"B.A.P: More Refined and Overflowing Confidence"
Q: This is the 3rd single you’ll be releasing in Japan, so first of all, tell us what kind of song is it.
Yongguk: In the hip-hop genre, this is a song that defined B.A.P musically.
Youngjae: Personally something I like about it is that it’s a song in which we prepared to say what we wanted, it’s a song overflowing with confidence. It’s a song our members also really like, so we want a lot of people to hear it. It’s full of our musical confidence and we had a lot of freedom making it. I also think listeners will get what we want to get across.
Q: In the Korean release, you used different dialects in the rap, what did you do for the Japanese version?
Zelo: In the Korean version, Yongguk rapped in a Busan dialect while I rapped in a Jeollado dialect, but for the Japanese version we used regular Japanese.
Q: In that case, what is the special point of the Japanese version
Daehyun: With this release of “No Mercy” we are showing an image of B.A.P that is a little different than what we’ve shown in Japan so far. Sort of a devil-may-care, “Bad Boy” image I think. We can show a really energetic and bright “new song” as B.A.P with “No Mercy,” so please look forward to it.
Q: What is a particular feature of “No Mercy?”
Himchan: More than “Warrior” and “One Shot,” we worked hard with “No Mercy” to give it a lot more freestyle dance and show off a cooler image! We want you to see the dancing of each individual member.
Q: Did each member decide on their own freestyle dancing?
Daehyun & Himchan: The base choreography was decided, but on top of that each member could add their own “flavour.” We want you to enjoy it.
The coolness of “No Mercy” has been refined
Q: Filming for the music video just ended, but how was it?
Youngjae: It’s been a year and half since we recorded this song, but this time there’s a really polished feel. Today when we saw the previews, it’s different from the Korean version, it has a really cool finish. Since we’d filmed it in Korea already, we could really refine the posing and come out with something really satisfying.
Q: Then can you tell us the points to look for in the music video?
Youngjae: The dance break doesn’t just feature us, but it also has a performance with instruments, and Jongup has his dance, and everyone else has their own dance parts, that’s a part to watch in the MV I think.
Q: What were some difficult episodes of filming the music video?
Zelo: Syncing everyone’s dancing for the dance scene, that is always the most difficult, I think. There are many individual angles being filmed, different scenes, it’s pretty tough.
Q: Continuing after “Warrior” and “One Shot,” this is your 3rd single that you have released in Korea that you also released a Japanese version of. What do you need to be careful of with the Japanese versions?
Youngjae: The songs have melody and lyrics we want to get across, so being able to incorporate that into the Japanese version is important. So, we are especially careful with our pronunciation practice. Obviously, it’s not our native language, so we try to make it easy for listeners to catch the meaning, and we practice doing that a lot.
Q: What about the rappers?
Zelo:：Pronunciation is important for both singing and rapping. How to get across the lyrics is important, so we practice on that a lot.
Q: Is it difficult rapping in Japanese?
Zelo: When I first took Japanese, it was really new and fun, I thought the pronunciation was cool. But when I actually tried using it, it was really difficult. When it comes to sining in Japanese is not something you can do without a lot of practice. This time for “No Mercy,” after the recording, we checked it to make sure people wouldn’t think my pronunciation was weird, and that the message was gotten across, so I was a bit worried about it.
"Our arena tour was a new challenge we hadn’t tasted"
Q: Last year you had your Japan debut and your arena tour was a big success, how do you feel about this kind of response? Tell us your thoughts.
Jongup: We went on an arena tour, but it was the first time for us going on a tour of that scale, but it was one thing that was amazingly fun. It was something new to try that we hadn’t challenged ourselves with before, I think our members were in really high spirits [about it]. We’re looking forward to putting on concerts for many fans from now on.
Himchan: That’s right. Firstly, we were happy we finished it without problems. Actually before going to Japan for the concerts, from the start the scale of the concert was quite large but we worried whether people would come and see it or not, but more people than we thought attended so we were very happy. We could feel everyone’s goodwill and cheering for us and we are grateful. From now on we will do our very best practicing the Japanese versions of our songs since we want to show a cooler image and power.
Q: Last year in May you had your Pacific Tour performances in Yokohama, what differences did you feel between that and your arena tour?
Himchan: The performance at Yokohama Pacifico was our first live in Japan. Before that we had toured in America and sang in front of the fans, but the first time in Japan, we could understand the atmosphere of Japanese concerts, so we could have more fun next time [with the arena tour].
Q: In that case, did the Japanese arena tour see a change in your state of mind or your settings?
Daehyun: The Japanese fans who came to Korea to see us has increased. With promoting our new song “1004,” there are a lot more Japanese fans coming to the TV show recordings, and we are really happy about that. We will do our best in our next [Japanese] showcase [T/N: I think he means their mini-live or other short performance they’ll do in Japan for No Mercy].
Q: When you debuted in Japan, you had an event in Shibuya and many fans and media came, how did you feel then?
Yougnjae: Shibuya is a symbolic place [for us], so we felt close and that we could communicate well, it was really fun, it was good.
Q: In the middle of Shibuya, did you all see B.A.P’s character “Matoki” at Marui City [T/N: major department store/landmark in Shibuya]?
All members: Yes! We saw it! We had an event below that sign, we all took pictures. It was really impressive.
Q: Japanese fans came and took pictures too.
Himchan: Ah, that makes us happy.
All members: (applause)
Q: This time, you will have your first Japanese fan meeting, what are you excited for?
Youngjae: With concerts, we ca’t make many comments. At concerts the main point is to show our music and image as B.A.P, but we are looking forward to an event where we can be together with fans. We will of course sing on stage, but in addiction to that, the fan meeting will show our everyday appeal, so please look forward to it. We are doing preparations for a lot of events for it, so we want to do them together with a lot of fans.
Himchan: Look forward to it!
Daehyun: Please enjoy it!
"We want to get closer to our goals step by step."
Q: With your fan meeting, is there something the members actually want to ask Japanese fans?
All members: Aaah, I see….
Jongup: How did you come to know and like B.A.P, please tell us.
Zelo: Tell me how much Tokyo Banana are please (laughs). Because they’re delicious, I want to eat them when I go to Japan. [T/N: Tokyo Banana is a very popular souvenir from Tokyo, it’s like a small, soft, banana-shaped cake with banana-flavored custard inside. Depending on the size of the box, they range from 550yen+ and there are different varieties ^^]
Yongguk: I want you to tell me what Ramen is good. Because I like ramen…
Youngaje: I like hot springs (onsen), but I want you to recommend one to me. If I have time I want to try going.
Himchan: I don’t want to ask a question but a favor: Japanese fans, if you come to a fan sign, because we have an opportunity to meet eyes and talk, don’t go by without talking to me, I want to talk as much as we can.
Q: You think Japanese fans are shy?
Himchan: (laughs) I think so. Let’s talk!
Daehyun: Tell me…(thinking) What is the most delicious food in Japan? (laughs)
All members: (Laughing)
Q: It’s been 2 years since your debut, how is your feeling now different from then?
Himchan: B.A.P is more composed and mature I think. Our flavour and personality is easier to understand. With “1004” promotions now, we showed a manlier image I think. Also next year since none of our members will be underage anymore, we want to show an even manlier image.
Q: Last year with your Japan debut, you had a busy year, how was it? How will this year be?
Daehyun: Last year we showed what kind of group B.A.P is, from now on we are deciding what we want to show.
Himchan: That’s right, last year we were aiming for that, and since we finished that, we keep moving step by step towards our goals, and this year we want to be busier than last year.
Q: Now, a message to fans who are waiting for your fanmeetings, please.
Jongup: Now, we are doing our best to prepare for when we meet Japanese fans, so please wait a little longer. From now on you’ll see a little bit of a different flavour from B.A.P’s promotions, and let’s make new memories together.Daehyun: I love you!Trans by Nicole @ bapyessir.com