We saw Cassette Playa Carri Munden’s blog. You went to the 20th Anniversary <Dazed & Confused> party. Tell us about the party that we couldn’t even go to.
Carri took me along. It was a nice atmosphere.
How did you befriend Carri Munden?
During our “Juliette” promotions, we wore a collaboration t-shirt from KTZ and Cassette Playa. Carri saw that by chance and told a Korean buyer that she was curious about who we were. That buyer turned out to be my friend. Lee Heemun was a buyer for the Daily Project before. When we went to England, Carri came to our London show. And that’s when the 20th Anniversary <Dazed & Confused> party was.
Carri Munden used to work as a stylist for <Dazed & Confused>.
Yes, so Carri took me to that party. I met everyone there! I wasn’t even nervous when I was on stage but for some reason, I was trembling there. I saw Kaya Scodelario, Gareth Pugh, and House of Holland’s Henry Holland. Oh, I was wearing a House of Holland t-shirt that day. It was one that Henry Holland personally illustrated.
Did Henry Holland notice?
He was passing by and hugged me.
Did you also meet Jefferson Hack, the publisher of <Dazed & Confused>?
Yes, Carri introduced me to him. I asked her to say that I am just a friend and not a singer from Korea. But when she introduced me as a friend, I almost said “I was on the cover of the Korean <Dazed>”! Haha.
Do you get along with Carri Munden?
We connect. Out of the people who make clothes, there are those who don’t open up to others and those who do. Carri was the type to continuously say “Let’s make this together” and put out ideas. I asked her if she can take care of outfits for SHINee’s comeback and she said “Of course!” Work overseas takes a lot of time so I’m not sure how it will work out. If we have the chance though, we want to do something fun together.
I have to ask you what your favorite designer brand is lately.
It’s Jill Sander. The colors are really beautiful. I’m going to get married in a Jill Sander suit. The top will be green and the bottom will be green. I don’t have anything else but that one. Rather than things that say “I’m a designer”, I like items that people, who just enjoy the work, make based on their taste and feelings. Vintage is good too. When we went to Spain recently, we found a lot of old stores. There were several things taken apart and put together to make new accessories. You know how there’s that Blank @ necklace that’s connected to an earphone. I bought a lot of accessories that were even messier and cooler than that.
For today’s photoshoot, you personally borrowed clothes from the shop and brought your own outfits (He brought the Miharayasuhiro knit vest, black Givenchy shirt, and a skull patterned bracelet that would suit the monster concept).
Ah, it’s not that amazing. I asked a friend for a favor and brought a few clothes that I thought were fitting.
How did you feel wearing them today?
I wore them like new clothes yesterday and like used clothes today.
How would you describe each of your clothes? Before, you wore socks with the Simpsons character on it and now you’re wearing socks with a space shuttle and an astronaut.
I always pay attention to my socks(laughs). Today, I’m all vintage except for my shoes. My shoes are John Paul Gaultier. The socks were a present and they don’t have a brand. The person said they bought it at a market. I think I bought the pants when I was passing by some place. I don’t really remember. I might have bought it at H&M when I went to Japan. Do you see how the pants are ripped? They were originally long pants but I cut them. I bought the shirt at a Korean vintage shop and the denim jacket at a LA vintage shop.
We’re curious about what you’re interested in besides vintage. Is there something that gave you a huge shock as if you were hit in the head?
The “Best Thing I Never Had” music video where Beyonce has a wedding while only wearing lingerie. How is she so beautiful? She was so beautiful to the point I was angry.
When I was watching it, I was thinking, “How? How is she doing that in this situation?” There was something I wanted to try and I was in the middle of thinking about it. But when someone does it first, I get angry.
You weren’t thinking about the lingerie, right?
Ah, it’s not that. When we think of Beyonce, we normally think of her powerful image. A singer with that type of image sang a quiet song and shot a relaxed music video. It’s surprising that people like her like that just as much as when she’s bouncing on stage. It means that she exudes the same amount of energy in a calm song. I want to be like that as well. If people feel 100% satisfied when I dance, then I would say they feel 80% satisfied when I sing a slow song. I was thinking of how to get rid of that difference but then Beyonce pulled it off! She wore lingerie as if it were nothing. If you’re not embarrassed of it, then it’s not embarrassing. Who would have thought to shoot a video wearing lingerie and getting married for that slow song?
Which virtue do you think is the most important for a pop star to have?
It’s to know yourself well. It’s to know the things you can’t do and can do along with knowing what others think of you. One must know that in order to grow. I try to look at myself objectively.
Is that possible? Everyone has the tendency to think of themselves as fine.
Others should be able to tell you about yourself without reserve. For example, people might not tell me something because they think I’ll get hurt. I brainwashed the staff around me to always tell me if I ever go in the wrong direction because I don’t get hurt. I don’t get hurt even when I hear those things.
Because you’re cool?
Yes. I want to check all minor things like my appearance to all major things like stage manners, performance visuals, and relationships. When I get off stage, the first thing I always ask is “How was it?”
Is there someone that you can trust the most, who tells you about all those things honestly without sugar-coating it?
There’s no one in particular. I made everyone around me talk like that. Haha. For instance, hair and makeup clearly look different on and off stage. They have to tell me truthfully.
Is there something you changed after having it pointed out?
People say I’ve become gentler compared to before.
Were you not like that before?
In the past, if there was something I didn’t like, I would flat out say “I don’t like it.” I say the same thing now, but more jokingly so the person listening won’t be embarrassed. I couldn’t stand things that I hate and I’m the type to say things right then and there. I heard that I was too harsh, so I tried hard to change. Lately, the fans have been saying that I forgot how to get upset.
What can you not put up with the most?
Being witless. Then I would say “You’re being witless.”
You keep emphasizing wit and sense in your interviews. Are you witty and sensible?
Haha, I try. I don’t know about sensible, but I think I am very quick-witted.
You said that you try to look at yourself objectively. Then looking at yourself as a person on stage who sings and dances, what do you think your strengths and weaknesses are?
My biggest strength is also my weakness but it’s too distinct. It’s clear what I am good at and what I am bad at. I have music that I’m good at and then music that I am good at singing. The difference between what you’re good and bad at should be a certain amount but mine is too big. Like for example, I really can’t sing ballad songs.
Mm, it doesn’t suit you somehow.
I can’t do “I love you” or songs like that. But I have to do it.
It doesn’t seem like you think it’d be nice to be good at everything.
It doesn’t matter to me if I was good at the things I liked, but I’m in a team. I don’t think about selfishly being good at things, but rather I don’t want to hurt the team.
Looking at “Real”, “Up & Down”, “Electric Heart”, and other SHINee songs that you picked as your favorite, I think you can recognize which music is sensible and sensational in this generation. Isn’t that right?
You know how there’s that thing? Like when you look at a girl group, there’s always that one who gets the most attention and is well liked. Of course that person is pretty, but I like this other person more. It’s like that. Of course we have to use that song as a title track, but I like this song more. It’s like that. People who I connect with like the same things I do. Our taste in music is similar and we agree on good restaurants.
Could it be that you’re only hanging out with those kind of friends?
I don’t think I have much in common with the guys my age.
You said you didn’t even know what off-side was.
Yes. I don’t know about soccer or sports that much. The type of girls I like are different, too.
What type of women do you like these days?
I trust your senses, so I’ll ask you. What do you think SHINee needs right now?
We shouldn’t be too hasty. We shouldn’t think about the popularity or the money. I think we should do things that suit us the most right now, things that we can’t do once time passes. I hope we won’t be anxious. What’s the point of doing something now just to gain a little more popularity when you can do it later? I think the most important thing is not to look awkward.
So you’re saying that you should do things you can enjoy at your age?
Yes. Like when you try to look more mature when you are clearly young. If you try to look manly, people don’t think of you as manly but find that image cute. That can’t be helped. That’s why it’s better to go with it naturally.
You said that drawing comes the most naturally to you, right? Have you been drawing lately?
Yes. These days, I’m trying to create characters of my own.
How would you describe your drawings?
It has a lot of colors and makes your eyes hurt. When I brag to the people around me saying “I drew this”, they say it was drawn just like how I would do it.
What are the comments from the honest people around you?
They said, “The last one was better.”
What do you think about when you draw?
I just really like to draw. I don’t try to assign a meaning to drawing. “This color matches this shape. This color matches this texture.” That’s how I do it. It’s fun. I don’t think it’s necessary to live and only do one thing.
Then shall we hear what you would like to do at this time?
I want to draw, study, work on clothes if I had the chance, study abroad, be a radio DJ, I want to do it all. I even think about going to work lately.
If you go to work, you’d probably stop thinking all about it. How about our company?
If you try something aside from music, people may have a good impression or a bad impression because of your fame. What do you think of that prejudice?
If I worry about that, it will be endless. I draw because I like to, not so others can like it. If I made a t-shirt, I’d probably make one that I’d want to wear. I wouldn’t make one because I think a lot of people would buy it.
I heard that you make a promise to yourself every week, whether it be reading a lot of books or eating less instant food. What is your promise to yourself this week?
It’s to exercise.
What’s your promise to yourself next week?
I need to be busy next week. I feel uneasy when I’m not busy. Even when I’m playing, I feel uneasy.
The last <Dazed> interview you did was 2 years ago. Do you remember that interview? Do you still think the same now?
Yes, I remember it all. I have a really good memory. I still hate releasing singles instead of proper full albums. The things I said and thought are still the same.
Then why did you say “I’ll get surgery or something on this” when you were getting your makeup done? You said that even though you’re not handsome that you like your own face.
I know all the flaws of my face. I don’t feel discontent of the things I can’t change. It was just whining, a joke. I really like myself.
Since we’re <Dazed & Confused>, I’ll ask you this. What do you feel the most dazed and confused about lately?
If I am an adult or not.
Magazine Scans by DC ㅎㅋㅍㅋ
Translation by kimchi hana @ shineee.net