Hip hop group Epik High (Tablo, Mithra, Tukutz) revealed their thoughts about the claims that they have changed after joining YG Entertainment.
Epik High released their 8th album ‘Shoebox’ on the 21st of October and made their comeback as singers 2 years after releasing their 7th album, ‘99’. The title song, Happen Ending, has been sweeping #1 for a week on several music charts including Melon. Not only that, but the other tracks have also been included in the top ten. This shows that the 2 years of waiting weren’t for nothing.
Tablo was asked in an interview with Newsen on the 27th how it was to return to the fans’ side after two years. “We’re so happy that we’re confused. As we’ve been releasing countless albums in the past 11 years, we’ve occasionally felt the kind of happiness that makes you smile by yourself. This is however the first time feeling happiness that makes us go “what is this?”. It’s a bit overwhelming”, he started.
“We really didn’t expect results like this. As expected, the people around us or our company also had no idea. Not just one song, but even the other tracks on the album are also receiving love, which honestly isn’t an easy feat these days. We’re extremely thankful that it happened to us. The reason I said it felt overwhelming was because the people around us would aksk “Wow, you guys, what is this?” and we’d answer, “That’s what we’d like to know too.” It doesn’t yet feel real that the response was so good.”
Tukutz revealed that the better than expected response makes him smile for no reason. He added, “Every once in a while I just start smiling randomly. Because I feel so good. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt this good.”
The satisfaction they have for their new album is exactly 100%. It’s because the members have for the past 2 years promised to each other that they would not release anything until they are 100% satisfied with it and thus have focused only on the making of their new album. Tablo revealed his confidence about the new album saying, “First of all, I’m 100% satistied. To have a result that is 100% satisfying we ended up working on it for over two years. The moment we were satisfied we released the album.”
“We picked out songs made during those two years and released the album. During that time, we started working on a lot of songs but never finished them. Out of all of the songs, the criteria for choosing the songs we include on the album was picking the ones that people who like and listen to music wouldn’t be wasting their time when buying the album. Recently, I believe that to people the thing more valuable than money seems to be time. The time needed to listen to all of the songs is around one hour, but the world is too busy and there are too many things to listen to and to see to invest that time completely to one singers’ album. People are giving us one whole hour, and we wanted to make an album that makes them feel that it was worth it. There were pretty good songs among the ones we threw away as well. However, we didn’t put them in because we felt that it would make the experience of listening to Epik High’s songs for one hour less worthwhile.”
Because of advice given to Epik High by YG’s main producer, Yang Hyun Suk, they worked on their new album in a studio separate from YG. He thought that Epik High’s uniqueness and musicality would be brought out better in an external studio, and using Yang Hyun Suk’s advice as a basis the members came to the same conclusion. They worked with the engineer that had worked with them from Map of the Human Soul until Fever’s end, and worked on their new songs in Ark Studios, where they’ve worked before.
To this, Tukutz revealed, “CEO Yang Hyun Suk had no involvement in this album. We didn’t even see him while working on it.”
Tablo explained, “The CEO doesn’t want YG’s influence to spread onto Epik High. The truth is, it wasn’t that we smoothly ended up working at a different place because we couldn’t use the YG studios. The CEO didn’t just one day tell us not to work at YG. The engineers didn’t set up recording times for us. Even if we told them when we wanted to record, they’d say that someone else had already chosen that time and for over a week, there was no time set for us. That’s when the CEO told us, “the recording studios are so booked that you might be uncomfortable, so you should go to the place where you originally recorder at.”
“Honestly, working at a studio separate from YG made the production costs go up. We pretty much understood the CEO’s intention when he told us to go back to our old studios. We recorded at the place where we used to record at, and it was nice. I think it was a very good decision. It was also a good decision from the CEO’s point of view. He couldn’t hear any of our new music until it was all finished and at the mixing stage. He even got angry at me. Early this year, he asked me to let him hear some of our new songs but I told him, “You can’t. Since it’s not finished yet, it’s not at a stage where I can let you listen to it.” He was very shocked. The way I see it, it was probably the first time in his life that someone told him that. We let him listen to the songs at nearly the last stage of the production. He didn’t want to listen to them one at a time. Just like fans get to listen to the whole album at once, he wanted to do that too. We think he might’ve secretly listened to the songs one or two at a time.”
Epik High signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment in September of 2011, and released their 7th album in October 2012. However, the response of fans was very divided and they received a lot of criticism that their music had changed due to the influence of YG.
Tukutz revealed, “Because of the criticism, the burden we felt for this album was actually smaller. Overall, the previous album contained the feelings and experiences Tablo went through in his situation. This album was made by making songs and choosing them according to the way we live and make music, so we felt no pressure because of the reviews the previous album received.”
Tablo said, “Actually we really like our previous album. Don’t Hate Me, which was on that album, is the ending song in all of our performances. Because we’re having fun and the audience is having fun, that song doing well alone is enough.” Tukutz asked, “did it do well?” while Mithra joked, “The album isn’t in the wrong”, bringing laughter.
Epik High will be holding their Parade 2014 concerts in Seoul’s Yongsan-gu Hannam-dong Blue Square Samsung Card Hall from the 14th until the 16th. It is their first time meeting with their fans in their own concert in five years.
Tablo said regarding the concerts, “We ended up having four concerts on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of November. We were originally going to have two concerts, but since they were sold out in two minutes, we added two more. Today is the day the ticketing for the additional concerts starts. We just hope nobody faints. We’re planning on doing things that make you think, ‘Would someone really go that far in a concert?'”, giving a hint for the upcoming concert. Tukutz raised the expectations for the concert by adding, “I’ll show the fans the stages they are looking forward to. Wouldn’t they feel good seeing that. I’m taking into consideration what the fans want to see and what they wish to gain from the concert. We’ll show something that exceeds everyone’s expectations.”
Source : icaruswalks / newsen
The part talking about the claims isn't really anything new to what they've said before.
I think it was nice how they chose songs for Shoebox. RIP all the 100+ songs we'll never hear :(