GQ: It has already passed 2a.m.
GD: For me, it is daytime. Since I usually sleep until 10p.m. so it is my golden time for working.
GQ: I think his working experience would be different from us since he does not wake up and work with bright sunlight outside the window. Waking up at 10p.m., he possibly does not have the feeling of ‘Oh, what a great sleep I have had’ like us.
GD: I seem to hold a different view from other people. I also want to live my life with regard of the weather changes but since I wake up at night, I cannot feel them most of the time. I would say, these days, once I wake up, I would head back to the studio. No matter whether it is day or night, sunlight cannot penetrate it. Therefore, I kind of feel that I am leading a life which mixed up the right order of day and night.
GQ: It seems that you do not care much about it.
GD: I think it is quite suitable for me.
GQ: The 4th minialbum has been released and ‘Tonight’ is also very popular. Do you feel excited about it?
GD: To be frank, I think that although it is a crucial stage for us when the song is just released but it is even more important that we keep up our good works afterwards. At the very beginning, people paid attention to our comeback because we carry the name of ‘BIGBANG’, a name that you can never ignore. I hope that as time passes, the love towards us would keep on glowing and I can hear people taking about us everywhere. The feedbacks that we have received are good so far.
GQ: However, don’t you think that only receiving compliments are not enough? It is said that, ‘A criticism is better than 100 compliements’
GD: We were a group which attracted criticism at the very first place. I, myself, am a musician who attracted many of these so even if I can receive one sentence of compliment, I would feel very thankful. Whenever people talk about YG, BIGBANG or G-Dragon, they would stick to their bias. I think I really want to get more praises during this period.
GQ: It is just like ‘I just want to do what I want to do?' And what you want to do do not depends on the expected feedbacks that you would get.
GD: Yes… It is more accurate. I personally do not care about what others say about me. If I were easily affected by the feedbacks that we gained, we would not be able to be true to ourselves. It also applies in fashion, even if I wore ridiculous clothes, I would just want to show you my true colours. I believe that people would follow suit of our belief, since I have experienced it myself, I will not change it even in the future.
GQ: It is because your fashion sense outwits Seungri's? You have been promoting with a skirt these days, what is the concept behind it? I don’t think it is necessary to do so.
GD: No matter it is me or BIGBANG, we have attracted a lot of attention in fashion. To be frank, I am stressed by this. We have do what we want in GD&T.O.P album but when we work as a group, it seems to be different to some extent. Unlike what we were doing for our solo activties, since BIGBANG is a pop band, we do upload the thought that we have to try to alter people's perception towards fashion. Therefore, the concept of this promotion is wearing skirts. Instead of explaining our intention verbally, I think it is more comprehensible if you can associate all of our costumes, stages, style and performances as the means to deliver our songs to you.
GQ: How was ‘Tonight’ produced?
GD: It took us as long as 1 and a half year to produce it so we call it the song which will never grow old. There was a day when I was at KUSH (E.Knock) hyung's house, before I went home, he suddenly played for me some melody with his piano and said, "These are nice." It was how the main melody of Tonight was born. The framework of the song emerged during that night.
GQ: So, what had happened in these 1 and a half years?
GD: Whoever has listened to it said it can be the title song of our new album but we had been thinking whether it would be better to be the solo for Taeyang or title song for our group. We have done different experiments with the song but we felt something was just missing. Although we originally thought that it should be the title song of BIGBANG, for we had been thinking how we could improve it, we had been delaying. Because it was produced by me, it is just like my baby. However, my feeling was like the song was a boy and he was selected to be the class monitor but later, he was forced to step down since he was not good enough. I did feel sad about it. In this repeated cycle, I started to feel tired of this song for it had been torturing me for too long. I had the feeling that I would not listen to the songs anymore either. I wanted to give up but luckily, it was released successfully at last.
GQ: When I first listened to ‘Tonight’, I thought you really like to depict a man who enjoys being the leader in his life.
GD: Yes. I want to describe the life of man who has have great achievements and how he would lead in his relationship. I want to show others how BIGBANG is like now. I want to decribe the feeling of that man, he really wants to be involved in a relationship with a woman but he cannot just share his love with one. The situation is just like what BIGBANG is facing now since we are loved by fans and the public, we cannot just share our love with a woman we love but we do not want to be lonely at the same time.Therefore, we have been in dilemma. We sing about how the man is trying to look for the woman. It carries a feeeling that the man is feeling very lonely amidst the busy city.
GQ: How about the howl of the wolf?
GD: About the wolf I think the howl symbolizes how empty the man still feel even though he has already achieved so many things in his life?
GQ: Whenever I think about BIGBANG, I would think of “Lies’. To put it simply, I think your news songs have to surpass ‘Lies’. You have to jump out of that framework. If we say that ‘Lies’is the song that is suitable for a group of people to listen since it can alter the sad mood, then ‘Tonight’ is a song that we should listen to and think of on own own. Therefore, I think its popularity would surpass ‘Lies’ and it would last longer and reach more people too.
GD: Thank you for your praise.
GQ: What does it matter even when we assocate ‘Lies’ with BIGBANG?
GD: Yes, it does not matter. What you think symbolize us depends on your choice. If how you define us is by one song, then we would have more chances to show you different sides of us.
GQ: What did you do during this 2 years and 3 months hiatus?
GD: Although I am still young but I have also been living for 24 years. The break that we had is really the most precious time that I had in my life. Once we have passed 20 years old, I think it is really the last cross road that we have to face before we matured. I had been struggling about different things when I was in my teenage years but once I passed 20 years old, it seems that I have found the focus and path of my life.
GQ: You have found the right track of life already? It is rare that a young person like you can find it at such a early time.
GD: It is because I have been a singer for 10 years already so I don’t think there are other alternatives for me to change my career. I can only do this job since it is the dream ever since I was young. However, being a Korean singer and idol, I do face a lot of problems too. At the cross road that I have mentioned before, I had been wondering whether I should insist on what I was doing or just gave it up and it ended up with the thought of being a singer lingering in my mind. Hence, I knew my choice then.
GQ: The solo activities that carried out by individual members have all gained excellent results, no matter whether they were trying to sing, film or take part in variety shows. Now, you are all back together, don’t you have the feeling like, ‘Hor, you are all successful now.’ ?
GQ: They are popular now and this time, they are once again together. I saw that you said in an interview that it was just like 5 individual artists were working together. This is a good sentence but I do think that you should have faced difficulties when you were working together this time, right?
GD: I think I have already found my way to lead BIGBANG. If I have to lead them, I have to be stronger than them myself. If I was not stronger than the kids, then they would not listen to me anymore. I have to possess the talents that the kids don’t have in order to convince them I have the ability to lead and make them believe my words. For this reason, I have to strive very hard on the things that I insist on. The results that I have achieved are good until now and I am quite confident about it too. I will be 30 years old in just a few years. I don’t know whether I will manage to do it well at that time and I don’t want to think about it now. I am not that kind of person who think about the distant future since I believe only in doing so, I can enjoy the excitement of life at that time.
GQ: You have not taken any rest before you made your comeback. Immediately after the promotion of GD&T.O.P and V.I.’s solo albums, you guys made a return. It is your original plan?
GD: Yes, it is our original plan, we want to make 2011 the year of BIGBANG. Our company has put in a lot of efforts into our promotion. We want to be as popular during ‘Lies’, no matter where we go, we can tell that people are listening to our songs and discussing about us. We want to feel that again but we have to wait and see. No matter when we are doing the promotion for GD&T.O.P, V.I or Daesung’s solo, or now we have to do BIGBANG’s promotion, what we aim at is to keep being active throughout the whole year. We want to see our names very often so we started by introducing GD&T.O.P to you.. Then it was followed by the comeback of a whole group. We are going to Japan soon. Before going there, we would release one more single, then after we finish our Japan tour, we would possibly release 1 more mini album and then a full-length album.
GQ: So these are all? Have you prepared all of the songs yet?
GD: Em, I have to work even more hard now. Presisent Yang laid out the plan and we want to do so too so we reached a consession for it. And now, eveything is in the middle of carrying out the plan, if we promote songs one by one without taking a break, we would definitely keep being active. However, if this means I have to produce more songs, then I think more time is needed for me. I have to work harder when I am in Japan.
GQ: Many artists have been advancing into the Japan market but I don’t know why did you choose to do so. Why do you want to perform on the stages in Japan and advance in their market?
GD: It has been a long time that I want to explain this in details. Having a market which is several times larger than that of Korea and earning more money are the reasons of why artists going to develop in Japan but what we think is that we are treated as the real artists. Since I cannot forget the feeling of being treated like that, I want to do our activities in Japan. In Korea, there are many situations that the power of the entertainment company and TV station surpasses us but in Japan, it is on the contrary since everything is made for the artists. Since we can enjoy such kinds of treatments, the ambition of achieving good results and giving out good stage performances are growing bigger and bigger. This is the greatest blessing that an artist can ever have. This is the kind of blessing that we cannot buy with money. Whenever we look at our stages, we would feel blissful about having out own stages. Because of this, we cannot stop going to Japan since it is the kind of treatment that we can only taste in Japan. Moreover, we have really grown up a lot ever since we debutted thre. Although we are BIGBANG, we could not gain an easy success just by carrying this name. Therefore, we started our promotion by performing in the underground train and we did want to be recommended by other Korean artists too. As a singer, it is a must that we have to lay our foundation step by step in order to walk further.In Korea, we have to show up in many variety shows, so our ability of singing cannot be improved there. I think that I don’t want to do so sometimes but if I do not do so, people would think I am weird and be alienated from the showbiz. However, the only blessing that can be enjoyed by a singer can be experienced in Japan. I feel good there. When I am in Japan, I feel proud to be a singer and am revitalized.
GQ: If we talk about popularity, GD always top the list. Your name has appeared for ‘Composer’ and ‘Song Writer’ of all the songs in this mini album. Do you have something to say to us? BIGBANG will come back soon!
GD: (laugh) That is a must? I cannot entrust it to anyone. The desire of producing all of them by myself is burning inside. I am the kind of person who don’t want people to interrupt my business.
GQ: You have once said that you had experienced times that you did not know what to strive for when you were with BIGBANG, how about when you were doing your solo activities?
GD: I am still not very sure is it good to be a singer or not and in Korea, if we want to be famous, somehow we even have to make advantages of those negative comments. I want to be special for myself and for the public, just like how special Lady Gaga is as an icon. I want to be like her since I hope that one day, when people talk about Korean singers overseas, once they mention the name ‘G-Dragon’, they can discuss lots of things about me since I am that kind of icon too since I have already incorporated different fields of Korea culture together.
GQ: Korean Dream?
GD: Haha, yes, I am dreaming it now. The desire of achieving this dream has been lasting from the moment that I created my songs until now.
GQ: It seems that whatever you do, you will attract criticism. I think it is one of the prerequisites of being an ‘icon’. Those who cannot provoke others’ hatred and negative comments can never become an icon.
GD: Yes. I do think that being an artist means you know how to get fun out of life and break rules. I do not know whether it applies to the field of acting too but I know it is true for a singer since I am one. Being crazier, so that we can be talked about by more people and it is what we call a singer. Although there are different kinds of artists existing in the market, like those who sing soft songs, what I want to be is a rock singer.
GQ: When you talk about how you want to be a rock star, I immediately associate it with the ‘smashing guitar performance’. In fact, this scene is really impressive in the stage performance of ‘Tonight’ and it really catches our attention, too. Therefore, I think it is a part which you must include in your performance every time. After you had performed several times, it seems that you discovered that it is more dramatic if you can smash it sideward?
GD: Haha, yes, you are right.
GQ: There are people who feel it's a pity about the smashed guitars but I don’t think you will take it very seriously.
GD: Yes, yes.
GQ: Do you have any idea whom you are writing your songs for in your mind in the beginning of writing the songs? Like, you will distinguish which songs are created for BIGBANG and which are for individual members?
GD: It is difficult to do so. Sometimes I think what I gave our individual members are more suitable for BIGBANG. There are times that I really want them to be the songs of BIGBANG but our president would ask me to give them to my members as their solo songs. Such kind of deviation in comments makes me feel confused although they are the songs composed by me. Therefore, the future plan of our songs promotion is drafted by our president and I will only follow his decision. I believe in his decision.
GQ: As a producer, how do you think of this album when you listen to it now?
GD: I want to show the individualities of our every member via this album. If I just show my own style, I think people would be disappointed with it. I hope that the voices of my fellow members would not be constrained by the songs too. Moreover, I want to create songs which can deliver the ‘pop’ feelings and it sounds that the album did achieve it.
GQ: But are there still some regrettable areas? Including those areas that you think you could have done better?
GD: For me, I think it is because of my character that I did not cooperate with other producers this time. If I were more social, then I would have been able to collaborate with other composers and produce better music. I think I have the tendency of being autistic as I don’t have much social contact with others and whom I always meet is my fellow staff. Therefore, I always want to be more optimistic and meet more friends. And for Taeyang, I think he thinks too much sometimes, if he only focuses on singing, he would do it very well. However, he is just thinking too much and wants to give out his all too earnestly. That is why he cannot achieve the things that he really wants. I think if he can just sings comfortably without thinking too much then he would be able to do incredibly well. When Seungri was doing his solo activities, he showed that he had digested my words well. In the past, he was not able to do so but after he has tried so many new things, he just impressed me with his changes. Moreover, one of the very best things of this album is that Daesung's is outstanding. Very often, when people talk about which one is the lead vocal of BIGBANG, they would say, "Is it Taeyang, Seungri or Daesung?" There are so many people think like that; however, there is no such a fixed position in our team, we do not name this one is the lead vocal and that one is not. When I was making this album, there were many times that I thought Daesung should be chosen as the lead singer of the songs. His voice is the most satisfying in this album. His voice just like that of a bad boy which can easily move women and attract them to love him. He did the best job. Since he is too innocent and kind, he used to sing with an innocent voice in the past.
GQ: Ar… If we judge from the style of doing a concert, it is you, G-Dragon who has the most evil style, right?
GD: Haha, you might say so. They will not show you their bad side even if they have but I dare to show it.
GQ: How about T.O.P?
GD: For me, T.O.P gives a peaceful feeling and we have just finished our GD&T.O.P activities and we have done it well. We can collaborate well with each other.
GQ: YG Entertainment has attracted attention from overseas musicians too. As a producer, I think you do have some musicians that you want to work with?
GD: Definitely, there are so many. I have been producing songs for BIGBANG so I also want to make songs for girl groups or female solo artists. I have produced songs for 2NE1 but I want to make music for a brand new group now. I want them to bring my songs to the stage from the very beginning of their career and not only joining in the middle of their career.
GQ: BIGBANG has been showing us new sides every now and then and at the same time, there is a new trend in your fandom too. Although you are all in the same group, there are divisions like ‘Our Oppas’ and ‘Your Oppas’ . If they like you as a group, then they call themselves the ‘team-fans’ but if they only like 1 member, then they call themselves ‘solo-fans’. There are some who do not communicate with each other and some who switch their identities.
GD: I do know about this too. Ar…first of all, I want to thanks my fans for a lot of things but in fact, I do feel dissatisfied with them too. I had been experiencing a lot when we were taking a break and when I was doing my solo activities. No matter whether you like us as a group or individual members, I think it is more meaningful if we can all be together. I don’t think it is a right way that we treat each other hostilely and it is the last thing that I would want to see.
GQ: I know that the fans are sensitive to the articles which you have talked about Taeyang and other BIGBANG members. Last year, after the news about ‘G-Dragon will feature in the song of Taeyang, ‘I Need a Girl’ was released, the fans of Taeyang and yours showed different attitudes towards it
GD: To be frank, we did not know how to react at that time either but the most important part is we have to take it easy. I believe our fans can do so too in the future. No matter we are promoting solely or as BIGBANG as a whole, what we want to show you are not only the stages of BIGBANG or individual members but every new things that we are trying. We want you to be happy when you watch our stage performances but not everyone can enjoy it to the same extent.
GQ: Your company knows about these conflicts too?
GD: Yes, because we have conflicts among us too (laugh), our company seems to be having quite a headache caused by our fans too.
GQ: I think YG Entertainment is a company which has gathered all of the hyungs and dongsaengs who love music very much and they all want to make good music.
GD: Yes, the company is run by all of us and there is more room for improvement. I feel sorry for the fans for our weaknesses too.
GQ: BIGBANG is the 1st group that we have ever interviewed without their managers during the interview.
GD: Yes? Why?
GQ: Their speech has to be monitored!
GD: Really? Oh, I see.
GQ: What do you think of YG Entertainment?
GD: It is the most suitable company for me in all aspects. It provides me with a very good environment to create my music and there are seniors whom I can learn a lot of things from. In the first place, I think I was just running on the path alone but in fact, there are so many people who are working hard with me together. So it is our base which can share our joy and fun. It is our school cum playground.
GQ: Are there so many works in a playground?
GD: If I worked in another company and there were such heavy workload in that company, I would definitely fire my complaints but I can stand it when I am in YG since it is a place which enables us to do anything we want and we know each other well. It is just like a big family to me. Instead of saying it is a place for me to work; I would rather describe it as a place where I can find motivation to do my work.
GQ: Although you have denied the saying that ‘you have issues with each other ‘, there would certainly be some conflicts among the 5 boys, wouldn’t there?
GD: Sure but we would not be hostile to each other because we respect each other.
GQ: I see. Who is the one best at fighting?
GD: (laugh) I think it should be Taeyang? Or T.O.P? There is an incident that I can never forget. When I saw Taeyang at the 1st time, he was just like the ‘jjang’ in the school. When we were still in our junior high, Taeyang came from a family which worked for the government and I knew some friends with similar background. I thought that this kind of kids were very violent so it is why I think he was like a ‘jjang’ at school. (laugh) We came from Seoul and the kids of Seoul seem to be weaker.
GQ: Taeyang just looked at this side.
GD: (laugh) After that period, I have been developing an intimate relationship with him. It is well known to everybody. We have never fought with each other and we resolve our conflicts by peaceful way. We are getting closer to each other in this way. Maybe it took us 1 or 2 years to get along well with each other and now, I think as long as we are united, every problem can be solved. It is true not only for us, but also for our company or for the whole world. I really believe that when we are united, we can do everything we want.
GQ: How do you feel when people compliment you as clever and cunning?
GD: I feel happy.
GQ: How about when others misunderstand you?
GD: I would think whether I should take advantages of my misunderstood words to gain more attention. It is a question that I always wonder.
GQ: Is the one people seeing really the real G-Dragon? You always seem to be cool in front of the public.
GD: Yes, especially when girls see me, they do not think that I am handsome but they would like to conquer me. I deliver the feeling that persuades you to take a battle with. However, I like such a strong feeling that I give to you since it is really meaningful.
GQ: Are you in a relationship now?
GD: I always hope so, therefore I always live my life as if I were in love. (laugh)
GQ: Judging from the view of your girls, which parts of you they like and which they detest?
GD: Instead of loving my look, they love my tone of speaking and my actions more.
GQ: Does it mean that you would kiss them and do something like that to show your love?
GD: (laugh) kiss? Yes, I am good at kissing. They said that I am good at kissing.
Korea Original: DCGD via missarrogant18 @twitterKorean
Chinese translation: 小7 @GDFW via baidu BIGBANG
English translation: Rice @ bigbangupdates