Q. Lee Joon, you’ve been showing us a messed up image of you on variety shows lately. (laugh)
Lee Joon: I’ve been holding back lately because I feel like I’ve shown too much. Sometimes, moderation is needed. (laugh)
Q. You told all kinds of stories about Rain on KBS’s Happy Together. Did anything happen afterwards? (laugh)
Lee Joon: I thought really hard before filming. Should I pick the masses and get scolded by JiHoon hyung, or should I be loved by him but bring no laughs to the masses? (laugh) I ended up picking the masses, because they are greater in number, and talked recklessly. (laugh) JiHoon hyung didn’t really say anything special after filming, but he won’t talk to me about personal things anymore. (laugh) But honestly, I’m not really the funny type of person. I wasn’t trying to be funny.
Q. Those words are the funniest. (laugh) How could you say you’re not funny after doing so much?
Lee Joon: That’s because they edited out the 1-2 minutes of funny things after 6 hours of filming. I’m usually quiet and have a dark side to my personality, but to be honest with you, because the viewer ratings are so high for Happy Together, I felt the need to say whatever I could to make sure that my presence was felt. That’s why I said anything that came to mind about JiHoon hyung (laugh) recklessly.
Q. It’s possible to study dance and singing, but you can’t study variety programming. But variety programming has become a necessity for an idol. What do you think is the most important thing in variety programming?
SeungHo: Fast reactions and perception of situation, and timing. Timing is important because you could say the same thing but it would come out differently according to when you say it.
Mir: Timing is the most important thing. I’ve been edited out the most because I couldn’t get the right timing. (laugh)
Q. It looked like Mir was having a hard time quietly during MBC Every1′s Idol Show.
Mir: When I was a trainee, everyone said, “You’re the most unique, so making people laugh with your body will work”. So at first, everyone told me that I was the one who had to save the group on variety shows. But one day, these images of the hyungs began showing up that I had never seen before. They managed to draw out laughter without completely ruining themselves. At first, the schedule showed, “Mir, Mir, Mir”, but they slowly disappeared one by one and now I’m the one hanging on to the members. (laugh)
Q. Thunder, Idol Show must have been your first variety show. What was the atmosphere like?
Thunder: It was, how should I say it, hard. But everyone was so funny. I laughed like a member of the audience. When they asked me questions, I just thought, “I’ll just say what I need to” and said a few things. And then I became greedy for one-shots and declared that I wanted to MC. When I saw cuts of the hyungs being funny showing up online, I saw them and wanted to do the same, so I deliberately tried to be funny.
Q. You’re from overseas and you haven’t been active in Korea very long. Is communication hard?
Thunder: There aren’t really any hardships. I’m okay, except for when there are hard pronunciations while reading stories on the radio.
Q. You prepare a variety of different imitations of people every week. (laugh)
Lee Joon: Yeah, that’s true. Every week it’s something new. (laugh)
SeungHo: Among the foreigners I know, he’s the one who has been living in Korea the shortest amount of time but he knows Korean the best. Including all the slang. (laugh)
Q. Who taught you slang? (laugh)
SeungHo: I teach them to him one by one.. (laugh)
Q. What does your sister (Sandara Park) say about your activities?
Thunder: During the first album, we talked a lot and she taught me a lot of things, but this time it’s more like, “You’re doing well”.
Q. Did you know that your face is so small like your sister’s that people get surprised? Lots of pictures get put up.
Thunder: Oh really?
Q. You have good proportions and your face is so small..
Thunder: But some people say that it’s weird for a guy to have a really small face. I got hurt the other day hearing that.
Lee Joon: How is it weird? Then I should probably die.
Mir: It’s better than having a big face like me.
Q. Lee Joon, your face isn’t on the big side.
Lee Joon: The company told me not to stand next to Thunder. I’m really, really jealous.
Q. Thunder, you’re interested in songwriting. Have you written any during activities?
Thunder: I have two songs completed. Recently, I’ve been studying midis. Previously, I couldn’t really work with midis, so instead of writing songs recently I’ve been studying midis.
Q. What style of music are you interested in?
Thunder: I don’t really say no to anything. I only create things that, when I hear the melody, I think, ‘This is mine’. Even if it’s a good melody, if I feel that it’s not mine, then I delete it.
Q. Lee Joon, I know that you’re interested in acting, but you did dancing first, right?
Lee Joon: Yes, but I wanted to do acting first. I didn’t have interest in becoming a singer, and I was in the middle of studying acting, but a dongseng I know asked me to go audition with him, so I auditioned for acting. But JiHoon hyung thought that I would go well with being a singer, so I began singing.
SeungHo: Looking from the side, I feel like Joon is a scam character. (laugh) He wanted to act first, but then he danced, and now he’s the Lee Joon of today.
Q. Lee Joon, you began dancing out of coincidence, right? You developed very quickly.
Lee Joon: I worked really hard for dance. That was because the girls kept seeing me as an inferior. All kids who do dance are strong-minded, and most of them are well-off. But my household was having financial difficulties and I only had one dance outfit. Because I kept washing the same pair of tights over and over again, the girls said I smelled and didn’t like me, and I got hurt by their comments saying that I wasn’t good and worked really hard to catch up to them one by one. I got really good marks at the end. I only began dancing because I wanted to act.
Q. The type of dance you used to do and the choreography of MBLAQ are two completely different things but you seem to have caught on quickly. It must be harder than if you had just been someone who had never danced.
Lee Joon: It was really difficult. I heard a lot of things like, “The four members dance the same but you look like you’re doing (learned) dance”. There’s still a feeling of that when I dance, so I’ve been trying to get rid of it.
G.O: People who dance really well usually have a background in ballet or dance, and in that respect I think that Joon is really good. All the members have a good feel. I used to think that because I had released an album before, I had more experience, but now I think that they do a better job.
Q. G.O, how did you come to be a part of MBLAQ?
G.O: I released an album in 2007. The company I was in underwent bankruptcy, and the head of that company is currently in jail for fraud. I was a high schooler then, having come up alone from ChangWon to Seoul to become a singer without knowing anything, and I took the opportunity without much thought. So afterwards, I searched for a company that I could trust the most. I gave J.Tune a lot of trust just knowing that the singer Rain was in it.
Q. You’ve sung a Maroon 5 song before. If you came out as a solo, what kind of music would you like to do?
G.O: When I was in high school, I liked rock bands, so I like rock music. But I also like ballads similar to Kim BumSoo and Color Me Bad’s ‘Wild Flower’. The arrangement is so unique that I keep wanting to listen to it.
Q. Mir, if you were alone and not a part of MBLAQ, what would you want to do?
Mir: I’ve thought about this a lot. If there was a situation in which I had to give up being an idol, what would I do..
Q. Your second mini album just came out. (laugh)
Mir: I can’t help but worry already.
G.O: That’s because you’ve lost your sense of origin!
Thunder: He probably wants to do a solo for next album! (laugh)
Mir: Hahahahaha. I thought about what I would do, and I kept thinking this. Since my brother-in-law is the head of the company (laugh) I strangely enjoy looking at management jobs on the computer to see how the company is rolling. So maybe manager-ment..
MBLAQ: Hahahahahaha! It’s management, not manager-ment!
Mir: Heum, heum, management! I want to try business. Thunder can do producing. Everyone has something they’re good at. So I thought about what I would want to do and I told the CEO that I want to try management. In the future, I want to try my hand in business like the other sunbaenims.
Q. You could end up managing the MBLAQ members! (laugh)
SeungHo: He could set the suffering of being the youngest onto us.. haha. Honestly though, at the company, they said that if we don’t make it, they would hire me as a company employee.
SeungHo: The company had just been established, and there are only a few people in charge. So there is only one person working in the team who comes up with new groups. It would be nice if he would only care for us, but he has to take care of JiHoon hyung, too. That means that we have to personally do everything like putting in new bottles of water in our practice room. I like electronics, so I fix a lot of stuff, and I personally call the teacher to set up times for our lessons. Before debuting, I drove them around to places like the gym.
Q. Haha, so SeungHo also has an interest in management?
SeungHo: No, I don’t think teaching someone or taking care of them fits with my personality. I would probably get angry after trying to teach someone. Instead, I want to become a producer.
Q. During Idol Show, it seemed like instead of focusing on just one part, you tried to balance the whole, like you were looking at the entire situation.
SeungHo: I tried to keep it flowing.
Q. You guys seem like a team with members who know what they want. Is that also due in part to the mood of the company? You guys are the only idols in your company, and have little chance to hang out with other idols.
G.O: I think that has a lot to do with it. Our company is a lot like a family, and it may be because of our living situation, but there’s a lot of time to talk amongst the members. We hold many discussions about performing and variety shows.
Q. Isn’t it a bit stifling only meeting company staff all the time as a team?
Lee Joon: It may be a bit stifling, but because we are working so hard, there’s not much else we care to think about. And we really like sleep. When we get home, we just sleep without talking. We’re satisfied with that.
Q. If you were given a week of vacation time, what would you want to do?
Lee Joon: JiHoon hyung told us to sleep after dying. (laugh) So I would die. I would take some sleeping pills and sleep.
SeungHo: I want to go play somewhere with the team. The beach, maybe a condo. A condo with just us. I want to go to the mountains, just the five of us. We’ve never gone anywhere together before.
Thunder: If we got a vacation, I think I would practice. I would write songs.
MBLAQ: Oh.. that is not right.
Thunder: When you tell me not to do it, I want to do it more. (laugh)
SeungHo: Ah, this kid (Mir) would probably go to his home in JangSung.
Mir: That’s right. If we really got a vacation, I feel like all of us would not go anywhere together. It would be like, “Bye bye. Hyung, I’ll call you”, and a week later we would meet. That would probably be best for the team. I think that’s the kind of team we are. (laugh)
Translation: ilovepocky @ AbsoluteMBLAQ