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[14.09.06] Soyeon, Eunjung and Jiyeon's interview with Ilgan Sport Newspaper; ‘obscure position’, T-ara's growth and more

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Will there be any girl group that fits the word ‘Love and Hate’ as much as T-ara. Having had so many hit songs after their debut in 2009, T-ara had gained a popularity that doesn’t only stop with the fandom but also the general public. The members who have it all from looks to talents, have received love from not only group activities but also from personal activities in dramas to entertainment to musicals. However, that love has turned into scary hate.

In a split-second, the fans who used to applaud for them have turned into ‘Anti’s who would fire malicious comments and vulgar curses at them. They received criticisms in the middle of controversy of losing a member and undergoing changes. They apologised and explained. They bowed their heads and pleaded but turning around the heart of the public that has once changed was not easy.

Now, T-ara has chosen to wait while shedding sweat (working hard) instead of continuously explaining. Whether they will be able to regain their past glory is an uncertain thing to even the members, themselves. However, they can’t just sink down. On the 11th, T-ara are releasing their 10th mini-album and coming back with group activities. They were sure it’s a ‘music and stage that no other girl group has tried until now’. We met with T-ara’s Soyeon, Eunjung, and Jiyeon at some open bar in Seoul. The first words of the members who went to sit down were “We might smell like sweat since we were practicing the dance just a while ago”.

T-ARA “There were many songs that even we didn’t understand.”

- First, checking their drinking limit.

Eunjung: For me, up to half a bottle of Soju. I’m the type whose face would turn so terribly reddish so I can’t drink often.

Soyeon: I can’t drink at all, unlike how I look like. I once drank one cup then got taken to the emergency room right away when I was in university. I would pour myself one cup of beer to wing it.

Jiyeon: For me too, half a bottle of Soju. But it’s a shame there aren’t much chances to hold drinking parties.

- T-ara’s new album as a group will be out soon.

Jiyeon: One of the most popular music genres in clubs nowadays is EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Music. And that includes a genre called ‘Big Room’ that is of strong beats. When you pass by a club you would feel the strong beats and dance along while feeling excited.

Soyeon: It’s a genre that no girl group has ever tried before. Composer Shinsadong Tiger oppa has done the mixing, alone, 10 times. Our dance team has also suffered a lot, one of the dancers who’s been a dancer for more than 20 years said “It’s my first time making such a choreography.”

T-ARA “Our position now is obscure.”

- The average life span of girl groups is 5 years, you’re now on your 6th year.

Eunjung: Actually, it’s a worry since we’re a group who has spent a lot of time. However, I think there are many things that are more important than a ‘span’. Rather than only worrying, we are trying to show new sides of us and receive love from more fans.

- Where do you see T-ara’s position In the present music industry?

Soyeon: We think it’s an ‘obscure position’. In fact, I think we used to be on top in the past. Of course, there were SNSD sunbae-nims, KARA sunbae-nims, 2NE1 sunbae-nims and the like above us, but I think T-ara, too, has had many no.1 songs and received love. However, we’re now not rookies nor ‘no.1 singers’ so we’re in an obscure position. The company and the members are wishing for a very strong comeback. In order to be able to become top-tier again.

- Jiyeon, you were the 1st to go solo in T-ara. How was it like.

Jiyeon: First, It felt so lonely. Since I used to always be with the members, but I wasn’t (during my solo). Since I’m the magnae, the unnies have taken care of me and supported me, but it was hard since I was alone whenever I got interviewed or went on broadcasts.

- Wasn’t there any good points (of going solo).

Jiyeon: Since it was only me, it took a short time to prepare my makeup and hair so I liked it. (Laughs). It also felt very spacious at the car, I liked it. (Laughs).

Eunjung: What I was the most envious of was that she was able to bring her puppy along at the waiting room. All of the T-ara members really love puppies. When we’re having group activities there would be so many people at the waiting room and it’d be messy so we can’t even think of bringing our puppies. However, it’s possible when you’re a solo singer.

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- I think you’d make a kakao talk group for the members and chat a lot there.

Soyeon: It’s mostly complaints. (Laughs). ‘Ah it’s so tiring’, ‘That certain schedule today was really tiring’, ‘Will this song do well’, and along that. Eunjung’s role is mostly informing us, ‘They say we’re doing so and so in so and so schedule, you all prepare’. Hyomin would release her ideas, while Qri unnie and Boram unnie would reply to us, and worry along.

Jiyeon: All I say is ‘Let’s go ride skateboards’. (Laughs). But no one would answer me. (Laughs). When I check the number (of how many people read the message), they all have read it but still none answers so I’d say “Why are you not replying”, only then the unnies would say “Uh I have something to do today”, “Uh I can’t” and among that. (Laughs).

-Have you ever went out of your dorms without your manager knowing (T-ara has lived in dorms for 3 years).

Eunjung: At midnight, we stuffed pillows under our blankets, put on wigs, and hardly escaped but when we went out we didn’t have anything to do. It’s not even like we can go to clubs, we couldn’t play around properly fearing that some weird rumours would come out. We just went to a 24 hours coffee shop. But why were we so happy.

Jiyeon: We don’t even have any friends to meet at such a time. It’s a time where everyone would be sleeping so who would hang out. So we’d tempt a member and hang out. (Laughs).

- Soyeon-ssi, you are officially dating Oh Jong Hyuk, is Oh Jong Hyuk close with the members too.

Soyeon: We don’t have time to meet at all. (Laughs). We both have very busy lives, and we’re the type who respect each other’s jobs. Because we can’t get in each others’ way. We try our best to arrange our time and meet wisely. There are even cases where we meet for only 10 minutes and then part away. (Laughs).

- Seeing Soyeon-ssi dating, you might want to date as well. What kind of a man do you want to meet.

Eunjung: I have nothing in mind. Someone who works in the industry is fine and a common person is fine, as long as we are fated to be then we can date each other.

Jiyeon: I actually used to want to date, but nowadays I don’t even think of it. Since we started working on our album (the thought of dating) has vanished away.

Soyeon: Since Jiyeon’s ideal type is someone who ‘doesn’t look like an idol’, it’s very hard for her to date. (Laughs). Actually, since idols would cast an ‘eye’ on other idols there are many cases in which idols date each other. For Jiyeon, even when there are many male idols in her surroundings she doesn’t approach anyone since she doesn’t like the pretty and ‘delicate’ kind at all. She likes the warm type like Yang DongGeun sunbae-nim but this type doesn’t exist at all among the surrounding idols.

- We thought you’d like a pretty flower boy with long ‘model pose’ legs.

Jiyeon: Ohh no way. no way no way. People in my surroundings do not ask me out because everyone thinks that I only like flower boys. And if someone who has a flower boy image asks me out, I actually don’t really like it. (Laughs).

- Haven’t there been any false rumours before? Ones that you just want to go and correct.

Soyeon: There have been all kind of rumours. Hearing made up stories (about us) is very tiring. In the past we used to feel upset when they tell us about the rumours as if they were true but now we think it’s our share to endure them.

-Do you check internet comments.

Soyeon: I used to read them a lot in the past. Now, I don’t at all. It was hard to put up with the comments as they were slowly leaning toward the bad side. I actually even thought that “I want to die” once which I shouldn’t think of. Why? Because I have someone in my family who had caught an illness after being hurt (from malicious comments). I might be able to read comments when I get stronger, but for now it hurts my heart a lot and makes me weak.

Jiyeon: Yep, I never read them either.

Eunjung: I read them. Only on days when I’m feeling clearheaded. (Laughs). I read them on days when I think that ‘I can read them and get them out of my mind.’ However, if it’s a day where I can’t let my schedule get affected emotionally then I do not read them. it’s forthcoming for an idol when it comes to being on stage, you have to show a confident look, but when you shrink in front of the audience due to being hurt from online comments then the stage will be ruined.

- (After the scandal) I think even your personalities might have changed.

Eunjung: We changed a lot. We’ve become more timid about the society. We think “will they hate me if I do this”, “will they curse me if I act like this” way too much now. It can’t be helped since we’re celebrities but we became more conscious. To put in a good way, we became more cautious, and to put it in a bad way, we became more careful.

-At last, say a word to your fans.

Soyeon: It’s not a short time you’ve been waiting for T-ara, but I believe you couldn’t go crazy anticipating our album last time. We tried harder and prepared in order to make up for that. Having underwent hardships, I think we became more mentally mature. We want to show you that as well.

Eunjung: It’s our group comeback in about 1 year, but just as much, we had many thoughts. We’re T-ara who’s into their 6th year but we will show you a rookie-like image.

Jiyeon: I’m always very sorry to our fans. We want to show you a back-to-basics side to us in this time’s activities. Please watch over us.

***

Source: Ilgan Sports + Scans by Eunchannet

Translation by: FY! T-ara

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The girls are so strong. It's beyond me how they cope with so much hate and still be able to smile. Now i know some of you would probably say "Singers always have haters/ It's their profession bla bla bla" but T-ara's hate is just on another level, you can't simply compare it with another artist. To me they have shown the true definition of the word "strong".

P.S: The hate they receive is now just laughable to be honest. It has been 3 years and K-netizens, yes, the keyboard warriors are still hating on them. I find it so ironic that they hate/accuse T-ara of bullying, yet they go on the internet and do the same thing that they accuse T-ara of, if not worse. The worst kind of bullies are the bullies that think their actions are justified, disgusting..

On the bright side people are starting to realize how horrible and out of hand the hate has gotten from K-netizens that they are even starting to stand up for T-ara, which as a fan i'm happy about. I've been going through sites that translates Netizen's comments and most of them are pretty positive. On sites like Netizen buzz which focuses only on hate, International fans in general from variety of fanbases stand up for T-ara against the hate from K-netizens, which only adds up to the fact that the hate they have been getting for the past 3 years is not taken seriously by anyone with common sense anymore.

So the girls don't have to worry about anything, people are slowly starting to realize what they are doing.

I can't wait to see them back on stage again. <3

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-Do you check internet comments.

Soyeon: I used to read them a lot in the past. Now, I don’t at all. It was hard to put up with the comments as they were slowly leaning toward the bad side. I actually even thought that “I want to die” once 

 

-- this is just sad .. although, I'm not naive to the fact that a lot of idols do think like this because of the pressure they get from society and the expectations of the people. And to think that Soyeon-unnie almost died in that car crash 2 years ago, this is just really depressing. Although on a side note, I'll keep in mind not to give Soyeon any alcoholic drinks. Things would just go weird, fast!

 

 

- We thought you’d like a pretty flower boy with long ‘model pose’ legs.

Jiyeon: Ohh no way. no way no way. People in my surroundings do not ask me out because everyone thinks that I only like flower boys. And if someone who has a flower boy image asks me out, I actually don’t really like it. (Laughs).

 

 

-- huh, I never thought Jiyeon would like those kind of guys .. is this because of Yoo SeungHo ? I've read somewhere [don't remember where exactly] that our maknae lost interest once she found out SeungHo's true colors. Maybe it's because of that that she's now not interested in fellow idols or the flower-boy type in general. Hrmm, either way I'm glad she's just focusing her energy on work. I hope T-ARA's comeback would be a real BANG this year and hopefully, catapult them somewhere close to their previous positions (^___^). [Does that even makes sense?]

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The girls are so strong. It's beyond me how they cope with so much hate and still be able to smile. Now i know some of you would probably say "Singers always have haters/ It's their profession bla bla bla" but T-ara's hate is just on another level, you can't simply compare it with another artist. To me they have shown the true definition of the word "strong". 

 

P.S: The hate they receive is now just laughable to be honest. It has been 3 years and K-netizens, yes, the keyboard warriors are still hating on them. I find it so ironic that they hate/accuse T-ara of bullying, yet they go on the internet and do the same thing that they accuse T-ara of, if not worse. The worst kind of bullies are the bullies that think their actions are justified, disgusting..

 

On the bright side people are starting to realize how horrible and out of hand the hate has gotten from K-netizens that they are even starting to stand up for T-ara, which as a fan i'm happy about. I've been going through sites that translates Netizen's comments and most of them are pretty positive. On sites like Netizen buzz which focuses only on hate, International fans in general from variety of fanbases stand up for T-ara against the hate from K-netizens, which only adds up to the fact that the hate they have been getting for the past 3 years is not taken seriously by anyone with common sense anymore.

 

So the girls don't have to worry about anything, people are slowly starting to realize what they are doing.

 

I can't wait to see them back on stage again.  <3

 

" I've been going through sites that translates Netizen's comments and most of them are pretty positive. On sites like Netizen buzz which focuses only on hate, International fans in general from variety of fanbases stand up for T-ara against the hate from K-netizens, which only adds up to the fact that the hate they have been getting for the past 3 years is not taken seriously by anyone with common sense anymore.

 

really? is it true? most of them are positive comments and the hate for them is not that bad anymore. You know,seeing your comment makes me relieve and that actually makes my heart feel more better now. and yes..the first time I've opened sites like Allkpop and Netizenbuzz,I was so shocked cuz the comments in there was too horrible and I've honestly never seen someone being curses at like that. I never opened those sites again and just look at the main article but not the translated comments.

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" I've been going through sites that translates Netizen's comments and most of them are pretty positive. On sites like Netizen buzz which focuses only on hate, International fans in general from variety of fanbases stand up for T-ara against the hate from K-netizens, which only adds up to the fact that the hate they have been getting for the past 3 years is not taken seriously by anyone with common sense anymore.

 

really? is it true? most of them are positive comments and the hate for them is not that bad anymore. You know,seeing your comment makes me relieve and that actually makes my heart feel more better now. and yes..the first time I've opened sites like Allkpop and Netizenbuzz,I was so shocked cuz the comments in there was too horrible and I've honestly never seen someone being curses at like that. I never opened those sites again and just look at the main article but not the translated comments.

Yes in fact, many comments were like "Don't underestimate T-ara" or "Most of you forget how many hits they had", "All the hate is based on baseless rumors"  and here are some comments coming from K-Netizens themselves 

 

[+270, -142] Seriosly... Lies, TTL, TTL2, Bo Peep Bo Peep, Why Do You Act Like This, Like The First Time, I'm Really Hurt, I Go Crazy Because Of You, Yayaya, Roly Poly, Lovey Dovey, Cry Cry, We Were In Love, Day By Day, Sexy Love, they were no joke... What girl group can produce so many hit songs from 2009~2012, in just three years?

2. [+202, -81] It's almost equivalent to Nonono's popularity. Roly Poly was a #1 nominator for 7 weeks on Music Bank. At that time, their competitors were Sistar's So Cool and Miss A's Good Bye

3. [+181, -103] TTL 2 was more daebak though ㅋㅋㅋ Who doesn't know the song?

4. [+113, -23] What's funny is that T-ara's scandal is just aegyo comparing to Bigbang's but Bigbang is promoting well ㅋㅋㅋ So funny, xxxx ㅋㅋ

5. [+83, -13] Aren't T-ara's songs better than SNSD's?

6. [+81, -16] Honestly T-ara used to be so popular. Roly Poly was daebak and Lovey Dovey was a hit so they were even mentioned on winning a daesang... They're now pretty much dead but if they didn't have the bullying scandal, then they must've been a top girl group similar to SNSD

7. [+78, -9] What are you talking about? If you're comparing T-ara's peak, A Pink is not even close. T-ara's public popularity was also really big. The public would know T-ara's songs even if they don't know who T-ara is

 

So you see, things are starting to look very good.

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