The first time that I met CNBLUE was in early January of 2010. They were four guys who had just started their first meeting pleasantly with a handsome appearance as they gave off fresh charm as beginners (rookies). When I (reporter) perceived that his pronunciation was a little awkward , JungShin confessed shyly that he had a teeth brace, and that JongHyun did not talk much because he couldn't get over Busan Saturi (Busan accent). It was the first meeting, filled with laughter and fluttering hearts.
Time flew by. It’s been two years and three months since they debuted, reaching the top as a beloved band in the wave of K-pop all over Asia. I had another pleasant meeting with them on a day in April 2012. After one year with tight schedules, various concerts and shows overseas, CNBLUE returned to the domestic music industry. They came back with their third mini album, “Ear Fun”.
The main music is to bring the “happy ears” in this album. CNBLUE’s orientation is consistent with their goal. Lee Jong Hyun said “I want to make/compose nice music for fans.”
CNBLUE is a band that is not only popular for their appeal but also for their talents in music, that’s why you can listen to their music and enjoy.
- You’ve comeback after one year and six months.
▶JYH: We didn’t have any domestic activities in one year six months. A lot of time has passed for the busy schedule in foreign countries. In order to make up for it, in these comeback activities, we’ll do them with passion.
- During the past two years since you debuted, you’ve made such a big progress. What are the factors behind your growth?
▶JYH: There are many factors that helped our growth. K-Pop popularity has helped us a lot. We continued as an indie band in Japan, after our official debut (Korea), steadily and actively. That also helped us. But above all, there were a lot of the efforts of senior and junior singers. Thanks to those factors, we cannot compare the growth scale of stage or number of audience to the past.
- Music in the 3rd mini album is different from the previous albums.
▶LJH: To prepare for changing our color in this album, there was a lot of distress. We talked among the members about the fact that many people are not aware of our own music. So we decided that we need to imprint CNBLUE’s music in fans’ hearts. There are a lot of similarities with our old records.
KMH: We included a lot of fun songs to perform live in a creative way. In future performances, we are greedy for passionate atmosphere through them. (Laughter)
- Although there are many similarities, you were worried more than before about the necessity to change.
▶ JYH: Although at this time our music is good and in the future it will still be, our company and members thought that we should change gradually. So with this album title track “Hey U”, I tried singing in a different style from the previous songs. I didn’t change 180-degrees immediately but changed little by little.
- CNBlue is a band that works tirelessly.
▶JYH: Before we could have complained, but now I am very thankful for the music television programs, in which we could promote them. We can show the other sides that we can’t show on TV through showcases/concerts. Most especially, I think band music like Busker Busker’s music will became more popular.
LJH: For us, getting better little by little is fine. In the past, there were a lot of difficulties. All things now deserve that.
- As Jung Yong Hwa said, it seems like bands are becoming more popular. Do you have a rival in mind?
▶ LJH: When performing in Japan, I felt that we were helping each other rather than being rivals. We have our own image and characteristics and other bands also watch and learn from us.
JYH: We don’t have the same style, so I don’t think we are rivals. I always worried about how to develop CNBLUE’s music, and not try to become rivals or competitors with other groups.
KMH: I’ve learned a lot. Competition with other bands is mutual learning from each other.
- You have a new goal record.
▶JYH: Rather than the sales, I wish we could release many albums and people will go to see our concerts. I think until now we have performed many concerts in foreign countries but not as much in Korea.
LJS: YongHwa-hyung has compared the activities in the country and abroad. We plan to have a our first fan meeting in May. I look forward to performing and becoming closer to the fans
- Despite being a band, because you are young, many people called you an “idol band”
▶JYH: Although we do not claim to be an “idol band”, I do not object when being called an idol. In fact, the word “idol” itself has a good meaning. But I hope you wouldn’t see us through sunglasses just because we’re an idol band. I like CNBLUE the band's music and love to make music for our generation. I feel we are popular when people called us an “idol band.”
LJH: It doesn't really matter if we are called an idol band. It's because the four of us have been a band during the past two-and-a-half years, so that is not important
As more time passes, the more we will like CNBLUE. Because even after being on top, CNBLUE has not changed at all in two years and three months. Their struggle to show improvement is not only their appeal but also their passion toward music which will become more deep, and also their intense teamwork. These are more reasons to watch out for CNBLUE, how they will transform in the coming years.
TRANSLATIONS: Hannah, Jennie, Indi @cnblue4u.com
EDITED BY: Hannah and Azure
PLEASE TAKE OUT WITH FULL CREDITS