Q. Hoya, didn’t it feel awkward to act again, especially since it’s been a while you finished working on your drama?
Hoya: No. I was actually offered a role in another project as soon as “Respond 1997” ended but I wasn’t able to take it up because of our arena tour. So I was so happy to get to act in the music video that I suggested a lot of ideas and just had a lot of fun with it.
Q. How was your experience of appearing on KBS’s “Immortal Song”?
Hoya: The first recording was in mid-December, which was when we were very busy because we were recording a new album and preparing year-end performances. So we really had very little time to prepare because we had to write our own lyrics to the rearranged versions of the songs we’d perform. The only way we could manage was by listening to the songs while doing interviews or other things. I didn’t even recognize the rearranged melody for one of the songs when we were doing our dry rehearsal so for the first time, I felt like running away. You could say I sort of had stage fright.
Dong Woo: But I think we improved a bit from that experience. (laughs) I mean, we were exhausted to the point that we needed to get IV shots but we learned how to focus over very short time periods. Another good thing was that we got to put on performances that we probably wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise. We tried singing soft songs, and even did a performance where we turned into romantic guys. Over the four weeks, we came to have less and less time to prepare but actually became more stable.
Q. Dong Woo, you’ve usually been in charge of reacting well on entertainment programs but with just the two of you in this unit, you must’ve felt some responsibility to actually talk.
Dong Woo: That’s so true. I used to be an onlooker on variety shows. I just had so much fun listening to what the members of my group were saying that if the emcees noticed it and asked me a question, I sometimes didn’t know what to say. But nowadays, I start thinking when Hoya is talking. I think, ‘Wait, I think I should say something after this.’
Hoya: He really used to be a member of the audience. (laughs) But he really talked a lot while we were promoting ourselves as INFINITE H. I also think he’s trying harder because he wants to achieve his dream of becoming a radio show host.
Q. Why a radio show host?
Dong Woo: My favorite TV program is KBS’s “Hello Counselor.” And what I want to do as well is to listen to listeners’ stories. And help relieve them of their worries or concerns. I also like that radio shows listen to music with the guests. And more than anything, radio shows are easier to do because you don’t need to worry about your facial expressions. I quite often just zone out. (laughs) I also like that you don’t need to pay attention to your make-up or hair. I feel like I’m suffocating when I’m wearing make-up.
Hoya: I think Dong Woo would do fine if he were to become the host of a radio show right away. But I think it’d be better if we hosted a show together. Maybe 10 p.m. which is prime time. I think our listeners would have an easy time sleeping afterwards because we both talk softly. (laughs)
Q. Are there any things you guys clash over? You two have completely different personalities. I’ve heard that Dong Woo, you’re a bit more relaxed and easy going, while Hoya, you only feels easy after preparing everything thoroughly.
Dong Woo: There’ve rather been no reasons to fight big. When there’s all seven of us, we sometimes miss on the opportunity to say what we want but now, we can say everything we want on the spot. So we apologize quickly and thank each other quickly too.
Hoya: We haven’t faced any problems, not even small ones. I actually think quite often that we have good chemistry. For example, there was a time when Dong Woo ordered his food first and I ordered mine afterwards, and it turns out that we’d both ordered the same things. These sorts of things happen a lot.
Q. Are there any things that you didn’t know about each other until you started working together as INFINITE H?
Hoya: That Dong Woo sleeps a lot. (laughs) I didn’t know this before. I hadn’t paid as much attention to him because when you have seven people always moving together, it’s just hard to keep track. But we’re busy as ever these days so it’s only natural that we also lack in sleep.
Dong Woo: I feel like Hoya had hidden and restrained something up till now. But that only means he has a lot to show. He’d held himself back while a member of INFINITE because there are limitations on stage. So I think he’s been able to show a lot about him through INFINITE H.
Photographer. Lee Jin Hyuk firstname.lastname@example.org
Translator. Jessica Kim