Q. The most memorable thing in 2013
Changmin: 2013 was the busiest year ever, for me. I did my best not only in Korea and Japan, but also in other countries as well. I feel I want to praise myself. One of my strongest memories is the Dome Tour, which was something I have always dreamt of. Not only that, but to be able to perform 2 days at Nissan Stadium which is even a bigger thing than the Dome was just amazing. It was the most important and satisfying moment of the 3 years that Yunho and I have been together.
Yunho: For me, the biggest event was definitely Nissan Stadium. When I was wondering if there would be a chance to stand on a higher stage after having done the 5 Major Dome tour, we were able to experience an even larger stage. 2013 was a year full of concerts – World Tour that started in Korea, 5 Major Dome Tour in Japan, and Nissan Stadium. If I look back, it’s exactly as the word states, a “festive year”.
Q: What’s trending in Seoul now
Yunho: From the past, Seoul’s cinemas have already been very well equipped with many facilities, but it has recently become even more advanced. In the past, they only had sofa seats but now they even have seats that turn into beds, and even individual booths with headphones so that you can enjoy the movie in your own world. They even have lounge type rooms where you can enjoy food and drinks at a table – there are many kinds of premium seats. There are now also many different types of food sold in the theaters. I was shocked by the level of advancement in the cinemas as I hadn’t been there for a while.
Changmin: I was buried in work in 2013 that I didn’t even notice what was popular in Seoul (laughs). I didn’t have the leisure to care about other things, so honestly, I’m not sure.
Q: An aspect that Japan has but Korea doesn’t
Yunho: Personally, I feel like in Japan, there are more restaurants where it’s easier for people to eat alone. Even though it has recently increased in Korea, it’s still considered very little. I don’t usually eat alone, but sometimes I feel like having some time to myself. During those times, to be able to spend time in an individual, isolated space in a coffee shop, is what I like about Japan. Otherwise, ski resorts are also great, especially Hokkaido’s Powder Snow is really awesome.
Changmin: Hot springs. Even though Korea has also many varieties of bath (t/n: like spas, jacuzzi’s, hot tubs) facilities, there are few like Japan’s hot spring resorts where there are open air.
Q: If Changmin was a season…
Yunho: Hmm..I’d say spring. In the past I used to think he was more like winter, but recently, I feel he isn’t. A new season starts when winter ends and spring comes. The feeling of something new starting, progressing is very like Changmin.
Q: If Yunho was a season…
Changmin: Without a doubt, it’s summer! Even though at times he may also look lonely or pitiful (laughs), he’s basically a very energetic and passionate person. More passionate than an ordinary person. His passion suits the summer atmosphere a lot. Yunho is most suited to summer out of all the guys I know.
Q: The food and culture of Korea that you’d like everyone to experience
Changmin: As I like stimulating things, I like how in Korea there are many restaurants where you can have spicy food. I’d often also eat spicy food to relieve stress. I especially like spicy hotpots, noodles, and soupy dishes.
Yunho: Starting with Japan, there have been many tourists coming to Korea from all over Asia recently, so many historical and cultural facilities have been introduced. There are many places where you can experience the unique culture of Korea, or world tourist attractions like in Korean dramas. In addition, there are also travel exhibitions and activities happening all over the place.
Q: The charm of winter in Korea?
Yunho: I think the cold weather itself is the charm of Korea. It may only be me, but when you take in the smell of winter, or when you immerse yourself in the cold air, it reminds me of the past. Like when I went on vacation with my friends, or year-end parties etc – it brings back many memories. Decorations that you’ll only see during Christmas, or the scenery which you’ll see only in winter is also great.
Changmin: Once winter arrives, the temperature will drop, and the cold wind start to blow. I’ve always loved winter, but recently, I’ve taken a special liking to the feeling of that cold wind on my face. Winter is also the season where the warmth in people’s hearts is kindled. Once the weather turns cold, people look for a warm place, or spend time with those close to them. I like that kind of warmth where you can only feel in winter. This is not only in Korea, but the same can be said for winter in Japan.
Q. The happiest comment you received in 2013
Yunho: The keyword for 2013 is definitely, “We are T”. It was originally a phrase we thought of so that we can become 1 during concerts. We started using it in 2012, but felt like it was perfected in 2013 throughout the many stages. Not only during the concert, but afterwards we would shout “We are T!” with the staffs. All look happy after shouting that out aloud. It’s only 3 words, but it’s a phrase that can bring each other up.
Q: What changes in Changmin did you see in 2013?
Yunho: Changmin has extremely grown since 3 years ago when we started as 2. Especially nowadays, I feel like he has become more active even in places where staffs are not around. His activity range has grown and seems he has found his own place. Maybe because of that, you can see he is more confident than before.
Q. The happiest comment you received in 2013
Changmin: A news article about us in Korea. “TVXQ, the first ever Koreans to have done a stage at a Stadium in Japan” – after seeing this article, I realized what we have accomplished was big. Even in Japan, we received compliments like “2 days at a Stadium is amazing” but I didn’t realize how big of a thing it was.
After reading that article in Korea, I finally realized how big it was. For us 2, Japan is “overseas” – In that environment, I felt that we have been recognized for our activity thus far. It made me very happy and it has now become my pride.
Q. What changes in Yunho did you see in 2013?
Changmin: A year ago, there were actually many times when Yunho was “a little dark when no one was around”. He is the usual Yunho in front of everyone – happy, smiley, but when he is alone he thinks to himself and doesn’t know how to release his stress – that kind of thing. I feel he is stress-free lately. A year ago, I felt his sorrow but now he is lively and happy. I want to praise him for that (laughs)
Q: Things you would like to do when you have holidays
CM: If it’s around 2 days long, I would want to stay at home without going anywhere. Even if I got out from the house, I would only go to eat at a delicious restaurant, but I really intent to spend my time at home. If I got a longer holiday like 1 week – 10 days, I want to travel to Europe. I WOULD LIKE TO VISIT A COUNTRY I’VE NEVER BEEN TO.
YH: If I get to have a holiday during winter, I would like to go snowboarding. In Korea there’s this famous ski slope so I would like to challenge new technique in that place. Because it could be done in a day trip, I will definitely go on with this plan.
Q: About the new single
CM: “HIDE & SEEK” is a powerful rock-taste song that has vigorous energy feeling to it. Compared to other Tohoshinki’s song, the key for this song wasn’t that high, so I think (this time) male could sing the song easily. Personally, I did the recording of this song also with the mindset of ‘singing a song that’s cool to sing in the karaoke’. THIS IS A SONG THAT I WOULD WANT ALL THE GUYS TO SING A LOT! And because the chorus of the song is also easy to remember (catchy), please enjoy this song a lot.
YH: Tohoshinki was challenging a new genre in “SOMETHING”. It got the sense of swing beat, big band and so we polished the sound with such appeal. I think this song suits a 4 letter kanji idiom: “onkochishin (developing new ideas based on the past)”. We challenged to record this song while keeping in mind of ‘we can pass through (another stage) of new growth’. So please hear the song well.
Q: Recently the thing that got you excited/motivated?
YH: Because I was born in the beginning of the year (February), mostly my friend in Korea had already reached 29 yo. So practically we’re about to reach 30. I think turning 30 means that we need to expand the knowledge and information that we already have until now. Depending on what job we have, our knowledge and experience are completely different. Me being showered by the spotlight in the entertainment business and friends that works in company office, of course there are a lot of difference, isn’t it. And that’s why sharing with them gets me excited. Recently the “VARIOUS KINDS OF THINGS YOU WANT TO TRY TO DO ON YOUR OWN” kind of feeling are getting stronger. So right now I’m in the middle of experiencing doing various things by myself rather than asking the manager to do it for me. In that sense, I would like to make the best use of that knowledge, like being a composer and being able to express things in various ways.
CM: Exciting things… When you say exciting, the answers that float in my head were only the weird/perverted ones (laughs). So what’s there for the serious excitement…? probably the moderate amount of busyness could be a good excitement.
Q: Things you definitely want to do this year.
CM: Personally I wanna take a holiday and go traveling. There will definitely be a lot of chances to go abroad, but it’s usually for work only and then we need to go back right away…… I want to do the normal sightseeing. Above work, I also want to increase my Japanese level. I want to be able to communicate freely in Japanese with everyone (Japanese fans).
YH: This year “I WANT TO STRENGTHEN MY CREATIVITY”. Not only stating ideas, but I also have interest in composing and directing. There’s something else but it’s still a secret. Right now I’m challenging something. If it’s a success, I think both Korea and Japan will be quite surprise. And because it will be announced once its successful, for now everyone please just (sit back and) enjoy. I also want to challenge musicals. This
Translated by yumin2618@TVfXQfever, @yumin2618 (twitter). and boomjagalaka