A.C.E Talks About Performing At “Parasite’s” Oscars After-Party, Seeing Their Growth Through Tour, And More
A.C.E recently participated in a special Chuseok interview for Hankyung (Korea Economic Daily).
In the interview, A.C.E talked about their latest comeback with the EP “HJZM: The Butterfly Phantasy” and title track “Favorite Boys,” their tours, their performance at the Oscars after-party for “Parasite,” future goals, and more.
Donghun said, “We’re always changing up our concepts but working to show better performances than before.” Jun added, “We pour everything into the performances when getting ready for a comeback. We complete the choreography and give everything into practicing it live. The choreography for ‘Favorite Boys’ was quite difficult. It was the most difficult we’d ever done.”
About the hiatus between “HJZM: The Butterfly Phantasy,” which came out in September 2020, and “Under Cover: The Mad Squad,” which came out in October 2019, Byeongkwan said, “We tried not to fall behind during the hiatus. We set the goal to practice every day and tried to stick to it. We heard that there would be some skin showing in ‘Favorite Boys,’ so we worked out a lot.” Donghun added, “It was good because we each got time to improve ourselves.”
Byeongkwan said, “When we first went on tour in the United States and in Europe in 2018, we didn’t have that many songs, so we did covers of BTS and BIGBANG. But last year, we could perform with just our songs because we’d put out two albums since then. The fans liked it as well. If the first tour was filled with people who liked K-pop, we got the sense that this time it was filled with people who liked A.C.E.”
Chan added, “We had one stop in the same venue as the first tour. In the past, if we filled just one floor, this time we filled the floors on top of that as well. It felt that people recognized the hard work we had put in. It felt strange in a way that’s hard to put into words.”
Donghun said, “I was proud to think we had matured. I felt a little bit apologetic for doing so many covers in the first tour. I swore that I would come back as an even better version of A.C.E, and we were able to put out two albums, perform our songs, and fill the arena.”
On “Parasite’s” historic night at the Academy Awards, A.C.E was the only K-pop group to perform at the film’s after-party. A.C.E performed their song “Undercover” as well as BTS’s “DNA” and “Fake Love” and songs by H.O.T.
Donghun said, “It was an honor. It wasn’t something that was arranged by our label. They’d seen one of our performances, liked it, and invited us to perform. There is no better compliment than knowing that someone thought of us when they wanted someone to perform. It felt so good to perform there. I met celebrities that I never thought I would meet in my life. It was an honor.”
Chan said, “It was amazing,” and Jun added, “It felt like we were the national representatives.” The members added that they had watched the Oscars ceremony from their dressing room and that the atmosphere kept getting louder with each award won. They said, “It was a restaurant and the Koreans eating there started cheering. We thought, ‘Is it okay for us to perform on a night like this?’ But it felt so good once we were up on stage.”
Donghun said, “The stage was small, but people like Quincy Jones were watching. We were like, ‘What is this?’ He hugged us and complimented our performance.”
At the end of the interview, Donghun said, “In the past, ‘getting No. 1’ or ‘being the best’ were our goals, but now I just want to have a long and healthy career with the members. I want to become a team that enjoys being on stage. I think that the best we can do, what makes us happiest, is to do our best for the people who like A.C.E. If we work hard, a chance will come for us to take it. Our work right now is to do the best for each performance we do.”