Wednesday, 23 November 2011

22 November 2011 After School’s Oricon Interview (Translation)

Korea’s most powerful girl group is here! The talk about fateful meetings and their ideal man also! Their debut single “Bang!” grabbed 7th place on its 1st appearance [on the chart]! After School, consisting of the 8 best who possess the 3 “S”s = Super Sexy (Sexy), Super Style (Style), Super Show (Show). With their previous “Bang!,” they showed a brilliant marching action and called a lot of attention, but the new song “Diva” features a tap dance that outdoes!? Even that! The close friends combination Nana and Jooyeon are here representing the members!

More excited rather than worrying about activities in Japan now —The Japan debut single “Bang!” grabbed 7th place and made for a good start. Have there been any changes about how you feel afterwards?
Nana: Honestly, before the debut single was released, there were many things we worried about, like “Will we really be accepted by Japanese people?,” “Will we be able to communicate our feelings/thoughts despite the language and cultural differences?” But since debuting, the fans and a lot of people came to know us, and now, rather than worrying, we’re more excited about our activities in Japan and we can’t wait to come to Japan each time (laughs).

—That’s good. “Diva” is going to be released, and it’s a party tune bursting with a faster feel than “Bang!” that doesn’t fail to pump up people at concerts and the karaoke.

Nana: This song has a melody that’s easy to memorize even after hearing it just one, and the chorus part that goes “Diva Diva DDD Diva” is especially a memorable phrase, so it’d be great if everyone would sing it with us.

—How was the recording?

Nana: It was our 2nd recording, so we got more used to it than last time. We practiced a lot, so it went smoothly.
Jooyeon: But the “Check shite sobani iruyo” part was difficult. Nana: Japanese pronunciation is still difficult, but there were a lot of repetitive phrases this time, so the lyrics helped us (laughs). The lyrics are about a fateful meeting the main character encountered and his/her passionate feelings, but I think it’s a song that everyone can genuinely enjoy, no matter which gender!

—Speaking of enjoying, the tap dance that was featured in the music video! The performance this time was impressive just like the previous marching (drum)!

Both: Thank you!
Jooyeon: We originally released this song in Korea, and it’s really popular among the After School songs, but since we were going to sing it in Japanese this time, we also changed the tap dance from the Korean version as a new challenge.
Nana: The Korean version has a bright and cute image, but in the Japanese version, feminine and sexy parts are emphasized.

After the marching, 6 months of practice for the tap dance!

—I didn’t realize there was such a big change.

Jooyeon: And actually, we spent 6 months on practicing just the tap dance.

—6 months!?

Both: Yes, that’s right.
Nana: It was about the same as the drums (marching). After the drum practice was toned down a little, we started on the tap dance, but as opposed to using your hands with the drums, you only use your feet for tap, so even walking normally was a chore for a while (laughs bitterly). The back and forth movements were intense too, so we got bruises… …and on top of that, we had to sing at the same time. Just thinking back on it now makes me realize how difficult it was, but I think it shows how hard we’ve worked.

—Which was more difficult, the drum or the tap?

Jooyeon: Tap. 
Nana: But they were both really hard, you can’t really compare.

—Who improved/got it down the fastest among the members?

Nana: Kahi-san. Kahi-san is good at dancing to begin with, so she learned the tap dance quickly and lead us along.
Jooyeon: Kahi-san has a solo scene, and it’s really incredible so please check it out!

—How about you two, Nana-san and Jooyeon-san?

Both:… … (both lower their heads/look down at the same time).
Nana: This reaction now tells everything (laughs).

—Were there times when you almost quit?

Jooyeon: It was so difficult that I worried, “Can I really do this?” or get mad at myself, like “Why can’t I do this?” and get discouraged, but I never once thought I wanted to quit. Whenever we got worried, we encouraged each other by saying “Let’s pull together and overcome this.”

—And so the bond between the members grew stronger.

Nana: Yes, that’s right.

—Looking at you two, I get the feeling you guys are very close.

Nana: We’re similar. Personality-wise, but also behavior patterns. Like we’d laugh at the same stuff, or the fact that we’re both able to enjoy ourselves no matter where we are or who we’re with.
Jooyeon: We know what each other is thinking. Recently, especially, even if no words are said, I can kind of tell what she’s thinking just by her facial expressions.
Nana: We’re members, but also like best friends.

[Bar with green font] What a “fateful meeting” means to the 2?!

—From the songs and MVs, with excellent figures and dashing postures/stances, there’s an image of a cool, strong woman that other women look up to. But in person, you two are very candid/sociable and cute. I think that gap is another appeal of After School.

Both: … … (laugh from blushing).
Jooyeon: Maybe After School has a cool image, but usually, we’re not cool at all (laughs), but when we get up on stage, everyone changes like someone suddenly flipped a switch.
Nana: Lizzy is usually a very playful/mischievous and cute maknae character, but she, in particular, transforms into a sexy woman when she stands in front of the camera(laughs).

—Before, you said this song describes a “fateful meeting,” but what is you 2′s ideal fateful meeting?

Nana: I haven’t thought about what a “fateful meeting” would be like until now, but I think meeting someone that loves you more than you love would be “fate/destiny.”
Jooyeon: I haven’t thought about it either, but rather than how we wold meet, I would like to someday fatefully meet someone who I’m able to connect with.

—Also, the lyrics say “nanimokamo risou” [everything is ideal], but to you 2, what is the image of the ideal woman?

Jooyeon: I would like to be an intelligent woman.

Nana-san, from where you stand, is Jooyeon-san an intelligent woman?

Nana: No, she’s still too young (laughs).
Jooyeon: Yes, I know (laughs).
Nana: But when I have a problem or when I go talk to her about something, she gives me advice that could be called smart, or more like easy to understand and precise.

—So at first glance, Jooyeon-san has a cute and soft aura about her, but she’s actually strong/self-sufficient and reliable/dependable.

Nana: Ah~, that’s saying a little too much (laughs).
Jooyeon: I think so too (laughts).
Nana: But I get lonely really easily, and not being able to see Jooyeon-san in particular makes me the saddest.
Jooyeon: Really?
Nana: Really. How about you, Jooyeon-san?
Jooyeon: It makes me sad too.

— It’s the same (feelings).
Nana: It makes me really sad.
Jooyeon: It makes me a little sad (laughs).

—Ahaha, it’s just a little different (laughs). How about you, Nana-san?

Nana: For me, a woman who’s able to enjoy her work and do it positively.

—So doesn’t that mean you’ve already achieved your image of the ideal woman?

Nana: It’s true that work for After School is fun, but (to get closer to my ideal) I have to work more and harder.

[Bar with green font] The ideal man is… …

—Then how about your ideal man?

Jooyeon: Someone who’s kind and true and is good at looking after people/things.
Nana: Ah~, I would also like someone who will look after me. And I, myself, am unable to show my feelings honestly in front of men, so I would like him to honestly tell me his feelings, and someone who’s always able to show me a good time so I can be my fullest is ideal.

—Would a man like Jooyeon-san be your ideal?

Nana: I’d be really happy if Jooyeon-san was a man!
Jooyeon: (Without skipping a beat) I wouldn’t like that (laughs).
Nana: It takes a really long time for me to become close with someone. But once we get close, I never want to be separated from them… …I really like Jooyeon-san a lot, so I bare my all to her, and I want to stay together with her forever~!
Jooyeon: You should just do whatever you do for me for a man. Please find a man to take my place soon (laughs).

—Both of you possess excellent figures and beauty. Are there any ways to maintain them?

Jooyeon: I go to the gym and play sports. But lately, I haven’t been able to go.
Nana: I do massages to keep my skin looking good.

—But above all, if people master After School’s dances, will they be able look like you?

Nana: There a lot of dances that use the hip, so I think the waist would get skinnier.

—“Ready to love” is a contrastingly medium tempo number, and describes an ambiguous love, a relationship that’s more than friends, but less than lovers.

Jooyeon: … …It’s sad.
Nana: It makes you the most unsure. I’m unable to say my feelings, so while thinking in my heart that I want to clarify the ambiguous relationship, I think I would probably just let it continue to be vague.
Jooyeon: If I’m sure that the other person likes me, I might initiate something, but if I’m not sure, I think I would let things be, like Nana-san, despite thinking in my heart that I want to do something or that the situation is going nowhere.
Nana: We’d like men to understand that kind of women’s mind frame.
Jooyeon: We want them to clarify which it is (laughs).

—Lastly, there’s attention directed towards After School’s fashion too. What kind of fashion do you 2 want to wear this winter, and any items you recommend?

Nana: I want to wear a loose fur/furry hat. But make the clothes simple, and have just one item that’s flashy and gorgeous.
Jooyeon: It’s cold during winter, so I want to warm the body and mind with fashion that incorporates knits and furs.

Translated by @pledisAStrans via fyafterschool + AfterSchoolDaze

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