Featured, Interviews

Epik High’s Interview for Herald Pop[Part 2]

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Source: Herald Pop

Translation keurimjanee @ icaruswalks
please credit when re-translating/reposting


Epik High confesses that they work on every album as if it’s their last.

At the interview we conducted with Epik High in a Mapo-gu café on the 24th to commemmorate their 9th album “We’ve done something wonderful”, they said that there have been times where they almost disbanded, willingly or unwillingly. Tablo first said, “Tukutz almost willingly broke the team up”. It was due to the feeling that the style of hiphop Tukutz wanted was not what the rest of the group was going for.

He continued to explain, “Tukutz said ‘I thought Epik High was supposed to make heavy hiphop’ and said I kept making soft, so-called mainstream music. When people started giving us a lot of love for ‘Fan’ and ‘Love Love Love’, Tukutz wanted to disband.” About this, Tukutz said “I was a frog in a well at that time (closed-minded). I really regret saying that. I’d like to formally apologize” and evoked laughter.

They were also almost forced to disband after the well-known incident referred to as ‘Tajinyo’. They broke through all these crises and returned to the music scene after a long hiatus. Maybe that’s why? The process of making this album was all the more precious to them. Because they realized that at any moment, something could happen that would leave them unable to release further albums, they face the word ‘last’ with every album they make and hold it in their hearts.

Tablo said “I don’t want to use the word ‘last’. But I’ve felt that something I never expected or thought could happen can stop us from making another album. We can’t know which album will end up being our last, but we make them as if they all are. John Lennon probably didn’t think his last album would be his last when he made it. But I think people can feel a lot through that album because he used all of his strength to make it. We want to make our albums with that mindset as well.”

Their musical color changed along with their view on composing. The Epik High that once said “I tend to see myself in a negative light” confessed that they now want to offer words of warmth to people through optimistic music. Tablo showed his will to make bright music by saying, “My personality was so negative that our fans asked me ‘why are you always so hard on yourself?’. I get distressed easily. And I like forming a bond of sympathy to people through depressing lyrics. Even so, I started thinking that ‘I wish I could offer some words of warmth still’. ‘Born Hater’ and ‘No Thanxxx’ may seem mischievous, but in the end there’s a message of ‘love yourself, let’s get through this'”.

Epik High also started looking out for the growth of junior artists. It is connected to their intentions to not appear on music programs for the sake of rookie singers. Tukutz expressed how he doesn’t want to steal the spotlight from junior artists by saying “Appearing on music programs is difficult. I think it’d be better if rookie friends got to perform one more time instead of us”. Tablo revealed, “We told Yang Hyunsuk that we won’t appear on music programs this time around. We want to put on lots of concerts to meet our fans”.

As much pain as they went through, Epik High has changed in many ways, including their thoughts on album releases and their view on music. It makes us think that the public will feel something fresh and new from Epik High, 14 years after their debut. Though they create music as if it’s the last time, there are many people out there praying it is not.

Epik High are set to hold a commemorative fansign at the vehicle-free street in Sinchon on the 28th. They are also planning to perform their new songs live for the first time at their comeback concert ‘We’ve done something wonderful’ at the Bluesquare on November 3rd and 4th. They have not yet revealed which guests will appear on which of the three shows.

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