BTOB’s Eunkwang And Minhyuk On Wanting To Be A Long-Running Group, Group’s Military Hiatus, And More

BTOB’s Eunkwang and Minhyuk spoke about their special albums, shared anticipation for their upcoming 10th anniversary, and more in an interview with @star1!

BTOB made their debut in March of 2012. As members of the group are still completing their military service, Eunkwang, Minhyuk, Changsub, and Peniel have released the albums “4U: INSIDE” and “4U: OUTSIDE” as the unit BTOB 4U.

Despite being nearly 10 years into their career, the duo shared their excitement for their first photo shoot together. Introducing their latest album release, Minhyuk shared, “Throughout BTOB’s long promotions, we have a total of two special albums. Of those, one signals the start of BTOB’s members’ military hiatus. This special album marks the end of BTOB’s military hiatus. As so many people have been waiting, after we reunite, we’re going to promote even more diligently. This is a gift-like album that we’re giving fans to tell them to prepare.”

As their title track is named “Outsider,” the pair were asked what moments made them feel most like outsiders. Contrary to popular belief, the two explained that their members were generally outsiders. Minhyuk commented, “Peniel is a bit of a special case. I barely have celebrity friends and I just recently made some close friends through ‘Kingdom: Legendary War.'”

He continued, “Although the members are really close and rowdy, we’re mostly shy around others so I don’t think we’ve ever really felt that we’re insiders.” Eunkwang added with a laugh, “We’re outsiders with high self-esteem.” He shared, “Honestly, what fits perfectly with our song is that there’s a line that says, ‘A special person who’s different from others.’ I’m a very special outsider.”

When asked what’s changed the most between their last two albums, Minhyuk explained, “Since we experienced a survival program in between, I think we inevitably learned a lot. It also became an opportunity to look at music realistically. What BTOB is always yearning for is wanting to promote with Melody [BTOB’s official fan club] for a long time. In order to do that, we have to do certain things and take care of what we’re good at. I think it was an opportunity for us to reorganize in those aspects.”

Due to their newfound popularity following the survival program “Kingdom,” BTOB was asked if they had specific expectations for their latest album. Eunkwang answered, “Rather than have a goal regarding music chart performance, my desire as a leader for the team to be together a long time is greater. If a team is to last a long time, they always have to grow and try new things. Like that kind of goal, these promotions were very meaningful and a time for BTOB to air out.”

The interviewer asked about their new fans and Minhyuk shared, “There are more people now who view BTOB in a new light. Sometimes when I see fans’ reactions, there are people who became fans when we were promoting ‘I’ll Be Your Man‘ or ‘Movie.’ It seems like these promotions are a gift to those who thought, ‘I thought they were dance singers but then they only sang ballads.'”

Eunkwang added, “When Hyunsik and Sungjae are discharged and we’re able to promote as six, fans also say that they might find those two awkward. Melody who became our fan when we were promoting as four members are seeing those two members for the first time. There is talk about that too. Isn’t it funny?”

Regarding their “Kingdom” appearance, Minhyuk explained how he got his members on board as he shared, “I watched all the programs before ‘Kingdom.’ I felt really inspired watching all the teams. I thought that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Honestly, both myself and my members just want to perform for a long time without paying attention to results or rankings, but ironically, in order to stand on stage for a long time, you have to at least get close to No. 1 to be a long-standing team.”

He continued, “If it was just the simple reason that we wanted to enjoy making music among ourselves, we wouldn’t have to become singers. However, we want to receive love from Melody for a long time and want many people to hear our songs. That’s why we thought that we wanted to become a group with that kind of influence. As a military hiatus can be critical for male idols, I thought that if we were the same overtime, nothing would change from the past. I figured this would be a program that could newly remind us so I diligently appealed it to my members.”

Now that the program is over, Eunkwang shared, “I really enjoyed it. It was fun, precious, and like a heaven-sent, gift-like opportunity. To be honest, if it wasn’t for this program, I wonder how and through what opportunity we would’ve grown. I was very inspired and it was a precious time.”

When asked about the members dependence on each other, Eunkwang replied with a laugh, “I think we feel it as soon as our members aren’t by our side. You’ll know once you return from the military. After I was discharged, I promoted solo but it was so nice when my members came back one by one. I realized that I recognized their importance because they weren’t by my side.”

By this March, BTOB will be able to celebrate their 10th anniversary together as all members will have been discharged from the military. Eunkwang commented, “This is something the members have all thought about from before our military hiatus. We talked about when we’d be able to get together and how we would promote once we got together, but the time we thought would never come is finally here.”

Lastly, the pair left messages for their fans with Eunkwang sharing, “I think we’ve become like family. They’re precious people I’m always thankful for.” Minhyuk continued, “Just like how we said we felt our members’ importance once they weren’t by our side, I’m thankful for the preciousness that our Melody are always by our side. I once saw a fan say that a fan and singer’s relationship is one-sided but that made me sad. Of course it can be like that, but I decided to love more and express that love more so that our Melody never feel that way.”

Eunkwang added, “Without Melody, we can’t live like this. I once said that I wanted to one day make them proud to be BTOB’s fans.” Laughing, he commented, “I think they’ll now be somewhat proud. Even now and in the future, I’m living my life with that unchanged mindset so I hope we can move forward together.”

Start watching “Kingdom: Legendary War” with subtitles here!

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