Up Close At Super Junior's Press Conference

Up Close At Super Junior's Press Conference

Exploring the K-Pop group's new album 'The Renaissance'...

Looking at Super Junior now, it’s hard to believe they have been together for over fifteen years. Not just because their looks have only improved, or because their sound incorporates current trends, but because their sinergy is as lively as when they were the freshest rookies, popping and locking to their 2005 rap rock debut, ‘Twins (Knock Out)’. Super Junior is a group that has defied the test of time, the multiple lineup changes, the mandatory military enlistments, and has proven that age is just a number when passion is your driving force.

Their 10th full album, ‘The Renaissance,’ was originally set to release last year, in celebration of their 15th anniversary. However, several delays pushed it to drop only on March 16th. During an online press conference, leader Leeteuk mentioned that “We were planning on releasing it last year, but decided to take a bit more time working on it because we really wanted to bring out our best.”

Their efforts have paid off, as ‘The Renaissance’ is Super Junior in its timeless, quintessential glory. It encompasses multiple styles, from dark, modern beats (‘Paradox,’ ‘SUPER’) to funky retro (‘Closer’, ‘Tell Me Baby’), to epic midtempos (‘Burn The Floor’), and culminates in ‘House Party’, a single that blends all the sides of Super Junior into one.

Check out what the group had to say during their online press conference below.

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How do you feel making a comeback?

Shindong: A lot of our fans have been waiting for a long time, and we really had a lot of fun preparing this so we’re excited and hope you guys enjoy it too.

Tell us about ‘House Party’.

Heechul: First, our 10th full-length album ‘The Renaissance’ has a total of 10 tracks, including the title track ‘House Party’. We really worked hard to prepare this album, and are excited to see people’s reactions.

Eunhyuk: ‘House Party’ is a catchy disco-pop dance track with an upbeat rhythm and guitar riffs; also infused with trendy melody and trap. Producer Yoo Young Jin also participated in producing and writing the lyrics, bringing the song to completion.

Yesung: The lyrics cheerfully remind us to not give up on the little moments in life even though things can get tough with the pandemic. We hope you guys will keep that in mind when listening to it! 

Is there any part of the music video ‘House Party’ that we should pay close attention to?

Kyuhyun: This music video is pretty much Super Junior vs. Super Junior. There’s the “Party Concept” Super Junior and the “Trap Concept” Super Junior. Visual-wise as well it’s very different. The “Party Concept” is a bit more vivid and colorful, while the “Trap Concept” has a darker mood.

Siwon: We’ve included some scenes in the music video that’ll remind you of life before the pandemic. We hope people have a sense of relief or satisfaction from seeing these moments as well.

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How does it feel coming together again after some time to release an album?

Ryeowook: There’s a lot of energy with Super Junior. We’re always having fun, and it really feels like a ‘House Party’, which is nice.

Yesung: Even though we’re used to practicing and spending time together, we still value it, but I think nowadays, we really value the time we have with our fans. It’s very precious!

Leeteuk: It may be hectic, but when we’re together, we feel energized and alive. Likewise, we hope to keep up that energy when promoting this album as well.

Since debut, Super Junior has expanded its music spectrum covering a variety of genres such as dance, pop, hip-hop, etc. What was the most important thing you focused on, and what did you want to show?

Leeteuk: In the past, we might’ve been more focused on trying out new genres or going with what’s trending, but with time, what we found more important was coming together as Super Junior and showing our own colors, whilst also having a great time. We wanted to deliver that energy we have and show everyone that this is Super Junior.

Eunhyuk: I think it’s important that pop music has a message people can relate to during that time, so we aimed to give off a message of hope but in a fun and very Super Junior style of way.

What were some of the thoughts and/or goals you had when preparing this album?

Siwon: Like ‘House Party’, just having a good time like before. Though we cannot meet in person yet, I do look forward to the day we’ll be able to have a concert and see each other again.

Leeteuk: I guess you could say our goal was to have fun, which we did! As much as the album was delayed, and I’m sure many fans were a bit nervous, we really came together as one. When we’re practicing the choreography, there are times where we have different opinions, but this time, we were all on the same page.

Eunhyuk: When we revise some of the choreography or a member suggests a certain change and we like it, we name that move after that member. There’s a Leeteuk move within the choreography for this track!

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What does this 10th full-length album mean to Super Junior and if you could describe it in one word, what would it be and why?

Ryeowook: I agree that age is just a number, but the number 10 just sounds very complete. So, my one word would be PERFECT.

Yesung: This album is our first “two-digit” album, which I believe signifies a new beginning so I’d like to say START.

Kyuhyun: It’s a moment that’ll connect our past with our future albums, so CONNECTION.

Heechul: To give a more realistic answer, this album exists because we, Super Junior, and SM have been loyal to each for a long time, so I’d like to say LOYALTY.

Siwon: Super Junior is back with a track that suits us so well, so I’d say REJUVENATION. I think it goes well with our album title ‘The Renaissance’.

Donghae: SPRING. I get very excited when thinking of meeting our fans with this album, and the excitement reminds me of spring — the warm sun and beautiful flowers.

Shindong: I’d say RESPONSIBILITY. We’re here with our 10th full-length album, all thanks to the love and support of all those who have been with us, and so there’s that responsibility to continue growing to show our best.

Leeteuk: STARTING POINT. There’s a connecting thread between our 10th full-length album and our 1st album, so in a way, we’re back at the starting point.

Eunhyuk: Simply put, the BEST!

What’s the reason behind the title ‘The Renaissance’?

Leeteuk: Renaissance is the revival/renewal of art or literature, the creation of something new. As much as this is our 10th album, the first “two-digit” album, we wanted to use this as a turning point to really show a new era of Super Junior and what we’re about.

It’s been awhile since Super Junior released a title track by producer Yoo Young Jin. The last being ‘MAMACITA’, your 7th full-length album. Was there a special reason behind selecting producer Yoo’s track?

Leeteuk: A lot of people were involved in the making of ‘House Party’. Producer Yoo, along with Executive Producer Mr. Lee Soo-Man gave us a lot of advice to help make this track even better. I think Producer Yoo is someone who has brought out some of our greatest hit songs, and we’ve always enjoyed working together.

Yesung: Producer Yoo really re-interpreted the track to reflect Super Junior’s style, and just like we mentioned “starting point”, he produced not only our debut track, but also many of our other hit songs like ‘Sorry Sorry’, ‘Mr. Simple’, ‘Sexy, Free & Single’, and ‘MAMACITA’. It was great getting to work together again.

Leeteuk: Executive Producer Mr. Lee Soo-Man knows what’s trending. He’d advise on making certain adjustments to bring out that trendiness in our ‘House Party’ track.

Heechul: He gives great advice, and always wants to make sure each track has a great impact.

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This 10th full-length album must’ve been a moment of looking back at your journey. Since your debut in 2005, what were some of your most memorable moments?

Eunhyuk: Roughly 2012 or 2013, we had a concert in Paris and I believe we were the first K-pop act to hold a solo concert there. Back then, K-pop was very centered in Asia, but it was a moment of introducing K-Pop and opening a path to Europe as well.

Leeteuk: I remember all our moments, but November 2005, our debut stage.

Shindong: When we were practicing ‘Sorry Sorry’ at the dance studio, Producer Yoo suddenly came and showed us this move. It became what we know now as the signature move to ‘Sorry Sorry’.

Donghae: Our first concert. The first time we got on that lift and jumped on stage. It was the first time we met [our fandom] E.L.F., and felt like our first date with them.

Siwon: Probably 2007 at MKMF [now known as the award show MAMA]. We really worked hard for that stage, and I recently saw a clip of it, which brought back those memories.

Heechul: Probably when we went to Thailand for the first time. It was my first overseas trip, but our manager at that time spelled my name wrong on my passport so people were calling me by a very different name.

Kyuhyun: There was a lot of uncertainty with Super Junior 05, but joining as a new member and becoming truly Super Junior [laughs]. That’s when our legacy began!

Ryeowook: When Kyuhyun joined because until then I was the youngest member.

It’s common now, but K-Pop idols have crossed over into various fields such as variety shows, MC-ing, musicals, etc. very smoothly, all thanks to Super Junior. Is there a synergy effect from such activities on your group activities?

Leeteuk: I believe it’s good to start from the bottom and build your way up. All those experiences and time will really be worth it in the end. People would say that the gateway to Asia is Super Junior, and we’ve all become the best in our own respective fields. All our individual activities are what makes Super Junior shine even more.

We’ve heard Super Junior will be recreating the performance of ‘U’, a track that gave you your first win on a music broadcasting show, today during the comeback show on Mnet at 7pm KST. Is there a difference between 2006’s ‘U’ and 2021’s ‘U’?

Eunhyuk: It’s actually very similar. We tried hard to reenact not only the outfits, but also the hairstyles as well. Though I thought it’d be very different, it was shockingly the same. I felt like I was in a time machine and taken back to then.

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What is the secret behind Super Junior’s long-lasting popularity?

Leeteuk: There’s a lot. All the love and support, and our members doing their best in their own areas, but the biggest and most important would be the digital platforms. Even though we aren’t able to meet our fans in person, we’ve been creating content and using a variety of platforms such as social media and YouTube as a means of connection.

Kyuhyun: Someone might learn of Super Junior through a specific member, and then become a fan of another one of our members and so forth. I think that’s also what makes it possible.

What kind of artist does Super Junior want to be remembered as?

Donghae: For those who have been supporting and loving us, we want to be remembered as “Super Junior” — our music, concerts, interviews, etc. We have our own energy and colors that I feel are very distinct, and I hope that’s what people will remember the most.

Any goals for 2021 and/or upcoming plans?

Heechul: In 2021, we plan to work hard not only as a group, but also in our individual activities as well. I hope that one day, when the next generation hears ‘House Party’, they’ll wonder what COVID-19 is; and in that sense, hope the pandemic will be over soon.

Leeteuk: This is the first time we’re sharing this, but we’re working on a documentary that was originally going to be released online. Instead, we’ll be screening it in theaters across the country for all our fans.

Eunhyuk: This year will be busy with solos and unit activities as well. It’s actually Super Junior-D&E’s 10th debut anniversary, so we’re working on our first full-length album. Yesung is also preparing a solo album, and we have members like Ryeowook and Kyuhyun working on musicals too.

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'The Renaissance' is out now.

Words: Tássia Assis / @_tassia_a

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