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14 August 2010

MBLAQ Interview for Hallyu Wave Magazine

MBLAQ are a five member group who debuted in October of last year. The dance group managed by Rain received attention from the beginning, and have come to Japan to perform as the opening act for "Rain Love Tour 2010" at Saitama Super Arena. We talked to them in their dressing room.

MBLAQ debuted in October 2009 under Rain's production. Even among boy groups they stand out as being blessed with having good looks and figures, and have received the nickname "chic-dol." They released their second single "Y" in May of this year. The main track "Y" is a dance song with the theme of "the love of a man who has been betrayed by love," and it's said that it was originally going to be released by Rain himself.

Q: What was your impression after hearing "Y" for the first time?
G.O: Our previous song "Oh Yeah" was one that let out a fun mood in all aspects. This time's "Y" is based on one image, but the expressions and message are different based on each part. I thought that was interesting. When I first listened to it, I thought that it would be fun to do a musical-like performance, and Rain gave us choreography like that, so I was able to practice happily.

Q: The singing parts for this song are minutely distributed. Was it Rain who decided who would sing each part?
Seungho: Yes, he did. From the start, our parts were divided up within the group. When I heard the song I predicted that "this might be my part," but I have no discomfort with how Rain decided our parts.

Q: Compared to your debut song, you can feel that Mir's dancing has improved. Did you do any special training?
(The other members jeer)
Mir: (Embarrassed laugh) During the promotions for this song, we each had our own activities so I didn't do any special practicing, but I tried my hardest.

Q: Joon's sensual choreography at the start of the song leaves a strong impression. What kind of guidance were you given?
Joon: That choreography as also done by Rain. First he showed me by example, and told me to do it like that, but I couldn't easily do it. He gave me the advice that, "Men have to be able to show their sexiness without taking their clothes off," and with my cell phone I filmed him dancing, and practiced many times while watching it.

Q: In the previous song Cheondung rapped, but this time you're singing.
At first I was in charge of rapping, but I went to Rain and said, "Rapping is good too, but from now on I'd like to sing." As a result of that, I've been able to sing this time.

Q: Why did you want to sing?
Cheondung: Rapping is fun to do as well, but I wanted to sing because I thought that I could more easily express my own feelings through singing.

Q: You're in the middle of preparing for a full album. Have you been writing songs or playing instruments yourselves?
Seungho: Some of us have been learning songwriting because they want to include self-written songs on the album. Cheondung has one good song that's almost in a state where it's ready to be recorded. It hasn't been officially announced yet, but we're working towards being able to write songs in the style we want, and writing songs together as a group.

Q: What are your future plans for activities in Japan?
G.O: It hasn't been fully decided yet, but I think that in the future we'll have activities in Japan. For now, we're studying Japanese a bit while thinking of the future. But we still haven't accomplished our goals in Korea, so we'll most likely work in Japan and overseas after we've achieved those goals.

After finishing the opening act at Saitama Super Arena, MBLAQ watched Rain's performance. Leader Seungho says, "From the moment he stood on stage, I thought that his aura was completely different from ours. I felt that he's someone in the clouds, still far from us." This man, who has great skills in piano, said that he came up with the idea to do beat boxing in the intro track on their second album. Idol groups who are able to create their own music are increasing, and among them, MBLAQ whose name is an abbreviation for "Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality" seem to be a rare idol group with their feet firmly planted on the ground, continuing their music activities.

Q1. If you could bring one CD to a deserted island, what would it be?
Seungho: A CD of classical piano music.
G.O: I'd bring a collection of Korean pop songs, and listen to it when I'm bored or lonely.
Joon: (No answer)
Cheondung: One of Justin Timberlake's albums.
Mir: MBLAQ's "Y."

Q2. What song have you been listening to lately on your mp3 player?
A jazz song called "abfab." (Note: A song by Finnish jazz trio Trio Töykeät)
G.O: Day26's "Since you've been gone."
Joon: Mariah Carey's "I stay in love."
Cheondung: Taeyang's "Just a feeling."
Mir: Taeyang's "I need a girl."

Q3. What comics, movies, or dramas of Japan do you like?
Seungho: For comics I like Slam Dunk and Naruto, and I like Kimura Takuya so I like the drama "Pride."
G.O: Most Korean people like Japanese anime. One I can name is Slam Dunk.
Joon: The movie "Be With You." (Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu)
Cheondung: I like One Piece but I also like Naruto! ^^
Mir: I really like comics; I have hundreds of volumes at home. The most interesting was Samurai Deeper Kyo.

Q4. What do you think you'll be doing in ten years?
Seungho: Producer.
G.O: I want to be a singer recognized in Asia.
Joon: I'll be filming movies.
Cheondung: I'll have advanced as a musician.
Mir: MBLAQ world tour.

Source: Hallyu Wave Magazine
Translation: lnw1984@AbsoluteMBLAQ

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