Yuchun “I like group activities better than individual activities, to be honest…I enjoy it. I don’t know how fans would feel. There may be fans who support individual activities more. But sometimes I feel that the fans would place more importance and show more interest in group activities.”
Jaejoong “I agree.”
Junsu “When we first started our activities, I think fans also thought that it was a reasonable and good thing for a member to do something for another member. But at some point in time, fans started to be sensitive about things that we thought nothing of doing for each other. There are fans who become fans because of Jaejoong’s acting, or fans who like my musical, not JYJ. It goes same for Yuchun’s drama. I think that’s what their positions are. But, I hope that they would keep in mind that we are JYJ before that.”
Jaejoong “We say these words with caution since the intentions of the fans are for the good of us, support and love for me. But I really would like to take this chance to talk about this before starting group activities for this album. Please keep in mind that we are able to come out and do our individual activities from the energy we gain from JYJ.”
Yuchun “There is another thing I would like to ask of our fans. We set the directions for our activities. We discuss it with the agency, but we make most of the decisions. But I noticed that there were many people who criticize the agency.”
Junsu “People believe that decisions that are beneficial to some and as beneficial to others are being made.”
Yuchun “Please understand this. There are times when we make considerations for the agency and when members make considerations for other members. But fans think that the decisions we made out of consideration for each other is a decision made unilaterally by the agency. Of course, we know. We know that it is out of your love for that member. But we chose to walk out from [our former] agency because we wanted to make our own decisions, and so we prioritize the respect for our opinions above anything else.”
Junsu “Yes. We listen to what the agency has to say. But we make the decisions. Among our activities, some have been more successful than others. Fans believe that those decisions have been made by the agency, but it is not true. To put it simply, we do what we want to do. I would like the fans, out of the love they have for us, to understand that JYJ are people who take responsibilities for the decisions they have made.”
Jaejoong “We hope that the fans would support us so that we could do what we want to do. Of course, we know that the fans have been our greatest support going through the hard times with us when we left our former agency.”
Junsu “After the hard times, I feel that the members and fans have laughed more and grown closer together. That is why we would like the fans to enjoy our group activities instead of being worried and defensive. Above all, I have the deepest gratitude for the fans.”
Jaejoong “It’s like fans and us are a family now.”
Q. Anyhow, that is a long time. There are many names to friendships. What kind of friends are you to each other?
Yuchun “There is no right word that could describe us. Before, it was just a friend and a family. There were few words that came to my mind, but now, the meaning of those words just seems pointless. There is just no need for it.”
Junsu “We depend on each other more and grow closer together when we are going through hard times, rather than being together only in good times.”
Yuchun “I don’t know what happiness is, but I really want three of us to keep doing well. It would be great if we became more successful and made a lot of money, but I think about how strong our relationship would be if the three of us could just have a smile on our faces simply by seeing each other’s faces. Of course, JYJ activities are very important and I would like to keep doing it. But I hope we do it because we think alike, because we are so happy when we are together, and because we think it would be great to do something like this when we listen to a song on the radio. Things we could do because it makes each other happy. We don’t know what great things we would be or what lies ahead in our future. Even if we don’t get the leading roles when we are forty years-old, and we could only afford to do 10 shows when we did 30 shows in the past, I would be happy if we were happy just for the sake of doing it. It would be great if we were successful, but that’s not what is important.”
Yuchun “People tell me to widen the social circle a little since the types of people I meet are limited. But it doesn’t matter how many people I meet. I have these two [Jaejoong and Junsu] as my security. Jaejoong hyung and Junsu. These two will always be there for me, and that’s enough. What would I be afraid of or worried about when I have assets like these two?”
Junsu “It’s hard enough to make just one [friend like this].” (laughs)
Jaejoong “It’s like a security deposit.” (laughs)
Q. It’s been three years since the last album, and the three of you have been involved in many individual activities. It is a time that would have matured you as a person as well. It may be a little abstract, but please tell us how your growth over the three years has been reflected in this album.
Junsu “Genres are more diverse, but we are relaxed a bit more in this album. It is not that we weren’t trying as hard but we matured in a way. For example, even for the same dance music, we chose songs with stronger impression rather than faster and louder beat. It is true that all three of us have different taste in music, but we also know what music JYJ should be doing. We got a lot of songs from Korean and international composers. About 80 songs. Each of us chose 5 songs, but 3 of the songs overlapped. Instead of deciding which songs were good or bad, we thought about music we should be doing, and we think alike.”
Q. What do three of you think JYJ’s music should be?
Yuchun “Good music. And music that harmonizes well with Junsu’s voice and Jaejoong hyung’s voice.”
Jaejoong “We didn’t think about the trends or genre for this album. We chose not to think about anything other than just finding the common ground for the three of us. There are songs with a powerful instrumental music, a cappella, R&B or pure pop. We chose songs that all three of us thought were good when we listened.”
Q. Three of you are all so different. It is amazing that you could find a common ground in good music.
Yuchun “I think we had few similar impressions [about music] when thinking about the group and excluding the genres we liked. These impressions come purely from the long years we spent together. There is no clear reason, but when we listen to the songs, we know what is good, what would go well with the members, and what it would be like when three of us sing together. This is possible because we have been together for a long time.”
Q. After reuniting after three years of activities in different areas instead of continuing activities as JYJ, there must be some changes you have noticed.
Jaejoong “I am sure all of us have it.”
Yuchun “I don’t have any.”
Jaejoong “You don’t have any? Why not?” (laughs) [T/N: JJ uses baby talk in a very cute, mocking way] Junsu and I had no pressure to sing because we had released solo albums [during the three years]. But I was wondering what it would be like for Yuchun, who only did acting. Junsu did musicals, so I thought the musical side of him would show and rock for me, since I released rock album. So we started recording wondering what the intersection that would encompass all three of us would be, but once the recording started, it was just JYJ. We were surprised too.”
Junsu “There is a difference between the vocals when doing a musical and when singing as JYJ. That’s also true for Jaejoong hyung. In case of Yuchun, I couldn’t really remember the last time I saw him singing. I worried that he may have lost the touch. But then, we went to karaoke on Yuchun’s birthday, and he sang so well. Maybe it’s because he’d been acting, but I could see that there was something more heart-rendering about his singing now. I was worried too. I was worried if we could start group activities again after three years of doing individual activities, but it turns out that it was only 3 years that we were apart.”
Yuchun “I thought we were together for all 10 years.” (laughs)
Junsu “Yes. 10 years all together.”
Jaejoong “It is our 11th year. Longer if we count the years before debut.”
To the question, “Is Kim Jaejoong happy now? Or, firstly, does Kim Jaejoong believe in happiness?”
Jaejoong “That standard [of happiness] is hard to say these days. People ask me, “JYJ doesn’t really see each other often outside of the work, like album recording, since you are all so busy doing individual activities, right?” It’s actually true. I am happy to see them so often during the making of the album. I was so happy when the three of us started [JYJ] activities together. But then as time passed, we are connected regardless of whether we are apart or together. It doesn’t matter if we are together or we are apart, we feel each other’s presences. It’s similar with happiness. If I had a clear definition of happiness before, now I don’t feel like I should have or do something to be happy. [turns to Yuchun, who previously texted "Are you happy these days?"] I got that text when I was filming a drama, and I was dazed. How many times did we talk about the future, ask each other if we were happy and if we would be happy? Answer to that question changed with each year we grew older, and it was weird hearing that conversation again.”
Junsu “We left [our former] agency because we truly wanted to be happy. We keep asking ourselves if we are headed in that direction, and I think we also worry that this happiness would fade away when we are happy. There are good and bad sides to everything. Whether you are rich or successful, there is definitely a bad side to it. It depends on how you think about it. If I think that I am unhappy because I don’t have something, then I am unhappy. But if I can be satisfied about having what others do not have, then I am happy. It’s harder than you think, because I would be unhappy pursuing something that I don’t have. Aren’t we at least closer to the answer of happiness than we were then?”
Yuchun “There is nothing to happiness, really. Realizing that even when you are going through the hardest time of your life, that moment in itself may be happiness. Realizing that you are happy not because you are having a good time, but that being able to go through the hard times and keep going with your life in itself may be happiness. I think that’s why the members have a clear goal. They don’t have the clear goal, but they have a clear goal. When I sent Jaejoong hyung that text, I was so tired and worn out. I had trouble sleeping, intimidated with thoughts racing in my mind. But then I realized in that situation, that I was fortunate. It is all good. I am still happy. That’s why I texted him. I knew he was busy filming a drama, making albums and preparing for the show, but that was not what I was asking. It was a question like, ‘did you eat?’ You could say it depends on how you look at it, but Jaejoong hyung’s answer was same as mine. No more judging between what is happiness and what is not.”[JYJ GIF SPAM BECAUSE OF ALL THE BROMANCE]
[Bonus: Parents reacting to Balloons, Love in the Ice and Mirotic]