[Magazine] AERA (Japanese Magazine) - BTS Interview

Ninakawa Mika as the photographer! BTS featured as the cover model of AERA!

"If I were to express our last 3 years in one phrase it would be "Happy time". (Jin)

Unlike their group name which reminds us of war, the members were polite and gentle. "I hope we could shine brighter by working together with same members and fans." (Jimin)

On August 31st, the 7 members arrived at the studio past 11AM. Immediately upon their arrival, they sat around the table and began eating Kamameshi prepared by the catering service. This was because the members arrived in Japan early morning by first flight for the magazine interview.

"I was starving. The meal was delicious" (J Hope)
"I always compose songs during the night so I came here without any sleep" (Suga)

"Even I stayed up last night. Tomorrow is my birthday and I've always uploaded cover songs for our fans on my previous birthdays. I want to repay their support. I stayed up recording the cover song." (Jungkook)

They couldn't be more exhausted. However V asked "(Is our expression) Feeling cool? Aren't we all smiling?" in Japanese and this immediately lifted the atmosphere of the interview studio.

BTS debuted in 2013 in Korea. After winning at Golden Disk Awards they seized 5 rookie awards of that year in Korea. They made their Japanese debut in 2014. The group held their first arena tour last December, gathering 24000 fans in 2 days. Their popularity didn't just stop in Korea and Japan. 144000 fans attended "2016 BTS Live <HYYH on stage: Epilogue> Asia Tour" which was held in 10 different cities in Asia including Taiwan, Macau, China, Thailand, etc. Concert tickets sold out in just 5 seconds for their concert in Macau.

The secret behind their success in captivating the minds of the youths in Asia countries in just 3 years since their debut didn't just come from their good looks and powerful performances. Just like the name behind their group name - "Meaning of BTS is to stop suppression and prejudice towards teenagers and 20s and to defend their own music", the gained fans because of their sympathizing lyrics written by the members themselves.

"Even in Korea we (younger generation) are often told things like we are "rude" because we're from "Satori" and "Yutori" generation. But we want to let them know that we have our own world through our message." (Rap Monster)

Writer: 桑畑優香/ Editor: 大川??

Let's stay strong, let's cheer up

BTS talks about "their sympathizing songs"
This is their 3rd year since their debut in Korea. In the K-Pop industry with strong competition where only the strong survive, BTS is growing with crushing force. Not just in Korea and Japan but all over Asia. What could be the "Bangtan Style" that's drawing the youths?

Photo by Nanikawa Mika

"Sampo Generation (3rd generation)" is a trend word used in Korea to represent "the generation that gave up on love, marriage and childbirth". BTS passed the message from the youths of this generation through the medium of rap. Their song "Dope" which has lines like "Elders including the people around us keep pressuring", "Reveal the truth" and "Let's just discard everything, Go!!!" reached over 80 million views on Youtube. Their second Japanese full album "Youth" which contains this song was released on September 7th.

Word that describes our image

Rap Monster: YOUTH is a word I personally like. Even the title of the song I made for the first time is "Young Forever". It's the word that describes who we are at this moment. 
V: Don't you think that YOUTH is someone who attempts to try something new from curiosity?

-Do your lyrics contain criticism and resistance against the society?
Suga: We are just singing as it is. We, the 10s and 20s are the generation who are going through many wanderings and worries. When you watch the news you notice how thorny the society is. We aren't trying to free ourselves by resisting but it's rather "Let's stay strong. Let's cheer up.".
Jungkook: We receive letters from South America, Europe and all over the world. They write to us "I was going through hardships but thanks to BTS's lyrics I'm feeling so much better". Whenever we read letters like this we also feel stronger. It's something we're very grateful about.

- What is "Bangtan style" that's repeatedly mentioned in the song "Dope"?
Rap Monster: "Cool idiots". People who might look like idiots but they're diligently running forward. That is our style.
V:  If we compare to a color it would be purple. It's not an eye catching color like red and blue but it's a transforming color that's created by mixing different colors together.
Jimin: 7 of us come together and shine and I think that creates our own unique style.

-Tokyo was the last stop for your Asia tour in 10 cities last August. And you guys also performed at A-Nation.
J Hope: We began performing at a small live hall but now many fans come to see us at large halls and this makes me realize that we're growing.
Jungkook: A-Nation was a very big stage for us since many different artists perform at the festival. All of us encouraged each other to catch the eyes of fans who came to see other artists and performed the songs which were carefully selected by us.
Jin: Although I felt relieved after performing at the large stage, at the same time I also thought I should do my best to show a better performance.

Team who works hard to keep changing

This is their second year since debut in Japan. 
According to V, the number of times they've visited Japan is "We visited here countless times for live performances, magazine interviews and to model for mobile love simulation game.". 
Jin: Eating cold soba in my hotel room is a memory I have in Japan. Jungkook played music so we were joking and dancing. It tasted so much better than any other day. (laughs)
Jungkook: Actually we just go to the concert hall and come back to our hotel so we don't really go outside at all.
J Hope: Ah, I've been to Harajuku!
Rap Monster: I think we went their for a photoshoot about 2 years ago. It's unforgettable. I'm a fan of "Yohji Yamamoto Comme des Garçons" and this place was like "heaven" to me.
Suga: Everything ended in an hour because people started crowding but I enjoyed walking around freely. We don't really go outside even when we're in Korea.

-What would you like to do if you could travel freely in Japan?
Suga: I would like to visit famous tourist sites like Kyoto or Okinawa and try delicious food. (laughs)
V: I would like to revisit the children's welfare institution in Sapporo where we went as volunteers. I would like to eat a meal or present something to the children because we had so much fun last time. I hope we could play together again. 
J Hope: I want to go to BE@RBRICK to buy figures.

-Your next goal?
Jin: I want our group to grow as a group that is approved by men and women of all ages.
Jimin: I would like to improve my Japanese.
Rap Monster: I hope I could talk about more things with our Japanese fans and as a group I hope we could perform at Dome.
Jungkook: I hope we could become a group that works hard to improve. (everyone nods)
Suga: If we stop that's the end. We have to continue changing gradually.

JP to KO here
Take out with full credits!

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