Shinhwa's Andy (left) and Eric (right) [Shinhwa Company]
<#10_QMARK#> Could you tell us more specifically about Shinhwa's upcoming plans?
Eric: We began lining out Shinhwa's new activities (for 'The Return') since July last year. We've done it once so we still have time to think about our plans next year. In terms of our individual activities, nothing has been finalized yet but we'd like to do things that would be helpful for our group.
Min-woo: From a producer's perspective, I'd have to study more about next year's album and stage directing. I know that many of our fans are waiting for M [the name Min-woo uses when promoting solo albums] to release more albums. Of course if I have my way to drop a full-length album, I would, but it could be a single or digital single. I'm planning to hold solo concerts in Korea, Japan and China as well.
Jun Jin: I'm also planning to appear in other TV shows that have different concepts from "Shinhwa Broadcasting" and kickstart my acting career by starring in a Chinese drama.
Andy: I'm still doing emceeing on TV and will be debuting a new 7-member idol group, following after Teen Top, in August. I'll actively participate in Shinhwa activities as well.
Hye-sung: I'll be releasing a solo album sometime in fall or winter, and hold concerts in Korea and other countries in Asia. (waving his hand in the air) Wait there's a fly flying around me. A fly when talking about the national economy... (laugh) [Parodying a popular video clip online in which a Korean news anchor breaks out in laughter after a fly keeps sitting on his face when talking seriously about the national economy.]
Min-woo: Open a concert in Paris [pronounced as a 'fly' in Korean]. (laugh)
<#10_QMARK#> 'Shinhwa Broadcasting' will obviously play a pivotal role in bonding you guys together. Have you guys found anything new, like a talent or a new characterist, from each other while appearing on the show?
Jun Jin: We once made our appearance on 'Shinhwa Changjo 2000 (in Romanized Korean)' but now we're done with our military duties and have matured. Like the time when we were really close to each other when housing together, "Shinhwa Broadcasting" allows us to mentally let go of ourselves. Oh, I was in admiration to see Min-woo making other people fart naturally on 'The God of Membership Training (tranaslated title)' episode of 'Shinhwa Broadcasting.'
Eric: When Min-woo introduced the 'fart yoga' on the episode, we thought it was going to be a huge hit internationally. So we told Min-woo during the shooting that he should register the patent right. A while after that, we found a YouTube video of someone from South Africa doing the 'fart yoga.' (laugh)
Jun Jin: Also, Andy has received much love with his 'Zomdie' [a mixed word of zombie and Andy] character. Seeing him relieving a huge amount of stress all at once, I felt that he was under a lot of stress after debuting Teen Top. (laugh)
Min-woo: From a dancer's viewpoint, Andy looks more cool and powerful when doing the 'overreact dancing' on 'Shinhwa Broadcasting' than doing Shinhwa's dance moves. Whenever he does that on the show, I'm just jealous of his unbeatable technique. Teach me the skill, master!
<#10_QMARK#>Any funny episodes with young K-pop idol groups?
Min-woo: Well it's not a funny one but when young idol groups see our group name in front of the dressing room, they come in with their albums and say their team name out loud. Sometimes I can't really hear what they're saying but I thought we've influenced other groups to shout out their team name like that. It secretly felt good.
Hye-sung: When other idol groups come to say hi, they look very stiff like they're doing an interview. I guess its a bit difficult for them (to talk to us). We're very friendly people so next time...
Jun Jin: Soft and tender.
Hye-sung: Soft and tender...what? Oh, wait. No. I hope they feel comfortable about talking with us.
<#10_QMARK#> You guys are role models for many idol groups. What are some necessary and sufficient condition to become a long-living singing group?
Min-woo: There will probably be younger artists who read this. We're always open for counseling so come and visit. (laugh)
Dong-wan: And you mean that to boy bands as well, right? Do you provide meals and alcohol?
Min-woo: Whether it's a female or male group, I'm always open. (laugh)
Eric: I think it's nearly impossible for an idol group to survive for a long period, considering how most idol stars make their debut and due to environmental factors. I heard that the management contract at singer Lee Sang-min's LSM Entertainment lasts 20 years. (laugh) Unless signing a contract like that, I highly doubt that there will be another idol group any time soon that could last as long as Shinhwa. But when you look at this simply, the key to our long run could be influenced by different factors. We aren't exactly the examplary type for being nice people but we are nice and warmhearted in our own ways. Instead of being the selfish type of people that wait for others to fail, we always put the morality, bond and friendship before anything else at critical moments. This is what made it all possible (for us to stay together for such a long period of time).
Andy: Each one of us had ups and downs (in the course of past 14 years). After going through all that together, that experience has created a strong bond between us. It requires all six of us for Shinhwa to exist and we all wanted the same thing in that regard. So we tried even harder.
Shinhwa's Jun Jin (left) and Shin Hye-sung (right) [Shinhwa Company]
<#10_QMARK#> Does Shinhwa have plans to expand its career into other countries outside Asia?
Eric: We've talked about that. Dong-wan talks a lot about wanting to perform in the United States. Because we're an unprecedented case in the history of Korean music scene as the longest living idol group, it was more important for us to meet again with Asian fans that have been supporting us for a long time. After we strengthen our foothold in the local music scene like the veteran singer Cho Yong-pil, then maybe we could consider doing that.
<#10_QMARK#>As the 'first generation' of K-pop idols, how does it feel to be getting old with fans?
Jun Jin: When talking about our age, Dong-wan should... (laugh)
Dong-wan: When we're together, like when shooting 'Shinhwa Broadcasting,' we forget about our age. It's good to see our fans come to our concerts and enjoy the moment like teenage fans. It's good not to realize that you're aging.
Eric: We've tried not to look like we're past our peak, because honestly, we are relatively old to be idols. If Shinhwa isn't taking the lead in the K-pop scene, we thought our fans won't be proud about liking us. So we wanted our fans to proudly walk into record shops and say that their favorite band is Shinhwa, instead of secretly listening to our music when there's no one around. We now have fans who are married and have kids. Memories are more meaningful and beautiful when you have a family and when I see families coming to our shows together, my heart gets too full for words. It's something I couldn't imagine at all when I first made my debut. So when six of us our together, we look immature and weird but seeing what we've achieved so far, we do seem quite awesome. (laugh)
<#10_QMARK#> Aside from your singing career, you all probably have thoughts about getting married. Who's likely to get married first among six?
Jun Jin: Dong-wan? (laugh)
Min-woo: You're thinking of getting married?
Min-woo: Actually, this is always an interesting topic for us too so we often try to guess who is going to get married first. But so far, no one is even close to it. (laugh)
Eric: To be honest, I feel slightly sad when our fans tell us not to get married, when they are married themselves and even have kids. (laugh) As much as it's weird when an actor who had a funny image from appearing in variety shows play serious roles in films, it may not be right as professional singers (or celebrities) to make dramatic changes that could bother people from immersing into the emotion we convey through our works. So with all respect to our fans and audience, we'll make wedding announcements once anyone's wedding plans are finalized.
Andy: Oh, I was the first one to get married (on MBC's "We Got Married").
Jun Jin: Well then I got married too, but let's not talk about it......
Shinhwa: (bursting out in laughter)
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