Q. You showed off fancy performances with martial arts tricking for your debut track ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’, but this song ‘A’ is more cute and lively. And it’s more appealing to the public.
Jr: Last time, we had to look cool, but this time we paid a lot of attention to our facial expressions. Did I and Jaebum-hyung give help to our members since we’ve acted before? Not at all. They all have lots of talent. Especially Youngjae upgraded a lot.
Youngjae: I think my facial expressions are awkward so I don’t monitor my performances lazily. I also worked hard to lose weight. Instead of paying attention to the numerical amount of weight I lost, I lost weight until my face had a V-line shape. I always ate lunch, and when eating lunch and dinner, if I got the feeling of ‘I’ll gain weight if I eat more’, I stopped right there.
Q. In both tracks, the lyrics show you as men that are full of confidence in front of women. How are you in real life?
Yugyeom. I’m really shy. Someone has rarely expressed that they like me. There have been lots of times when I’ve liked someone though…
BamBam. I haven’t ever really felt that a girl likes me.
Jackson. The lyrics and performances are all just acting.
Q. You seem to have a lot of skinship with fans at events such as fansigns. Do you have any instances when you were flustered?
Mark. A fan asked me to kiss her on the cheek but I didn’t (laughs).
Yugyeom. They ask me to pat their head.
JB. That happens often. But if I pat a fan’s head, it’s as if I’m a higher being so I think that action isn’t very courteous to them.
Jr. I think women feel like they’re being protected by that. When I was promoting with JJ Project, we had a small fanmeeting in Vietnam. A fan suddenly kissed me and left. I was taken aback for a moment and just said ‘Thank you~’. My emotions were complicated and I felt restless. Ah…
Q. Mark, Jackson, BamBam, do you have any incidents that occurred because of your Korean skills?
BamBam. Sometimes I get words confused. We have to go to Paju (a city) but I get confused and say ‘Should we go to Pajeon (green onion pancakes)?’ or call Choongchungdo (a province) ‘Chungchoongdo’.
Jackson. When I was a trainee, I saw Park Jinyoung PD-nim at the company building. As soon as I saw him, I said “Hey~ What’s up~ I’m your trainee” and PD-nim looked like he didn’t know how to react then just said “Congratulations” and left (laughs).
Yugyeom. Mark-hyung must’ve been the first trainee that treated PD-nim so comfortably. Now when he sees PD-nim, he says “Oh~ Hyung!”.Note: Mistake in the printed interview. Probably should be Jackson.
Q. Before and after debut, what has changed in the advice that Park Jinyoung PD gives to the members?
Jr. It’s the same that he emphasizes ‘half air half sound’. But this time, he told us to sing while imagining that a girl that we like is in front of us. That a singer is also an actor when on stage.
Q. He must be most harsh to the lead vocal.
Youngjae. Yes. When I sing, I have the habits of raising my eyebrows or opening my mouth widely. But PD-nim said that raising eyebrows while singing is not a good habit, and if I do it again, he’ll put tape on my eyebrows (laughs).
Q. Yugyeom and BamBam that were born in 97 are the maknaes in the team but seem like they have very different characters.
Jackson. Unlike Yugyeom’s manly appearance, he is very tenderhearted and innocent. BamBam has cute behavior but his personality is manly.
Jr. Yugyeom grew 2~3cm while promoting. Sometimes it’s embarrassing when he comes near me when we’re taking pictures because of the height difference.
Jackson. BamBam is still the shortest member. But I think I’ll be the shortest in a year.
Jinyoung. Jackson has a height insecurity.
Q. Doesn’t Jackson have the best body from being an athlete though?
JB. Once, Jackson asked a staff noona which member has the best body. That noona said ‘Jaebum’ so he became sulky.
Jr. Since some time, whenever our bodies are brought up, Jackson just says “Yeah. Jaebum has a better body” then gets sulky.
Jackson. Well, I said I wanted to shoot for Men's Health and that noona said “You? GOT7’s body is obviously Jaebum”. So my mood was just!
JB. If I come out of the shower and am just wearing underwear, Jackson looks up and down at my body (laughs).
Jackson. Jaebum has wide shoulders and not very much body fat. I just have a large body and large muscles and a thick torso. I just accept it now. Im Jaebum-ssi, I will accept it now! (laughs)
Jr. We can talk about this topic for an hour.
Jackson. But lower body is still me.
Q. JB and Jr. debuted as ‘JJ Project’ first and later joined GOT7 and debuted again. You must’ve had more worry or pressure compared to other members.
JB. We were preparing for JJ Project’s second album and suddenly ended up preparing for GOT7. Before this album came out, we worried that if we don’t do well, the same thing would happen that happened then.
Jr. JB-hyung and I are on our 4th year since debut. But we felt like we still haven’t really done much so it hurt a little. After GOT7’s first album promotions ended, it was our 2 year anniversary since debut. I felt a little gloomy for no reason. But since GOT7 has debuted, I am firmly determined that we will succeed.
Jackson. JJ Project doesn’t have to be just two people. Jackson is also ‘J’ so we can be Triple J. Youngjae is also ‘J’ and can do it together too (laughs).
Q. If you have a duet or unit group like JJ Project, which member do you want to do it with?
BamBam. Answer well.
JB. Mm… Jackson?
Jackson. Because the two of us have nice bodies and can rip our clothes?
Yugyeom. Ah! Then Jackson-hyung that has a strong lower body can rip his pants! (laughs)
Q. We heard you receive character education and sex education at your company, so what do you learn about?
JB. Well for sex education… This is embarrassing to talk about (laughs). They teach us proper knowledge. For character education, they provide us mental care. We are able to relieve stress through one-on-one talks. When we were trainees, we did it once a week but now we’re rarely able to.
Jr. Both sex education and character education should be learned not as celebrities, but as humans.
Q. You always say in interviews ‘We want to go farther than being idols and become artists’. What do you think is the difference?
Jr. We are not belittling the title of an idol. But I think an artist needs to have their individual musical color, even if they are an idol.
Q. Do you all have a clear preference in music that you want to do?
Mark. I like slow hip hop.
Jr. I’ve enjoyed choreographing since I was young. I also think it would be fun to be a producer that also performs. It’s a different area but I also want to do theatre.
Jackson. I want to do hip hop and R&B.
Youngjae. I want to do R&B ballads but want to both compose and write lyrics. I like music that demands for lots of singing ability.
JB. I like R&B and soul. I want to do lots of different genres of music like indie music or James Morrison style. I also want to write a movie scenario if the opportunity comes.
BamBam. I like Korean hip hop. I also like designing homes, clothes, etc.
Yugyeom. I like hip hop and R&B, and also want to do them well.
Q. You chose 2PM and Shinhwa as your role models.
Jr. g.o.d sunbaes also came back recently, but Shinhwa sunbaes did not break up even once and are the longest running group. Seeing that, we want to be an idol group that lasts a long time by doing our individual activities, living our own lives, but are able to come together and do music whenever our feelings match up.
Q. Do you spend free time with members, too?
Jr. We usually sleep. We also play games on Play Station, or make music in our own rooms. We also watch movies together. We watched Miracle in Cell No. 7 together and bawled.
Mark. When our schedule allows, we want to go watch transformers!
Q. While the average training time for the other members was 3-4 years, Youngjae debuted 7 months after entering the company. What kind of effort did you put in to become closer with the members quickly?
Youngjae. None. Because they all have lively personalities.
Jr. We’re very easy guys. So it’s easy to become close with us (laughs).
Translated by shmesm @ fyjypnation.tumblr.com
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dedicated to my one and only woohyun