[INTERVIEW] INFINITE – Kpop Boys File 2012
CREDITS: Kpop Boys File; Hyejin @ infinite updates (Translations)
On November 19th, 2011, Infinite debuted in Japan, a debut that was filled with much anticipation. On the day before, on the 18th, they held a debut press conference, at Kawasaki Lazona, where 10 thousand fans gathered for their debut event. Japan’s fiery line of vision was focused on their “Synchro-Rate 99.9%”’s scorpion dance.
Practice, practice, and more practice
On the day before Infinite’s Japanese debut on the 18th, Infinite held a mini concert and a high-five event at Kawasaki Lazona as their press conference and post activities. There were 200 different media companies that heard news about their perfect, 99.9% synchro-rate! Just like the cover of their album, the members entered the stage with refreshing, white clothes and they all used Japanese to say hello to the audience. Regarding their Japanese debut, Sunggyu, as the leader, was the first to speak:“We have been waiting for a long time. Because we’re extremely excited, our hearts, even now, are still beating violently!” Hoya said, “Since the start, we were in Korea, to be able to debut in Japan was a dream. Our dream has now been fulfilled and of course, we’re very happy.” Dongwoo, who creates the atmosphere, when asked to disclose about the recording, he said“The Japanese ‘tsu’ is very hard to pronounce… But now, I can say it accurately! Tsu~ Tsu~ Tsu!!!” and the entire audience erupted into laughter.
When asked about Infinite’s signature: The 99.9% synchro-rate scorpion dance, Sungyeol said: “Even though everyone is praising our 99.9% synchro-rate group dance, but, to be able to reach this standard, you have to be reliant on teamwork.” After Woohyun said, “Practice, practice, practice” in Japanese, he continued: “In Korea, we’re even called the group that’s ‘crazy over practicing.’ Because we practice over 18 hours daily, only like that, we’re able to ensure the members’ teamwork and chemistry. Practicing so hard like that, only then, the scorpion dance was born. To be able to complete the scorpion dance, it’s dependant on practice and hard work.” At the end, Woohyun said to the fans: “We’ll practice till the extent of our bodies breaking!” L said: “If there’s a chance, we want to attend the ‘Kouhaku Uta Gassen’ (T/N: It’s a prestigious end-of-year music festival in Japan for only the best artists, meaning ‘Red & White Song Festival’.); we want to show everyone our dance.” Sungyeol said: “We want to practice until the standard where if we go out, people will shout: ‘Ah! It’s Infinite!’, that kind of standard.” Everyone expressed their ambitions regarding their Japan debut.
Interviewer: Congratulations on your Japan debut. We heard that you ranked 2nd on the Oricon charts on the day of your release, the results are not bad.
Sunggyu: We’re very thankful. It’s only thanks to the fans who support us. We’re really, really, thankful.
Interviewer: Infinite debuted in Korea in June, 2010. Do you still remember your debut stage?
L: The debut stage, because I was too nervous, I don’t really remember… But, of course, it was very scary… And when the stage ended, I still remember my limbs trembling.
Woohyun: Because I danced to hard, my pants ripped (laughs). But, just like L, I don’t remember the details anymore. I just remembered how I kept thinking, how do I take care of this situation…
Interviewer: (laughs) Becaue it was a live broadcast, you were very nervous. Your Japanese debut will be your second debut after Korea, so you should be more natural, right?
Sungyeol: Even though we think like that, but during our debut Japan press conference, I became very nervous due to the amount of media reporters who were present. The Japanese that I spent a long time remembering all flew away… At that time, my mind was a complete blank. (laughs)
Woohyun: When Sungyeol suddenly stopped during his comment, I was really worried~
All: Yes, our hearts were beating fast.
Interviewer: At Kawasaki Lazona, you held your debut mini concert and you performed Japanese version of BTD for the first time, tell us about your feelings from that time.
L: Just like our debut in Korea, I was very nervous.
Dongwoo: I was filled with confidence! I memorized the Japanese lyrics well, and I was in a state that I was fully prepared. Even though I think I was in a very excited mood, but because the pressure was high, the members all told me “You have to be calm”, such words like that (laughs).
Sunggyu: No matter how I put it, we’re filled with a feeling of happiness. Also, we found out that the fans and us are very close.
Woohyun: Yes, and it’s very meaningful. We originally planned to sing only 3 songs but because we wanted to give the fans a present, we added 2 songs on the spot.
Interview: From now on, we’re going to listen to the things that happen to each member. Firstly, Sunggyu’s the leader, what do you know about the responsibilities of a leader?
Sunggyu: Even though everyone thinks about a ‘leader’ as a character that leads the members, but I think that Infinite’s high synchro-rate is only possible due to teamwork. It’s my responsibility to maintain this teamwork.
Interview: Dongwoo and Hoya are in charge of rap and dance. At the same time, both of you are in charge of the lyrics. Then, what’s the relationship between you two?
Dongwoo: To me, he’s a worthy competitor. In the future, I want to create a hip hop track with him.
Hoya: Because Dongwoo’s and my rap style is different, I’m currently still learning. I think Dongwoo is Infinite’s ‘presence’.
Interview: Last year, L-kun acted in the Japanese drama, and Sungyeol acted in the Korean drama, . As the two of you are both actors, did you talk to each other about acting skills?
L: Even though I talk to Sungyeol about acting skills 30 minutes before we sleep, every time, we end it laughing.
Sungyeol: As the senior in the acting world, I gave L-kun several tips before he filmed for the first time. When doing activities with Infinite, because I’m together with members, there’s a feeling of safety. But when it comes to acting, it feels like everyone around me is watching me so I get very nervous.
Interviewer: In Korea, Woohyun’s fanservice is very well known. In Japan too! (laughs) What are some things you take note of when it comes to meeting the fans?
Woohyun: I’m very thankful for the infinite care and support that the fans shower upon us. I want to express such feelings of gratitude.
Interviewer: Wah~ There’s a deep feeling to it. The hearts that Woohyun throws are really filled with love. Then, continuing, as Sungjong is the maknae, then, who do you think dotes on you the most?
Sungjong: I think it’s Sunggyu-hyung, Hoya-hyung and L-hyung. But these three people also have times when they purposely call for me. Even though I get really angry at those situations, all of the anger is dispersed after I hit the bear on my bed (laughs).
Sunggyu: Recently, Sungjong’s in his rebellious phase.
Dongwoo: That’s right, that’s right. Now, you can’t go against Sungjong.
Interviewer: Maknae’s so strong (laughs)! Such good relations are also placed inside the performance of your ‘synchro-rate 99.9%’ dance.
Woohyun: Of course! Even though we practice for 18 hours daily, the main point of Infinite’s synchro-rate is our teamwork.
Interviewer: In February, you’d also be having your solo concert, <Second Invasion> in Japan. Then, tell us about your ambitions for future Japanese promotions.
Sunggyu: For us to be able to promote in Japan, it’s thanks to the seniors in Korea who worked very hard in Japan before us. We’ll work hard so as not to fail our seniors. Other than that, not with just <BTD>, we also will show more of Infinite’s good music to the Japanese audience.
2011.11.18 Kawasaki Lazona
To commerate the release of their debut track, , they held a press conference in the debut rookies’ shrine, Kawasaki Lazona. Ten thousand fans became crazy due to Infinite’s perfromance.
The scorpion dance gained many cheers!
A total of 5 songs were disclosed.
Fans gathered the night before at the debut shrine of KPOP artists, Kawasaki Lazona. Already several hundred people were present hours before the activity started and the anticipation for Infinite quickly spread. It’s been a long time since this place gathered over ten thousand people. When the 7 members came onstage and began their first debut song, , the audience’s atmosphere already hit its high point! On this day, upon perfectly showing off the scorpion dance, the fans’ cheers were the loudest. Like as if they had to prove the title of ‘synchro-rate 99.9%’, every members’ charms were shooting everywhere. “We’re very happy to see everyone!” They said greetings in simple Japanese. Then, after singing <BTD>, <Can U Smile> and <Be Mine>, they left the stage and the sounds of “Encore” were relentless. The Infinite members were very happy at the loud cheers and they entered the stage again, smiling, “Even though we didn’t prepare for an encore…” they disclosed their new song, <Paradise>. Then, the encore continued and when the fans’ passion didn’t look like it was going to stop, the members looked at each other and they said, “We’ll sing one more song,” and sang <Nothing’s Over>, replying to the fans’ passion. On this day, 200 reporters from 70 different media companies were present! After the 10-thousand people live, they started a High-5 session with the fans, and the females who were able to hold the members’ hands from a close distance were all so happy, they also cried and no matter where, you’re able to feel the Infinite wave.
What the staff saw
A report of the BTS
When Infinite came to Japan in November, the Japanese staff who have been supporting them from the start, were asked about Japan!
During the Japanese promotional and activity periods, the lunch was basically bentos and in the waiting room, the item that has to be prepared is ‘Shin Ramyeon.’ As expected, they want to eat a familiar taste. Then, the item that is the most popular is the BBQ Meat Bento! “Is it the BBQ meat bento today?” The members would ask the staff.
The cakes and desserts were also liked by the members. Also, beside bentos, hamburgers were also very popular. Then, they also often whine to the managers for coffee. (Of course, that includes, sweet cream coffee~). They often have hot pot and sashimi for dinner!
On the 18th, before the press conference, the members really worked hard to learn Japanese! Other that that, through the situation of coming to Japan, they’re often practicing what they learnt (Like how Woohyun said, “Practice, practice and more practice.”) When meeting the Japanese staff, Infinite, who work harder when they get praised by the staff for their Japanese pronunciation being alright. This time, their visit to Japan, also clashed with Dongwoo’s birthday and hence, the members were secretly preparing. On the 22nd November, they have been working under a camera but once it ended, they had a meeting and they gave a big surprise to Dongwoo, who came out of the control room. Dongwoo was shocked by the members and the staff’s cake and the birthday song, hence he cried as he expressed his feelings of gratitude.
Then, let’s talk about a small episode. About the issue of filming on the streets, Woohyun, who was walking on the streets alone was noticed by a little boy, who shouted: “Ah! He appeared on TV before! The guy that danced the scorpion dance!” Woohyun’s very thankful to him. Sungjong heard about the news from the housekeepers who heard about such an event from TV, he was really shocked. This times’ morning news team are perhaps, keeping up with the relevant activities’ news and interviews and it’s probably so due to the disclosure of the scorpion dance.