Note: Seungyoon and Hoon’s interview is here.
Q: It has been over a month since the album came out but ‘Empty’ or Color Ring’ is still doing well on the music charts. You must be please by such result, especially since you sing the intro which sets the mood for the song.
Mino: I know the intro is really important but I wasn’t pressured by it. Taehyun said my voice helped to set the mood and focus on the song. Whenever I hear those comments, I feel proud of myself.
Q: Your voice is well known as a vocalist even though you are a rapper.
Mino: I used to intentionally make up my voice. I used to rap in a loud tone, even when yelling, or make my voice sound like I’m chewing rocks, on purpose. I think my current voice is affected by those days. However, I realized hwo the best sound comes out if I rap comfortably. Famous musicians overseas like Jay-Z sings with the voice they are comfortable with. So I realized it is best for me to rap the way I am most comfortable with.
Q: Your solo ‘I’m Him’ was included in the debut album and a MV also came out. Your style was very different from that of ‘Empty’.
Mino: I became a completely different singer as a WINNER member to doing hip-hop music. For ‘I’m Him’, I stayed tough throughout the whole MV. Although I did try my best to stay looking tough in the music vdieo, instead of bragging about my hard work, I thought like “It came out nice” or “Editing was done well”.
Q: Then was there a moment when you thought “We are indeed a team” while preparing for your title song stage performance?
Mino: Basically Seunghoon takes responsibility for the choreography so we trust him and follow his lead. However, we did adjustments to satisfy all members’ opinions as they have provided ideas for their individual parts here and there. We learned from our trainee times that somebody not expressing his thoughts or simply insisting on his own idea will only cause trouble. When we were preparing for ‘Empty’ performance, Seunghoon first came up with the ideas and made adjustments with the members.
Q: Don’t you resolve any problems within the team after debut? That might be different from what would have happened as a trainee.
Mino: That’s right, I’m tired of seeing their face every single day (laughs) I’m just kidding. (laughs) We always thought that we knew each other very well but I think there were many things we learned about each other recently. I think that’s because we have started official promotions together as a group. So I think it’s necessary to be more considerate of one another and support each other.
Q: While doing so, what role did you think about taking?
Mino: I think I’m in the process of learning about that. I never got a chance to think about it in detail but maybe a person that listens and supports whoever is having a hard time? I tend to pay attention to those kinds of situation.
Q: While giving those thoughts, did you even find an unknown part of yourself?
Mino: I think I do find positive sides but I realize more about the negative sides. I usually act out of improvisation, except when I’m doing music-related activities. However, there were times when I became really sensitive/cold while we were going through a busy schedule. Because I had tried to stay positive and energized whenever we’re all tired, with vocal mimics and stuff, whenever I’m on edge, I felt like I found a stranger within myself.
Q: How do you recover yourself from those bad condition?
Mino: Taehyun once said that he is jealous of my personality, because I tend to be full of energy with whomever I meet wherever I go. Although he did mention how I’m just a little too bright when it isn’t necessary to be so. (laughs) However, there are times when I’m feeling down. I do try my best to get out of such mood when I’m out on public though. I know that a lifeless self not only drags myself but also the members. So I end up joking around while talking nonsense. Either way, I think I am a positive person. (laughs)
Q: You try to be funny in front of WINNER members, BIGBANG or 2NE1, but it didn’t look like you were always 100% successful. (Laughs) Is there any member you are jealous for his ‘joking takent’?
Mino: I think Jinwoo hyung is a natural. I tend to think a lot before saying jokes (I even think about the timing) but end up getting awkward laughs. But when Jinwoo randomly says something, people starts laughing out loud. I think my aegyo’s better (laughs) because whenever I’m aegyo-ing, Seungyoon normally does it with me, Taehyun and Jinwoo laughs like there’s nothing funnier to laugh about, and Seunghoon compliments me. I will continue to work on it.
Q: You are at a starting point as a WINNER member and as Song Minho. What would be your final goal, if you have any?
Mino: Conquering the world. Signing a contract with NASA. Walking across the galaxy(?) (Laughs) It may sound like I’m joking but I tend to prefer surrealism when it comes to drawing because it has such a charm, a possibility to create new things. Sucn unrealistic goals might sound weird but it had always helped me to keep my head straight. I think setting high goals/dreaming big may be necessary for people like us who is at a starting point to jump into musc shows, concerts, etc.
Q: Your voice seems a bit locked today.
Taehyun: When the seasons change, my nasals get inflamed easily. Besides nasal inflammation, I also get homesick frequently. I think it’s because there’s a special fragrance when the seasons change. I remember the times when I smelled that fragrance and I get very emotional. When I get emotional, I get immersed into those emotions, and these days, I think of the past a lot.
Q: Do you think about the time before you debuted?
Taehyun: Yes. I think of my past a lot but it doesn’t mean I’m unsatisfied with my current life. However, recently, when I saw a passing bus, I thought about this. These days I live a life where we ride cars with manager-hyungs and get systematically transported. I sometimes think, “Ah, before I use to ride that 300-something bus around and I transferred to another”. I am very vulnerable to these memories. It might be because I usually think about myself a lot.
Q. Besides music, you express yourself through art. Do you do this when you’re emotional?
Taehyun: Yes. To be honest, I feel more free when I’m holding a brush than when I’m making music. When I make music, I always feel responsibility and burden to an extent. I release that stress by drawing. Because I can draw without thinking and I can control what I want to make.
Q: People seem to call you the “dangerous maknae” who has a lot of thoughts and is a reserved style. (Laugh) What do you think of what the people around you say?
Taehyun: It’ll be good if they could think of me as a maknae to anticipate than a dangerous maknae. I also rely on the hyungs a lot. People who meet me for the first time might think I’m difficult because my personality fluctuates a lot. But the members’ bright and kind side has made me gentler and it’s fun when we’re together. They are hyungs I really need.
Q: You lived with your members from when you were trainees but did you find anything new about your members in this one month after debuting?
Taehyun: When the members get disappointed in themselves, they get really depressed? So I realized that we have to match ourselves a lot. The reason why I was happy with NAVER Starcast’s talk show and thought it was really good was because the members gave each other really good reactions and I could feel that our teamwork improved. Also, after seeing Seunghoon choreograph “Empty”, I was really satisfied. Each member of WINNER have strong characteristics, but instead of trying to do things to show off, I think we are a group with that look best when we express ourselves with controlled motions. I think the choreography of “Empty” expressed that feeling really well. I also like how the choreography has us express ourselves with the detailed movements from the tips of our fingertips. Our faith, trust, and confidence in each other are growing through all this. We give the right amount of trust in each other’s strengths and if they bring good results, trust grows, and we try to learn more from each other. When you think about it, WINNER is a democratic team. (laughs)
Q: Fans think of you as a cat or the maknae who doesn’t talk. It seems like you observe the members a lot.
Taehyun: These days, I feel like I have the potential to be a MC (laughs). People in the company say that as well. Also, my world is already very strong, and my emotions vary a lot but recently I have found a way to recover quickly when I’m down. I have a hard time being open about my feelings and I’m very shy but recently I was to express my feelings often.
Q. What do you think of your changed appearance?
Taehyun: It’s interesting. To be honest, when I was student, I thought I was very mature. I really thought my mind was different from kids my age. As I became an adult and entered YG, I realized that I’m so much younger than people my age. There are a lot of things I don’t know and there are a lot of people I don’t know. After entering YG and Winner, my perspective has changed.
Q: The team seems precious to you, how do you want to protect your own world and your team’s teamwork?
Taehyun: I stumbled across this statement once. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. I agreed a lot with it. I think about whether I’ll be able to still have such good times without the members, and the team has become really improtant to me. Because I want to go far in the future, I will remember this phrase well.
Q: How far do you want to go in the future?
Taehyun: I’m not sure. I’m thankful to win no.1 on various music programs and receive good response from Japan but this isn’t significant. This seems like only the lighting of the wick of a dynamite. Not too long ago, BIGBANG’s TOP hyung also settled us down and told us not to lose tension. I hope that the things we do in the future will be even bigger than what we are doing right now and I’ll be glad if people could think, “Ah, these kids are off to a good start”.
Q: As a team, is there a final goal you want to achieve?
Taehyun: I like the Beatles a lot. They owned a generation and they left their mark in history. I want Winner to be a team like that. Not just a team that’s popular and good looking, I want people to say “WINNER’s music is really good. WINNER are true artists.”. I want people to have these thoughts.
Q. You took a lot of interest in today’s photoshoot. You monitored the photos very closely during the shoot.
Jinwoo: Yesterday, after the internet live broadcast, there were more schedules so I couldn’t sleep a lot. Because of that, I was worried about the photos and I wanted to retake photos until they looked perfect.
Q. Because your Japan promotions paralleled Korean promotions, you must have been happy to meet fans through this opportunity instead of through concerts.
Jinwoo: It was really fascinating how they responded through the live stream. (laughs) Usually, I don’t look at reactions on the internet. I just noticed that the amount of people waiting for us at the airport was increasing and that we sometimes trend on search rankings? Through those small things, I feel that we are receiving a lot of love.
Q. You must be tired because of your tight schedule after debuting.
Jinwoo: Because of that, the members try to raise the tension occasionally. As a given, Mino is a mood-maker and he’s really good at that. I don’t try to be funny but after saying a few words, the members end up laughing really hard so it’s fascinating (laughs). Even if it’s not work, I try to take care of the members. Since there’s an age gap between me and the members, if I was scary, it would have been hard for the members to approach me but since I am a comfortable hyung, I think we get a long well. The kids often jokes and pull pranks annoyingly but I like all of that. Seunghoon especially plays a lot of those jokes/pranks so it’s really funny.
Q. Have you become less nervous after debuting?
Jinwoo: In a difficult situation, I’ve started to think more freely. In the past, when one trainee left, I cried a lot. But after someone left, a new member entered and since this process repeated, I don’t cry anymore. “Oh, they just left again”. It’s sort of like that (laughs). I’m starting to be more used to it now.
Q. We can feel that you are comfortable while you are on stage and in somewhat serious situations.
Jinwoo: I’m the type of person that gets nervous a lot so I thought about how to relieve that often. Before going on stage, no matter what method I used, I still got nervous. But, after standing on the stage at Big Bang’s dome tour and 2NE1’s concert stage, I realized it.
Once I sing and dance on stage, my nervousness disappears. After that, I’ve had less pressure.
Q. Did you gain confidence through breakthroughs such as music show wins and placing 2nd on the Oricon chart?
Jinwoo: Regarding things like that, I’m still very scared. As soon as we debuted, we reached #1 on music shows and music charts really quickly, but we’re still rookies. Our accomplishments are good, but I don’t know what to say. The next time we comeback, I wonder if we’ll still have this response. The final answer is something that can’t be answered by anyone. Because of that, I get nervous about it.
Q. How do you get rid of that anxiety?
Jinwoo: I don’t talk to anyone and stay in my room alone. Because it makes me depressed. Because of things like that, I am sorry to the members. Usually, I am a hyung with a big heart (laughs) but I become sensitive because of little things so there have been times when I got mad over things that don’t matter. When I was a trainee, I was like that too, but I start to become like that without me even knowing.
Q: Is it because you are strict towards yourself?
Jinwoo: Yes. When I can’t show what I want to do well, I get stressed. You can call me a perfectionist but I don’t think that’s a good thing.
Q. Because you and your team want to do a lot of things, if you had to say there’s a final goal, what would that be?
Jinwoo: First off, since we’re babies, there’s a lot of things we want to do. Among those things, the thing we want to do the most is when people say “WINNER”, people will picture us. We want to create a unique color. Not only in Korea, but we want to create music that will extend to the whole world. It’s a huge dream, but dreams can come true.
Q. Do you any words of praise to yourself as someone who ran without resting?
Jinwoo: First off, I’m thankful for surviving until the end. I’m thankful for not sleeping a lot. I was able to practice a lot because of that. Lastly, I’m 24 but I’m thankful for not getting too old (laughs) I’m most thankful for that.
Source: ize korea via vitamino
Translations by: @YG_WINNER, timthemine, themYGboys