Here's a transcript of an interview made in 2001 with god. I'm sure there's a video of this interview somewhere like all the other interviews from talkasia, but I couldn't find it. There were many typos on the transcript (ex.: it was written 'Jamie' instead of 'Jaemin' and 'Kye Sang' at one point was spelled as 'Kay Sun'), I fixed the typos, but I might have missed a few.________________________
[CNN's Talk Asia] Interview with Korea's g.o.d
Published on: June 27, 2001
SEOUL, KOREA (CNN) - The boy band that is as hot as you can get. N'sync, Backstreet Boys look out, these guys are g.o.d.
The members of g.o.d include Joon-Hyung Park, the leader of the group, 27 years old. Born in Seoul. Raised in California.
Danny Ahn. Born in Seattle. Another American citizen I suppose. Studied in Design, cousin of Joon.
Ho-Young Son born in New Jersey, raised in Korea. He became famous by playing a mother.Tae Woo-kim in the youngest member of the group. Raised near Pusan, And nicknamed 'bear'.
And Kye-Sang Yoon, 22 years old. Who always want to be a singer I understand.These are the members of g.o.d.
Dalton: First 'god', how did you get that? What does this stand for anything?
Joon: Basically in the beginning we just come across all these names. I am catholic as a matter of fact. First we originally supposed to have 6 members in the group so we named the group 'G.O.D. 6'. That thing we portrayed like a dot or god. But we wanna to be like hope to people. Be themselves, be their friend, their parents or just their intuition. We just want to give hope to people.
Dalton:So is 'g.o.d' god?Joon: Basically it's 'god'. But Korean people pronunciation for 'god' comes out to be 'god' or 'good'. So we made it 'g.o.d'. You can see we do not use capital letter, we use small case that forms 'g.o.d'.
Dalton: You guys formed originally about 4 years ago at 1997 but you didn't work for a while. Tell us about that. You guys were like almost broke or you guys lived together or something?Joon: Basically I came from the States in 1997 to form the group.
Dalton:You had it in your mind to form the group when you were coming back?Joon: First I came here and had a little a bit audition and interview. I told them what I wanna to do.
Dalton:You mean producer or?Joon: Basically our producer or manager. What happened was that they wanted to have a 2 guys group. But I want to make a boy group. Not a 'boy boy group' but people like little kid adults can look up and listen to without thinking these are like kids.
Dalton: That's true. You guys are popular with all ages. Not just teenagers, grandmothers like you, mothers like you, is that right? You get fan letters from all kinds of people, is that true?Joon: True.
Dalton: How did you figure that out? Why are you so appealing to all different ages? Usually a boy band, youth attract the young girls only. You are just nice guys or?Joon: I think basically what it comes down usually in Asia when people look at a singing group they look at individual member rather than the entire group itself. You can see in our group that age difference varies widely. Tae-Woo is only 20 years old, or 19 as a matter of fact. Oh yes 20 now. 22, 21, 22 and I am the older guy.
So we attract the wide range of fans and we have a chance to show a natural side of us on a lot TV programs. So most of the time Asian fans usually watch these groups and think that groups are more like they are such star and have to be stiff.So we sort like showing comfortable side to them without feeling uncomfortable. They just think they are comfortable group. So I think from little kid to grandmother they got really comfortable with us.
Dalton: Would you see yourself as just a Korean band or are you just a band? I mean what would you like to be known as?Joon: First of all I guess within a band I will like to say a band because we play instrument. But I will like to be consider as a group. My first goal to Korea, I come here to change the way that fans and general audience start on music itself . They have been going on listen to music like mainstream in Korea. But I want to bring a little bit western feel and also Korean like Asian feel. They could actually take it all in and may be go cross over to the States or internationally, anywhere. People can listen to the music and enjoy the music itself.
Dalton: Oh that's I guess that's the next step. But I want to ask about you how far you want to go in your music business. Danny, you are a cousin of Joon, correct? How did he get you into this? How did that start?Danny: I always like music from when I was in junior and senior high school. I always wanna to be a singer. At that time I was actually preparing with Hyung to be a singer when Joon called and ask me if I wanted to sing and I say yes let's do it together. I didn't get audition because Joon was my cousin. I got audition on my own merit. And that's how I end up joining the group.
Dalton: OK, you know we are going to the other members of god shortly as TalkAsia on the role in Seoul continues. We also get into the TV careers. How they play five young men and a baby.---
Dalton: We are in Seoul and we are TalkAsia talking with member of g.o.d. You guys were the first guys ever to perform in the Olympic Stadium. I guess the reason is not many people could fill it. It is so big. What was like that, we just saw some video. What was like that experience?Joon: It's really really hard to explain. When you go up on that stage, when the lights and the music come on it's like alright, here we go. And you gets so nervous and your legs get all weak. You don't actually hear the crowd you feels like 'Woo' (the sound of crowd) but as soon as music turns on, and everyone is clapping for you. And it's like this man.
Dalton: Now let's get to your TV series which I guess help raise your stardom, really gave you guys a personality when people got to know the members of g.o.d. What was the theme of that show? Who came up with that? How did that work to your advantage?Joon: In Korean it is called 'Yookahilgi' which likes 'an infant diary or diary of an infant'. Basically that show was a chance to show to the audience and more natural side to us. People kind of have an idea of how we were, who we were. But they only gets to see, only saw god on stage they didn't see god off stage.
Dalton: You were playing parts but you say your personality did come out.Joon: Sure. Basically what happened was we were taking care of a baby. The baby actually lived with us for about a year and a half.
Dalton: Is it one of your babies?Joon: No, come on. There's a lot of hidden secrets but that's not of them.
Dalton: Ho-Young you were known as mother of the child because he follows you all around?Ho-Young: Yeah because I take care of him.
Dalton: He liked him the most?Joon: you see he got the nicest smile.
Tae Woo-kim: He hates me.Dalton: He didn't like you? Why not?
Joon: Too big.Tae Woo-kim: No!
Joon: This is what happened. The first day that the baby came, the baby is kind of settled. and we are gonna choose a role for each member. I was gonna originally be like the mother, but then I look as myself I am a man, I'd be the father. He's gonna be a mother. That guy was like a little clown that plays around the kid. That guy was like to be a fashion.Kye-Sang was gonna to be like a fashion consultant and Danny was going to help the baby to go to sleep. He was playing with the kid like this. He was like throwing the baby up and down, up and down. And the guy he's about like six feet and threw him up and the baby hit his head on the ceiling.
Dalton: Yeah I would hate you too.Joon: So obviously you can tell by looking at them. He's got the nicest smile and the baby his name is Jaemin. And Jaemin like him the best.
Dalton: OK, Kye-Sang what kind of personality did you have on the program?Kye-Sang: I was to make Jamie fashionable and pretty and once in a while make funny faces and help him in that way.
Tae-Woo: Originally he was the fashion consultant but he eventually progressed to be in charged with entertaining the baby with me.Joon: Seems like he has more of the talents of making the kid laugh. So like those two are basically like the little clowns when the baby was crying in the bedroom and makes him happy.
Dalton: So this experience makes you guys wanna be parents sooner than later?Joon: To be honest in the beginning, we were like all so scared. We were like, oh god! No man! There's no way that we can take care of those kids not even a baby. But as time passed and we had to let go of Jaemin or he had to go back to his parents. Yeah, I mean…
Dalton: None of you are married, right?All: No, no.
Tae-woo: No, he married. Father and mother.Dalton: What did they say? You guys have a relationship sort of, like? I mean not that kind of relationship, but, nothing wrong with that. None of you are married but you have a girlfriend, I am sure, some of you? It's a natural thing.
Joon: That's a natural thing. The only thing about is in this business you can say we have friends or…but in this business it is tough because of the fact you don't have much time to spend with people. And also in the Asian community itself I think a lot of fans and some little young girl fans they cannot really with their star having like a girl friend. But yeah, it's a natural thing.Dalton: so some of you have 'friends'?
Joon: Yeah!Dalton: We have one of your fans actually gonna come out now. This is an interactive show. Usually we have live phone call and emails. We have a live, in the flesh fan want to ask you question directly so you can answer it for her. You should really appreciate that.
Dalton: All we need is to say your name, first name, you age and then your question.
Hian: My name is Hian. I am 23 years old. And I was wondering about 'Yookahilgi', the program with the baby. Do you still keep in touch with the baby.
Joon: Jaemin is a star himself now. He cannot go out the public without people coming out and squeezing his cheeks. By the end of the day his cheeks is like that big. Whenever we get a chance, we go and give his mother a call and see whether it allows we meet secretly somewhere. So that may be we could have like a secret lunch. For instance, on Children's day. Yeah, we still keep in contact.Dalton: Thanks for the question. And we'll continue our on the road conversation with god very shortly.
Dalton: We are TalkAsia with g.o.d. The hot boy band in Seoul. I am Dalton Tanonaka. I want to get back something with Kye-Sang. We talk about the TV series with Jaemin, the baby. You used to make facial expression to make him laugh. I think your fans want to see presentations. What did you do to make him laugh? Can you show us some of these things?Tae-woo: you have a funny face!
Ho-Young: No!Dalton: What did you do? I have baby, you know, it's tough to make him laugh.
Joon: This is a man with millions wrinkles face.Dalton: I'm laughing.
Dalton: Ok guys, Thank you very much Kye-Sang. Who you guys like to perform with? If you have a choice, if you have an international stage and you can perform with someone else. Who you guys like to perform with? Not just Korean, but anybody in the world.Tae-woo: Kim Sigram, Brian McNight, and Sisco.
Dalton: Because you like their music and style?Tae-woo: Yeah
Ho-Young: Will Smith.Dalton: So you guys like all are rappers?
Ho-Young: And Michael Jackson.Dalton: You still like Michael Jackson?
Dalton: Do you think Korean pop culture is exportable? Do you think your music will be successful outside Korea? A lot of things come in, Japanese music is popular of course, and Western music is popular. Do you think it can go the other way, like your music?Joon: I sure hope so because the rule of our music, the way I want to make our music was… I want it like the sounds from like the 70s to 60s, kind of like disco music, funk era, bring it to the 90s and 21st century, and put in beats that would be easily digestible to the people nowadays. That a lot of Asian community can take it.
I have the feeling that if we can do it just right. And we were working on that right now for our forth album and we could take it internationally. But I have the feeling that if they listen to the beats, the music itself, even if they don't know the lyrics. I think the music itself is supposed to give a feeling to people. And I think we can do it.Dalton: Some artist say that you need an English language recording to break out and then use that as the spring board. You have any plan to do that?
Joon: Yeah. These guys they have been preparing practicing. Whenever they practice, they practice in English lyrics and they have been doing that a lot.Dalton: So you gonna is going to have an English song in your next album?
Kye-Sang: I don't know.Dalton: Not that you have to but I mean you know.
Tae-woo: We have that type of ambition, just like any singer. Stepping on the world stage is something to be proud of as a singer representing a country. But we don't think it's a right time yet. Later, when we were making another album, it's something that we may consider.Dalton: OK we gonna take one more question from another a live fan. He's a young man and he's going to walk out here.
So what's your name and what's your question?Jun-yun: My name is Jun-yun. And you are presently performing, you are probably want people to remember your music in a positive way. My question is what does music mean to you individually.
Kye-Sang: Music to me is my life.Ho-Young: To me music is very mysterious, when I listen to music, I can place all my memories in that. And it also allows me to meet good people. That is music to me.
Dalton: Thank you very much. To wrap up guys, what are your plan for the immediate future? What are your tour plan? You gonna tour Asia, you'd like to tour United States some days What are your immediate goals?Joon: I don't know. We do want to tour Asia, we have gone to the states to do a little show last year. WE do want to tour Asia first and then the States.
Dalton: Do you have plans to Asia yet?Joon: Not before our forth Album comes out.
Dalton: You are working on the 4th CD right?Joon: The 4th CD comes out probably about November or December. After that, yes, but now we were still working on that.
Dalton: Alright thanks gentlemen. Joon-Hyung Park, Danny Ahn, Ho-Young Son, Tae Woo-kim, Kye-Sang Yoon, thank you very much, members of g.o.d.