Full Interview with SNSD on “The Boys” Album
Below is the full interview our girls did with 10Asia speaking about their brand new album “The Boys”. Everything from the title song “The Boys” to how this album is different from past albums to how they maintain their success. Special thanks to Soshified for posting this one up!
“The Boys”, Worldwide Release Album
Taeyeon: The album was made so that people around the world who listen to it won’t think the music is one specific genre, and also so it won’t be awkward when SNSD’s color is mixed in. Watching a stage performance while listening to the music is different than just listening to the music by itself so we hope they pay attention to the choreography or our clothes as well.
Tiffany: We’re only releasing the album in America, we don’t have any plans to promote there as of yet. We would like to go if we are given the chance to make a special performance, but for now, we are just planning to be active on music broadcasts in Korea.
What were your first impressions of the title song, The Boys?
Tiffany: To be honest, I said, “Huh? Sorry?” (because it was a little bit unfamiliar). (laughs)
Taeyeon: When we listened to the song after the mixing was done, it sounded very different than when we heard the guide version for the first time. Also, our past songs such as “Gee” had repetitive hooks so it was easy to tell where the chorus was, but this song isn’t a “hook song”. The parts of the entire song just flow into one another so I thought it was fresh.
Taeyeon: This choreography requires so much work to our legs that the day after our practice, it was difficult to walk up and down the stairs. We were attempting many moves that were new to us so there were parts that we become greedy about [greedy to do especially well].
Sooyoung: I have a lot of bruises on my legs. (laughs)
Tiffany: There are moves that accentuate our body line, similar to the choreography to our songs in the past. But for this song, we focused more on the groovy and powerful moves.
Seohyun: In the past, many people called our costumes “uniforms” because all the members were dressed similarly, but this time we wear clothes that bring out the personality unique to each member.
Taeyeon: We are planning to show different attire for each stage we perform.
Their first English album
Jessica: We paid very careful attention to our English pronunciation. (laughs)
Taeyeon: We are not living in a separate dormitory in the States to promote like we did in Japan, we are just putting our album out so we did not have to focus on and receive private [English] lessons. All the members just learned English back in school (laughs) so we tried to remember what we learned to the best we could when we were singing.
Tiffany: For me, I still tend to speak out in English when I have to think fast, but now the members are slowly starting to understand me. The members never had a chance to show their English, but if they were to really start studying, they would quickly become very good. (laughs)
The first time for any of the members to try rapping
Tiffany: It was just that we never had a chance to show anyone, but there are members who are confident in rapping. When we play around amongst each other, we like to rap with each other so we had lots of fun while recording this song. (laughs)
Seohyun: I think Hyoyeon unnie did the best job at rapping.
Tiffany: Hyoyeon loved music with a strong beat and groove ever since she was a trainee, so she thought the song was awesome when she first heard it.
Hyoyeon: I thought it was a little hard when I was recording, but when I heard the finished product, I was pretty satisfied. (laughs)
Working with Teddy Riley
Sooyoung: If there was a difference between him and the other composers we’ve worked with before, it would be… language? (laughs)
Taeyeon: I thought it would be a little difficult working with him since there was a barrier in communication, but he made the atmosphere easygoing so we got to record in an environment that was free and natural.
Yuri: He helped us rap comfortably in parts of the song that had a strong beat by dancing along with us, and he also encouraged us a whole lot.
Sooyoung’s first composition, “Spring Day” (How Great is Your Love)
Sooyoung: Our company gave us the guide version first, and told us to write out lyrics if any of the members wanted to participate in writing. That was during our time off and there was only one day left before the deadline, so I sat there contemplating if I should write or not, but I submitted my lyrics anyway and it got chosen. (laughs) It was my first time writing lyrics so we ended up changing up many things even on the day of recording. It was probably hard for the members to sing because of that. I wrote the lyrics while thinking of what it would be like if there was somebody out there who showed me love as warm as a spring day. I wrote it in a way that when someone listens to the song, the person they think of would not be just limited to one person like their mother, the SNSD members, or a lover. I wrote it so that people can listen to it while thinking of anyone out there that loved them.
Yuri: There were other members who handed in lyrics to the song, but I think the criteria were very strict. (laughs)
Tiffany: The rest of the members were eliminated. So cold. (laughs)
Competition with other girl groups
Taeyeon: Rather than saying that one particular group or artist is eye-catching, I think each group/artist has unique personalities so it makes the entire music program as a whole very showy.
Sooyoung: We don’t look forward to being put up against other girl groups, we look forward to watching their performances. We like to watch other artists during their rehearsals and there are so many things that we have to learn from other groups. The Wonder Girls are also making a comeback after a really long time so we want to see them soon. The anticipation we have to see them is kind of like the same anticipation we get before going to see a foreign artist in concert in Korea. (laughs)
Tiffany: When you watch a music program, it’s more fun and enjoyable to watch many great artists performing than to watch just one great artist. Likewise, I hope that this would be a time when we can put on a great performance alongside other artists.
The secret behind making your first official Japanese album <Girls’ Generation> a “double platinum” album
Seohyun: I think album sales increased more and more during our arena tour. I think it was through word of mouth, with people who watched our concert bringing other people to other concerts.
Taeyeon: Like you can see with our newest title song, we don’t follow a particular genre, so I think it makes people wonder, ‘What kind of song will this one be?’
2011 Summer Sonic special guest
Tiffany: It was so~ much fun. (laughs)
Sooyoung: It was a huge honor being special guests at such a large, monumental stage. The festival atmosphere was really nice, so we even went and got sneak peeks at other guests’ performances while preparing for our stage. (laughs) We were worried because those artists’ music carries many different colors , but because the audience responded well to our music, we were able to show an energetic performance.
Taeyeon: We had a problem where the MR stopped playing, and it turned out the audio system stopped working due to the heat. After hearing that, I thought, ‘Oh, it happened because of the good mood/atmosphere’. (laughs)
SMTOWN Live World Tour In Paris
Yuri: French fans had placards that were written in Korean, and they even memorized the fan chants in songs, so I was constantly surprised.
Taeyeon: Including the concert day, we were in France for a little less than a week. We’re always going around according to our busy schedules, but we were able to enjoy our time here, going sight-seeing and eating various foods. (laughs)
Memorable foreign fans
Seohyun: A grandpa with white hair cheered us on enthusiastically. (laughs) It was amazing and made me think, ‘Wow, even older people listen gain strength listening to our music’, and was able to perform very happily.
Sooyoung: Once, a little girl made and wore the same outfit we do on stage, and came hand-in-hand with her mom to watch our concert. (laughs) Because the only way we can communicate with overseas fans is through music, we have no choice but to do our best. So seeing people of various age groups loving us, I’m really thankful.
Taeyeon: During our arena tour, I saw one fan who kept crying, and another person who had SNSD’s name tattooed on their arm. (laughs)
Girls’ Generation’s transformation
Sooyoung: When we first came out, just to fit our ages, we went with a shining (laughs) image. But the name ‘Girls’ Generation’ actually means that we will show images that fit us at certain ages as we grow. An image that was fitting when we were 17, and one that fits us now, after we’ve all entered our 20s. We wondered if we would still need to sing wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, but we feel it’s right that we show a powerful image like our concept for ‘The Boys’.
Yoona: ‘Girls’ Generation’ is something that won’t change, and the modifier in front of it is what does. Like, ‘cute’ Girls’ Generation, ‘cool’ Girls’ Generation.
Yuri: Do samchon fans not like powerful images like this? (laughs)
Seohyun: Everytime a new album was released, we showed more matured images. If we showed the true image of a teenage girl wearing sneakers, we showed a slightly more matured college student-like image wearing white t-shirts and jeans. We never chased the same girl image.
Sooyoung: We don’t seek a target before returning, but simply sing a message we want to deliver.
Tiffany: Because <The Boys> is a full-length album, not all the songs show Girls’ Generation’s strong, cool sides, but there are also ones that are fresh like our first album.
Jessica: We’re not scary Girls’ Generation. (laughs)
Taeyeon: If there’s something that’s got us down, we make a request to talk to each other. (laughs)
Tiffany: If we didn’t have those times, our teamwork wouldn’t be this good. Because we’re so honest and so trusting of each other, I think our conflicts are solved well. But we’re straight-forward on stage, so if there is something wrong, we point it out and fix it.
Seohyun: Nowadays, we make different rooms in mobile messengers and talk like that.
Taeyeon: We’re all adults so we can drink, but we don’t want to drink to the point of losing control of our bodies from intoxication.
Tiffany: Because we don’t get much time to sleep, I guess we’d rather sleep than drink during that time. (laughs)
Sooyoung: Because we’re all girls, we’re weak when it comes to ambience, so we like drinking wine at a nice cafe. We usually gather to have a drink when it’s a member’s birthday. But there isn’t a member that particuarly likes drinking, so just birthday drinks? At moments like that, we talk and relieve any stress we’ve had.
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