About the Recent Comeback
Q: What are you bringing to this comeback that you have not tried previously?
EUNIL: We always try to make a comeback with a new concept everytime. For this comeback, we dedicated significant thought and research to show something new to our audience. That’s when we came across the keywords “dreaminess” and “youth.” We decided to blend these concepts, add intensity and remarkable performances to shape our comeback.
Q: How was the creation process for this comeback?
ra.L: I would say that the creation process of this album wasn’t easy, but we are proud of the result that we achieved. During our hiatus, we had to work on the album while we were abroad in Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Japan. We trusted each other and communicated extensively to complete the lyrics for the album. We practiced the choreography thoroughly together to achieve a great end result.
YECHAN: The music video for the title track was centered around a concept of a movie club. It was something that we have never tried before, so the entire filming process was quite enjoyable as well.
Q: This new album was released in September. It is very summery yet nostalgic at the same time. Does it represent the way you feel at this time of the year?
ra.L: The message conveyed in this album, STILL ON MY WAY is about seven youths pursuing their dreams and goals. So I believe it truly resonates with our current journey. Therefore, it was easy for us to connect with the message as we filmed the music video, took pictures for our album jacket, and recorded the songs.
Q: For ra.L and YECHAN, You participated in writing “MY WAY.” What is the message you want to tell FRIENDZs through the lyrics?
YECHAN: As the message of the album is very hopeful, urging the listeners to come with us, we aimed to convey a similar message in “MY WAY,” expressing our determination to overcome any difficulties or barriers that stand in our way. Therefore, we focused on writing lyrics that are very hopeful and optimistic.
ra.L: To add, the essence of “MY WAY” is the determination to persist on our chosen path, undeterred by obstacles and challenges. So we tried to convey the message that, despite the pain, our youthful spirit will help us triumph over any difficulties.
Q: In this album, you have a song, “ven conmigo”. Can you tell us more about it?
HANKOOK: We wrote the rap verses for “ven conmigo” with the keyword and title already chosen for the song. The title of the song, “ven conmigo,” means “let’s go together” or “let’s move forward together.” When crafting the lyrics, I had our fans in mind, encouraging them to progress alongside us.
Q: We know that you’ve been working with LEEZ since the BLUE SET series. How has your creative collaboration evolved over time and what unique elements did LEEZ bring to STILL ON MY WAY?
EUNIL: The main difference in the BLUE SET era is how our song parts were distributed. In the past, we would practice and record only our designated parts in the songs. However, when we started working with LEEZ, we began practicing all parts, and he would assign the most suitable parts to each member. This change allowed us to showcase improved versions of ourselves to the audience.
Q: What has been the most difficult thing in preparing for the newest comeback, compared to your other comebacks?
YOONWOO: While preparing for our previous albums, we usually had good weather, though it could get a bit chilly at times. For this album, we filmed the music video during the summer, so I remember all the members struggling with the heat. However, the director and the staff were incredibly passionate, which motivated us to give our best performance on set. I believe this commitment helped enhance the overall quality of the final product.
Q: Since you have finished the BLUE SET series and seem to go to new direction with STILL ON MY WAY, was the approach for song-writing for these songs any different from previously?
YECHAN: While crafting the lyrics for this album, our primary emphasis was on fostering strong communication among the members. I engaged in extensive discussions with HANKOOK and ra.L, assessing which parts would complement the song best and determining the overall direction. We also provided feedback to one another after listening to the completed rap verses. We would also talk to the vocalists of the team, ensuring a collaborative effort to achieve the highest quality outcome.
ra.L: Additionally, STILL ON MY WAY served as the conclusion to the BLUE SET series, prompting us to showcase a more optimistic perspective on our vocal and rap capabilities. We aimed to convey positive energy through both the music and its lyrics. Consequently, we devoted significant time and effort to practice and excel in the lyrics-writing process.
Q1: In your latest comeback, “MY WAY,” the song is very positive and passionate. Can you give us an example of how you professionally and personally have plans of doing it, your way?
EUNIL: Our journey as K-pop idols is, in itself, a testament to us following our unique path. We, who were once strangers, came together driven by a shared dream and created an album that’s loved from many, a true miracle in its own right. Our collective pursuit of a common goal is a wonderful journey, and it represents the very essence of “my way” that we’re pursuing.
Q: Based on the theme of “MY WAY,” when you’re facing an obstacle or something that is keeping you down, can you share how you overcome challenges and motivate yourself?
HANKOOK: When I encounter challenges or feel down, I often turn to those who are close to me, especially my fellow members with whom I spend a lot of time. Though I’m the leader of the team, I often seek advice and guidance from my teammates. We support and motivate each other through both the tough and uplifting moments, and this is what has kept me going.
Q: In your last few singles, you experimented with genres in each track. Why did you decide to stick with one general summer sound for this album aside from releasing this at the end of the summer?
EUNIL: The album’s concept of “youth” gives it a bright and summery feel, even though it was released in early fall. But the album was released in early fall, which can be seen through our outfits. I think the bright image of youth and our message to go together really bring that summery vibe alive.
Q: Can you share something that you’ve learned about yourselves while you were preparing your latest album?
EUNIL: As the main vocalist, I dedicate a lot of time to practice before each comeback. During our hiatus, I focused extensively on perfecting my high notes, and it turns out that our title track for this comeback has quite a few of them. All that practice really paid off, and I believe it significantly enhanced both the quality of the title song and the entire album.
Q: “MY WAY” is an emotional and a motivational song. What is your message to your fans who are having a hard time right now?
HAVIT: In this album, we aimed to convey a sense of freedom and hopefulness that comes with youth. When you’re facing difficult times, we hope our songs can provide you with the energy and solace you need. Likewise, when you’re feeling great or dealing with worries, I hope our music can uplift you and inspire you to do better. We want to share our passion and energy with you through our music.
Q: HANKOOK, ra.L, and YECHAN, all three of you participated in writing lyrics for tracks within your new single album, STILL ON MY WAY. Do you have any behind-the-scenes moments or highlights from creating these songs that you can share with FRIENDZ?
ra.L: I’ve been consistently involved in writing lyrics since our debut album, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to be responsible for the rap part in the first verse of a song until “MY WAY.” In this track, I wrote the lyrics for the rap in the first verse. Crafting the rap part for the first verse required it to be impactful and in line with the song’s vibe while incorporating essential elements of a rap verse. It was a bit challenging since it was my first time taking on this role, but I kept revising the rap lyrics, and I believe I was able to achieve the best possible result in the end.
HANKOOK: Ever since the “NEW DAYZ” promotion, I’ve been eager to improve my lyric-writing skills. I delved into reading books and seeking out images to expand my ability to express concepts in writing. Additionally, I actively listened to songs by other artists, learning how various emotions and ideas have been expressed through lyrics.
Q: What do you hope FRIENDZ and listeners can take away from your new single album and its individual tracks that have their own message and vibe?
YOONWOO: This album aims to convey a message of hope and resilience. It encourages the idea that no matter what challenges life brings, if you keep moving forward, you can overcome them and achieve success. I hope our audience can resonate with this message and find strength and inspiration in our music, especially during difficult times.
Q: Which track would you consider was the most difficult or challenging to make?
EUNIL: Creating “MY WAY” was a challenging process because we aimed to convey a wide range of emotions within a single song. The intro had to capture a dreamy atmosphere, the pre-chorus needed to build and layer emotions, and the chorus had to be powerful to showcase our strength in dynamic performances. Balancing all of these elements within one song was very challenging.
Q: Because the members have participated in writing the lyrics of the songs in their album, have you ever stumbled upon writer’s block when writing the lyrics? When you encounter such troubles, how do you overcome them?
HANKOOK: I faced several instances of writer’s block while crafting the lyrics for this album. It’s a common challenge when aiming to create meaningful lyrics. Often, I found myself struggling to find the right words or expressions. There were nights when I dedicated myself to writing, only to encounter these blocks. In such moments, I didn’t hesitate to pause and resume writing the next day. This break allowed my thoughts to refresh, and I often came up with better ideas when I returned to the lyrics. So I wouldn’t hesitate to call it a day when I got stuck.
Q: What is the one song on your latest album that you would choose to best represent TRENDZ and your musical style and signature?
ra.L: I believe our title track, “MY WAY,” truly represents our musical style. It’s an easy-to-listen-to song with a broad appeal but when you watch the performance, you’ll see the tremendous effort we put into it to maintain our group’s unique identity and style. So, “MY WAY” encapsulates our musical essence well.
“MY WAY” Music Video
Q: In the music video for “MY WAY” you are seen running through forest, dancing on the beach. So what was your favorite moments on set?
HAVIT: While shooting the music video on the beach, the weather was absolutely perfect with clear skies and no clouds in sight. It did get a bit hot, but the director was truly dedicated to capturing the best footage. There was a scene where the members filmed each other with our own cameras, and it was a very enjoyable and memorable moment.
Q: Are there any little, subtle details in the music video or the songs that you hope your fans would notice, or would like to point out?
ra.L: In the music video, the beach scene was a later addition. We filmed it ourselves using our cameras, and we’re thankful that the director incorporated it during the editing process. The music video also includes nods to several movies. For example, HANKOOK recreated a scene with Gang Dong-Won from “Romance of Their Own,” while EUNIL and I reenacted the iconic traffic cone scene from “Her.” Additionally, HAVIT and EUNIL brought to life a scene from a 007 movie. These cinematic references are scattered throughout the music video.
Upcoming World Tour
Q: What song are you most excited to perform on your world tour, and why?
HANKOOK: I chose the title track of our first single album, “VAGABOND,” because it perfectly showcases our strong performance skills. The song’s intense intro, with a member being thrown in the air, adds to the excitement, and I’m really looking forward to performing it.
Q: You will soon be embarking on your first world tour. What are you all most excited about for the tour? Performing? Food? What are you most excited about?
ra.L: We really look forward to meeting our FRIENDZs that have been always supporting us in person and putting on energetic performances for them. TRENDZ’s live stage presence is something to behold, and witnessing it will definitely be a pleasant surprise. So, keep an eye out for all that’s coming our way!
Growth and Future Plans
Q: Since your name is TRENDZ, what is one music trend that you’d like to try in your future comeback?
LEON: Our previous albums have featured songs from a range of genres and concepts. The title track of this album falls into the drum and bass music genre, allowing us to showcase an exciting and free-spirited side of ourselves. Looking ahead to the next album, we’re eager to explore something entirely different, perhaps a sexy concept or even delve into the hip-hop genre.
Q: What can we expect from TRENDZ in the future projects?
EUNIL: As mentioned previously, we always strive to show something fresh and new to our fans and the public. So in our future projects, we will do our best to deliver the highest-quality music, showcasing improved versions of ourselves.
Q: How do you feel like you’ve grown as a group with this latest comeback?
YOONWOO: I believe our group has matured significantly since our debut. For this album, which demanded us to convey a sense of dreaminess and youthful spirit, all the members dedicated themselves to rigorous practice. The outcome of our hard work is evident in our more mature and polished performances in this album.
Q: How do you feel you’ve grown as a group, but also individually since your debut?
LEON: While preparing for our performances, we used to invest a significant amount of time to get everything ready. However, for “MY WAY,” we were able to efficiently prepare a high-quality performance in a relatively short period. Additionally, we put a lot of effort into studying the gestures that would help convey a sense of freedom in our performance. I think these are some areas that we improved on.
Q: What are your goals as a group for next year?
LEON: Our primary goal for the remainder of 2023 is to meet our fans in person and connect with them. Additionally, we have an upcoming world tour, and we are excited to showcase our stages to fans worldwide. This tour will be a valuable opportunity for us to grow as artists.
Q: With your one-year debut anniversary coming up in January, what’s a memorable experience of being an idol that you’ve never imagined happening?
ra.L: Traveling abroad has been an unforgettable experience for me. When I was younger, I got to go abroad on a family trip only once. Now, as an idol, I find myself boarding planes quite frequently, which is something I never expected. Each new experience has been incredibly fulfilling and exciting for me.
YECHAN: During my trainee days, I never anticipated the amount of love and support we would receive from our fans after our debut. When we first started receiving that overwhelming love, I was initially surprised but also filled with pride and happiness. It made me realize that I had chosen the right career path.
Q: You have talked about how much you’ve changed since your debut. What are some of your hopes for TRENDZ’s future?
ra.L: As we progress in our careers as idols, I’ve noticed that our teamwork has improved significantly, and it feels like the team has become more unified. Through this growth, we aim to become a group that can positively influence others.