quite glad. I’m also so thankful that we’re receiving more love than we’ve expected too.
HUENINGKAI: These days, we feel more and more deeply moved. Sometimes, we’re anxious about whether we’re doing well because we can’t communicate directly with our fans and we have fewer opportunities to actually feel the response to our activities. We’re trying to think of this as a way for us to prove our hard work rather than the numbers of what place we’re in on the charts.
Q. What do you think is the reason why you’re receiving so much love globally?
HUENINGKAI: Maybe it’s relatability? Although we have different languages, cultures, and practices, there is a message and emotions that music sends. I think it’s a fact that many people can relate to the sincere experiences and emotions that our songs express. I think that’s also why we have quite a big response from teenage fans. Come to think of it, I think everyone connects with each other through music in the end. You and I, and our story. I’d like to continue to make songs that even more people can relate to sincerely and enjoy together, just like we are doing right now.
TAEHYUN: If I dare to affirm, I think that as TOMORROW X TOGETHER, we have never released a “not good” song. Although it may differ per listener due to preferences, we’ve never added a song that doesn’t meet completion standards in our album. That’s how much we’ve worked hard to make this perfect, and we’re furiously buildings our craftsmanship. I think this sort of sincerity added with the quality was able to touch many people’s hearts.
Q. It’s now your 3rd year since your debut as TOMORROW X TOGETHER. What do you think is the biggest difference since then?
SOOBIN: I think that now, I can finally show off my true self more sincerely. During our debut days, I only thought about wanting to do well, so I think that in fact, those emotions really raced too far ahead. We were inexperienced in a lot of ways as well. Of course, we’re still not complete yet, but we’re now trying to do our activities while leaving off some burden and with a freer mind.
YEONJUN: We were able to take into account more of our members' opinions and thoughts. We’re concentrating on more independently pondering about music and creating performances.
BEOMGYU: Maybe that’s why we’re becoming more ambitious as we continue. We experience things one by one, and as we go up one step at a time, we see more of the things we need to fill in.
Q. We especially feel the instability and the pain of puberty that the boys feel through the 2nd full album, <The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE>. When was the most intense moment of chaos that the members experienced?
HUENINGKAI: The time when our dream of debut seemed like an endlessly long path away was quite difficult. It was difficult and complicated to think about whether I can stand on a stage or whether I’m preparing well. I had to control my emotions and get a hold of myself while doing trainee evaluations due to the results that went from one extreme to another. But by having lots of conversations with my members and relying on each other, I slowly gained confidence, and I started to have a stronger desire to continue to work harder.
TAEHYUN: As for me, I think the greatest moment of chaos is right now. It’s because of my thoughts about how I should find my own color as a musician. So far, I’ve just come this far with the thought of liking music and wanting to do well. But now, I feel like I should work hard to become an artist with a unique color rather than simply doing functionally well. I’d also like to find my clear color as a vocalist as well.
BEOMGYU: I think I’m experiencing a “chaos chapter” every time. As I overcome one difficulty, another new world expands before me and I encounter another wall. Still, I do feel that I’m starting to understand myself and the fact that I’m growing stronger through the process of moving forth. I should continue to believe in myself and go forth step by step.
Q. What is the uniqueness of TOMORROW X TOGETHER that no one can copy?
SOOBIN: It’s not my own expression, and it’s something I borrowed from our lyrics, but I’d like to repeat it because I think it really pinpointed our identity. “There are kids that stubbornly collect stars even amidst the finger-pointing of people telling them that it’s useless work. That’s youth.” Even among our songs with bright and cheerful melodies, if you look under them, they contain the darkness of reality, as well as the worries and hopes of the youth that are living in this era. I think the unique charm of TOMORROW X TOGETHER comes from those places.
Q. You guys have earned the title “4th generation it-boy” and “Representatives of Gen Z,” so what do you think about those?
TAEHYUN: First, we feel very great about those. We also feel thankful that they look at us as an icon that represents a whole generation. It makes us become resolute that we should continue to work hard to protect those titles for ourselves as well as earn other good titles.
Q. What are some charms of the members that we don’t know of yet?
YEONJUN: In front of fans, our members often show off their very bright and mischievous sides, but I often feel that if you look closely at each and every one of our members, they’re very mature and deep-hearted. Even though they’re younger than me, they’re trustworthy and mature. I think that that’s why we’re able to stand side by side and walk together.
Q. What is your strength that you like the most?
TAEHYUN: Something that I always reflect on and pledge to be is “to be a person that acts truthfully.” I like how I am consistent. I never say something that’s not truthfully in my heart or act inconsistently. I think all of the members are like that, not just me. There’s never been a single moment when we weren’t sincere while going up on stage, standing in front of the camera or in terms of music in general. Going forward, I’ll make sure to follow this in the future as well.
SOOBIN: Although it’s not complete yet, I want to compliment myself for taking care of myself. To be honest, at the beginning of our debut, I had a very tender-hearted personality so there were a lot of times that I was swayed by the ups and downs. Through various experiences and by going through a lot of emotions, I think my heart has become very strong now. I think that you have to become increasingly stronger and healthier to ripe like a well-ripened fruit.
BEOMGYU: To say, “strengths”, there are still a lot of things that I’m lacking in but, I try to be open to everything. I want to be a flexible person who is not bound to a frame.
YEONJUN: I’m currently trying my best to become someone who knows how to love themselves. To be honest, I didn’t love myself a lot when I was younger. I would only focus on what I lacked and didn’t have any self-confidence either. But slowly and steadily, as I started receiving love from a lot of people as I practiced and started doing promotions, I gained confidence in myself too. That’s why, I want to find out better things about myself and compliment myself, even if it’s deliberately.
HUENINGKAI: I’m someone who enjoys and loves the present to the fullest, more than anybody else. It’s because ordinary days build up and create a special meaning. I don’t get swayed even if rough or difficult things come my way and try my best to fill up each day, faithfully. As long as I’m enjoying the day’s performance to the best of my abilities!
Q. What kind of image of TOMORROW X TOGETHER will we be able to meet in the future?
SOOBIN: There are still a lot of things that we want to and have to do. I want us to make our music in our own color, just like we have been doing up until now. With the members and with our ‘MOAs’ while having fun and being excited.