While SNSD were in New York, they sat down with Jaeki Cho of Complex for a rather intriguing interview, its discussion topics ranging from the American market to high heels, music tastes, Wu Tang Clan, the culture of celebrity, downtime (or lack thereof), and future plans. [Full interview here.]
Like the title of the actual website, it offers more complex insight into SNSD’s thoughts on various subjects. It’s a very interesting read due to the hard-hitting questions and SNSD’s extempore responses, and because of the lighthearted chatter peppered throughout. SNSD’s honest, humble personalities really shine through despite it only being a transcript of the interview.
Incidentally, management (frustratingly) interrupts every now and then which makes me wonder what they actually would have said if they weren’t constantly and closely monitored.
I’ve selected some of my favourite parts below, but go ahead and read the whole interview here.
Complex: Your latest single, “The Boys,” has a more mature vibe compared to the group’s previous emphasis on cutesy themes. Was it a conscious makeover to cater to the American market?
Seohyun: No. Not necessarily. We first released “The Boys” in Korea actually. It was a challenge for us to bring a style that’s different from what we’re known for in the past. It wasn’t an effort to appeal to the American market, but rather it was our artistic approach to present a more developed look. Every time we release a new album, we try something new. And our recent change was no different.
(On gestures and cute facial expressions)
Sooyoung: They’re actually part of the choreography. But because we have so many of those pose and gestures, I feel like many people assume that we’re super bubbly and animated. It’s not like I’m going to ask Jessica [poses a gesture], “Did you eat?”
Jessica: [Poses a gesture.] No, I didn’t.
Complex: I consider Girls’ Generation as the k-pop version of the Wu-Tang. You know how you guys have nine members as well? So Taeyeon is the RZA, Yoona is Method Man…
Taeyeon: [Laughs.] You’ve actually picked out each member and made a comparison?
Sooyoung: If you write the comparisons down for us we’ll search them up on Google.
(We beat him to it, two years ago. Google it, girls, and visit our site!)
Complex: With the success in Japan, what has changed?
Sunny: We’re certainly recognized by more people.
Sooyoung: I wouldn’t say we changed because of the success. But as a whole, since we went on tours, and done so many performances, I could humbly say our live performance game has gotten much better. Instead of just performing one song on a television show, we had to learn how to keep a crowd entertained for three hours or more.
Tiffany: Thanks to the love and support from our fans, we were able to achieve the level of success we have now. But overall, I think success to us means how much we’ve grown as a group, and how much we’ve grown as performers. And I think the experience we’ve gained from our Japanese tour made us grow tremendously. If anything, that’s a huge success for us as artists.
Complex: Jessica, you’ve been quiet, any comments?
Jessica: Umm… sorry. To tell you the truth I was zoning out. [Laughs.]
Complex: The profiles written about idol groups are very generic. For hobbies, they’re always listed as reading, listening to music, or watching movies. Seriously?
Hyoyeon: But Seohyun is really like that though.
Jessica: And honestly, if someone asks you what your hobbies are there aren’t really much to write down, right? So you just end up writing down basic things like shopping.
Tiffany: I mean, what do you like to do? Reading, listening to music, things like that, right? It’s totally normal, but I guess it looks fake in a way because we are people you can’t personally ask. But what you’ve mentioned are all our hobbies.
Taeyeon: Plus, those are all things we wrote earlier in our careers. I’m sure things are different now. For instance, I now consider sleeping as a hobby.
Complex: Then what do you guys do for fun?
Sooyoung: The standard for fun depends on the individual. For us, since we’re a group of nine girls, nice décor, fancy outing, and special occasions, like each member’s birthday, things like that can easily sway us a lot. So drinking wine and gossiping, we consider all of that as part of having fun.
Even when we’re working, instead of treating it like work, we have a tendency to approach it as if we’re having fun as a group. In certain cases, it gets too loud, so it might even appear a bit unprofessional. [Laughs.] But I think we’re having fun while we’re working.
(Sooyoung is a boss at answering questions.)
Complex: So if you guys all go out to a club together…
Hyoyeon: That would be fun.
Jessica: Oh, so your standard of having fun is clubbing?
(LOOOOL, HBIC JESS COMING THROUGH.)
Complex: What type of footwear would make you guys completely dismiss a dude?
Yoona: Those slippers with three stripes.
(I singled this part out because Yoona hadn’t said anything until this question was asked.)
Sooyoung: You want to give back the love the public have for you. And as a result, you have to be held responsible for your actions. It was a dilemma for us before, but now we just look at it like, “They support us because we’re doing what we love to do.” The passion and urge we displayed initially is why they liked us from the beginning. We believe doing our best is the only way for us to repay those who love us.
Complex: Sadly, the average lifespan of an idol group isn’t long. Are there any plans for you guys after Girls’ Generation?
Tiffany: We don’t intend on ending it. We just don’t.
Complex: Girls’ Generation’s debut was a turning point, which somewhat sparked the recent influx of young trainees spurring up across Asia. Any advice you guys want to give to those up-and-coming talents?
Jessica: I hope they’re not dedicating their time and effort just to become famous celebrities. I hope what they’re doing is something they truly enjoy. That’s the only way to prevent regrets from happening.
Seohyun: There has to be a set goal. Don’t just vaguely chase after something that’s glowing. You need to know what you like, what you want to achieve, and what makes you happy. That’s the only way to keep yourself focused from diverting off to other paths.
Complex: Finally, what’s the next step for the Girls’ Generation?
Taeyeon: Expanding our legacy to outer space!
Sooyoung: Oh, gosh.
Sources: Complex, @JaekiCho