(Suho) During our debut we were quite satisfied as we showed performances with “MAMA” and held overseas promotions but many people in our vicinity said, “The results are lower than anticipated for a rookie group that SM is sending out after a long period of time.” Fortunately, as we received much love this year with “Wolf” and “Growl” from our first full album, we’ve received many congratulatory words from people who told us, “Really amazing, I didn’t think that you would do this well.” Truthfully, I think it’s true that we weren’t able to receive love of the general public during “MAMA.” Of course, we don’t have much free time now either so there aren’t many opportunities to really feel our popularity. But many people recognize us when we go to the hospital or when we’re exercising at the Han River and we’re in the upper ranks on the digital charts, so it’s fascinating and touching. We need to show a better image with our next album.You must exercise at the Han River often.
(everyone) Yes, we go to ride our bicycles.
It makes me think of last summer when Super Junior members were caught on Infinte Challenge‘s cameras as they played basketball with their shirts off at the Han River.
(D.O) We exercise a lot, too. We play basketball and football as well. Most often we ride our bicycles.
(Baekhyun) But we don’t take our shirts off. (laughter)
It must be quite a sight to see the six of you simultaneously passing by on bicycles.
(Kai) There are times when we do that, but there aren’t too many instances when all six of us ride together, usually three at a time? The members who want to get some air gather together and go out.
What is your course?
(Kai) That can’t be said. It’s a secret.
(Suho) Usually if we start around Apgujeong we try to get to Yeouido.
(Sehun) It’s okay since the fans all know our dorm anyway.
When I looked at the interview from last year Baekhyun had said this. “We want to become a boy group that will leave a path in history.” But you have more or less achieved that dream already.
(as everyone waves their hands in the negative) Oh my, that really isn’t so.
Your first full album became the first album to sell at least 700,000 copies in twelve years, since 2001.
(Baekhyun) Ah, that’s right. I can’t believe it, but it’s really amazing.
(Chanyeol) We need to further surpass that. It’s our dream to become singers who will be remembered even after 10 years and 20 years pass by like Jo Sungmo sunbaenim and Kim Gunmo sunbaenim.
You received a brief vacation for Chuseok. (x this interview took place before Chuseok)
(Sehun) Since it’s a holiday I think we’ll rest briefly. We should go home and eat with family and meet up with friends.
(Chanyeol) We have a filming scheduled for September 20th, so I think we’ll rest for about two days until the 19th.
(Baekhyun) I’ve made plans to meet with my friends who are being discharged from the army. Most of my friends entered the army right after college admittance. So now it’s time to be discharged.
(Sehun) My friends are entering now.
During the activities for this album the six members of EXO-K and the six members of EXO-M joined together to promote. So then even if you rehearse the same song you need to familiarize yourself with the separate choreography for the Korean version and the Chinese version, the twelve-member version and the six-member version, and that must have taken several times the amount of effort. Because you have three or four variations for one song.
(D.O) We got really mixed-up. So it was more difficult and we overcame it with practice.
(Kai) We do overcome it with practice, but because we forget again after a few days pass we have to practice again. (laughter)
(Chanyeol) That’s right. Since we’ve been promoting mainly in Korea we’ve always shown the twelve-member Korean version on stage. But then if we have a sudden performance in China or if we have a six-member performance, we have to rehearse until we become perfect the day before.
Recently you performed as six members at a concert in Manilla, Philippines.
(Suho) It was fun because it was the first time we performed EXO-K’s version of “Wolf.” For me, in the twelve member version my role is to sing during the second verse but as we become six members there is a part I sing during the first verse, so I had to practice the steps to match that part.
As it was the first performance as six members there must have been a few mistakes.
(Kai) But the fans don’t know. Even if we make a mistake we just naturally go on.
(Chanyeol) But they know when I make a mistake. (laughter) Because during the final part of “Growl” we’re all supposed to turn to the back together, but I turned to the front alone.
(Kai) Most of all, I’m happy fans are saying that it was fresh. They only saw six of us during “MAMA” and during “Growl” they’re seeing twelve. It was very satisfying and pleasing to hear fans say that it felt fresh to see us performing “Growl” as six members again, right when they were about to become accustomed to twelve members.
You appeared on Infinite Challenge. Which of the hyungs from Infinte Challenge treated you the best.
(everyone) They a~ll treated us well. (laughter)
(Suho) Truthfully, Jung Hyungdon sunbae was the most memorable. We appeared twice on the program Weekly Idolwhich Hyungdon sunbae hosts. Since there are a lot of members you may not be able to memorize our names. We’ve talked about occasionally forgetting the names of our members as a joke even amongst ourselves. In any case, Jung Hyungdon sunbae didn’t even know we were going to film Infinite Challenge but he went,”Oh, EXO is here, I’ll introduce you” and said the names of all twelve members.
(D.O) Truthfully that was touching.
(Sehun) That’s usually not easy to do in most cases.
(Suho) He didn’t just memorize our names, he remembered all of our quirks as well. “Suho, he’s the leader, Chanyeol dances really well so have him dance.”
Oh? Chanyeol-shi dances well?
(Sehun) Of course he meant it as a joke.
(Chanyeol) Are you guys making fun of me? In any case, he took good care of us backstage even when the cameras weren’t rolling and Yoo Jaesuk sunbae also told us, “Thanks for coming even though you must be busy.” Although truthfully, we were more grateful.
(Kai) I really watched all of Infinite Challenge since the first episode. It was a valuable experience.
(Sehun) I watched all of it starting from when it was called Reckless Challenge. Wrestling cows and racing subways.
It would be nice if one day you could appear as formal guests.
(Chanyeol) Just being able to film for one or two hours was really great.
(Sehun) Has there been an instance of an idol group formally appearing as a guest until now?
(the rest) Yes, there was, Big Bang sunbaes.
(Chanyeol) They dressed up as the mafia and engaged in a chase to steal a bag.
(Kai) I want to do something like that, too. We have superpowers. (laughter)
Shall we hold a popularity vote of the Infinite Challenge members. As you filmed who did you like most.
(Kai) We really liked everyone.
In that case, they’re holding the Infinte Challenge Gayo Festival soon. Everyone pick which Infinite Challengemember you want to be paired up with if EXO-K were to appear in the festival.
(Baekhyun) Yoo Jaesuk sunbaenim for me. I think we’d match well. I wanted to try something like disco too, and Yoo Jaesuk sunbaenim does well with that.
(Chanyeol) Gil sunbaenim for me. I rap and like hip-hop too. I know well the Leessang songs that Gil sunbae sings and admire sunbae’s musicality.
(D.O) Haha sunbaenim for me. We’re both little so I think we’d suit each other. (everyone bursts into laughter)
(Sehun) Park Myungsoo sunbaenim for me. I think it’d be somehow really fun and I think we’d match well.
(everyone says to Suho, who is hesitating, “It’s okay if there’s an overlap, so pick the sunbaenim you really want to work with.”)
(Suho) Me, Park Myungsoo sunbae. I think it’d be fun. I think he wouldn’t hold back in how he treats me.
(Kai) In order to get first place I would want to work with Yoo Jaesuk sunbaenim, and if I just wanted to have fun then Haha sunbaenim?
(Sehun) Ah, none of us named Jung Hyungdon sunbae. No one….
I think that appearing on Immortal Song and performing the songs of your sunbaes instead of EXO’s must have been a whole new experience.
(D.O) It was difficult. Because we’re from a generation that doesn’t know Jeon Youngrok’s music well. We rearranged and sang sunbaenim’s song, but it was really difficult. Expressing the lyrics was difficult, too. What was fortunate was that it was rearranged into the R&B genre which we can do well in, and although we weren’t able to be completely satisfied I think that it was a stage we worked hard for.
(Baekhyun) Chen and I sang Im Heesook sunbaenim’s song titled “Truly Didn’t Know” the first time we went on. Chen said at the time that we were still too young to express those emotions, so we asked those around us and used their advice as our foundation to interpret. Having to express an emotion we haven’t felt yet is difficult, and we were really nervous and anxious due to the thought that we had to do better because a legendary sunbaenim was right in front of us.
You must have greeted the sunbaes at the end.
(Kai) Jeon Youngrok sunbaenim said this. “Back then I experimented with wearing sneakers with formal attire as I sang on stage, but I was criticized heavily.”
(D.O) Coincidentally on that day we performed and danced in sneakers while wearing formal attire.
(Kai) He said that he was really happy to see us pull off that concept so well.
It’s been a year and a half now since you’ve debuted, have you made many celebrity friends outside of your SM family?
(Baekhyun) Maybe it’s because we have a high member count, but I don’t think we’ve had many opportunities to get close.
(Sehun) Since even when we talk or play, we only play amongst ourselves. Should I say that there are no chances to fit in.
(Chanyeol) Because we had a long hiatus after “MAMA” ended, for a long time we weren’t able to see the other groups who debuted with us, so there’s no one to call a close friend yet.
Idol Star Athletics Championship is being aired this Chuseok. What was the filming like.
(Kai) We could have done better, it’s regrettable. We participated after we raced there as soon as we finished filmingImmortal Song.
(Sehun) No one was in his right condition.
Was there any event you ranked in?
(Baekhyun) We placed in the rankings briefly and then were disqualified right after.
(Sehun) I won the gold medal in power walking and even held an interview. But suddenly later they said it was a disqualification.
(D.O) They should have just given it.
(Sehun) Exactly, if it was close.
So then you returned empty handed without a medal.
(Chanyeol) They returned after having just enjoyed themselves.
(Kai) It was fun with just us.
(Chanyeol) D.O and I didn’t participate so we became closer as we played at our dorm. But instead, the four of us who didn’t participate went to Face Off, a competition in which celebrities emulate past singers. We sang “All My Loving” by The Beatles. We were joint winners. (laughter)
When I think back to last year’s interview, even as you worked hard as EXO you each had a personal dream to do things such as act and go on variety programs if the opportunities arose. What about now.
(Baekhyun) I think the recognition of our team has to rise in order for good opportunities to naturally find the members. I think that there could be limitations if one or two members go on to do solo activities first in a situation where the team hasn’t climbed up. If EXO is established as a mother’s embrace, then there is a stable nest to return to if solo activities don’t go well.
(D.O) That’s right. We have to raise EXO higher.
(Kai) Right now we think it is time to focus on EXO.