171209 The 20th Anniversary Concert Tour in Gwangju
2 hours later, everyone was tired, wet and sandy. Jaeduck was the first to finish his scuba diving. When he went back to the meeting spot under the palm tree, he saw no one there. So the poor duck sat down on the bench and felt the wind blowing against his moist skin.
“No one here yet?” Jaejin’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Oh! Jaejin-ah! Finished parasailing?? Was it fun?” Jaeduck asked impatiently.
“Yeah! I almost felt that I was falling from the sky!” Jaejin nodded vigorously, face still radiant with excitement.
“Really?? I should try that the next time we come here!” Jaeduck reacted.
“Sit here Jaejin-ah.” Jaeduck pat the space next to him, urging Jaejin to sit down next to him. But as usual, he was rejected.
“Aniya! I don’t want to sit beside you.” Jaejin ruthlessly rejected his chingu and sat down on the sand instead.
“Whyyy????” Jaeduck whined and instead plopped down on the sand next to Jaejin, who didn’t move away. The two busan brothers who had 25 years of relationship since middle school stayed in peaceful silence for awhile before Jaeduck felt bored. He mindlessly looked around and picked up a twig that was lying around. Feeling bored of the waiting, Jaeduck swung the twig across the sand, marking a line.
“Ooh!” Something lit in Jaeduck’s head as he started moving his hand across the sand with his twig. Jaejin looked on curiously.
“Tadaaa!!” Jaeduck pointed proudly at his work. Jaeduck had drawn a hexagon with the word ‘Sechskies’ inside, which was their official logo. It peaked Jaejin’s interest as the older Busan man found another twig and started doodling on the sand as well. Jaeduck looked on, smiling.
“Ohhh!! Is that Hawaii??” Jaeduck pointed at the abstract drawing when he spotted the palm trees.
“It’s us, can’t you see?” Jaejin said pointing with his twig. Jaejin drew the Villa with palm trees grown at the sides and the six of them hanging out in the garden together.
“OMG. YOU’RE AMAZING, JAEJIN-AH!” Jaeduck’s mouth fell in amazement while Jaejin smiled proudly.
“Jaejin hyung! Jaeduck hyung!” They heard Suwon’s voice coming from behind so they turned around…
They were even wetter now.
“Ha! Bulls eye!!” Sunghoon exclaimed with a water gun in his hands.
“Yah! Not fair! We don’t have one!” Jaeduck complained, shielding the water aimed at his face with his arms.
“Run!!!” Jaejin shouted as he ran, Jaeduck barely following behind him and the two Whitekies member chasing after them.
“JAEJIN! JAEDUCK! CATCH!” Jaejin and Jaeduck heard their leader’s voice and turned towards the source just to find two water guns flying towards them.
“Woah!!” They barely caught it.
“BLACKIES! FIGHT BACK!” Jiwon cried out, raising his own water gun, pointing it at Suwon and Sunghoon.
“Nice one hyung!” Jaeduck grinned as he loaded his water gun and shot it towards Suwon.
“Ouch!! You’re going to regret this hyung!!” Suwon smiled slyly as he started chasing Jaeduck around.
Another 1 hour passed by without them knowing until they were dead tired and sprawled down on the sandy beach together in one row.
“I think I’ll have a good sleep tonight.” Sunghoon panted as he stared at the blue sky.
“I’ve never had such a good work out in awhile.” Suwon breathed.
“This is normal for me.” Jaejin remarked.
“I really should build on my stamina like you said, Jaejin-ah.” Jiwon panted as well.
“My stamina has gone down by a lot.” Jaeduck sighed.
“The sky is pretty.” Jaejin commented suddenly.
“It really is.” Sunghoon, which had been staring at the sky agreed. Peaceful silence washed over them even when their surrounding were rowdy. The cool breeze blew across the sandy beach and touched their skin, cooling them down.
“Come on guys! Let’s not waste time here!! We have more places to go!!” Sunghoon suddenly exclaimed, standing up and pulling the others.
“What? Where??” Jiwon asked tiredly.
“The Ala Moana Center!!” Sunghoon announced excitedly, pointing at the high end building surrounding the coast.
“For what??” Suwon asked, sitting up.
“Shopping!! I heard there are many pretty clothes there!” Sunghoon told the others.
“Seriously Hoon??” Jiwon groaned as he was pulled up by Sunghoon to his feet.
“C’mon hyung! Let’s go!!” Jiwon was pulled all the way to the mall.
“Helpppp!!!!” Jiwon shouted helplessly as the members shrugged.
After buying tons of stuff in the Ala Moana Center and changing into expensive new dry clothes, Sechskies decided to finally head back in the evening.
“I’m so hungry!!! I can’t believe we skipped lunch!!” Suwon cried.
“What’s for dinner today hyung?” Jaeduck asked, laying flat on the couch.
“Do I look like a chef to you?” Jiwon bite.
“Then… Suwon! Cook something!” Jaeduck turned towards the maknae.
“What do you want to eat?” Suwon asked, sitting up.
“Hmmm… I don’t know.” Jaeduck shrugged and Suwon sighed.
“Tteokguk! Make some Tteokguk, Suwon-ah!” Jaejin suggested suddenly.
“Why the sudden urge to eat Tteokguk?” Suwon asked.
“Well, technically we’re in our 20th anniversary and we haven’t eat any Tteokguk yet so might as well! Since we’re going to release our album soon anyway!” Jaejin explained.
“That sounds reasonable for me! Suwon! Cook some then!” Jiwon agreed.
“Other than that? Want some meat too?” Suwon asked, already walking towards the kitchen.
“What is there in the refrigerator?” Sunghoon asked, following Suwon.
“We can cook Samgyetang! Jiwon hyung bought a whole chicken yesterday when no one ask him to buy it!” Sunghoon suggested when he saw the young chicken in the freezer.
“Hey! I heard that! I saw the list wrongly!” Jiwon protested from the outside.
“You’re really getting old hyung!” Suwon shouted and plugged his ears to stop himself from hearing the oldest swearing at him.
“Okay! So it’s decided! We’ll have Samgyetang and Tteokguk for dinner!” Sunghoon announced as he helped Suwon take out the chicken to unfreeze it.
“I’ll eat it well! Suwon-ah!!” Jiwon shouted in glee, thinking of the food.
“You better!!” Suwon laughed.
When Suwon started cooking, he chased everyone out of the kitchen as he finds the help a nuisance when they just keep messing up his routine. In the end, Suwon worked alone in the kitchen as he hummed to Sechskies new soon to be released song, Be Well.
Meanwhile, the other members were loitering in the living room.
“Yorobun!! It’s time! Wait for me!!” Jiwon jumped up from his seat and suddenly yelled. In a few seconds, before his dongsaengs can react, Jiwon had rushed up the stairs.
“I’m back!!” Jiwon arrived on the first floor in record time, with some familiar shopping bags in hand and a box.
“Hyung! Aren’t those shopping bags from the zoo?” Jaeduck asked, recognizing the childish animal patterns printed on the bag.
“Yup! I bought one for everyone!” Jiwon declared, passing out the bags after checking the contents inside. The members took the bags from Jiwon while the leader kept the maknae’s first. They looked into the bag.
“WHAT IS THIS???”
From the bags, out pulled one whole piece of cloth, which turns out to be…
“A onesie!!” Jiwon stated the obvious.
“Why did you buy this hyung?? It looks ridiculous!!” Jaejin exclaimed. He stood up and spread the onesie into full length. It was white tiger patterned, similar to the beanie they bought.
“It’s for our final night in Hawaii! I even bought a brand new camera to film our last night too!” Jiwon said, unboxing his box to reveal a digital cam.
“For what hyung?” Sunghoon questioned while checking out his own onesie. Different from Jaejin, Sunghoon got a Pikachu onesie instead.
“We can show it to Yelkies during our concerts!” Jiwon replied, clicking the buttons on the camera, trying to get it to work.
“Are you serious hyung??” Sunghoon’s mouth dropped.
“No kidding!” Jiwon snapped his fingers.
“Go and change!” Jiwon ushered the members, especially Jaejin who refused to budge. On the other hand, Jaeduck nodded enthusiastically and ran up the stairs.
“Why should I wear this?!” Jaejin frowned.
“C’mon Jaejin-ah! Do hyung a favour!” Jiwon whined manly as he pulled Jaejin’s bicep.
“You’re so immature Jiwon hyung!” Jaejin huffed before giving in and headed up the stairs after Sunghoon.
“Yes!! Now my turn to change!” Jiwon cheered and went to his own room to change.
“WOAH! Jiwon hyung!! You scared me!!” Jaeduck almost screamed when he exited his room in his duck onesie to find a camera directed at his face.
“Jaeduck-ssi, say something to the camera.” Jiwon said formally, backing up a little to film more of Jaeduck.
“Eh? Annyeonghaseyo! I’m Kim Jae Duck from Sechskies!” Jaeduck bowed in front of the camera, introducing himself just like what Jiwon told him to.
“Hyung! What are you doing?” Jaeduck asked immediately after greeting.
“Filming of course. For our fans.” Jiwon answered, following Jaeduck as they sat down on their comfy and leisure corner on the second floor.
“In this ridiculous get up?” The last Blackies member appeared behind the doors.
“Oh! Lee Jae Jin is here! Jaejin-ah! Greet the fans!” Jiwon turned the focus to Jaejin who just came out in his white tiger onesie with a grumpy face.
“Annyeonghaseyo, Lee Jae Jin-imnida.” Jaejin greeted before walking behind the camera and sat next to Jaeduck on the couch.
“A white tiger and a duck. A carnivore and an omnivore. How interesting…” Jiwon dramatically zoomed in and out from Jaeduck’s face to Jaejin’s face.
“Jiwon hyung!! Jaejin hyung!! Jaeduck hyung!! Sunghoon-ah!! Dinner’s ready!!” Suwon shouted from the dining room as he laid the table.
“Oh!! Maknae called!” Jiwon said to the camera.
“Let’s film Suwonnie’s expression!” Jaeduck suddenly took interest in all this and went in front of Jiwon and head down the stairs first.
“Hyungs!!! Hyu- What?!?!?” Suwon caught a glimpse of yellow and turned around abruptly to find Jaeduck in a duck onesie and their leader in a grey wolf onesie holding a camera in between his hands.
“HAHAHAHAHA!! You should’ve seen your face!” Jiwon and Jaeduck doubled over in laughter while Jaejin took over the cameraman role.
“Jaejin hyung! You too?!” Suwon’s shock further heightened when he saw Jaejin in a white tiger onesie and Sunghoon walking down the stairs in a Pikachu onesie.
“Here comes the pikachu flower!” Jaeduck pointed as Jaejin shifted the camera to Sunghoon.
“You’ve started filming?!” Sunghoon asked, seeing the camera pointing at him.
“Yeah! All natural!” Jiwon claimed, running towards the living room, grabbed the shopping bag that contained Suwon’s onesie and ran back.
“Maknae! Here! Yours! Go and change now!” Jiwon pushed the bag towards Suwon and shoved him into the toilet even if the youngest was protesting all the way. Jiwon turned around after the toilet door closed and saw Jaejin filming the food on the table.
“Woah!!! Suwon definitely outdone himself again!” Jaeduck widened his eyes at the smell of the Samgyetang and Tteokguk.
“So this is Chef Suwon’s Samgyetang and Tteokguk made in Hawaii~” Jaejin introduced behind the camera.
“And as usual, Jiwon hyung sits at the head of the table.” Jaejin added as he shifted the camera towards Jiwon who had already sat down and salivating like a hungry wolf.
“SUWON-AH! Are you done?!?!” Not caring about the camera, Jiwon shouted, eyes not leaving the food.
“Yessssss!” Suwon replied as the door opened to reveal a shiba inu dog.
“Ooh!!! Suwonnie!! You look cute!” Sunghoon stood up and pinched his chingu’s cheeks.
“Ow! Ow! Ow!” Suwon groaned when his cheeks were violated by a pikachu.
“Oh! Our chef is here!” Jaejin said as he filmed Suwon walking over.
“Should I set this here?” Jaejin asked, putting the camera at the end of the table, so that it can film the rest of them.
“I bought a tripod too!” Jiwon went to fetched the tripod from the same box and set it up.
“There! Now it solely focuses on Jiwon hyung!” Jaejin laughed as Jiwon was in the centre.
“It looks like an animal party now.” Jaeduck commented, looking at his members.
“It’s all your fault, Jiwon hyung.” Suwon grunted.
“Yah. Don’t be rude.” Jiwon bite.
“Let’s eat before it gets cold! Thank you for the food, Suwon-ah! I’ll eat it well!” Sunghoon clapped his hands. The others followed, thanking Suwon in the process.
The whole meal was natural and all filmed in one camera. No restrains as the scenes they deem unfit could be cut away. Squabbles were normal for Sechskies and of course it did happen on the dining table. After a hot and piping meal of Samgyetang and Tteokguk made with maknae love, everyone gathered in the living room, Suwon holding the camera.
“The sky is dark.” Jaejin commented, resting on an indoor swing.
“That means we’re really running out of time in Hawaii.” Suwon stated sadly, his voice loud and clear in the camera.
“Let’s send one last message to Yelkies and off the camera.” Jiwon said, sitting up. Suwon nodded and pointed the lens towards Jiwon.
“Yorobun, your oppas spent a really good time in Hawaii these 3 days. We’ll be releasing our 20th anniversary album as soon as we get back. So look forward to it!” Jiwon ended the video message with a wink. Suwon shifted to Jaejin.
“Neh! These 3 days would definitely be the most unforgettable memory for Sechskies. Especially the gift from Jiwon hyung. Thank you to our fans for waiting for us. We’ll be coming back soon!” Jaejin smiled and waved. It was Jaeduck next.
“Yep! Jiwon hyung’s gift is the best ever!” Jaeduck grinned.
“Hey! You guys are making me embarrassed!” Jiwon interrupted.
“Don’t interrupt me hyung! Anyways, we’re really thankful for everything we’ve received from you guys. We are walking on the flower road here and I hope we’ll forever be walking on one!” Jaeduck cheered as he put his hands together to make the Sechskies hand sign. Jiwon took the camera from Suwon and filmed Sunghoon next.
“Neh~ Yelkies missed us no? We definitely missed you guys. Just like what Jaejin hyung and Jaeduck hyung said, it was really a pleasant surprise, Jiwon hyung. We’re really thankful for that. Even though Yelkies won’t know what we’re talking about, but just know that Eun leader is indeed the leader! Saranghae, hyung! Saranghae Yelkies! We’ll see you back in Korea!” Sunghoon ended with a finger heart to the camera which Jiwon was holding.
“Suwon! You’re next!” Jiwon smiled before shifting the focus to the last one.
“Yeah. Although Jiwon hyung is really immature and suggests to go to places that doesn’t make sense for us, plays like a choding, have his room half filled with game consoles and games, and bought us these ridiculous costumes, Jiwon hyung is indeed still our forever leader. Wait for us, Yelkies-ah. It’s time for us to come back.” Suwon ended with Jiwon passing the camera to Sunghoon to chase the maknae around.
“We’re gonna do the ending hyung!!” Sunghoon called as the oldest and youngest came back with Jiwon strangling Suwon’s neck.
“Jyah! Till now, we’re SechssssSSSSSSSSS……KIES!! Annyeong!!!” The five members waved to the camera before clicking it off.
“Ahhhh…. The sky is even darker now.” Jaejin noted.
“It’s pitch black outside.” Jaeduck added, turning his head to look outside.
“I’m actually tired for once.” Sunghoon sighed, leaning his head backwards, closing his eyes.
“It has been a long day in Waikiki after all.” Suwon agreed, following Sunghoon’s actions.
“My eye lids are drooping…” Jaeduck said as he tried prying his eyes open.
“It’s okay guys. Let’s all sleep. No need to stay awake. We can come back anytime we want. We have a morning flight to take tomorrow.” Jiwon ordered in his leader voice, smiling slightly at his sleepy members.
“Yeah. We’ll come back for sure….” Jaeduck trailed off as he gave up on keeping his lids open.
“At least go up to your room!” Jaejin grunted as everyone chuckled when the older Busan member elbowed Jaeduck, shocking him awake.
“Okayyyyy….” Jaeduck nodded before pulling himself up with much effort and bringing himself up the stairs with even more effort.
“Let’s have an early night then. Remember to wake up at 4am in the morning.” Jiwon reminded his dongsaengs and stood up.
“You’re the one that needs reminder hyung!” Suwon joked.
“I know I know! I’ll get up on time okay!” Jiwon waved his hand vigorously.
“Sweet dreams everyone!!” Sunghoon waved as he started pulling Suwon up the stairs to prevent anymore squabbles.
“See you tomorrow!” Jiwon waved.
“Hyung. You better sleep tonight.” Jaejin said when only the two of them were left.
“I know and I will. Thanks, Jaejin-ah. Sleep well too.” Jiwon smiled reassuringly as he pat Jaejin on the shoulder. Jaejin returned him a smile.
“Good night hyung.” The doors shut close.
“Jiwon hyung!!!!!! You’re late!!!” Suwon shouted. It was 6am in the morning. They were supposed to leave the Villa at 5am. The four dongsaengs were already waiting at the doorstep with their luggage and bags ready, only waiting for their one and only Eun leader.
“I’m here! I’m here!” Jiwon rushed towards the door with shoes half worn.
“Wear your shoes properly hyung!” Sunghoon pointed. Jiwon looked down and smiled sheepishly as he adjusted his shoes.
“Okay, are we ready to go?” Jiwon asked innocently.
“We’re ALL ready since 1 hour ago, hyung. Why don’t you ever change.” Jaejin sighed as he closed the double doors of the Villa and locked it with his own set of keys.
“It’s not my fault! You guys got ready too early!” Jiwon used the old lame excuse.
“Whatever you say hyung.” The members sighed, knowing they can’t win over his stubbornness.
“We’re really going to be late for our flight! Hurry!” Suwon reminded them as they started running towards the taxi, locking the gate behind them.
“Jaeduck-ah, you awake?” Jaejin asked from his seat beside Jaeduck.
“Yeah.” Jaeduck turned his head to give Jaejin his attention.
“Remember the question I posted to you on the very first day?” Jaejin asked.
“Umm… Which one?” Jaeduck pretended not to know.
“Don’t try to lie. You know which one I’m talking about.” Jaejin gave a stern face.
“Fine. This one. I love this more than any trip I’ve been to. Even the one with Tony hyung.” Jaeduck answered with a genuine smile on his face, before emphasizing it with the keys that Jiwon gave to them.
And…… It’s the end!!! Thank you to everyone who read this horrible story!!! Kamsahamida!! Byebye!!
Jiwon: Me, myself. There’s nothing better than that.
Sunghoon: I’m not sure. A pair of gloves or a coat?
Jaejin: Pictures that we took together, clothes, flowers, etc.
Jaeduc: I want us to have fun and make it a really memorable Christmas.
Jiyong: I want to go on a vacation to a really nice place.
Suwon: What gift? We’re in an IMF financial crisis. As long as we have love for each other, it’s OK!
-Official question for our interview. How much do you guys drink?
Jaejin: 3 bottles of soju. With beer, I can drink upto a box.
Jiwon: I can walk with two legs after I drink 3 bottles of soju. After that though, I don’t remember much.
Suwon: I can drink about a bottle and a half of soju. I can drink more when I mix- I really like so-mac* (*a mix of soju and beer)
Jaeduck: I like beer. You know how they have special deals like “10,000 won for four cans” at convenience stores? Those are great.
Sunghoon: I think I’m the weakest. I can go up to one bottle of soju.
-Do you guys drink with one another often?
Jiwon: not really since we each have our own schedules. But when we do, we drink a lot.
-Any special drinking habit?
Jiwon: I say the same thing over and over again. It makes people around me tired.
Sunghoon: none of the members are particularly annoying. We don’t drink until we’re that drunk.
-This is your first comeback in 16 years.
Jiwon: I have as much passion as younger idols- or even more- but it’s sad that my body isn’t up to that level. There are some parts of the old choreographs that I can no longer do. That bothered me a little bit, but everything else was fine. I’m satisfied.
Jaeduck: Because we have less physical strength, we focus for less amount of time. Now, we have to learn quickly and intensively.
Jaejin: I don’t even know if I’m doing something wrong when I’m on stage. It’s all because we can’t focus as much as we used to.
Sunghoon: I wonder if it’s okay to call ourselves “idols”. When I see idols at salons, I notice they have fierce makeups. Compared to them, I feel like we’re not idols.
Jiwon: We’re more like maheun-dol* (*maheun: 40 in korean age)
-The new song “Three Words” won first place in charts. Did you expect that?
Jiwon: I didn’t expect it, but I did hope. But I was still skeptical about being 1st because so many big guns are out right now. I prayed “please let it be in top 5″ and I was so happy to see that it was in #1.
-The track was released at midnight. Did you check the chart hourly?
Jiwon: I was on the charts until 4AM when I finally went to sleep. I didn’t know, but these days, there’s even a chart called 5 minutes chart. I was going crazy because it shows a live graph. You know, I’ve never bought any stocks, but looking at those graphs, I could understand why people get addicted. Also, I could see how the fans were streaming with those five minute charts.
Jaeduck: Jiwon showed me the graph and that’s how I found out.
Jaejin: I became a zombie at certain point because I kept staring at the chart.
-There’s a new term called “hitting the roof”* (*when the number of downloads / streaming hits the maximum on the graph)
Jiwon: Ah, even that term, I found out about it not too long ago. I’ve released a lot of digital tracks before, but of course I don’t know since they’ve never been around the “roof”. I’ve discovered a lot of new things because of the recent release.
-How did you react when you first listened to “Three Words”?
Jaeduck: Didn’t we all cheer? We all liked it.
Jiwon: Of course we liked it. There was a preview at the concert, and 10 thousand people were all listening without making a single noise. I thought that was impressive. Not a single person made any sound. I was really nervous because I didn’t know what they were thinking. Were they quiet because they liked it, or because they didn’t like it?
Sunghoon: I thought they didn’t like it because there was no reaction from the fans. I like the song. It’s trendy, but not too trendy; it has some old school vibe but doesn’t overdo it.
-How was working with Tablo?
Jaeduck: He’s emotionally sensitive. I saw him crying. He also makes a great atmosphere for recording. He gives a lot of compliments. He kept comparing us to some good vocalists and saying that we are like them- when we know we’re not on that level. He encouraged us a lot.
Jiwon: He gave so many compliments that I felt like he was just messing with us. I was like “Is this really a compliment?” It must mean we should keep working hard.
Sunghoon: In the 90s, we were scolded a lot during recording sessions. Therefore, we lost confidence and we couldn’t be at 100% when we were recording. This time, it was nice to have people complimenting and encouraging one another.
-The concert ended with success.
Jaeduck: As the screen opened and we entered the stage, I could see all the yellow lights. I got goosebumps. At that point, I felt like we and the fans were somewhere off in another place. I still get chills thinking about it. I believe singers go on stage to feel this.
-Does that moment linger for long?
Jaeduck: I still get emotional thinking about it. It makes me want to be on stage again.
-Was there anything at the concert that you felt was unsatisfying?
Jiwon: I went back to the stage after the concert and looked at the seats, and they were taking them apart. It was a place where we and few thousands of fans were together for two days. I didn’t want to see it being taken down.
Jaejin: Seeing them disappearing in front of my eyes made me sad.
-It must’ve been hard physically.
Jaejin: “Reckless love”, “Com’ Back”, “Pomsaeng Pomsa” all have a lot of moves where we have to squat and jump. It was so hard that I saw someone I shouldn’t see in front of my eyes a couple of times. I thought my knees were going to dislocate.
-You guy must feel sorry to the fans (who’ve waited for so long).
Jiwon: They’re the fans that have waited for 16 years, so they don’t whine or grill us. So I feel even more sorry. I feel like the bond between us has become stronger because we have so much trust. Instead of telling us what to do, they say “They’ll do the best and decide for themselves”.
-I heard Yang Hyun Suk checked on even the concert stages.
Jiwon: Hyung is a Tsundere. He doesn’t show, but he cares a lot. We’re his juniors, you know. No one else in YG except for 1TYM and JINUSEAN was active when Hyunsuk-hyung was active. So he tries to take care of us. He even edited the music video himself.
-Did you ever get scolded while working?
Jiwon: He did say “Do I still have to check these things” once, but that’s all because he cares. Suwon and Jaeduck’s solo stages were saved by him. He saw the first version, said we should change it- and the second version was way better.
Sunghoon: It’s more like an advice really. I’d be happy to be scolded by him because I respected him as my idol even before debuting as Sechskies.
-You have a lot of respect for YG.
Jiwon: Jaeduck and Jaejin as dancers always picked Hyunsuk-hyung as the most respectable sunbae even before debut. We sang a lot of his songs on music shows. Even in our autobiography that we wrote back in the day, it says “I want to be like Yang Hyun Suk”.
Sunghoon: I was a big fan who followed his schedules in real life. I got hit by the guards.
-And he is Jaejin’s family.
Jaejin: We set boundaries when we’re working, though. We’re a family, but it’s different when we’re working.
Jiwon: I thought we would have some benefits because of Jaejin, but he has no power whatsoever. He gets scolded even more. (Laughs)
-”Infinite Challenge” played a big role in the reunion.
Jiwon: We owe so much to “Infinite Challenge”. I’m so thankful that I want to be on it every week, but they’re not contacting me. I’ll go whenever they need me.
Suwon: They should just call us without thinking about paying us or anything.
Jaejin: Last time we were on it, we talked about us only, but I want them to make us suffer more. I want to be on it every week.
Sunghoon: To be honest, even before “Infinite Challenge”, we were planning a concert and were continuously talking about the reunion.
Jiwon: Suwon wanted it to happen more than anyone else, but I opposed it every time. I wanted to be really careful about it. Then, an opportunity came with “Infinite Challenge”.
-Why did you oppose?
Jiwon: I wanted it to be legit. It’s been 16 years- we couldn’t be nonchalant about it. But the scale was way too big to handle by ourselves. I was scared that it won’t go anywhere, and that it won’t be as successful even if we do have a concert.
-Weren’t you guys disappointed by the spoilers?
Jaeduck: It was a little sad, but the initial cancellation added more story to it. It was more dramatic, you know. I tried to think positively.
-How was performing in front of kindergarten kids?
Jaejin: Little kids must’ve thought we were comedians too, since they do know ‘Infinite Challenge’. They cheered for us.
Jiwon: I was actually happy that that wasn’t our guerrilla concert. They didn’t know us at all. Even in the real performance, I thought we would be embarrassed if not a lot of people come.
-You couldn’t even keep your head up at the terminal.
Jiwon: Ah, that was really really hard. I couldn’t look forward so I sang looking at the sky.
Jaejin: It wasn’t that we didn’t try- I just wasn’t encouraged. I never thought we’ll go the easy way since it was ‘Infinite Challenge’, after all. I thought there would be some kind of mission, make it really hard, then give us a come back stage. But a guerrilla performance? I was really embarrassed.
Jaeduck: Wherever we were, it was cool to dance together again. It didn’t matter where we were. (Laughs)
-Were you guys happy about the main guerrilla concert?
Sunghoon: It was on a weekday in the evening, To have that number of people, I was really happy.
-Are you really like how you presented yourself in ‘Infinite Challenge’?
Jaejin: You have to be truthful on variety shows these days. I just did what I always do.
-Anything different after the broadcast?
Sunghoon: I knew the power of ‘Infinite Challenge’, but didn’t know the full extent. I was never interested in having a social media account, but the fans wanted it.
Jiwon: We thought all the fans would be 30~40 by now, but there were a lot in their 20s, actually. That means there are a lot of new fans from ‘Infinite Challenge’.
-Were you guys in contact before then?
Jiwon: Some, yes, some, no.
-Do you feel a lot different from 20 years ago?
Sunghoon: The biggest change is that back then, the “comeback / goodbye specials” were really important. After the goodbye stage of a promotion, I felt like we would never be able to come back. Nowadays, groups release albums within short terms, so goodbye stages have lost their meaning.
Jiwon: Back then, you couldn’t imagine being on a variety show by yourself. It would’ve been a Jekki special; there was no such thing as making a variety show with one member from different groups. And of course there were no units.
-But you guys had Black kies and White kies. Wasn’t that the origin?
Jiwon: We just divded our team like that- we never promoted separately. Now that I think about it, why did we have those?
-You never had much freedom even back then.
Sunghoon: I believe nowadays, there’s no privacy at all. Back then, there was no social media so after schedules, you could go around with maybe one or two people seeing you. But now, wherever you go, your location spread on social media, and people show up. I guess that helps with promotion. I just stay home nowadays.
-Let’s think back to the disbandment.
Jiwon: Even though 3.5th album and 4th album weren’t doing so bad, I felt like from there, there was only downfall. I thought it would be right to disband while we were still popular. Of course, there were some members who disagreed.
Jaejin: I couldn’t agree. We disbanded without coming to an agreement (Laughs)
Jiwon: See, it’s the problem of the majority. The majority agreed, and we disbanded.
Sunghoon: Now that I think about it, if we hadn’t disbanded then, we wouldn’t have this special come back right now.
-Aren’t you sad about Jiyong’s absence?
Jaeduck: He has expressed clearly that he has no thought, and I feel sorry to keep asking, you know? We sometimes get together and chat while we drink soju. Maybe there will be an opportunity for him to join if we do well from now on. Doors are always open, so he can join whenever he wants to. But as of right now, he has done his part by coming on ‘Infinite Challenge’.
Jiwon: We have to do well. I feel sorry to keep bringing him to spotlight when he has left the industry. If things go wrong, there will be huge consequences. We’re especially careful because Jiyong is a head of a family now. I think he understands too, without us saying much. One day, when Sechskies is doing really well, we would be able to say “Let’s do it together this time”. I would be confused too if I was Jiyong. But part of the reason why we could come back was because Jiyong let us. He gave us an opportunity by clearly stating that he is okay with us coming back as Sechskies and that he wants to see us more active.
-Do you sometimes feel the empty spot?
Sunghoon: When I’m dancing, I sometimes feel like I’m in the wrong spot. So I check, and it’s Jiyong’s spot. But it’s okay; we barely notice even when we make mistakes now.
-Do you have any song that you feel especially attached to?
Suwon: Right now, it’s “Three Words” of course. All the songs are precious and we have a lot of songs, but “Three Words” is what is bringing us together right now.
-Any plans on being active on shows?
Jiwon: If we get a chance, I want to be on a reality show with all of us. We’re back, but there’s not really a program that we can go on altogether. I think a reality show with five of us is going to be fun. We’ve been doing V-app lives, and I’m planning to do them until the views reach 45 million.
Jaejin: What about going on “Flaming Youth” when we become 40?
-There’s a news of S.E.S reunion. Do you have any advice?
Jiwon: Just as we followed Hyunsuk-hyung, I want to tell them to follow President Lee Soo Man. Things tend to go well when you do what they tell you to do. Of course you can be scolded some times. But when you take the risk and follow them, things go well.
-Jaeduck lives with Tony now.
Jaeduck: He envied us but sincerely congratulated us. He even posted on his social media. Seeing him so happy, I realized that I’m living with a good person. (Laughs)
-Do you get along with your rival H.O.T.?
Jiwon: We started as rivals, but 20 years have passed. I’ve done a lot of shows with Heejun, and Jaeduck lives with Tony. We did have a few misunderstandings back then because we didn’t talk, but as years passed, I feel like we’re real friends now. Back then, we didn’t even have time to have real talks because people were so busy making us rivals. Now, we say whatever’s in our minds to each other. I go to public bath houses with Heejun. H.O.T. and Sechs Kies at a public bathhouse together.. You couldn’t imagine such thing back then.
-Do you have any plan of solo albums?
Sunghoon: We just started as Sechs kies. We need to establish the group first.
Jiwon: I did have something in progress, but I stopped working on it.
-You call yourselves “Maheun-dol”, but you guys look young.
Jiwon: Yeah, people don’t see us our age. I mean, we did keep it pretty well. We’re pretty proud of the fact that nobody had plastic surgery. I think that’s why we look more handsome than when we were younger. You know how greenbelts are untouched? Well, our faces are like that. We didn’t touch them, so they remained the same. Ah, only if we had the physical strength, I think we’ll be a match for people in their 20s…
-Fans are a little different too, right?
Jaejin: It feels a little weird when I’m singing and fans shout “I love you”. They are so young compared to us. Back then, they were all our age, but since many of them are way younger than us now, it feels weird to hear “I love you”. So I tell my fans not to say “I love you”.
Jaeduck: I feel so uncomfortable when the fans say “You’re handsome”. I’m embarrassed because I think I’m not handsome.
-You guys have international fans too.
Jiwon: It’s all thanks to YG. They have a lot of internatinoal followers. They just give it a try because we’re part of YG. How would they know us, otherwise?
-You guys are all old enough to marry now.
Sunghoon: I’m not thinking about marriage right now.
Jaejin: I’m going to get married when the contract ends. I want to go on blind dates. There are not that many opportunities to meet people. I’m a little lonely nowadays.
Jiwon: I’ll be heading to a silver town* (senior housing). I’ll be the most popular one there… What if all the members go together?
-What are your further plans?
Jiwon: I honestly don’t know. We can’t do something just because we want to, you know? I want to do performances with unique concepts. I want to do some collaborations since there are some great hoobaes at YG. Such collaborations will help different generations connect. G-Dragon or Taeyang featuring will be nice. It’s just a hope, but I definitely want to try. YG is the only company where young idols and reunited 1st generation idols can perform together.
-Last words for the fans.
Jiwon: Words are never enough to express. Thank you for protecting, thank you for waiting.
Jaeduck: Everything that’s happening now is all thanks to the fans. Unbelievable things are happening. Miracles- a series of surprises.
-Last words for the members?
Sunghoon: I want none of us to get hurt. Even getting hurt gets in the way of promoting. We have to think about our age, guys. Take care of yourselves.
Jiwon: I want to maintain this. We weren’t active for long, but we’ve spent years together. We have more things to show, and more room to grow.
——-Thank you for reading!