180605 CROSS GENE TenAsia Interview
[TEN Interview] Cross Gene “We want to win a trophy in an awards ceremony that people around the world are watching”
Original multinational group Cross Gene (Shin, Takuya, Yongseok, Sangmin, Seyoung) is back after reorganizing with 5 members. It is the first one after a year and 3 months. Cross Gene released their 5th mini album ‘ZERO’ last May 8 and currently active with their double title songs “Touch It” and “Fly”.
Cross Gene who debuted in 2012 with their mini album ‘TIMELESS: BEGINS’ will be celebrating their 6th anniversary on June 8. Although they faced a crisis last year after Casper left the group, the members relied on each other and strengthened their teamwork. They were shaken but did not break. They got up again with determination to start from 0, just like (their album) ‘Zero’. The members said together, “It is our dream to establish a Cross Gene company.” and “We want to stay together.”
- You made a comeback after 1 year and 3 months. You’ve been active after a long time, did you adapt well?
Yongseok: The way to music broadcasts has been is different from the past. Many things have changed such as the call time, air time. It seems like most of them (idols) basically go to work with make-up except us. (laughs)
Shin: When we appear in music broadcasts in the past, there were quite a number of same age groups. We greet each other but now there are a lot of new friends so it is awkward. On the day of our comeback, thankfully (G)-IDLE and GFRIEND members came to us and greeted us first. They even dropped by with their CDs and said “Congratulations”. We were grateful more than I imagined. It’s good that there are people who check on us.
- Does your 5th mini album ‘ZERO’ has a special meaning to you?
Shin: It means to start again from the beginning. You can change anything from ‘0’. The idea is to change what we have rather than turning back time. It also expresses our determination to grow in the future.
- There is still an “Idol War” in the music industry. How was it compared when you debut?
Yongseok: It’s on world war level now. The number of members in a group also changed since then.
Shin: Above all, there are more multinational groups. When we made our debut, there were no multinational groups other than us. There was usually just one foreign member in a team. On the other hand, we were half foreigners. In a way, it was different and fans were curious. Now, it has become a universal trend.
Takuya: It also gives us a competitive spirit. In a way, Cross Gene was the starting point of multinational groups. When I think about it, I tell myself to work harder to avoid feeling embarrassed.
Seyoung: New groups continue to emerge, making their debut and comeback. We feel the “Idol War” more these days.
Shin: It’s already a big opportunity to appear in music broadcasts.
- This coming June 8 marks your 6th anniversary since debut. What is the most memorable moment?
Yongseok: There’s a lot. It’s not easy to pick just one because there are so many happy moments.
Shin: I remember Seyoung’s debut stage. It was March 2013, he made a ‘huge accident’ during his debut stage in Japan. (laughs) He made a mistake in the choreography and he immediately froze.
Seyoung: I joined the team in December 2012. It was the first time I learned to dance in my entire life, learned it for a few months, stood on stage and I exploded. At that moment, my head went white like a sheet of paper, I looked around and the members were still dancing regardless (of my mistake). When I look back at the audience, I honestly saw more than 20,000 people. Personally, it is a moment I want to erase.
Yongseok: I’m sorry but we really had fun. (laughs)
- What is sad during your 6 years of activity?
Takuya: It’s unfortunate that we haven’t met our fans more often.
Shin: We usually make a comeback once a year. It is sad. Although we have personal activities, we weren’t been able to be in front of our fans as a complete Cross Gene. We are sorry and I personally feel so sad.
- Last year, your member Casper left. It must have been a turning point.
Yongseok: A member who we spent a long time with left (the team). I also questioned Cross Gene’s existence. Even I seemed to lose my identity, “Is this the right way for the team?”, “What should we do?”. I felt impatient and anxious.
Shin: It has been the biggest change for Cross Gene in 6 years. To be honest, it was difficult to move on naturally. My heart felt bad. It wasn’t easy as just saying “Let’s do well with 5 people”, but we believe that there are possibilities to grow further. The members then talked a lot. We gathered our thoughts by talking.
- While preparing for your solo concert in Japan last April, did the members become stronger together?
Shin: We had to revise our choreography from our debut song until the latest ones. As the members shared opinions and talked about our old songs, what happened then came to our minds. We looked back in the past and was filled with memories. While preparing for the concert, we had a lot of honest conversation.
- For your 6th debut anniversary, (if) there will be (a song that will) ‘climb the chart’. Are there any particular songs you recommend?
Sangmin: I want more people to hear our song “Amazing” which was released in 2014. It is a song where Cross Gene’s sexy charms stand out. The performance is especially exciting.
Yongseok: We revised our choreography to a “broadcast version” after it was reviewed by broadcasting companies. It was sad we weren’t able to show more of the original version. I want to show it to more people through a stage like a guerilla concert.
- Any entertainment program you want to guest with complete members?
Yongseok: I want to go to “Knowing Bros”. It’s a very refreshing program. They talk freely with each other and it sounds fun.
Shin: I want to go to “Weekly Idol” and “Idol Room” to show the teamwork of a 6 year old group.
- What do the members want to try other than being singers?
Takuya: I want to try to be a professional bowler. I like Bowling very much.
Shin: I’ve taken a lot of interest in cooking these days. I want to learn cooking simple foods.
Yongseok: I want to try a restaurant business. Especially a Japanese restaurant. (laughs) Since we had a lot of schedules in Japan, I learned a lot of local foods. I would like to have a fusion restaurant by having a menu that suits the taste of Korean people.
Shin: I want to start a music video company. We worked with Director Hong Won Ki for the second time and I learned more about him. Since we were talking a lot, I got curious so I started researching and got attracted with directing. He started with 400,000 won. Now their annual sales is beyond imagination. We recently filmed our music video “Cross Gene Believe Me.” I felt it again but I really enjoyed it. “Money” is not the purpose but the happiness while working. I want to learn well and personally direct a Cross Gene MV.
Seyoung: I want to have a studio (recording studio). There are a lot of friends who work hard to be musicians. I want to help those friends to make their dreams come true.
- What would you like to try as Cross Gene?
Yongseok: We have a dream to build a Cross Gene company. We want to train our juniors. We will be proud to have friends who had a dream of becoming singers after watching us. We have to work harder to do that.
Shin: I want to build a Cross Gene company and spend a long time with my members just like Shinhwa.
- The team has reorganized to 5 members and is starting again. Are there new “attack tactics” to gain “hardcore fans”?
Shin: First of all, the long hiatus was the biggest obstacle. Nowadays, fans turn their backs when there is nothing to see. It’s not the fans’ fault. It’s just like that. So the conclusion that we thought after worrying was “Youtube”. We will continue making and producing video contents of our daily activities and share it with our fans. We already gathered a lot of videos. We are planning to have a window to communicate with our fans while taking a break from the album promotions.
Yongseok: I’m thinking of going to schools and have a guerilla concerts just like in “School of Rock”. We need to target teenage fans, which we have few.
- We are halfway through the year. What do you want to achieve?
Seyoung: We have working for 6 years already and there is something we haven’t achieved yet. We will definitely challenge ourselves to win 1st place in music broadcasts. But first, our goal is enter in the Top 100 of music charts. It sounds simple but it’s not easy to enter the Top 100 these days.
Yongseok: We want to win a trophy in an awards ceremony that people around the world is watching like “MAMA”.
- What would you like to say to your fans?
Shin: We came back after a long time but many people still checked us. Thank you so much. A member we worked with have left. (But) we get more strength because our fans who like us cheer for us during this promotions. We want to be a group that is grateful and doesn’t give up.
Trans by: Caren
Edited by: Phoenix