The interview section which included Lee So Ra, Tablo and Taeyang on the November 16 broadcast of cable music show Second Proposal was edited down from the original 18 minute recording. Saying of urthesun and Juckdo of sol-mate were kind enough to share with us the audio of the full 18 minute interview to translate and share with international fans. Enjoy!
SR= Lee So Ra
TY = Taeyang
TB = Tablo
*Parts in bold were included in the broadcast version of the interview
SR: That was great.
Please sit. I’ll sit over on that end. And then Taeyang could sit here in the middle.
SR: Thank you.
TY: Thank you so much for inviting me.
SR: Thank you so much.
First of all, the song you sang before this was…
SR: And the featured singer was…
TB: Mad Soulchild’s Jinsil-ssi.
SR: We couldn’t interview her, but we really enjoyed the performance.
And now, this song was…
TB: It was “Tomorrow,” featuring the truly megatonic guest, Taeyang-ssi.
TY: That was “Tomorrow,” everyone.
SR: Actually… [to TY] You just got back from Ireland yesterday, right?
TY: Yes, I got in yesterday.
SR: In fact, you wanted to perform “Tomorrow” with our live band, but Tablo stopped you because there wasn’t enough time to rehearse.
TB: Yes, he had to prepare and come pretty much straight off the plane, so I thought it would be too much. And besides, it was probably hectic in Ireland, too. I was trying to be considerate.
SR: So how was it?
TY: It could have been better, but I’m just grateful to get to perform together with Tablo-hyung again because we haven’t really had a chance to do so since the debut stage. So just the fact that we’re able to share a stage like this makes me happy.
SR: [to audience] They go well together, don’t they?
Why were you in Ireland?
TY: We were invited to the European Music Awards, the EMA. We were happy just to be invited, but we won –
SR: [interrupting] You won an award.
TY: [joking] Please applaud harder.
TB: It’s a huge award.
SR: It’s a new award that was introduced this year. There’s so much music in the world and so many musicians, but only a small portion is actually heard, especially on a big stage like that. There’s only so much music that gets recognized for awards like this. What category did you receive an award in?
TY: We won in the World Wide Act category, which looks at artists, not just in Europe, but throughout the world, and we were awarded based on the result of a vote.
SR: Big Bang, that is. That’s amazing.
TY: Thank you.
SR: I heard you even beat Britney Spears.
TY: Yes, Yes. [joking] I really wanted to say this – Everyone, we beat Britney Spears.
TB: Didn’t you beat Justin Bieber, too?
TY: Yes, well, there was this one other “category” [Twitter Tracker] where we placed on top, and we beat Justin Bieber for that.
TB: I’m jealous.
SR: I hear there were a lot of amazing musicians there.
TY: Yes, there were so many.
SR: Queen… And… and… and… Who else?
TY: Lady Gaga… Bruno Mars… Jessie J… There were a lot of famous artists.
SR: We… Well, I shouldn’t say “we.”
TB: I was at home watching my kid. I felt so proud though.
SR: Yes. And you made us proud, too, Tablo. You said you were just watching your child, but meanwhile your album was the #1 downloaded album on the U.S. and Canadian iTunes charts.
TB: It wasn’t for very long, maybe two or three days.
SR: That’s still amazing.
TB: I think it was partly because Taeyang-ssi featured on it and because so many other great musicians helped out as well. It showed, however briefly, that there is an interest in Korean music.
TY: It’s not that [implying TB’s being overly modest] – it’s because it’s a great album. Had the international listeners been able to understand Tablo-hyung’s lyrics, I think he would have been #1 for longer.
TB: I wish we could add subtitles to music.
SR: Next time, you can release two versions of your album, one in English.
TB: But, you know… When I looked at the chart, the thing that made me feel really good was seeing my album title written in Korean hangul. Because it may raise the curiosity of non-Koreans. That made me feel good. I think it was a similar feeling when Big Bang won the award.
SR: Yes, it makes you very proud.
TY: Thank you.
But it’s really true. We were the only Asians [nominees] there, the five of us. It made us feel a sense of self-esteem.
SR: I think sincerity speaks universally. By that, I mean if you put yourself into your music when you sing or rap or dance, that is communicated no matter what the language, and that’s what moves people.
TB: I have to do better.
SR: The more you perform, the better you get. It’s true – it’s a matter of practice.
Right? Don’t you think so, too?
TB: Yes. I felt so small when I was rehearsing with Taeyang-ssi. I actually never had great stage manner. With Epik High, we would pretty much just fool around on stage.
SR: But that works for the three of you!
*Urthesun’s fancam for the part discussing their ages.
TB: Yes, because it’s us. But standing next to Taeyang-goon during practice… I would look at the mirror, and I looked so sad/lacking.
SR: [to the audience] How was it? (Audience replies: He looked cool!)
TB: Next time, I’ll only perform with someone way older.
SR: Why? I watched on the monitor backstage. I don’t know what the standard is – what’s good or bad – but I thought you guys looked good together. That implies that you both did well. There wasn’t any sense of awkwardness.
TB: [Inaudible. Something about age?]
SR: Is there a big age gap between you?
TB: Oh, yes, there is.
SR: It doesn’t look it.
TY: It’s not that much, is it?
SR: [laughing] We’re approaching a sensitive topic.
TB: We’re about eight years apart.
SR: Eight years? Then how old are you?
TY: I was born in’88.
SR: I was born in ’69… It’s all good. [inaudible]
SR: Tablo’s become a new family member. He’s joined YGE with Big Bang. YGE has a strong sense of family, right?
TY: Yes, it’s strong.
SR: [to TB] Do they take good care of you?
TB: Well, first of all – some people already know this but – my wife, Kang Hye-Jung, is under YGE, so, in a sense, I was already family.
SR: Oh, that’s true.
TB: And that’s how I ended up joining.
There’s a huge difference, looking at YGE from the outside versus looking at it from inside the company. It was really surprising to me.
SR: In what sense?
TB: When you look from the outside… Because their artists have such charisma, they can come across a little cold. Like they’re unapproachable. But being in the company, everyone is so warm and fun. They’re comfortable, like a real family. I’m the maknae now, you know. So they’re very kind, and I’m adapting well.
SR: I see. But imagine they’re not always just kind. [to TY] What do you think, as a long time member?
TY: Actually, he’s saying good things now, but he probably felt very unfamiliar at first, especially because most of us have been together so long. I can still remember it, that sense of unfamiliarity and “Where am I?” on his face. Fortunately, I was at the building when hyung first came to YGE. That’s when we first recorded the song and became close, and [I] was able to take him around and introduce everyone, and now they’ve gotten to know each other. But he was very frozen before.
TB: I still freeze in front of CEO Yang [YG from here on].
SR: What was the most affectionate exchange you had with YG?
TB: Well, we exchange a lot of text messages. When I reached #1 on the iTunes chart, he sent me a really cute emoticon. I found it especially warm and affectionate because it doesn’t really match the image you have of YG, you know? It’s not something you can send easily.
TB: You don’t send emoticons to just anybody.
SR: That’s true, you usually have to feel pretty close to the person.
TB: So I sometimes look at the emoticon when I’m having a difficult time.
SR: Since this is only the beginning [of your solo activities], it’s hard to say what difficulties you’ll face from here on, but it must be reassuring – you have people around ready to help and a CEO who sends you emoticons.
TB: Yes, I think it’s going to take some time to get used to being part of the music scene again, but, fortunately, I have a lot of good people around me, so that gives me strength.
SR: [to TY] Is YG very picky/difficult? You’ve been a member [of YGE] for a long time – does he ever feel like a friend? As a sunbae [in YGE], do you have any tips? After all, it’s much more comfortable if you have a good relationship with the CEO, right?
SR: I mean, that’s the case with any company.
TY: …Right. [joking] But actually, Big Bang hasn’t been close with YG for very long either.
SR: Have you ever received an emoticon?
TY: No, I never have. I envy him.
SR: Since you just won an award, you should check your text messages.
TY: I have been checking! [joking] I think it was morning here [when we got the award], so he was probably asleep.
SR: We’re joking about it now, but I think he must be extremely proud.
TY: Actually, I think because we’ve been together for so long, he doesn’t really send emoticons or trivial texts. If he wants to congratulate us, he’ll tell us in person. I wish I could give some tips on how to be close with YG, but honestly, I’m still intimidated, too.
TB: You just have to do a good job, right?
TY: Yes, just do a good job. If you make good music and get recognized, he’ll appreciate it.
TB: That’s not easy.
SR: No, it’s not. But you’re doing a good job, so I’m not worried about you. Actually, I was worried after recording with you. You don’t seem very outwardly expressive even around people who are close to you.
TB: I used to be almost excessive in showing my emotions. But now, I’m smiling, but – oh, I’m not talking about right now – I’d be smiling, but people seem to find my expression very cold. So I’m practicing in front of the mirror.
SR: [to the audience] Tablo and Kang Hye-Jung-ssi came to my concert once before his album was released. And I say this because the topic of facial expressions has come up. You told me that you were really moved, but your face was so impassive. I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I just said, “Tablo hwaiting!” and left.
TB: I was smiling then, because I was so moved.
SR: See. Well, I could see that Kang Hye-Jung-ssi was smiling.
TB: I’ll continue to make an effort.
SR: It would be a pity to hear Taeyang-ssi only in the featured song. We don’t even know when we’ll have you back, so we can’t just send you off. Tablo, would it be okay if Taeyang-ssi sings one of his own songs?
TB: Actually, not a lot of people know this, but back when Taeyang-goon released his first solo album I talked about him on a radio show. That I was so surprised when I listened to the album, that it was so good, and that I was really moved.
SR: Taeyang’s solo album?
TB: Yes. There were a lot of news articles about what I said, so some people may know this already. Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to work with him, though it took a while for it to actually happen. I’d love to hear a song from that album – his first solo. What do you all think?
SR: Actually, I feel the closest with Taeyang-ssi, too, among the Big Bang members. Your gallery [DCYB] once sent me an award back when I was a radio DJ. They sent a cup holder [actually, tumbler] and various print material saying, “Have strength, Lee SoRa-ssi!” So I do recall saying, “Dong Youngbae jjang! Taeyang jjang!” [on radio].
TB: Big Bang fans?
SR: No, Taeyang fans.
TB: Oh, that must have been nice…
SR: I still have them at home. It left a good impression on me.
TY: The fans – I mean, Taeyang fans – my fans… I think the people there [in DCYB] really like you. They’re guys. I think they’re guys! I’m not sure…
SR: I thought I had more female fans, but when I look around the galleries and such, there seems to be quite a few male fans. Though they would never tell me in person.
TB: Guys are petty.
SR: Are you two like that, too? You don’t seem particularly broad-minded…?
TB: I don’t know about Taeyang, but I’m kind of petty. I’m not very manly.
SR: I think that’s the power of Tablo’s music.
TB: [laughing] What do you mean?
SR: Like glass. That sensitivity… like you’re going to be cut, or you’re going to break.
TB: I’m not sure what you’re saying.
SR: No, it’s a good thing. So, from that album [Hot]… I remember listening to the album over and over when it came out.
TY: I think it’s the song that the most people would know – “Look At Only Me.”
Translations and Transcriptions by SILLY@ALWAYSTAEYANG. Please do not remove credits when taking elsewhere.