– You debuted in 2008 in Korea and will start your activities in Japan. Shall we talk about the birth of SHINee as a group?
Minho: We passed an audition or were headhunted, and then practiced as SHINee for about a year before debuting in Korea.
Key: We have had our activities with this concept of contemporary band since we debuted in Korea. It means we pursue the newest trends in everything from music and dance to fashion. This part won’t change in Japan.
– Now you are entering your 4th year together. What were your first impressions of other members?
Taemin: Minho hyung has big eyes, well-defined features, and good style. So I thought he was not a Korean (laugh). He stuttered when he talked to me maybe because he’s introverted, so I thought he’s younger than me. Key hyung made a strong impression from the beginning for his showy fashion (laugh).
Key: I was showy from the beginning (laugh).
– When did you start liking being showy? From your childhood?
Key: From middle school days. That was a peak time (laugh).
Taemin: Jonghyun hyung sings so well! I think he was singing even when we first met. Onew hyung gave this warm feeling just like the image of his gentle voice.
Key: Because I felt friendly with everyone from the beginning, I thought we’d be good together.
Jonghyun: I’m rather reserved, so I didn’t initiate a conversation more aggressively (laugh).
– What do you pay attention to as a contemporary band?
Minho: We try to pursue new things rather than comparing us with other groups. Trying to show as a group what we have absorbed through our antennas. We pay attention to staying future-oriented.
Key: So I check out newest music domestic or overseas!
– It’s been 3 years since you debuted in Korea. Did you have a time you overcame something through efforts?
Jonghyun: We haven’t had a specific set goal. Because we are trying to enjoy our music, we haven’t had a particular time we can think was a hard time.
– You mean you are now what you are because you have practiced every day and accumulated experiences.
Minho: We want to show improvements we make to fans, so we are working hard every day! We think the outcome was the new artist awards we received (in Korea).
– You had a live concert at the end of last year, which attracted more than 20,000 people even before your debut. Didn’t it make you realize your popularity in Japan?
Onew: Actually we didn’t have such a large scale live concert in Korea. The concert in Japan was our first ever. Many people came to see us even before our debut and cheered for us passionately. We were nervous in the first round, but were able to show our stages in the second round.
Jonghyun: Frankly, I was concerned about how many people would turn up because it was before our debut. Everything was our first experience, so their support was really encouraging.
Onew: We didn’t know how they’d respond even on the day of our concert.
Minho: We had a completely different feeling (during the concert)from when we did our rehearsal without any audience.
– Did you gain self-confidence?
Onew: Yes. I felt, “We made it!”, looking around the stadium crowded with audiences from the stage (laugh).
– It seems you gained self-confidence for starting your activities in Japan.
Key: Frankly speaking, it’s not different from what we have done because we have released CDs. But I’m glad we get to debut in the major.
Minho: Our sunbaes (BoA, DBSK, SNSD) have had activities in Japan, so we have thought we’d like to make a debut and be artists who represent Korea.
– Did you receive any advice from those sunbaes?
Key: They said, “You should study Japanese hard.” I’m studying with dramas or variety shows!
Minho: Yoonho sunbae (DBSK) said it’s good to figure out the difference in style between Korean and Japanese—we should think about how to entertain Japanese fans with different stage manners.
Taemin: Changmin sunbae (DBSK) told me, “You can brighten up the atmosphere on a TV program with a well-known gag” (laugh). So I’m going to check out variety shows!
Korean Trans Source: DC Shinee Gallery
English Trans by jujugal