Group BIGBANG (G-DRAGON, T.O.P, TAEYANG, DAESUNG, and SEUNGRI) released its third regular album in the winter of their 10th anniversary year. The album, “MADE THE FULL ALBUM”, consists of eight MADE project songs released last year, two title tracks, and a new song titled “GIRLFRIEND”. The title songs are “FXXX IT” and “LAST DANCE”. Upon their release at 12 AM on December 13, BIGBANG’s three new songs have take the top 3 spots of Korea’s eight major online charts. On the day of the album’s release, BIGBANG’s new songs went off the chart for measuring realtime plays 18 times and those who played the songs surpassed 1.21 million on Melon, the biggest music streaming website in Korea.
This indicates that not only V.I.Ps, the official name for BIGBANG fans, but also the general public were waiting for BIGBANG’s music. This is the behind story of BIGBANG’s comeback.
You guys have finally made a comeback.
DAESUNG: We’ve been doing our “MADE” project since last year, and we know that it took us long to release the full album (smiles). We’re sorry, but we’re thankful that we were able to finish it as late as it is. We happy to see so many people like our songs and that we didn’t work hard for nothing.
It will be the last album before you guys enlist in the military.
SEUNGRI: That’s why it’s more meaningful. Soon, the five of us won’t be able to do music together for a while. It’s sad that our fans and people will not be able to see us as a group, but this is all the more reason why we’re putting everything into the promotions for this album.
The album doesn’t have an intro song.
DAESUNG: Gosh, I haven’t thought of that. There’s no outro song either (everyone laughs).
G-DRAGON: That’s quite an unexpected question (smiles). Now I think of it, our single or mini albums always had an intro song. Usually, we work on the tracks first and leave the intro song as the last job. This time, most of the songs were MADE project songs, so making an intro never even entered our minds.
Let’s talk about the MADE project. It was a fresh attempt. Last year, you released four albums, and after a year, you have released “MADE THE FULL ALBUM”, which is practically a compilation of the albums you released before.
G-DRAGON: The original plan was to release the full album right after releasing the last single album. This was also the case for our single albums, but even if we had songs that were already made, if something better comes along, we put that song on the album. The finale of the project was releasing the full album, but to us, there was something missing. This is why we had to put it off again and again, and a year had gone by. It’s our bad, so we apologize for the delay.
“MADE THE FULL ALBUM” was like the last present from your 10th anniversary project. It is also your first regular album in eight years.
G-DRAGON: I didn’t realize that we hadn’t released a regular album in eight years. We don’t really keep track. Every year, we just work hard and don’t think about anything else. I think we’ll keep on being like this in the future too. Even these days, we are busy doing tours and performing, so much so that sometimes we don’t even know where we are when we wake up in the morning. We didn’t realize that it’s already been ten years until people started talking about it. Time has gone by so quickly. The reason why our third regular album came out in eight years is…In a way, I’m thankful that it has been released at all (smiles). If we didn’t like the album, there might have been no album at all. Thankfully, we were able to make good songs in a couple of months. We think that this album is great. Maybe, our regular third album released in the year of our 10th anniversary could actually become a masterpiece.
You have been loved so much for the last ten years.
TAEYANG: We talk about this a lot too. We’re very thankful. It’s hard enough being a singer for ten years. We believe that it was only possible because people loved our music. We’re very happy and thankful.
You have come to the end of a chapter, ten years.
TAEYANG: Now is the time to open another chapter. Not only as a group but also as individuals, we have to grow. I don’t know how we’ll turn out in the future. But, we’ve done things in a certain way during the past ten years and it has become a habit. Although it may take time because we have to do our military services, when we have the confidence and think that we’re ready, we will get together again and make music. You’ll be able to see a better version of us.
G-DRAGON: The past ten years have been fun and meaningful. Of course, not all of it was good. There were problems. With help from others, we overcame those problems and grew not just in terms of music but in other aspects too. I don’t know when, but we will have a break. How we will write our next chapter is our biggest task.
What makes BIGBANG’s music unique and loved by so many people?
T.O.P: We make our own music, so we express what we feel at that time through our songs. I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but we make music according to what we feel on the spot.
TAEYANG: Now, many idol groups make their own songs. One thing that differentiates us from them is that five of us each have our own distinctive styles. This could also be a weakness, but when all the five of us do music together it is a big plus.
G-DRAGON: All the members have their own personalities. Each of us can do things individually whether it is performing on stage, or singing, or doing variety shows, and that’s a plus. In terms of music, we do music that is appealing to a wide range of generations. When we see people in their 40s or 50s listening to our songs or singing them, we feel like we’re doing a good job. It’s very rewarding and makes me feel proud.
One of your charms is that you always seek change. BIGBANG’s music has changed as seen in the fact that “LIES”(2007) and “FXXX IT”(2016) are very different.
G-DRAGON: I think it’s a must. I’m a singer, but I also love listening to music. I listen to music a lot and I get influenced. People call this a “trend”. The music l like differs as time goes by. When we just debuted, I listened to a lot of house music. And, naturally, a song like “LIES” came out. Then, I listened to a lot of electronic dance and dubstep music and studied the new trendy genres of music. We made our songs after studying and taking them in, and that’s why our music has always changed. I believe that it should continue to change. If a singer only does a particular genre of music, that could become his or her signature style of music. But this is not our goal. We want to do various genres and make it our style. We’re going to try various genres. It’s a challenge but more fun that way.
It is said that you have to be immature to do music.
G-DRAGON: We’re very immature (everyone laughs).
T.O.P: We try to say things and do music that is considered suitable for our age.
G-DRAGON: That came from a singer. He said that singers shouldn’t grow up. To put this in a different way, I think it means that singers shouldn’t lose their innocence. We can’t keep on acting like children when we’ve become 30 something or 40 something guys (smiles). It’s not polite. We’ll try to act our age and be responsible adults. But, when we’re making music, we try not to lose our innocent side. When you ask something to little children, they might give you an answer that is so innocent that it comes as a surprise to adults. But that answer might be the truth. This is what we’re trying to achieve. Just like people in our age, we’ve grown up and will grow old. But when we’re on stage, we try not to lose touch with our innocence. I bet there is no other team that is different as we are on and off stage.
What did you want to express through “FXXX IT”?
G-DRAGON: Being very immature (everyone laughs). To tell you a story, the staff we work with also feel a lot of pressure. We work together as artists, and we often have differences of opinions. We each have our own styles, so when one of our songs get loved so much, we feel good but we get worried about our next album. Thankfully, we haven’t experienced a big failure as singers. We want people to keep on loving us, although we know that we don’t deserve to be loved so much. We also want to make greater albums. This time, we were worried sick about how we’ll make our next album, and a year passed. Then one person said, “Fxxx it. Let’s just do it.” TEDDY suggested that we should make a song out of this, and that’s how it came out.
“FXXX IT” is a groovy medium-tempo hiphop song and “LAST DANCE” is a slow R&B song. Everyone was expecting a song that has strong beats like your trademark style, but we were wrong.
G-DRAGON: I began to think simply. Good songs are songs that are pleasant to the ear, and bad songs are songs that you don’t feel like listening to. I knew people were expecting a strong beat song that will make us run about crazy on the stage. But I wanted to do something different. I wanted to make a song that is very pop, soft, and easy to relate to.
TAEYANG: We think that if we like it, people will like it too.
Do you think about mass appeal when making music?
T.O.P: We don’t think about that when we’re working on music. In the end, it’s Mr. Yang who give the final confirmation.
G-DRAGON: He knows what will appeal to the public. We always make experimental songs, but he turns them down (smiles). Many of our songs have been rejected. Of course, that’s his job as the head of our label. BIGBANG is a group loved the public. I thought “BAE BAE” would be too difficult for the public to take in, but people thought it was interesting. We don’t try to make music that suit the public’s taste. We don’t self-replicate. We won’t be able to grow up as artists and it won’t be fun. When we work on our music, if we like what we hear, then we think that people will like it too.
T.O.P: If we like the music we made, that make us happy.
G-DRAGON: Of course, if I’m writing a song for someone else, then I could just put in the things that I know will make the song a hit. But it’s our music, and we want to feel proud when we’re singing our songs. We’re lucky that, until now, people loved the music that we loved.
“GIRLFRIEND” sounds different from other songs.
T.O.P: It’s the oldest song out of the three. It’s also one of our favorite songs. We wrote the lyrics thinking about our fans.
G-DRAGON: I really miss the music we did in our early days. The song was supposed to be in one of the single albums, but it got replaced by another song. The goal of our MADE project is to do different genres for each song. That’s why we saved “GIRLFRIEND” for our regular album.