VERIVERY has just returned with their new EP, Liminality – EP.DREAM, and title song “Crazy Like That.” While their previous EP, Liminality – EP.LOVE, the boy band was searching for one of the “Elements of Happiness,” love. With their latest release, the members are now embarking on individual journeys to make their dreams come true. The EP includes five tracks, including the title track, and a wide array of genres. Ahead of their release, Officially Kmusic joined a roundtable with the band to get all the latest news from the boys themselves.
This interview has been transcripted by VERIVERY’s team.
Your title track is “Crazy Like That”. Is there any dream that you want to keep running towards to?
Dongheon: I think the K-pop industry that we are currently part of is exactly what we want to keep running towards to. We are currently putting our utmost effort in to share our music and communicate with K-pop fans and music enthusiasts around the globe in order to achieve our dream in this K-pop industry.
Can you tell us more about the song, “Thank you, next?”
Gyehyeon: This was something that we have never tried before, so we are certain that our fans will like the song. We have always put on very big, grand performances, so I think performing this track would be something different.
What is the meaning of the parentheses in the title of the song, “Smile with you ( )” and can you tell me who came up with the idea? What was the production process like?
Dongheon: This song was written for our fans who will be waiting for us in between our comebacks. The parentheses in the title represent blank, or the hiatus between our comebacks. We wanted to emphasize that.
Since the theme of this comeback is “dream,” what is your most memorable dream? Are you a deep-sleeper or a light-sleeper?
Gyehyeon: I’m a very deep sleeper so I usually don’t notice things that happen around me once I’m asleep. A dream that I remember is actually one I dreamt yesterday, where I participated in a jump challenge where I jumped from 50m, 100m high. I was successful in kept moving on to the next level.
Dongheon: I’m a very light sleeper so I tend to dream a lot. A dream I had recently was of a taxi ride. When I was trying to pay the fare, the driver kept returning the money. The dream was a good one, so I liked it.
Kangmin: I’m a deep sleeper, but I dream a lot. I dream about spending time with my friends from middle school.
What did it feel like when you got your first win, and what are your goals for the future?
Yeonho: I first want to deliver a message to VERRER that the first win was possible all because of them. We are very grateful for that. Our goal is to make music that empowers many people around the world, and to have more people recognize and love VERIVERY.
You have released soundtracks in addition to your albums. How is the preparation different from preparing your albums?
Dongheon: The soundtracks require us to fit into the mood of the drama, rather than showing our unique colors. We really try hard to immerse ourselves emotionally into the world presented in the drama as we participate in the production process.
Kangmin: For our own albums, we think about how we can add our own interpretation of the music. But for soundtracks, we really need to understand the drama in general, and work with the director and staffs of the drama.
Your new title, “Crazy Like That” has a more vibrant sound. It is brighter than your debut in 2018. What inspired you to change your sound and vibe in your new title?
Yongseung: Though the new title song may sound like our debut song, I think they are quite different. We really focused on interpreting the song which is not too bright nor too dark into our performances. It is something we have never tried before, and we are confident that it is something unprecedented in the K-pop industry. We are really affectionate towards this title track and we really hope that others catch that as well.
Kangmin: When we debuted, we put on cute performances asking the audience to remember and support us. The title track we released this time talks about dreams and encouraging people to work towards them, and I find this to be the difference between the two. We hope the listeners understand this as they listen to this song.
Last year you had the opportunity to meet your fans in Chile and Mexico. What was your most memorable experience in Latin America?
Hoyoung: We saw that the fans in Latin America are very passionate and put every ounce of their energy at the concert. It really encouraged us to do our best in our performances, and we really would like to visit Latin America once again.
Gyehyeon: There were some problems with the stage during the tour in Latin America, which was a bit of a bummer for us because we wanted to show our best performances. If we get another chance to go back, we hope that we can put on a better show for the fans in Latin America.
Kangmin: One episode to share is when we were eating out, we saw people performing on the streets and we really enjoyed the performance. We could really feel the energy and their love for music, so we really had a fun time there.
How did you come up with your band’s name, “VERIVERY?”
Yeonho: A contest was held at the company to choose a name for our group. There were several candidates, but the final decision was made by our CEO. We were actually quite surprised by the name at first, but the meaning behind it was good so now we really like it.
Dongheon: So it was our CEO that gave us our name. Done!
Who are your K-pop idols, influencers and why?
Yongseung: I really respect TAEYANG from BIGBANG. He is a great dancer and he has a very good stage presence which I learned a lot from.
Dongheon: Recently SEVENTEEN has made a comeback and their energy on stage is just immense. Though not as powerful, I hope VERIVERY can also send out such vibe and message to the audience one day.
Was there a memorable moment when preparing the come back or the music video?
Hoyoung: When we were filming the music video, there was a scene where all of us had to go high up onto a truck. We were all too scared so we had to hold hands. A staff handed us some tissue to wipe the dirt off our hands, but we were too scared to even grab it from such high place. The entire filming process was really enjoyable though.
Kangmin: There was a small accident as I was filming a scene from the music video, so I went to get a quick checkup at the hospital. The director and the staff were really worried, but I tried to act cool as if nothing has happened. Later I was complimented on how I coped with the situation. Just sharing a compliment I got.
Dongheon: There is a scene where YONGSEUNG takes off his shirt. To film that scene, he went on a really harsh diet and exercised twice a day. I was really impressed by his effort. I hope you notice that in the music video.
Yongseung: It was really hard!
There are two versions of this album. Can you talk about the differences, and whether you identify with being a planner or a player?
Yeonho: The PLAY version talks about enjoying the moment, and PLAN version talks about planning and preparing for the future. I personally think that I’m a player, as I’m spontaneous and I don’t plan things ahead. I tend to improvise when the time comes.
Kangmin: I think I’m a planner.
Hoyoung: I like to plan things ahead, so I guess I identify as a planner.
Dongheon: I think I’m a player. The album visually portrays the different paths that people take when they achieve their dreams. PLAN and PLAY versions are two main paths, so I think it would be fun for the fans to think about what versions they relate to more as they listen to the songs.
Yongseung: Planning is a play for me, so it’s difficult to choose.
Gyehyeon: I tend to get random spurts of ideas, so I guess I’m a player.
What was the creative process like for each song, and what is the message that you would like to convey?
Dongheon: When I first heard that the name of the album was going to be “Dream”, I thought of the members and the fans.They are the closest beings there are to my dream, so I really wanted to share a message for my fans and the members in this album. In this process of working to achieve our dreams in the K-pop industry, I can never leave out the members and the fans. So the songs are like my journal entries, like writing letters to my fans and the members. The songs are definitely pleasing to the ears, but please keep in mind that the songs are about our stories.
Year 2022 marks the 4th year of your debut. How has your teamwork improve over time, and what is your secret behind your teamwork?
Yeonho: We were like colleagues and close friends right after our debut, but now we are more like family.
I think the secret behind our teamwork is the leadership of our leader and the rest of us following him. Another thing is that we try to talk a lot amongst ourselves. Recently we promised to not look at our phones while we eat together. I believe such moments really improved our teamwork a lot.
Dongheon: But KANGMIN always uses his cellphone. Rule breaker.
Kangmin: It wasn’t easy for me because I was really young. We tried to understand each other in times of trouble and it allow us to build a solid relationship as a group.
What is each member’s current source of happiness?
Kangmin: For me, it is when I think about what to eat with the members for breakfast or after the practice the next day, right before I go to sleep.
Hoyoung: When I was young I tend to find happiness from a big change. I thought only big happiness matters. But I saw a limit to that. Nowadays I try to find happiness in something small. For instance, working out with the members or eating healthy makes me happy. As you can see, I’m trying to find happiness in small daily things.
What do you think is the killer-part or the highlight of the song, “Crazy Like That?”
Yongseung: I think it is DONGHEON’s part after the first verse. I really like how he sings like he is whispering. I’m sad that he does it only once in the song.
Dongheon: There are a lot of repetitions in the chorus, so that would just play automatically in my head when walking on the street. I hope that many people would experience the same.
What was the preparation process like as you prepared for the album?
Yeonho: We put a lot of thoughts into music as we prepared for this comeback. There were some different opinions among us as well as the company when we were choosing the tracks of the album, but we managed to come to a consensus after discussing among us. We agreed that our title track is an easy-listening song, but it was more difficult to actually sing than we expected. So we had to consult each other on this to figure things out and the recording process actually took longer compared to other albums. All of us put in our best efforts.
Kangmin: We didn’t get a lot of time to practice the choreography before we filmed the music video, so it really was challenging. But the final result showed that we actually were prepared for it, and we were really in sync.
What are some songs that you would like to recommend to your fans?
Yeonho: I would like to recommend “Smile with you ( )” because it is about our hiatus as well as the message that we want to send to our fans. The lyrics tell how we spend our time in between comebacks and how we hope our fans to feel about our hiatus. We hope our fans understand the message we tried to tell.
Kangmin: I like the song “Fine” because it tells you it is okay to worry about something. Oh, something from this album? My bad, I’m sorry.
Dongheon: I recommend the song “Juicy Juicy.” It is a bright hip-hop, which will cool down your summer with its cuteness.
How do you balance between plan and play?
Gyehyeon: For PLAN version, I tend to be more chic, while I become more active and expressive for PLAY version. I tend to plan big events first and fit in the rest spontaneously. That’s how I find my balance.
Kangmin: I find myself to be a bit vulnerable, so I like to plan things ahead and try to keep the promise I made to myself.
Yongseung: I think my life is a repetition of plan and play. I had a chance to really think about this as it is the concept of this album. I don’t think there are just two versions of this, and I would just switch between planner version and player version of myself depending on a situation.
How was the preparation process different from Limality-Love and Liminality-Dream?
Yeonho: I don’t think there is a big difference between the process of preparing different albums but the last album was very bright and feel-good, so we practiced to convey that to the listeners. This album, though is bright, has some dark parts to it so we tried to express that. I also think that we talked more as we prepared for this album compared to the last album preparation.
Which track is most in line with your individual journeys?
Dongheon: The song, “Raincoat” is about the path that we have taken together as a group to achieve our dream. In that sense, I think this track really fits the concept of the album, ‘Dream’, well.
What is VERIVERY’s unique colors? What are your individual unique colors?
Hoyoung: I think all of the members are unique in their own ways, but we blend well as a group that gives away energetic vibes. Personally, I think I am a bright, playful person when I’m with the members.
Kangmin: DONGHEON, as the oldest member of the group, advised us to put in all that we’ve got into this for our fans out there. With his words of wisdom, I think the fact that we are giving our best and showing growth despite certain situations is our unique color. I’m not sure of my personal colors yet so I’m still figuring it out.
Yeonho: In my opinion, the first unique color of our team is our teamwork, and it is our strength that we can transform any genre of music into our own. And for me, giving off a bright and positive vibe is my characteristic.
If you can give one piece of advice to past self, what would it be?
Gyehyeon: When we made our debut, I had to cut my hair short. Other people praised me of my look and encouraged me, but if I can give an advice to my past self, I would tell myself to be more assertive, and express my opinion that I don’t want to cut my hair short.
Kangmin: I had a big appetite until I was nine years old, but since then, I would wake up late and not eat well. I think that’s why I didn’t get any taller. I would tell my younger self to go to sleep early and eat well.
Yongseung: Mine’s similar to GYEHYEON. I would tell myself to focus on the things that I really want. Until now, I was focused more on what the tutors, the company, and the members wanted to see from me. I don’t think I have spent enough time on myself. I think it would have been better if I took that more into consideration.
What have been your favorite choreography to perform in your comebacks?
Dongheon: It would be “Crazy Like That.” We haven’t performed it yet on stage, but I’m sure it will be my favorite performance.
Gyehyeon: I would choose “G.B.T.B” because when we were performing it at our concerts, it makes us use all of our power and energy.
How would you describe your lyric writing style?
Gyehyeon: I like to add rhymes to the lyrics, so that’s what I consider the most when writing lyrics.
Yongseung: I like writing lyrics that are poetic, so I would add in rather unusual expressions to the lyrics.
What is a genre that you enjoyed working on?
Dongheon: I enjoyed all genres we worked with for this album, but I had a chance to work on synth-pop for the song “All I Do” and I really enjoyed the process. The song was really good to listen to, so I thought it would be nice to get another chance to work on synth-pop. UK garage is another genre that I really like, and we were able to try it in our new title song, “Crazy Like That.” Many K-pop artists have already tried this genre before, but I look forward to showing our own interpretation of UK garage.
Gyehyeon: It is our job to put on a show and perform so when I record songs, I try to make it sound exciting but there are times when that is not the case. So I try to blend such emotions as I record the songs.
What part of the album are you most proud of and why?
Hoyoung: I’m just proud of our group in general. This is the fifth year since our debut, and ever since then, we have tried a variety of genres. We have tried our best to show our colors in all of the songs, and as a member, I know all the efforts that we have put into this group. I’m just proud of VERIVERY.
What kind of words and reaction would you want to hear from your fans?
Yongseung: This title track is about all of us running towards a goal like crazy. I want the fans to be impressed by the title track and the message that we are sending. The process of working to achieve your dream is very beautiful, so I would like the fans to acknowledge that too.