[Exclusive] Soompi’s Interview with FTISLAND & CNBLUE (Part 1)
American Primadonna and Boice fans are in for a treat this weekend! Hot stars FT Island and CN Blue are holding their first joint concert together.
“FTISLAND & CNBLUE “Stand Up” by M Live” will be held tonight, Friday March 9, at the famous Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
The day before the big show, Soompi sat down with the two idol bands for an interview. The boys shared their thoughts on visiting America, their musical growth, future plans, and more! Check our part I of our interview segment, featuring FT Island. Part II featuring CN Blue can be found here.
(Fanlala is an American press outlet focusing on Disney, Nickelodeon, and American pop aritsts. APA is a Los Angeles-based digital news outlet focusing on Asian American entertainment.)
Fanlala: Did you expect to make it big and find international fans?
We were surprised and didn’t expect this many international fans. It’s fascinating for us.
Soompi: Are there any plans for FT Island members to act in dramas or movies this year?
We’re currently exploring our options to see what opportunities are available.
APA: As both groups are popular in Korea and overseas, how would you describe your music style to overseas people?
Overall, we think Korean music as a whole is an emotional genre, and very expressive and sensitive. In terms of the music style and genre… in the case of Japan, those groups are already very familiar with the genre like Japanese/Asian rock. In terms of trying out new styles, we’re very open to it and we also want to try new things.
Fanlala: Are there any American artists that you are fans of, or would like to possibly work with in the future?
My Chemical Romance, Hoobastank, or Jason Mraz.
Soompi: It’s been nearly five years since your debut in 2007. What do you think of your growth musically?
(Hongki calls Jaejin to answer)
One way of seeing this is that when we debuted, we were five years younger than where we are today. We definitely have been able to get more experience performing on stage than most people at their (young) age, and that has helped in terms of our maturation. Also, just spending time together as a band — it helps us find team unity with each other. That quality of FT Island is our biggest charm.
APA: This is your first concert in the US. What have you done specifically to prepare for this concert?
One thing that we always consider the most in any of the countries we go to is the set list, like what kind of songs will be played. For this tour, this location in particular, we think that the song “Hello Hello” will be enjoyed by fans the most. We want to start out with more well-known songs and then transition into rocking out with fans and having fun. It’s our first time having a tour with CN Blue so we’re all very excited
Soompi: Seeing that it’s the first joint tour with CN Blue, can we expect any special stages?
Due to our schedules with CN Blue being so different (FT Island was doing activities in Korea and CN Blue was doing their tour in Asia), it was really hard for the two of us to find a time to get together and practice. Next time we will definitely prepare. We actually had ideas of switching songs with each other. CN Blue would singing our song and the other way around, but it was not possible for our schedules to work out for that. For sure next time we will prepare a special stage.
Fanlala: What’s the message you want to convey with your fans across the world, globe with your music?
(Hongki and Jaejin answer)
One of the most important things we consider with our band is how much emotion we put into our music and songs. We want to be able to make songs that, when a fan or anyone has hardships, listens to our song, they can receive strength, and if someone gets dumped, we have a lot of songs about being dumped (Jaejin laughs).
We’re just a band that has a lot of variety in terms of genre and lyrics. Ultimately we want to create songs that people can relate to. If we were better at English, then we would try to sing more songs in English and relate to people that way, (Jaejin nods repeatedly), but that’s one thing we want to work on. Instead of being one message, depending on which song, we’re changing to meet their fans’ needs.
Soompi: Related to that answer, who would you pick as the member who has the best English?
Translator starts “best english…” and Hongki confidently yells “me” while Jaejin raises his hand cooly and says “me.”
They take turns saying “Me, me!”
Jaejin: “Oh Jesus.”
Soompi: “Can they give us a short phrase or anything?”
Hongki: “I love you!”
Jaejin: “Sorry” and scrunches face.
Hongki: “We’re very determined to work on our English. If I’m perfect in English too, I’m too dangerous.” Hongki hangs his head laughing while the others grin.
Hongki: “If we were fluent in English too, we don’t know what kind of atmosphere this interview would have changed into. We go all out in Japan because we’re more fluent and can portray our actual emotions there, but cannot as precisely in English.”
APA: Do you have any plans for any future international concerts, just to stretch out to more foreign countries?
(Jaejin nods and smiles a lot. He leans in closely to hear the English spoken.)
Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan
APA: Just to add onto that, any place that you want to go but haven’t been able to go to yet?
Hongki follows with “Spain!”
Jaejin: “Brazil, Argentina” (Hongki laughs at his pronounciation). “Ah! England!”
Minhwan: “Ah England, England” (in agreement).
Hongki: “We are studying the British accent right now.”
Fanlala: How does the US compare to other countries you’ve been to, particularly the Asian ones?
We really like the freedom and how everything is so big. We haven’t been here too long so we don’t really know yet. Yesterday we had steak and were so impressed by how big the steak was! Everything is so big in the States.
Soompi: FT Island and CN Blue are friends and like brothers. Do you ask each other for opinions when you compose songs? Do you feel any competition between each other?
Jaejin: “In terms of CN Blue, we’re always look at their new material and songs. We are always admiring their work and thinking “We could do that too.” The members, overall, are very close to each other. I play the bass, and in CN Blue the bassist in Jung Shin. So when we get together even though our schedules are very conflicting… When we do have the time, we get into groups. We usually sit according to instruments you could say. Bass with bass, vocals with the vocals, and we talk about music mostly all the time. When they compose, it’s done by part (like parts with like parts). Like I said, I talk to Jung Shin and we work on songs together.”
APA: If you had to recruit one more member from the other team, who would it be?
(Hongki looks around thinking hard with his mouth open.)
Hongki: “Yonghwa because he’s the most famous.”
Soompi: Who would you pick as the member most concerned with their looks?
(Hongki points at Jonghun without even looking, and Jaejin follows in lead.)
Yes, Jonghun is the one.
(Jonghun always ready for the camera)
Jaejin: “Bye bye” (in English). Seunghyun follows in his lead, “Bye bye”
And that concludes our interview with FT Island! Thank you Mnet for the opportunity to interview FT Island and CN Blue. Also thank you to Soompiers who submitted questions to our interview question bank.
Click here to read Part 2 of our interview segment featuring CN Blue.
Also, check out Soompi’s concert converage of FTISLAND & CNBLUE “Stand Up” by M Live.