--Your new single "STILL" will be released on 3/14, which is White Day* in Japan. Do you celebrate White Day in Korea as well?
Yunho: Yes, we do.
--Do you have any White Day memories?
Chagmin: Giving something back to the girl who gave something to me. (laugh)
--What?! That's not a present, that's a repayment!
C: Hahaha, I was just kidding. But I don't have any romantic episodes on White Day. I do of course give presents to people who gave me presents. I'm also the kind of person who wants to give presents even to the people who didn't give me anything on Valentine's Day.
Y: I gave someone a bouquet of roses when I was teenager.
--That's really romantic!
Y: It was just amezaiku.** It was made of toffee. Amezaiku is really popular in Korea.
--I see. So it was joke. So then, your new song "STILL" is a mid-tempo ballad about a man's lingering affections for a woman.
Y: That's right. I think that everyone's experienced this at least once. The painful memories of an old love.
--You can hear that it has a sing-able melody after one listen. What where your impressions when you first heard it?
Y: Well, it's a Tohoshinki song so it's good, but I think it's actually difficult to sing.
C: It has a high range.
Y: But the first time I heard "STILL," I thought it had a gentle melody, was easy to remember, and would eventually become popular to sing at karaoke. And when you look at the lyrics, it becomes even more moving.
C: I had a different thought. I thought it sounded like a bright song, full of the hope for spring. But even so, "STILL" is a heartwrenching ballad.
--Spring is the breakup season, so the sad feeling suits it.
C: I think so too. It's because it's also graduation season. So I think this song works.
--Is there anything you noticed about it as you sang?
Y: I tried to sing it in such a way that the story of the lyrics would flow. At first I thought back on old memories, but none of them were particularly painful, so I tried to pin that feeling down as I sang. But during the final hook of the song the feeling slowly builds. That's how we sang it.
--Was there any particular scene that came to mind as you were singing?
C: We'll be going into spring, so I'm thinking about the previous spring, which I spent with my love. Now, a year later, spring has come again and all kinds of memories float to the surface, and I'm lonely. That's the situation I thought about as I sang.
--Is there a color to the imagery of "STILL?"
Y: For me, it's grey. Since it's about my memories, I can call them up if I decide to, but I'm not trying to remember. That's the image for me. A pale grey.
C: For me it's a dull yellow. That's the image I have.
--Do you say dull yellow because it's a sentimental song?
C: Yeah, I think so. I mean, it's yellow, but a really weak shade.
Y: Absolutely. You'll get sentimental listening to this song.
--The second song is "One More Thing," which completes the single by changing from the flavor of "STILL" to a sweet, uplifted song.
C: That's right. The message in this song is "I always want to make you happy, so stay close to me." "STILL" has a completely different feeling.
--So you could say that the theme of this song is selflessness. It paints a picture of a man protecting the woman he loves, and helping her out.
C: Yeah. The foundation is men protecting women. And while that feeling is there, you can also feel a bit of loneliness, like in "STILL."
Y: This single has both concepts, memories and episodes from the past. But in "STILL" the memories are sad and lonely, while in "One More Thing" the memories are new and bright. The hook of "One More Thing" is about the memories of meeting the person you love, and it swells with happy feelings.
C: Yeah. "STILL" is a lonely song about looking back on the happy memories of a graduation, or some other place where you broke up with your girlfriend. "One More Thing" is about meeting someone new, and has a message of hope. I think these two songs are definitely linked.
Y: There's a happy mood to spring, but it's also a season of heartbreak. It's good to get the happy feeling from "One More Thing," and I don't think it's bad to be flooded with memories of old love while listening to "STILL."
*White Day is an "answer day" to Valentine's Day. In Japan, women give chocolate and gifts to men on Valentine's Day, and men give return gifts a month later on White Day.
**An elaborate candy sculpture, often shaped like animals.