Super group Super Junior says it’s here to stay
Super Junior, the Korean super group founded in 2005, had some major changes to its lineup last year, but its fifth anniversary year looks like it will be another successful one for the group, which is one of the largest boy bands in the world.
Last month, when Super Junior released its fourth full-length album, it sold 100,000 copies in the first week after its release on April 13. Industry experts expect the album, titled “Bonamana,” will surpass the group’s previous sales record, achieved with its third album “Sorry Sorry.” That album sold 250,000 copies and topped the album sales chart when it was released in March last year.
At a time when other groups such as Girls’ Generation are eschewing the regular full-length CD format in favor of mini albums, digital albums and other kinds of special albums, that’s quite a feat.
Despite their success, the up-and-coming idol group has struggled this year. Three of the band’s members - Han Geng, Kang-in and Kibum - left the group during the recording period. In the coming year, the band is facing new challenges, with marriage and military service looming on the horizon.
In a recent interview with 10 of the band’s 13 members, however, the boys seemed committed to staying together for years to come, no matter what life may throw their way.
Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Q. What has made you such a strong group over the past five years?
A. Heechul: We really talk a lot. If there are problems, we talk until they are resolved. Lack of communication always creates problems.
It must have been difficult for you to make the new album without the three other members of the band.
Sungmin: We felt pressure taking their places, but it has also given us an opportunity to think about how important each member of the band is.
What do the three other members think about the new song “Bonamana”?
Leeteuk: Kang-in said the group’s dance moves are awesome and Kibum said he was sorry that I have to fill the space he left.
The choreography for the song is pretty impressive.
Eunhyuk: The dance moves were created by American choreographer Nick Bass, who was inspired by figure skating and short track skating.
Many people have said the title song for the current album is very similar to the group’s previous hit song “Sorry Sorry.”
Leeteuk: Maybe that’s because the new song is so characteristic of what we do and that’s what makes people think that Sorry Sorry and the new song are alike.
I think that criticism like that is better than nothing because it shows that Bonamana has made an impression on the public.
Heechul: For me, the criticism is flattering because it is a sign that we’ve found our signature sound. In fact, Leeteuk and I didn’t like the idea of [Bonamana] as the title song because we didn’t think the electronic sound represented us.
But after recording it and practicing the dance moves, I’ve changed my mind. I think the song suits us.
Shindong proposed to his girlfriend [in a numerical code] in the liner notes and his actions have since become the talk of the town. What’s happening with that?
Shindong: I was thinking about decoding it for the public after the album was released but my fans have already decoded it.
I haven’t heard from my girlfriend since I popped the question, but if she says yes, I want to get married as soon as possible.
Do you think you will still perform as Super Junior even if some of you get married?
Heechul: It’s our goal to keep singing and dancing as Super Junior when we are 30 and 40, even after marriage and our military service.
Do you have any secrets for keeping fit?
Yesung: Siwon always inspires us. Now we’re in a kind of competition [to build muscles.]
By Lee Dong-hyun, Sung So-young [email@example.com]