The reason why the 10th anniversary of BIGBANG (G-DRAGON, T.O.P, TAEYANG, DAESUNG and SEUNGRI) is remarkable is that all five of them have been together the whole time in addition to making astonishing achievements. Out of all the second-generation idol groups that debuted around the same time as BIGBANG, it is the only group that has survived with original members.
When asked what they thought would happen in ten years time when they just debuted, BIGBANG members answered, “’It was something that we couldn’t even imagine.” At that time, T.O.P, the oldest among BIGBANG members, was 20, and SEUNGRI, the youngest, was 17. It must have been hard for them to even think about what would happen in a few years time let alone after ten years.
They kept on going for ten years. They decided to release their third regular album “MADE THE FULL ALBUM” to round off the 10th anniversary of their debut. Everything they did during the past ten years became an issue. Not just their music and fashion, but the members’ everyday lives received spotlight. BIGBANG says, “We’re living a singer’s dream.”
Are the lyrics of “LAST DANCE” your story? I sense anxiety in the lyrics.
G-DRAGON: It is how we feel about the situation we’re in at this moment. When I write lyrics, I put a lot of thought into it. But, for some reason, this came out really quickly and easily. I’m almost thirty, and I only hang out with a selected few. There’s no point anymore. I just want to be with those whom I feel comfortable around. When we were recording the songs, I told the members to not try so hard. I didn’t want the members to sing this song with great techniques. I wanted them to sing the song as if they are talking and really mean what they are singing. I wanted a lot of emotion in their singing.
10. Even you guys feel anxious?
T.O.P: Emotionally, we’re always unstable (everyone laughs).
G-DRAGON: We’ve been doing great. But there’s not guarantee that we’ll keep on doing great. I know this too well. If you go up, someday you will go down. It’s a given. We all know this. It’s not that we’re anxious or worried; we just want things to stay as it is and be happy. You never know what will happen. It’s not that we’re really worried about a particular thing. We just don’t know what will happen in the future. We wonder what our 11th anniversary will be like and what we should do after we’ve done our military service. We have a lot on our minds I guess.
When you just debuted, what did you think would happen in ten years time? Is it very different from what actually happened?
G-DRAGON: When we debuted, we didn’t know we’ll get to celebrate our 10th anniversary (smiles).
T.O.P: I’m living a dream. My dream since I was little was to do music and perform for a long time like Rolling Stones. I’m thankful that I get to tour around the world and go on stage.
TAEYANG: This is like a dream-like situation for any singer. We never imagined we would be able to live a life like this in our early days. We were really busy when we were a rookie. It wasn’t something that I expected. But now I think of it, we are able to become who we are now because we were so busy back then.
G-DRAGON: I came across my elementary school graduation certificate recently, and on it, I had written that my dream was to become a singer. I have actually become a singer. It’s unreal.
10. You are going to appear on MBC’s Infinite Challenge and Radio Star. It’s been a long time since all five of you went on a variety show together.
TAEYANG: As you know, we don’t have much time (T.O.P will enlist in the police to do his mandatory military service in February 2017, and other members will soon enlist too). So, we want to show us together to our fans as much as possible. Mr. Yang also agreed that it would be a good idea to go on popular TV shows.
BIGBANG is not just popular in Korea but across also the world. What’s your secret?
SEUNGRI: When we debuted, there weren’t any social networking services. When we released “FANTASTIC BABY”, that’s when social networking started to go viral. It has become easier to access cultural contents wherever you are via Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and so on. Many people became our fans after watching our music videos. The fan base we’ve built is still strong. We still try to interact with them a lot through social networking websites.
G-DRAGON:: Realtime communication is possible via social networking sites, and it makes us become close to our fans as if we’re friends. It’s fun. I don’t know how other idol groups communicate with their fans, so I can’t draw a comparison. For instance, when we hold a concert in Japan, all the members talk in Japanese. The same goes for China and the US. I think people appreciate the fact that we’re trying to communicate in their language. We listen to what they say and we answer them. Communication is as simple as that. It’s trying to make the fans feel closer to us. Our fans learn Korean and our lyrics. We have to study too.
BIGBANG’s concerts are known to be fun.
G-DRAGON: The thing is we’re not good at dancing as a group. We’ve tried that when we were rookies. But it wasn’t for us, and it’s not what we want to achieve. In my opinion, there’s something that we and our fans like the most. When we’re doing a concert at a dome or a really big venue, we look so small, almost like fingers, to those at the very back. They have to watch us on the screen. Those who got tickets to limited view seats can’t even see the screen. This is why we try to go out as far as we can no matter how tired we are and no matter how crazy we look. This is one of the most important things about our concerts. Of course, our performances have to be great. But the least we can do for our fans is to look them in the eye and say hello. Go up close and sing in front of them. These things will be memorable to our fans. When I was a child, I went to a concert once, and the singer looked me in the eye. He might not think anything of it, but I thought to myself, “He looked at me!” And, I began to dream about becoming a singer. When you perform, you have to have fun on the stage, but you also have to interact with the audience. That’s communication to me.
Did BIGBANG ever go through a crisis?
G-DRAGON: Not that I know of. We’re all very positive thinkers. We try not to worry. We say to ourselves, “Don’t worry. Everything will turn out fine” and this is what actually happened. When we see groups breaking up, so many thoughts cross our minds. We could end up just like them. We don’t know what will happen, but we’ve respected, loved, and cared for each other, and that’s why we were able to last for ten years. More than anything else, I’m surrounded by good people. The fact that I’ve met T.O.P, SEUNGRI, TAEYANG, and DAESUNG and the staff, I feel very lucky. When people who you work with really work hard for you and give you good energy, it’s hard not do well.
BIGBANG is the only second generation idol group that has survived with original members.
T.O.P: The biggest reason was that we’re all so different. We can understand each other better and try to complement each other. We’ve never really had a big fight.
10. T.O.P will be the first to enlist in the military. Do you have any plans as a solo?
T.O.P: Not yet…
DAESUNG: Is it a secret (everyone laughs)?
G-DRAGON: But, there’s not much time left.
T.O.P: It’s a secret.