A lot of things happened. It's been a long time for everyone. Although, a lot of time has passed, we've returned to the one who hasn't changed. He is a husband to one girl, a father to one daughter, and a group leader. Tablo is still the one we already knew.
Although, I have never met him before, Tablo felt familiar to me. It's not because I just have some of his albums, been to some concerts, and seen him on television. I try to pull out pieces of memories in my head and this is how it is. When I was a college student, I requested an interview with him for a class presentation, and he sincerely accepted the request. Thanks to him, I received an A+ and had something to brag to others about. Afterwards, Epik High became a hit. He became a star that was far away. After few years, I heard of the news of his marriage and future child. In between all that, there was the "Tajinyo' incident. Although, Tablo kept speaking the truth, the person kept on asking for more evidence. Tablo shed tears in his documentary (Even afterwards, Tablo cried more times).
That's why his solo album <Fever's End 'Yul Got'> was a welcoming news at the same time pitiful. His inside voice, music, and lyrics deeply flowed. As he sang on the stage sitting on the chair, his sadness and hurt was fully delivered. And now after 4 years, Tablo is showing himself to the public through the reality show <Superman Returns> where he spend time with his daughter without his wife for a moment. In that, there isn't Tablo who jumped on stage like he used to while singing 'fly.' There isn't Sunwoong Lee who bawled tears. There is only Haru's dad, 'Superman.' It felt as if Tablo was totally in the zone when he was conversing with his daughter in a high-pitch dolphin tone and kiddish talking manner. The day he met with <Singles>, he openly shard about the father daughter moments. Tablo the musician, Tablo the wacky character, and human Sunwoong Lee's worries, pains, and thoughts.
Grey wool coat by ragnbone, white shirt by PLAC Jeans, mixed navy and black color knit by ZIOZIA, wool pants by codes combine, and beige suede sneakers by Vans (from Tablo's collection)
Truthfully, we thought of shooting with you and Haru today.
Because <Superman Returns> is filmed in a CCTV format, it doesn't intrude Haru's lifestyle so much. However, if I bring her to my workplace, and let people take photos, I feel it intrudes in her lifestyle too much... I truthfully don't like that. So, we're cautious to not let it happen.
We were surprised to hear that you will be participating in <Superman Returns>. Because not even just showing Haru but it shows every aspect of your lifestyle.
My opinions weren't really reflected in the decision. I broke my shoulder and was on my way of being taken into surgery and my manager asked me. I wasn't in the right mind at the time, and I don't even remember how I responded.
Even though you agreed in the chaotic situation, couldn't you have changed your mind later?
I knew about it later, but Hyejung said she really enjoyed the thanksgiving episode from <Superman returns>. So, she told the manager that "If oppa ever decides to do entertainment tv show again, I wish he'd do those kinds." I think my manager's actions was affected by her words.
Are you satisfied?
You cannot not be satisfied. Whether the camera is there or not, Hyejung is able to take a rest, and it's a dad's duty to make memorable memories with Haru. There will be a recording of Haru's childhood in a third person's perspective. I think it'll become a great memory book whenever I am longing and want to look back at Haru's childhood days. That's why I like it.
We felt there was some awkwardness in your first episode.
Ah, it was very awkward. I haven't been on an entertainment shot for 4 years. At a certain moment, I forgot that I was a celebrity and it was uncomfortable to be around the camera. I just do certain things because it's for music, and I'm not that type of person is what I thought, so it felt awkward. Now, I'm not really aware that the camera is there. Those who are raising children on their own will know, but there's no time to be aware no matter what happens. Because we're so focused on the child.
Shows like <Dad, where we going> and <Superman returns>, more single ladies watch it. We've seen some who have derived to think 'When I get married and have a child, I hope my child's dad will be like that.'
Yes, as a married man, who do you think is a good type of guy to get married to?
Well, before thinking about what kind of dad this person will be, I think it's important to think about what kind of guy and person he is. Many people think 'this person will be great to get married to,' but... that's ridiculous. First, it's only important to know what kind of person he is. If the person is a good person, then he will probably be a good dad, a good husband, or a good wife, good mom.
After seeing you give marriage advice to the female staff, I thought you'd probably give very clear answers to those who come to you with questions.
Yes, but unless the person is really determined, people don't usually ask me.
I never tell them what they want to hear. So, it's not good to come to me for advice if you want to hear what you want to hear. They'll get hurt. Also, if you want to only hear what you want, it's better to not be friends with me too. I can never do that.
Are you the same with your wife?
I tell her exactly what's on my mind. There's no need to be sad about it, because my straightforward words and thoughts are not meant to make her sad. Those who will be saddened are the same because it's not about listening to my thoughts or words they don't want to hear.
Generally, after sharing their concerns, girls expect their boyfriends to be on their side.
Oh! So, I always side with my people. After letting them know that I'm on their side confidently, I ask if they really want to know my thoughts, and let them know what I really think. I care for my friends and family to an extreme.
Silk print, pintuck detailed black shirt by Play Hound, Helmet by Aria Korea.
Often times on Twitter, you receive questions. Is there a reason for doing that? When I see that< i remember your days back when you did radio DJ.
Maybe I do that because I miss those days? I want know people's thoughts, and not by reading blogs and or books but people's thoughts now. When I was a radio DJ that was my job, and now it's not possible. Whether creating music or writing, creative works need to know what people are feeling and thinking, so you can try to feel and think what they are going through to share the experience. If I don't have that, I can't create. That's why, I watch out for people's thoughts through those questions. When I read the questions, I can think of what they are thinking about, feeling, and difficulty. That's why I'm interested in knowing what kind of questions people ask. The ones I answer are the questions that I have answers to. So, I don't answer the hard questions.
Your response to a previous question by someone "Are you happy?" was "There are happy moments only," and it was very memorable.
Mmm, among the things that make me uncomfortable is people thinking that if I'm happy that I have it all and that my life is filled with happiness 24 hours. I have concerns and in pain. This is a problem that doesn't have anything do with Hyejung or Haru. But, it's uncomfortable that people are looking at me that it's luxury and I can't do certain things. People are like that. "You can't be gloomy, aren't you happy? But you have such a pretty child? There's a thought that whenever someone succeeds, he will make a lot of money and if someone advances in life all the discomforts and negative aspects will disappear. There's no such thing like that. Only this part is good, everything bad is still there. I truthfully don't know what happiness is, so I don't try to say it so easily.
Aren't there times when other people's difficulties seem trivial?
No, not really. I don't think you can judge if someone's reason is big or small, or if there is value in it or not when it comes down to people's hardships. Looking at someone's who wants to end their life reasoning it could be something small that we can never understand. But if you respond saying 'Why for that reason?'... that person will also come to a point in their life of having difficulty with small things. How would you feel when someone you lend your hand but that person doesn't take it. I went through the same difficulty as everyone else, but people thought my worries and sadness were darker, but that wasn't the case. Instead of feeling sad from such a huge incident as that, there are times when I agonize over small issues.
From the time you release your solo album, you followed 0 people, but now there's 69 people.
I felt really sorry for those who were affected by the 'Tajinyo incident' with harsh comments when they had nothing to do with it. So, I shut it off entirely. Then I slowly increased my following after Taeyang's featuring in the <Fever's End 'Yul Got'> album.
But it doesn't seem like the number doesn't increase as much as before.
Yes, there's a saying that you start to manage those around you after a bad incident.
Do you wish your daughter will be like you in a certain area?
Mmm... one thing in life that I don't regret is that I was eccentric. I don't know what event in life made me this way, but I was the most eccentric out of my brother and sister who grew up in the same environment. At times, I really think 'Am I crazy?' I think I'm crazy to think that there's no bad feeling of being this crazy person. From what I appear to be, that's the part I like about myself and don't want to let go of it either. If I didn't have it, there will be no reason to live. Because that's what makes it so fun. So, I hope Haru will reflect me in that way. Also, it's probably good that she's worse than me [laughter]. When I look at her, I think she's just born with it, to that direction. Instead, through that, I hope she will lessen. Still in this world, they like to put those who left their mold back into their place... so I want to advice people to leave their mold. I'll pray that inside of me. I hope that this person doesn't pay me back for how much I have done, to not be hearbroken and from that, to become someone who makes smartphone, or draw on the ceilings.
Your tone changes when you speak to Haru. In your interview, you said you didn't notice that, but didn't others around you tell you?
Many people have never seen me play with my child. Hyejung can't say anything about it because, I was like that when we dated [laughter]. So, I think I do that to those who I really love and care.
Haru seems very mature looking at her chic facial expression, speaking, and action.
I don't know where that comes from. I'm always bright when I'm with Haru. Same with Hyejung. There weren't many times when we approached Haru in a serious manner. So, I don't know where Haru learned that seriousness or mature actions.
Navy knit by trugen, white shirt by custom mellow, navy brown combination wool pants by greyhoound, white socks by Nike (from Tablo's collection), black sneakers by Nike.
Before the shooting, you sent a proposal by text message. Are you very forward when it comes to these type of shoots?
In the past, I wasn't. With Epik High for 7 years, I just wore what the stylist brought me even if I didn't like it. It's because, that person did his/her best and I was so busy concentrating on music and didn't have the time to care for things like that. Now, despite the result being good or bad, I must want it myself. I don't want it to be like that because of someone else. It's because I wear it, I am standing there, I'm the one voicing it. If it's someone else's work, then I don't care but if it concerns me, I put in a lot of thought.
Is there a reason why you have changed your thought?
(After a moment of silence) There was a lot of time for me to look back during my inactivity. There were situations where I had to show myself including music according to someone else's mind. When I look at my past self, although I thought "I was really uncool," because I wanted it, I don't regret it. I just think 'Ah, I was really senseless at that time' and blow it over. However, even though my result look was very cool but someone put me in that position, I didn't like it. That's why I started to think I shouldn't live like that. Of course, that's not possible 100% even till now. It's since what I do is a partnership. However, with things within my limit, I am more careful in asking for my opinion. If possible, I try to do things as close to my opinions by asking "I'm sorry, but can I do this? If possible, can you do it like this?" Then I can take responsibility. Whether it's good or bad, I want to be responsible for it.
If you look at it that way then the company you're with now is perfect.
There are pros and cons. In the past, I had to draw 100 and I got 10, but I need to draw 100 and now I get 1000 (laughter). It feels excessive... or there are things that don't happen because it's too excessive. For me everything has to be just right. There needs to be a right amount of discomfort and lacks to be at my best. When comparing <Fever's End 'Yul Got'> albumand Epik High's 7th album, Tablo, Sunwoong Lee's music expression can be defined closer to <Fever's End>. That was possible because YG wasn't there. I was totally alone. I didn't have members, but just me and my manager in the recording studio. During the production, I was going through that incident and didn't think it could be published. So there was enough shortage. At the same time, Yang CEO has lend his hand out during that incident. In the right amount of shortage, he was the support. When that balance is correct, I was able to express myself. I found that balance again somewhat. Although I'm with YG, I still work under a lacking environment. The company has given me a workplace but I don't go there. I go to a nearby coffee shop or where there's a lot of people and do my work there like I'm getting kicked out.
You released a short story called <Your Pieces>. You can suit as a children's book author.
Children's book is one of the things I wanted to do. But before doing my music, to do something else feels very rude and immature for those who listen to my music. The people want the main dish but I can't give them side dishes only.
Then will Epik High release an album in year 2014?
Of course we have to do music. 2013 was filled with things we cannot see. Simply put, we didn't do anything that would make money. When it comes to music. As a man in his 30s or as a musician, I'm not sure if that was a good call... it was a situation where we needed to organize music. The past Epik High wasn't an idol group, but was a popular group that we really didn't need to do much promotion, and when we did concerts there wasn't much different from an idol group's concert. We just didn't dance, and didn't have the idol appearance (laughter). We acted, went on variety shows and did more. However, we no longer are those people. In some sense, it's kind of vague. When Tablo makes music, it's not vague. Because I just need to express as it is. However, when working as Epik High, I am concerned on a personal level. It's quite overwhelming and can feel like baggage. Overtime, for the three people to come to an agreement on a satisfied album is difficult since we all experienced own situations and changed environments. What I am thinking and in an example, what Mithra is feeling can be completely different. I can't force my thoughts and feelings upon him. He is feeling good and in a bad stage while I am happy and in a mis-fortunate stage. Feeling good or bad doesn't even matter to me anymore. There's no time for that. Tukutz is also a dad now and his own problems. Three people have all different emotions, how difficult would it be to do music as one? However, like the fans and others around us it's the same. "Blo, you gotta take care of the members" but they're no longer kids, and don't listen to me... so at times I am thinking of when to put this to an end. To think of that is real responsibility. Epik High as a team timeline is longer than we have done music. So, it's a complicated time for me personally.
Is there something you're really into other than music?
<Answer me 1994>. I don't watch TV, but I got a cold last week so I started to watch it starting from episode 1. That time for me was third year in Junior High. I like Seotaiji and boys, Deux and copied beatbox. I started to take notice of things that I didn't before and wanted to try it, see it, and listen to it at that time.
I thought you would be into collecting sneakers like GD and Defcon.
I am not a mania like them. I sometimes buy shoes that were inclining in the past, or shoes that friends had but I couldn't have. When I wear those, I remember. It's a nostalgia of a memory. It's like the main character from the movie "Midnight in Paris." I used to collect a lot of toys, but after meeting Hyejung I stopped.
What kind of toys?
Figures and this and this. I was a severe character. Then after meeting Hyejung who said what is an adult doing collecting these things, I stopped collecting, because the figures I had now become Haru's toys. I think of that often these days. I can't simply throw away items. For example, a special something comes out from the soda can I'm drinking. I would drink it and throw it away, because I think it would be here forever or there will be something new. However, if we look back later, the smartphones we have now will have a strong scent. But we don't know that now. So, I didn't think the toys I played with when I was young will be a bridge for me to cross over time. At that time, I gained interest in something else, as time passes I can't find anything else like it now. So, I keep going backward. So, I plan to treausre not only inanimate objects but people, and time. One day it'll disappear and you can't get it back.
I feel like we should be listening to Epik High's 1st album song 'Remember' as we go back home.
Oh! Few days ago, someone came to do an interview and brought Epik High's 1st album tape. After seeing that, something hit me. That was the last time period of making tapes. At that time, in album sales, tape also aggregated. I started music in the last of tape generation. I thought, 'Whoah, I did music for this long?' 'There's someone who still has this? Even I don't have one.' So, I wanted to ask the person to give it to me, but that person bought it himself and I thought of buying it from the person but that seemed funny... so I didn't ask. I kind of regret it now. I should have asked.