SHINee Lucifers True Self :
Investigating the Angel’s Heart of Lucifer
——Easy Exclusive Interview
After 9 months of ‘lying low’, SHINee has returned strongly with their new album “Lucifer”. Showing off Lucifer’s unconventional image, impressing with performances of Lucifer filled with much energy. SHINee who were once youthful, have they really transformed into charismatic “dangerous men”? However, during this interview conducted by Easy, what we felt is still the same level Lucifer’s sunshine and enthusiasm radiating from their inside out.
Easy: How different is the response to this album compared to the previous albums?
Jonghyun: Because this is a full album, there seems to be more people who paid attention to it. Also, hearing happy music in the summer makes people feel really great so everyone likes this a lot.
Taemin: Compared to the previous albums, the members were a lot of more involved this time, and even participated in the making of the entire album, so we really like it a lot.
Easy: The style & image of this album are a result of many opinions from the members?
Jonghyun: For hairstyle especially, it is reflective of each of our opinions.
Taemin: It’s not for me…
Jonghyun: So that’s the case. Then it’s the case for most of the hairstyle. (laughs) Our costumes incorporated much of Key’s suggestions. In terms of our image and style as a whole, we kept discussing with our stylist to find a common point before creating this.
Easy: So for Taemin, this image was not something that you wanted?
Taemin: I made a lot of adjustments. There is something that I want, but the stylist said “Given the circumstances now, won’t it better if you do something like instead?” So I ended up accepting his suggestion. Having long hair somewhat showed an even manlier charm.
Easy: Then is everyone satisfied with their own image now?
Jonghyun: When our new hairstyles were decided, we were very satisfied as we though we can show a different kind of charm from SHINee. Really grateful for this.
Easy: Usually idol groups will produce mini albums so that they make a quicker comeback, but this time, SHINee had a 9 months hiatus. Was there any stress during this period?
Onew: We did not rest at all during that period of time and kept going for schedules. To be honest, we really only stopped activities for 3 months, but the preparation for the album took 9 months. Even though some people may think this is a long time, but during this period we put in more thought and effort into making our album, and prepared even more so it seems pretty good too.
Easy: It seems that during this period of rest, Jonghyun and Taemin had time for self-development?
Jonghyun: Yes! I spent a lot of effort in self-development. Did a lot of exercises, went for a lot of lessons, and had a lot of time to study. I also learnt the piano and music composition. Really studied hard during these 3 months.
Taemin: I also learnt dance and practiced a lot. It was a time to grow and develop.
Easy: Both Jonghyun and Onew participated in writing lyrics for this album. Is it because of some special opportunity?
Jonghyun: Actually the song “Obsession” which is included in this album is actually written even earlier than “Juliette”. It is just included into an album much later. I started writing lyrics because I said I was really interested and I wanted to try. All this while I have been constantly composing and out of these, “Juliette” and “Obsession” were not bad so they got chosen.
Onew: I also started writing because I wanted to do it.
Easy: How have people commented on the songs that you have written?
Onew: Many people who have seen the song have said “So you have been in love quite a few times.”
Easy: The main point of the choreography this time, the “handcuff dance” and the “slow-motion dance” have become a hot topic. What were your feelings when you first saw the choreography?
Taemin: Because there was a name given to the dance, it shows that our dance has received a certain level of attention so we felt really food.
Key: Although the dance was not choreographed by us, we did not expect the “handcuff dance” to receive so much attention. We thought that the “slow motion dance” will leave a deep impression but surprisingly, the “handcuff dance” received a lot of good response.
Jonghyun: It seems like if we are to give a name to our dance, it will not be popular. The name of the dance has to been given by other people before it can become popular.
Easy: What kind of response did you anticipate from the fans during the course of preparing this album?
Jonghyun: We did not really have thoughts that it will be good if our fans react a certain way. When we had finally decided on the image for this album, we wanted to work hard to let everyone understand SHINee’s uniqueness instead of just portraying the feeling that we are trying too hard to show a certain image. From the yunhanam image of “Noona, you are so pretty”, to the emaciated feeling given off in “Juliette”, these are not what we really want to show but is just a way to show what SHINee is. The strong image this time portrays a manly image. However, rather than saying that we are trying to emphasize this image, we are actually letting it show naturally.
Onew: It seems that everything is part of the maturing process. The members have all grown up a lot.
Easy: We have seen an article talking about how SHINee hates to hear that “their figures are better women”?
Jonghyun: Of course we will hate it. If we really have to say, we are all very heavy.
Easy: You have said before that everyone of you are really big eaters right?
Onew: The amount of food that we can eat is no joke. We can even reach Ho Dong hyung’s level.
Jonghyun: The extent of our appetite is shocking. I won’t be surprised if it scares off people.
Easy: Who has the biggest appetite?
Jonghyun: Taemin and Minho can eat the most, Onew is not too bad either. However, Key is the kind who can restrains himself.
Easy: Why is that so?
Onew: Because once he starts there will be no end to his eating.
Jonghyun: Once he starts eating, it’s as if the floodgate has just opened. It’s to the extent that he cannot even close the door of the refrigerator.
Easy: Isn’t it difficult to hold seeing how the members can eat so well?
Key: It will be fine if I don’t start eating. It’s even more difficult to stop eating once I start.
Easy: The photo of Onew crying after receiving first place on KBS 2TV “Music Bank” has become a hot topic.
Onew: I also don’t know why I was crying. Our hiatus cannot be said to be very long, but it wasn’t very short either, but I guess I was crying that because I was really thankful to our fans who kept thinking of us during our hiatus.
Easy: How do you feel to be able to promote together with your company sunbae, BoA?
Taemin: Firstly, there are really a lot of things that we can learn. This is the first time that we have activities together. Making her comeback after 5 years, I also feel very excited to see her on the stage.
Easy: You must have seen how each other looked like during practice right?
Key: Even though we pass by her practice sometimes, but we have never seen her practicing.
Jonghyun: Because our practice rooms are all in the same building so we often greet each other and recently we bump into each other a lot. When we see her (BoA), she will always say stuff like “Keep doing well, I am watching over you” to encourage us.
Easy: Even so, there will still be this competitiveness going on right?
Jonghyun: We feel that it’s more important to present our song on stage. Isn’t it a win-win situation if everyone works hard together? After all, our styles are different.
Easy: Recently, the MR videos of singers have become widely talked about. Faced with netizens’ comments, it seems that you will be even more nervous on stage.
Jonghyun: Rather than to say that we are nervous because of the MR videos, we are nervous because the song is really difficult to perform live, so we have to really focus. Once we keep going on stage with that focused mentality, we won’t have the time to think of other matters.
Easy: Even so, to receive good comments should mean that you have a very solid foundation right?
Jonghyun: Really? (Haha)
Onew: This time, the song is difficult, and the notes are high, so usually we practiced live a lot.
Easy: Unknowingly, it has been 2 years since your debut and now there are also many hoobae singers now.
Onew: Really got a shock. It’s very fascinating.
Taemin: Compared to before, it seems that there are a lot of new singers debuting very quickly.
Minho: The most awkward thing will be that the newcomers are actually older than me. If they are younger, I can be more casual when greeting them but if they are older than me, I still have to respect them even if I am their sunbae.
Easy: It should be the most awkward for maknae Taemin right?
Taemin: I try to avoid it. When we greet, I will just reply “Oh? Hello.” And then I will run away quickly.
Easy: SHINee’s popularity overseas is really something now, so are you guys “Hallyu Stars” now?
Jonghyun: We can only express our gratefulness at being called “Hallyu Stars”. To repay the attention given to us, we must show everyone good performances. Even though we do not have albums recorded in Japanese or Mandarin outside of our Korean albums, everyone is still giving us a lot of love, so we are really thankful.
Easy: Are there any plans to perform overseas?
Onew: Usually we will go overseas for activities after promotions in Korea has ended, so I believe this will be the case this time. Also, because of SM Town World Tour, we will be able to see everyone on stage again.
Easy: How different are the kind of support that overseas fans and Korean fans give?
Minho: In Korea, the fans can see us during broadcasts, fansigns, or at any venues when we have activities but when we are overseas, because we are just visiting, so we can only see our fans when we perform onstage and as such, we get really overwhelming response each time. For something like music, it’s more passionate if you can see it personally rather than to just appreciate it on streaming.
Easy: Who is the most popular member in China?
Jonghyun: We don’t understand Mandarin. (Haha)
Minho: I think it’s about the same for everyone.
Easy: Because of the language barrier, there will be this feeling of inconvenience right?
Jonghyun: This is the aspect which we can really feel the difference. Even though we cannot communicate using the same language, we use music instead.
Easy: The SM Town World Tour is a large scale concert where the sunbaes and hoobaes perform together. Are there any special stages prepared?
Jonghyun: Other than performing our title tracks, there will be performing songs from our albums that has not been performed on stage before.
Onew: Even we ourselves feel that it’s very interesting for sunbaes and hoobaes to be on the same stage together. We will be performing with other groups as well so it’s worth anticipating it.
Easy: To member Onew who has taken on the challenge of acting in a musical, what is the charm of a musical?
Onew: The charm lies in being able to breath together with the audience in the span of 2 hours. It’s good because the feedback is instantaneous.
Jonghyun: We have seen the musical when it was showing, he really did quite well, and it was interesting.
Easy: Do the other members not want act in a musical?
Jonghyun: Yes, I don’t want to. Am I being too honest? I am not interested in musical. Haha, I am more interested in composing.
Easy: The members have known each other for 5 years already. All of you should understand each other really well right.
Jonghyun: Given that it’s 5 years, without saying anything we can also…
Onew: No no, we will still need to talk to each other. (laughs)
Easy: Which member has changed the most since the first time you have met him?
Jonghyun: Compared to the first time I have seen him, he has really grown a lot taller.
Easy: Which member has showed the most progress?
Onew: It’s me. When I first went for an interview, I actually wore a teddy bear T-Shirt but I don’t wear those any more. When I think of it, I feel that I have become a lot better.
Jonghyun: After all we have all been groomed through being in front of the camera.
Easy: SHINee who also have very good figures, isn’t it tiring to exercise in the midst of your hectic schedules.
Jonghyun: I haven’t exercised since promotions started.
Onew: The chocolates (abs) are melting.
Jonghyun: After exercising, there is an increase in muscle and thus the body weight also increases but now that I am not exercising, I lose all the weight almost immediately. It’s quite sad actually, these are the muscles which I gained after working so hard.
Easy: SHINee who has debuted for 2 years, have you ever thought about how much of your target have been achieved when you are promoting?
Taemin: We are still far from achieving our target. Because our members are all very ambitious, so we have to always practice and to keep correcting what is lacking.
Easy: Recently, BoA who has debuted for 10 years has said that there will come a time when one gets tired of a repetitive life, what does SHINee think of that?
Onew: We may be able to be present for 10 years like BoA even if it’s just 2 years now. When we were trainees, it seemed that no matter how hard we practiced, we were not improving at all, and we just wanted to be able to stand on stage quickly to show so many things to people. Even though we have not improved, but to be able to fulfill the goal of being able to stand on, we worked even harder at practicing.
Easy: What do you think is the charm that is unique to SHINee?
Onew: Isn’t our greatest charm that of being able to show many different sides of us? Showing everyone how we look like as we grow up gradually, that will allow everyone to know that we can do many different things.
Easy: How will the promotion be like this time?
Jonghyun: Because we haven’t been active for a long time, so the promotion this time will last longer. We will be promoting to our hearts’ content.
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