Vogue Girl Magazine — SHINee Interview.
VG: How is the concept behind today’s shoot? It was set with the intention of showing the hidden sexiness that only SHINee has. Who amongst the 5 members was able to digest this concept the best?
Onew: (without hesitating) It’s Jonghyun!
Jonghyun: The 5 of us have a different kind of sexiness. Minho is gentlemanly as well as sexy, Taemin allows people to feel the cute but also slightly sexy side of people of his age, the reversal is interesting. In actual fact I have also heard people saying that I am sexy too. (laughs)
Key: In SHINee, the member who is the icon of sexiness is Jonghyun hyung!
Onew: Even so, the 5 members are the most sexy on stage because the expression and voice can only be spread in that moment.
Jonghyun: That is the power that a man can exude. We may not have very well toned muscles, but we do have a few kind of manly charms.
VG: Last time when we knew you all, you were all really skinny. Now that we meet again today, you seemed to have become more well built?
Jonghyun: We have all been working hard to exercise. In order to train and manage our physical strength, we have been exercising everyday. Actually, when we practise dancing, it’s also ample exercising.
VG: Everyone has been trying to lose weight right?
Key: Because we have a special eating place that we are designated to eat at, we have no choice. It’s hard to stick to an ‘one food’ diet.
Taemin: We are accustomed to not eating when it is late.
Key: Especially if we have a performance the next day, we definitely cannot eat as it is highly likely that our faces will be bloated.
Jonghyun: Even so, there will still be times when we will secretly sneak in a bite. (laughs)
VG: If you become even thinner than now, the noona fans will be worried! Everytime we mention SHINee now, there will always be comments like ‘the noonas’ wish’ that pop out.
Jonghyun: Actually we do have a lot of noona fans and the spread of our fans is actually more diverse than we thought. We are very thankful. It will be good if we can extend the spread even more.
Key: No matter what, the noona fans and the fans in our age group express their love differently from other people.
Jonghyun: Yes. They really take care of us kindly, showing concern, sometimes treating us like their dongsengs. Yes, just like how they will treat their blood related dongsengs, or maybe even a relative or the dongseng living next door? A noona who fumbles occasionally. (laughs)
VG: Which member has the highest popularity amongst the noona fans?
Jonghyun: Of course it’s our maknae Taemin.
Onew: A fan who is the same age as me is a noona to Taemin.
Taemin: There was a noona fan who told me “When I eat, I want to lay out your eating utensils and dishes for you”. Because it’s something that I heard during debut, it became the “most impressionable love attack” line that I have heard so far, a irreplaceble number one spot for me.
VG: It’s been a year since your interview with a week after your debut, and we finally meet again. Compared to the times when you sang “Noona you are so pretty”, everyone has matured a lot.
Key: The members have all changed a lot. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly.
Onew: Everyone has grown both physically and mentally.
Minho: We have learnt a lot after debuting for a year. We are still the same, after dispelling our curiosity of the stage, we now have a new query about it.
Taemin: In handling every single moment, we seem to be more experienced with time. In the past we used to be very nervous to go on stage, now we are very natural and we also know how to give a better performance.
Jonghyun: It’s not so much about dispelling the nervousness, it’s more of throwing away the unnecessary external pressure, and completing the job with our utmost efforts.
Minho: We seem to have mature after having a taste of the working society life. We have also grown taller by a lot…
Jonghyun: Taemin and Minho have really grown a lot! At the rate they are growing, maybe they can even shoot past the ceilings. (laughs)
VG: Before you made your comeback with the second mini album, you rested for 4 months. How did you spend it?
Jonghyun: Every single day was spent practising the song and dance. Everyone was busy with returning to the stage, and was also curious about the response of the fans to ‘Juliette’.
Onew: Because we that only practice had improve our abilities, so we did not rest for even a day. Because with practice doesn’t lie. (ie. if you practise, there will be results to show)
Minho: Everyone will think of resting but we really did not rest. Because the time to rest is the chance for us to develop even more. During promotional activities, we hardly have time to practise because our schedule is so packed. If during practice I was unable to do well, I will try to compensate for it during my next activity. That gives me a sense of contentment personally. (VG: Your hunger for winning is very strong.) I hate losing to others. (VG: You must be very alike to your soccer coach father?) My mother is also like this. My father’s hunger for winning is really amazing. (VG: With such a hunger for winning, don’t you want to be a soccer player?) I really want to. When my hyung and I were born, we decided to learn soccer with our hearts set on it. To become a soccer player was just obvious but our father objected to it. He understood better than anyone else that soccer is very tiring, but thanks to him, I was able to become a member of SHINee so I do not regret it.
VG: To receive first place upon comeback is really exceptional.
Jonghyun: We only knew that we were in contention for first place on that day itself.
VG: Isn’t it informed to you the day before?
Key: It has always been on the day itself.
Jonghyun: We were already happy to be candidates, but in the end we really got first! We got a shock but were also very very happy. It just so happened that the Super Junior sunbaenims were around, and they sincerely congratulated us and were happy for us. The sunbaebims were also teary too.
Key: I was trying hard to contain my tears on stage but the moment I got off stage I started crying.
Minho: I felt like crying when I saw Super Junior sunbaenim. I was very touched to receive the sunbaenims’ well wishes.
VG: No matter what, you all are from the same company so you will be closer right?
Jonghyun: Of course. We were role models to each other so that gave us a lot of strength. When we got first, the sunbaenims will message to congratulate us. Because everyone knows how much hard work has been put in before we could receive that first place, it feels like we are all on the same boat.
VG: Because the song that you composed got first place, Jonghyun-goon cried really badly?
Jonghyun: I was really thankful. It is just a hobby that I was developing so to have such a result, I was very astounded but also very happy. (VG: Composing can also be considered as a hobby?) Because I am not a professional conposer now, it can only be an interesting hobby to me. In the future, I will work hard in leaning how to compose melody in order to become a singer-songwriter.
Onew: I also wish to be the same as Jonghyun.
Key: The company did not especially appoint Jonghyun hyung to write the lyrics. They gave everyone the opportunity but in the end, Jonghyun hyung grabbed it. The lyrics was written well and it became our title track. Everyone also learnt some acting but it was Taemin who got the guesting on the sitcom, doing acting recently.
VG: How does Taemin feel about doing acting?
Taemin: It’s really interesting! If there is the chance, I want to do it simultaneously with my schedule as a singer.
Key: In the future we will be showing everyone such individual activities like these. Do look forward to seeing the members growing up gradually, to how they are changing. It will be good if new groups in the future say “We want to be like the SHINee hyungs.”
VG: Reading the lyrics of ‘Juliette’, there are meaningful lines such as ‘give you my soul’. What are the actual romance types of the members?
Jonghyun: I was inspired to write the lyrics after watching the movie . At that time, I looked up to the courageous man who was fearless of death. In the movie, Romeo is as old as Taemin and he is even younger than me. I felt that the courage is really remarkable.
Minho: Because up till now I haven’t been in love before…So I am not too sure about love…Yes, so I am not too sure about what kind of romance I want to have, just imagining it occasionally. I will want to try the passionate romance in too. A love with someone who is about the same age as me but is also interesting and cute. Hmmm, I can only know how to love when I really get to that stage. (laughs)
Jonghyun: When you are in love, even if it is not special, it’s only the person who is involved who can feel like the way it is in the movies.
Key: Woah! This is well said. Personally, I feel that is a romance story that can only happen in the movies, highly likely in real life. Everyone should be dreaming of this kind of love in their dreams right. Love is something very magical. I feel things like giving out the soul is highly improbable to happen.
VG: Recently, there are a lot of comments saying that SHINee are “herbivorous guys”.
SHINee: (all with widened eyes) What is a “herbivorous guy”?
VG: It refers to men who do not accept love manly, and are very tamed and gentle in their personality. Just like a deer to who eats grass.
Onew: Woah. This expression is fascinating.
Jonghyun: If there is really such a saying, it’s my first time hearing it today. Our image has been set as this.
Key: We are like those who eat grass for living. Haha.
Jonghyun: It means that we are kind. Keke.
VG: There is an interesting ‘herbivorous guy’ test, do you want to do it?
SHINee: Sure! (VG: There are 9 questions in total, you just have to answer “yes” or “no”.) We will answer well given the questions.
VG: 1) I feel that duelling is meaningless. 2) It’s alright to drink soft drinks when people are having bottoms up during gatherings. 3) When I receive a confession, I will tell others first. 4) I don’t really dislike manga that caters to young girls. 5) Even though you get along well with your female friends but you really develop into a relationship with them 6) You are very interested in the new products in the convenience store 7) When you do work, you must have tibits such as biscuits beside you. Compared to going out, I prefer to stay at hom. 9) Rather than spending money on the opposite sex, I would rather spend money on my hobby. If you have 2 or less ‘yes’ than you are a 20% herbivorous guy, 2-5 then you are 60%, 6 and above you are 90%.
Key: Haha. I have 6! What to do!
Jonghyun: Haha. 90%? The king of the herbivorous guy! Onew hyung seems to have a lot too.
Onew: Nope, I am 20%
Jonghyun: I have 2, so I am 20%? Other than duelling is meaningless, and it’s alright to drink soft drinks at gatherings, the rest are not true. I don’t really read tibits and I don’t like pure mangas.
Taemin: I am 20%.
Jonghyun: Minho should be “no” all the way right? Let’s do one. Is duelling interesting?
Minho: Yeah, interesting.
Jonghyun: So it’s like this.
Minho: There’s only one that is true. I like hobby more, but I want to be able to do something that is my hobby with my girlfriend.
Key: Ah then doesn’t that tend to “no”?
Jonghyun: Anyway, a herbivorous guy seem to refer to a guy who is very sensitive and detailed in personality? Someone who is not stingy to invest in himself. Ah, then Key fits the bill. (laughs)
Key: Agree! I really invest a lot in my interests and hobbies. Because my interests are always changing so I spend a lot of money. Buying organiser, camera, clothes, my latest obsession is fashion!
Jonghyun: I am also interested in fashion, and read many fashion magazine too. Recently I saw the design concepts of John Galliano Homme and Andrea Crews, and got a shock from the unique designs.
VG: Everyone’s schedule is packed but we heard that you are still reading avidly?
Jonghyun: I read science fiction and fantasy novels. I also like mysteries and gory comics. Recently, I have been reading Edgar Allen Poe’s
Onew: Regardless of the genre, I read many different kinds of boks. Reading is helpful in writing lyrics.
Minho: I like books such as the guide to life or tales of the great people in history. I can learn about what the great people were thinking when they were my age and what kind of life they led. It also helps to solve the problems of I have in life.
VG: Recently, reality shows has been gaining a lot of popularity. Compared to other idol groups, SHINee members seemed to be quite stingy when it comes to revealing their true selves.
Minho: Even though it’s a little lesser as compared to other groups, we are not trying to conceal it intentionally. We feel that this degree is pretty good. There may be no difference to us even when we reach the point when we can say anything out without concealing anything, it will still be the same as now.
Jonghyun: Yes. Minho is very manly. Taemin is very cute. Key is very bubbly. Onew hyung is as gentle as his name. This is us.
Key: Friends who are curious can go watch . You can see our real life after watching it. (laughs)
Jonghyun: It’s very fascinating. The fans will not be mindful about our personalities being this way but will have a lot of comments to say if we were just to change our hairstyles just a little. Yet when it comes to our personalities, they don’t really say much.
Key: Maybe it’s because we know that we have this image that we have to adhere to, so it’s not about other things.
Jonghyun: It’s not just me but the activities are done with all the SHINee members so I cannot just do what I want. So there is really nothing much to be fake about, it’s just being cautious so as not to make mistakes.
VG: The show where idol group members become boyfriends for a week has become a hot topic, have you heard of it? If SHINee members were to appear on that show, how would you feel?
Minho: I have only heard of it. I chanced upon it when I was channel surfing awhile back. I don’t really watch TV, just the show “Infinity Challenge”.
Taemin: What is that show about? (Jonghyun explains briefly) There is such a show? This is my first time hearing about it.
Onew: Even though I know of this show, I never watched it so I don’t really understand what it is about.
Key: It’s not to the extent that we want to reject it if there is the offer for us to go onto the show.
Jonghyun: I don’t really feel like going. Not very willing, I feel a little apologetic about it.
Minho: It’s a “fake” girlfriend. Rather than that, I would rather have a real girlfriend. Even if we do go out with each other sincerely for a week, it is also not real. I wish to present a real side of me in the show, so when during fliming, I always put in effort, and at certain moments I will even do something that I did not expect. I won’t want to cheat anyone.
VG: If you have a girlfriend, what do you want to do the most?
Onew: Go to a really crowded playground and confess to her loudly. To be able to confess in front of so many people takes a lot of courage so it really shows love. My girlfriend will be likely to believe me then too.
Minho: I want to watch a movie, and also a soccer match. If my girlfriend can do it, I want to play soccer with her too. But in reality many people don’t really like it. So just having a meal together is happy too. (VG: Such simple things to normal couples are actually difficult to attain for idols right.) Of course, that’s why I can’t do it now but rather in the future. A long time into the future. (laughs) (VG: Then have you heard of anything that makes you want to give up?) Absolutely not. At 18 years old, it’s a stage where you can’t really do or experience anything, I feel that this kind of experience is the foundation of my life. In the future, whether I am still an entertainer or working in other fields, it will come in handy.
VG: What is SHINee’s ideal “charismatic man” like?
Jonghyun: A man who is able to listen to the other party properly, knows the heart of the girl and is also able to take care of her very well.
Key: It’s not easy! As long as he doesn’t let the girl feel tired then it is good enough.
Onew: A man who is able to make his girlfriend happy is also charismatic too.
Key: Career and love, a man who doesn’t neglect either side. As long as my girlfriend and I don’t restrict each other then it will be good. Our time together is always fulfilling, when we play we really play, when we work we will be serious and work. We won’t be unhappy and we are understanding of each other’s lifestyle. My work is very important too, so I really hate it if she throws a temper unreasonable when I am trying to concentrate.
Taemin: A man who is good looking.
Key: A man with a good physique.
Taemin: A man who keeps to his promises too.
chinese translation: showerlin @ smshinee.ifensi.com
english translation: atlantis-x @ SFI