- Even though he’s the leader, he seems kinda shy
- Always had a huge/silly smile on his face
- Kept swinging back and forth during the photoshoot
COOL: Among the members, you have the most solo songs. What do you think about this?
Onew: Of course I think it’s a great opportunity. (laugh) Even though it feels great to do activities together with the other members, I can show another side of myself with a solo song. I think it’s a pretty good thing.
COOL: As the leader, what about you makes the other members feel at ease?
Onew: Really hard question…..(talks with the translator twice) I…..can often make the members laugh. Ah! Really hard!
COOL: What do you think is the most important thing about being an artist?
Onew: You must have your own dreams. No matter if you’re standing on stage, or just practicing daily, you always have to think you’re the best. Even if it’s not like that now, you have to believe you will achieve it someday, and always work hard.
- Pretty and energetic
- His favourite Chinese artist is “Victoria noona”
- When posing for the photoshoot, the staff told him to do a powerful expression; he said it was too embarrassing so he’ll just smile
COOL: Idol Maknae Rebellion received a really good response in Korea. As SHINee’s maknae, have you ever shown any rebellious behaviour?
Taemin: I don’t think I’ve ever really rebelled before. The hyungs take care of me, so even if there is a temporary disagreement, we’ll talk it out to solve it.
COOL: As the maknae, what do you envy the most about your hyungs?
Taemin: All the members except for me have become adults, these days I want to grow up quickly, to become an adult soon. But in terms of envying them, I don’t think there’s anything. Rather, the hyungs envy me a little because I’m the most youthful. (laugh)
COOL: On year-end shows you performed some MJ dances. Are you satisfied with your performances?
Taemin: I personally really like and respect MJ. Even though I frequently imitate his dances on stage, there is something regrettable each time. There hasn’t been a performance I’m satisfied with before, but I’m happy to be able to imitate the sunbae I respect the most on stage.
- Leaves a deep impression, has a lot of ideas
- One of staff’s phone rang, the ringtone was Lachata, he then took out his phone and played Lachata and started wiggling to it
- He asked how to say fries in Chinese (in English), and then started saying “shu tiao! shu tiao!” to let the staff know he was hungry
COOL: You’re naturally very talented in dancing, and you’re the member who picks up choreography the fastest in the group. You are also exceptional at imitating girl group dances. As the “almighty key”, has there been anything new you’ve wanted to try?
Key: Right now I haven’t thought about it, but if there’s an opportunity in the future, I will perform it for everyone.
COOL: What do you think should always be preserved?
Key: Freedom, doing whatever you want to do.
COOL: So on shows you can say anything.
Key: My personality was always like that.
COOL: You did well!
Key: Hahaha…..but the hyungs have been unhappy about it before.
COOL: It feels like you have a lot of ideas about fashion design.
Key: Yes, I contributed a lot of my ideas when shooting for our mini-album. Usually the members would also exchange ideas.
COOL: Do you take care of your appearance a lot? What is the most important “point” of outer appearance?
Key: All of it. I think you have match from head to toe. You’re most handsome when you coordinate everything.
- Handsome & good-looking
- He was so tall that they had to keep raising the background higher (for the photoshoot) and when he realized this, he seemed like a kid that had found out he had done something wrong
- When the translator misinterpreted the question as “You were picked to be in SHINee for your looks”, he looked hurt, while the other members were laughing their heads off (they re-translated and then he smiled)
COOL: As Dream Team’s ace, you interact really well with your sunbaes. What have you learned from them?
Minho: I’m the youngest there, and the age gap between the sunbaes is pretty big. They always give me a lot of advice, like how to do variety shows well, how to make it interesting, and encourage me with things like that. Doing the show is not only fun, I also learned a lot of things I normally wouldn’t learn, it’s a really good show.
COOL: Even though it’s been said that you were scouted because of your outstanding looks (other members: hahahaha!), you’ve made a lot of improvement since debut. What have you personally worked hard at?
Minho: Before going on stage I would practice a lot, and I would also discuss a lot with my members. Through experience on-stage, I would become better at performing. I began recognizing my strengths and weaknesses, and would practice continuously to improve them.
COOL: Your performance in shows like Star King have been getting better and better. Which side of you would you want to show to everyone the most?
Minho: I want to show my personal charm. It would be better to say I want everyone to see SHINee’s different sides. Every time I’m on a show, I would work hard to perform well. Since variety shows are there to make everyone happy, I will try hard to create joy.
- No matter what they started talking about, they’d always end up talking about music with him
- Even though he talked a lot, he liked listening to the members’ answers and laughed the hardest when Taemin accidentally wrote “2100″ instead of “2010″
- He hit Minho back into his seat (or something like that)
COOL: On stage, you’re very bling bling. Is this something you deliberately do, or were you naturally like that?
Jonghyun: I usually practice a lot, so when I’m performing on stage it becomes easy.
COOL: Other than singing, do you have another personal talent?
Jonghyun: My favourite thing seems to only be singing, I’m also learning how to write lyrics and compose songs. After I’m developed enough in these areas, I want to show another side of me.
COOL: Everyone said they could see Jonghyun’s limitless possibility through “Juliette”, what do you think?
Jonghyun: Of course I’m very thankful.
COOL: Will you continue to try and master this type of activity?
Jonghyun: Of course, I’m still only beginning to learn. I will work hard from now on.
COOL: Jonghyun’s singing is full of uniqueness. As a singer, which do you think is most important among voice, technique, and composing ability?
Jonghyun: I think as a singer, you need emotion when doing a musical piece. No matter if you’re a lyricist or a composer, I think this is really important.
COOL: What kind of music do you want to do the most?
Jonghyun: R&B, music that people can relate to.
COOL: Your voice is really suitable for it.
Jonghyun: Xie xie! (Thank you!)
COOL: What were your feelings when you saw so many fans at the airport the first time you came to Changsha?
All: Oh~~~~~~~ (sigh)
Taemin: With so many fans receiving us the first time we came here, first of all thank you to everyone for knowing us (laugh). Since we have never officially performed in China, we thought it was really unbelievable.
Onew: We stood on stage on January 1st, 2010 and met our Chinese fans, we are very happy. When we heard that all of the MCs on this station would be on this show, we were scared for a moment.
COOL: Everyone said after SHINee came, Changsha's weather also became lighter. You guys are really "shining"!
Jonghyun: Ah, really?
Key: That's really unbelievable.....
Onew: That's pretty good, not bad not bad. (laugh)
COOL: SHINee's image is really unique among Korean boy bands. It really resembles popular 90s European and American boy bands. Does everyone think this comparison is fitting?
Key: Apart from just now, no one has ever said it like that, thank you so much. Although, no matter if it's our musical style or appearance, we don't seem to have that type of vibe.
COOL: But when you guys first debuted, SM's PR representatives introduced you guys like that.
Jonghyun: Oh, you mean like N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys? (COOL: Yes!) Then there is some similarity. Our clothes more or less have some vintage trends. It seemed to fit us best, so it gradually became our unique image.
COOL: Do you like this type of image?
All: Mhm!! (lots of laughter)
Key: If everyone thinks it's good, it's good. (shy)
Manager: (butts in) They will continue to change to various images......
COOL: In terms of your songs, you've incorporated a lot of European and American singing styles and sounds. Did you have any special training when you were trainees?
Jonghyun: We were trained in different types of vocalizations, even when we're talking we would also practice.
COOL: No matter if it's DBSK or Super Junior, they both encountered a period of difficulties after debut. But they were able to come back and become top groups, reaching the climax of their careers. As a second generation hoobae, SHINee has been popular since debut. I'm curious as to any difficulties you've encountered?
Taemin: From the beginning, we were all very hard-working, and learned a lot of things from our sunbaes. Although up until now, it doesn't seem like we've encountered any memorable difficult experiences. (laughs)
COOL: Everyone says, "Growth is completed rapidly during defeat." From debut until now, has anything happened to help you grow and develop?
Onew: The sunbaes often give us a lot of help. They will always tell us, "This was done very well, that was done very well", so we've never really been on the wrong path, we've gained a lot of benefits from them.
Taemin: Plus..........the sunbaes will often buy delicious food for us, haha.
COOL: "2009, Year of Us" brought a lot of changes to your style. What do the members think is the biggest change?
Key: First of all, on this album, there are a lot of things we personally like and always wanted to experiment with. The members' appearances have had some big changes. Actually there's nothing to hide, because everyone's image has become really different. From now on, we will continue to show our personality while showing an image that everyone can accept.
Minho: Please anticipate it! (laugh)
COOL: Did any of the members come up with the title "2009, Year of Us"? It's really powerful.....
Onew: Haha, we don't really have that kind of skill right now. (shy)
COOL: It's already 2010. Thinking back to 2009, was there anything that made you feel very proud? Use an example to prove that "This was our year".
Minho: Last year we won awards at music shows, the Popularity Award at the Golden Disk Awards. We also performed on many music award shows towards the end of the year. There are so many of these things, it's impossible to pick just one event. (worrying)
Jonghyun: Um......I think it's Minho's personality becoming more outgoing. Everyone thought of this, right? Haha!
Onew: Aigoo~ also in 2010 two people will become adults.
COOL: From SHINee's songs we can see SM Entertainment's strong song-writing abilities, this can be considered one of your styles. "Ring Ding Dong" is SHINee's first song that wasn't a European or American remake*. How did the members feel when they first heard the demo?
Onew: The feeling was super~ good.
Minho: I thought, "Ah, it's not a foreign song!"
Key: To be honest, when we first heard the demo, there were lots of emotions. Our songs have always been difficult, so we always try to overcome the pressure to digest it, it's the same this time.
*The interviewer is referring to the fact that Ring Ding Dong is the first song that SM didn't buy from foreign composers.
COOL: Everyone performed excellently though. Aside from the song, the choreography also created a reaction when it was revealed. Did you include any of your own ideas into the choreography?
Jonghyun: When it's our solo parts, everyone adds little movements. For example, everyone has their own unique hand gestures.
Taemin: There were a lot of deliberations for this choreography. Sometimes we would also have our own ideas, "Is it good to dance this part like that? Can we change that part?" This time, I suppose we added a lot of our own things to the choreography. (laugh)
COOL: Through this album, the members seemed have gone from "herbivorous men" to "omnivorous men". Specifically, what changes has everyone gone through?
Jonghyun: First of all, for this album, our appearance has changed a lot. During Juliette, from the clothes to the lyrics, it was more adult-like. It was mainly about the feelings of a man when he is confessing. This time, the lyrics are more mature, so it has the vibe of a boy becoming a man.
COOL: The follow-up song "JoJo" was not as powerful as the title song, it seemed to be completely different.
Jonghyun: "Ring Ding Dong" and "JoJo" are two pieces from different periods. Whether it has a vintage feel to it, or appearance-wise, the two songs are very different. "JoJo" wardrobe was more fashionable, it had a boy band feel. "Ring Ding Dong" was also very fashionable, though the song style is closer to SMP*. In these areas, you can feel the differences.
*SMP = SM Performance, basically Yoo Young Jin-type songs like BoA's "Girls On Top", Super Junior's "Don't Don", etc. (thanks live laugh love@soompi!)
COOL: Key and Minho's collaboration for "Get Down" really stands out in the album, what do you guys personally feel about it?
Minho: This is the first time we've included something like this in our albums, so we both thought our duet was very fresh, and very unique. Plus, we really like this style of song style, so we thought it was good when we performed together. It was a good experience.
COOL: Why did you think of Luna help you guys?
Minho: f(x) are our first hoobaes. They also like our songs, so for this collaboration, we are very thankful to them.
RANDOM TALK WITHIN THE GROUP
COOL: Since debut, have the groups' responsibilities changed?
Key: When we first debuted, the members' different personalities were not very apparent, so responsibilities weren't like that either. The members have always tried to work hard, with the mentality of never giving up. (shy)
Jonghyun: That doesn't seem like what the interviewer is asking?
COOL: Uh.........for example, who is responsible for the trivial things in the group? Like who is the "Morning Call"?
Minho: Jonghyun hyung.
Jonghyun: Actually it's our maknae Taemin.
Onew: As long as Taemin wakes us up, everyone will readily get out of bed.
Jonghyun: We lived together for a long time, so we already have unspoken agreements among each other.
Onew: Right, even if we don't speak, we know what to do once we make eye contact.
COOL: Then one by one, use a "serial killing" method to comment on a member and then give him new year's greetings, how about that?
Onew: If you have anything to say, then say it! Hahaha...
Taemin: Then I'll go first! Minho, first of all he's really tall (Jonghyun laughs), overall he's a very handsome person. How should I say this (looks at Minho for a long time), he's good at motivating other people. His singing voice is very charming, I personally think his voice is very magnetic. And when he's on stage, he can capture people's attention very quickly. He can let people focus on his role of charisma in an instant.
COOL: Do you have any new year's greetings for Minho?
Taemin: Ah! Happy new year! (laughing) You're an adult this year, I hope you can show a handsome side to everyone. I will also learn from you. Let's make an effort together!
Minho: (after correcting his expression) Onew hyung's voice has a lot of charm, and is really warm. He also has a solo song on this album, I really like it. Even though this song was nice to begin with, when Onew hyung sang it, I was immediately immersed in it. When he's on shows his image is pretty good, I hope he can continue to have a positive attitude in 2010.
COOL: What do you think about Onew always falling down?
Minho: (serious) I hope he doesn't fall down anymore in 2010, please.
Onew: In 2010, I will grow taller..........
Onew: Sorry! (heavy laughter ensues) Jonghyun, he is really charming when he sings. He always works hard in singing and dancing, and he is a very talented person. He is also very good at writing lyrics. After some time, I reckon a piece that will exceed everyone's expectations will surface. Last year he wrote lyrics for Juliette, hope he will make a lot of progress this year, and make his name more well-known.
Jonghyun: A friend like Key has a lot of talent, and a strong sense of fashion, he has his own opinions on this matter. When faced with a challenge, he definitely would not skip over it, but work hard to overcome it. How can he be good at all these things? Why does he do everything perfectly? ....ah, everyone will find out the answer in 2010. (laugh)
COOL: Key is a person who can say anything. Does your blunt honesty ever get you into trouble?
Key: My personality was outgoing in the first place, so if I have something to say I will say it, my personality is like that. Let's talk about our Taemin! He is really cute and useful as a maknae. He's always been hard- working, so not just in 2010, it doesn't matter which year, he will always be a child worth anticipating! (he does something sweetly to Taemin but I don't know how to translate it sorry >__>)
NEW YEAR'S GUIDE
COOL: What are you wishes for the new year?
Onew: My greatest wish is for everyone to be healthy.
Jonghyun: Yes, health is most important.
COOL: Who looks after his body the best?
Jonghyun: All of the members look after their health.
Onew: We're pretty good at that!
COOL: Even though you're young, you're pretty good at looking after yourselves!
All: That doesn't have anything to do with age! (laughter)
COOL: What present do you want to receive for the new year?
Jonghyun: Um...(to Onew) what kind of present do you want?
Onew: I want a house.
Jonghyun: Oh~ pretty good.
Taemin: I feel like a present should have some mystery to it, so......
Onew: Overall, we like presents that give a surprise.
COOL: Just now we saw you watching the broadcast about Super Junior's concert for a long time. Have you had any similar plans recently?
Onew: Right now we don't have plans for a concert, but if the opportunity comes along we really want to do it.
COOL: If the opportunity arises, what kind of stage would you prepare for everyone?
Jonghyun: We'd have to plan carefully for this, I imagine we'd have to at least go into intense practice.
Key: If we had the opportunity to have a concert, we would definitely deliver the most spectacular performances for everyone, though.....we really want to have a concert, so please hurry and give us an opportunity!
COOL: Are you ever jealous of your Super Junior sunbaes having their own fixed shows? Which members have ambitions in this area?
Onew: Everyone has ambitions for this (laugh). I remember Key and I were radio DJs for a day, it was really interesting.
Key: Everyone is really ambitious about this, so every time we're on a show, it's an opportunity for us to showcase our abilities. We learned a lot of things from our sunbaes, so we hope to have good results like them.
COOL: Right now, there are a lot of Korean idol groups starting to enter the Japanese market. Do you have any similar plans?
Onew: We held some activities in Japan, and we will have a few fanmeetings in the future as well. This amount of activity doesn't really count as entering the Japanese market.
COOL: Are you familiar with Japanese songs?
All: ...............This, very hard! (worried hand gestures)
Jonghyun: They have a wide variety of music. It's a market that is full of energy.
Key: The music is full of personality, it's really great.
Onew: Even though every country has its own music industry, Japan's seems to be a bit more mature, right?
COOL: Whenever you guys are on stage, you're always very confident. Your live ability is also outstanding. If you were to go overseas, what would you be worried about the most?
Jonghyun: It doesn't have to be Japan, if we were to enter any overseas market, we would most worried about language.
Onew: Yes. At the very least we should learn how to say, "Mom, Dad, I miss you." (laugh)
COOL: This time it seems like everyone's level of Mandarin has improved, what Chinese phrase are you most confident about?
Onew: Thank you!
Minho: I don't understand!
All: ^&%*#@&^%$##!#$% (could not figure out anything among the nonsense)
COOL: What is the most difficult thing about learning Mandarin?
Onew: Tones and pronounciation.
Jonghyun: Mandarin has four tones, it's really difficult.
Key: ELEVEN.........(T/N I guess he's demonstrating the tones by saying "eleven")
COOL: A lot of fans say you're skinny.......
Onew: (interrupting) So they don't like us?
Jonghyun: (points at leader) You're being naughty!
COOL: Everyone is worried about your ideal types. Would you not like girls who are a little chubby?
Minho & Taemin: No, no!!!
Taemin: I don't really have any specific requirements for my ideal type, she should just be pretty and kind, it would definitely be best if she was a little perfect.
Minho: Kind, a person I can talk to, it would definitely be better if she was pretty. (blushes)
Onew: I like girls who are cute, have nice voices, pretty hands.
Jonghyun: I like girls with pale skin.
Key: I just like girls I can talk to. (acting really handsome)
COOL: Finally, say something to your Chinese fans through Cool Music.
Onew: We're so happy to be in China on the first day of the new year, January 1st, 2010, meeting Chinese fans. This is a really meaningful event to us. If time permits, and everyone asks us to come often, we will definitely come often to see everyone. I hope we will have more of these opportunities. And thank you for everyone's love and support, we will definitely work hard!
All: Happy New Year everyone! Hope good things happen every day! We are....SHINee!
scans: onewcn.com via soompi
interview translation: weareshining.com and caffywin