K-POP GIRL’s Dreamcatcher Interview, Discography
Our concept is “Nightmare.” At first, it was so terrifying that I screamed. Kya!
Dreamcatcher (commonly called Deukae) is a 7-member Korean girl group that made its debut in January of 2017. Their arrival was an impactful one. Though there are countless girl groups in Korea, they generally fall into a few categories: the innocent type, the sexy type, or the so-called girl crush type. However, Dreamcatcher put forth ‘Nightmare’ as their concept, refusing to fall into any of these categories.
The music video for their debut title, Chase Me, is horror themed, and features the ghosts of 7 beautiful girls that appear in an old hotel. Everything about the dance track, laced with a strong rock beat, from its heavy metal style guitar sounds, sinister pianos, to its emotional vocals, was fresh and shocking. Even in their music show appearances, Dreamcatcher kept their performances cold and threatening.
Even so, I didn’t fall for Dreamcatcher on first sight. It was at K-CON (a convention that showcases Korean culture, with a focus on K-Pop), held in Bakuhari on May 2017, that I fell for their charm. It was Dreamcatcher’s first time in Japan, and before the main stage, they performed on the convention stage for about 30 minutes. In addition to Chase Me and Good Night, the girls also sang ballads. Their ability to express – their near-perfect group dances, as well their vocal mastery—had done me in.
Not only that, the girls, so cold and threatening on stage, were unbelievably cheerful and friendly off stage. This gap is also charming. It’s better if you just see them in real life. You have to see them in real life.
Dreamcatcher is made up of 7 members, starting with the Leader, JiU, there’s SuA, Siyeon, Yoohyeon, Dami, Gahyeon and the Chinese member Handong. They have diligently built their career in Korea, being nominated as a candidate for first place on music shows with YOU AND I (May, 2018) and again with What (September, 2018). Between 2017 and 2018, they toured in Europe and Latin America. Dreamcatcher is a rising star, with a growing popularity overseas.
In that period, after meticulous preparations, they finally made their debut in Japan on November 2018. We interviewed the girls during their stay in Japan at that time.
images that feel like being in nightmares
Yoohyeon, seated closest, was whispering things into the microphone of the recorder. As such, the interview started with her que.
YH: Interview Start!
-First, can you introduce yourselves as a group?
ALL: (In Japanese) One, two, Hello! We are Dreamcatcher!
-Great! Could you also introduce yourselves individually?
YH: I am the Lead vocal and the puppy of Dreamcatcher, Yoohyeon.
DM: I’m the rapper of the group, Dami.
HD: I’m the cat of Dreamcatcher, Handong. I’m a vocal.
JU: I am the Leader of the group, JiU.
SA: I am the main dancer of Dreamcatcher, Kim SuA!
GH: I am the lovely Maknae of Dreamcatcher, Gahyeon.
SY: I am Dreamcatcher’s main vocal, Siyeon.
-I noticed you were all trying to pronounce Dreamcatcher in the Japanese way (Kyatcha-).
JU: Thank you! (laugh)
YH: That’s a relief.
-This is our first interview, so let’s start with the basics. First, what is Dreamcatcher’s concept?
-So what does that mean? (laugh)
JU: On stage, our performances are somewhat dark and very charismatic. We show everyone images that feel like being in nightmares. That’s our concept.
-When you first heard of this concept, how did you feel about it?
SA: At first, I wasn’t sure how to embody the concept. I couldn’t get a feeling for it.
YH: I thought that we’d be doing a bright concept for sure, so I was surprised that it was so dark. I thought it would be somewhat difficult.
-However, it is a concept that is uniquely yours.
SY: Exactly. I think we present a team colour that no other group shares.
JU: At first, it was so terrifying that I screamed. Kya! (laugh)
-Your debut was amazing, with the lead single being Chase Me. How did the guests and listeners respond to the song?
JU: We were worried, but the response was more positive than we thought. We were told that the choreography felt fresh, that the song felt new. The part where we grab our hair during the dance was also well received.
-The music video also felt new and different. Chase Me and GOOD NIGHT seemed to be connected. Were they filmed at around the same time?
ALL: They were filmed separately.
SY: When the promotion for ‘Chase Me’ was almost over, we filmed the GOOD NIGHT music video.
-Were they filmed at the same location?
YH: No. They were filmed on different sets.
-Ah, I see.
JU: The director (Digipendi) was the same person.
-In the music video, Jo Donghyeok, the actor who starred in dramas such as “Bad Guys” makes an appearance. Within the video, what is his relationship with Dreamcatcher?
SA: He is the ‘Nightmare Hunter,’ who tries to catch us.
JU: So you could say that Mr. Donghyeok is our enemy.
-In the end, Dreamcatcher wins.
SY: Yes. We trap him in the mirror.
This is us, completed
– on May 17th, after the release of GOOD NIGHT, you attended KCON in Japan. How was your first visit to Japan?
SY: While on the bus, I was looking at the buildings and the towns of Japan. It was as though I’d wandered into a fairy tale.
-Was it your first time in Japan, personally?
GH: It was my first time.
JU: I’d been to Japan with my family before.
-It was during this time that I first saw Dreamcatcher in real life. You were unbelievably cute, your dances were great, and you sang well. I fell in love with you girls.
ALL: Oh! Thank you! (Clap)
-At the time, you sang ballads too. I thought ‘wow, they sing ballads well too.’
SA: Did we sing a ballad number at KCON?
-Not during the main performance. It was on the convention stage.
ALL: Ah! Thank you.
-Moving on, Let’s talk about Fly High. Looking at the music video, it seems to take place before Chase Me.
ALL: Yes it does.
-The music video was mysterious, but the CD booklet felt a bit refreshing.
SY: We have two concepts. The album has two versions, one for each concept.
SA: The album’s concept is us before we became nightmares.
-I’ve heard that you got cursed for killing the spider in the music video, or something like that.
JU: We didn’t mean to kill it. We were curious about what it was, and the spider got killed while we were looking at it through a magnifying glass. By its curse, we became Nightmares.
-In a sense, your origin story is like Spiderman’s, then.
ALL: Ah. (Laugh)
-Also, you have been on world tour since September. How has it been? Which place left the deepest impression?
GH: At Columbia, our fans came to meet us at the airport. They screamed loudly, and warmly welcomed us. That was memorable.
YH: Since Japan was the first concert of the tour, I found Japan memorable.
-Next up is YOU AND I. I felt that YOU AND I basically completed Dreamcatcher’s concept, in terms of the makeup, fashion, choreography and musical style. What do you think?
YH: I felt the same way.
JU: Definitely. During the production, I really thought that this was us, completed.
-In ‘YOU AND I’, Dami revealing the stick while rapping was very memorable. Weren’t there times when you dropped the stick?
DM: During the actual shows, nothing happened. But during rehearsals, the stick sometimes wouldn’t open, or get flung up high. It was pretty hard.
-In the same vein, every member waving a scarf during the dance was also very memorable. Didn’t you drop it at times?
ALL: Ahh. (Laugh)
JU: During the live shows, we are in such a hurry that one time, I forgot to take the scarf with me. I did the dance while pretending to have the scarf. (Laugh)
-With “Nightmare: Escape the ERA”, the album that contains YOU AND I, you reached 7th place on the Billboard world album charts. Aren’t you gaining popularity worldwide?
JU: We are just so grateful for it.
YH: With YOU AND I, we were also nominated as a candidate for first place on a music show for the first time.
-Ah, yes. You can also vote for that music program in Japan using a smartphone app. I voted too.
Being able to interact in Japanese would be beautiful
-You made your splendid formal debut in Japan with “What – Japanese ver.” Could you tell us more about the track for Japanese listeners?
JU: ‘What’ is an addictive song that combines Symphony with Rock, conveying a powerful message.
-The Japanese music video was very similar to the Korean version. Were they made at the same time?
SY: We filmed on the same day.
-Does that mean that by the time of your comeback in Korea, the Japanese version was also completed?
JU: We prepared for both versions at the same time.
-I see. The regular version of this album also contains “I Miss You”, your first original Japanese song. What are your feelings towards this track?
ALL: We love it!
-‘I Miss You’ feels like it would be very moving at concerts.
JU: Yes. It is a special number, being our first original Japanese song. If we could perform on a concert in Japan, that would make it a very special day.
-Now that you’ve debuted in Japan, what are Dreamcatcher’s ambitions?
JU: Ambitions? (Laugh) I want us to do be able to do a Dome tour.
SA: I’ve heard that Korean styles and fashion have become popular in Japan. If possible, I want to become something of an icon in fields like makeup or fashion. I also want to be involved in those fields.
YH: I think it’d be beautiful if I was able to communicate and interact with Japanese Somnies in Japanese. I want work hard to be able to do more in Japanese.
YH: The end!
Dreamcatcher released their 4th mini album, “The End of Nightmare” on February 13th. They are currently energetically promoting with the lead track, “PIRI.” At the time of this being written, they were already nominated as a candidate for first place on a music show. Sadly, they did not win first place. It would be great if they won first place by the time this book gets published. In addition, around the time of this book’s release, on March 13th, the Japanese version of PIRI will be released. On May, the group’s Asian tour, “INVITATION FROM NIGHTMARE CITY”, which goes through 6 cities in 5 countries, is planned. As part of the tour, Dreamcatcher will hold concerts in Tokyo on May 2nd, and in Kobe on May 4th. Opportunities to meet Dreamcatcher in Japan will continue, it seems. You need to see Dreamcatcher in real life!
November 23rd, Bunkyou-ku, Kawaguchi.
Label: Happyface (Kor)
Lead Track: Chase Me
The first installment of the Nightmare series is a shocker that set Dreamcatcher’s image. In the Lead Track, Chase Me, the members lead the listeners into a dream, while playing mischiefs on them. They provoke us, telling us to “Catch me.” But try as we might to capture them, they slip through our fingers, and play more tricks on us. They sensually grab their hair, as if to goad us, saying “try to touch even one hair on my head.” The track exhilaratingly gallops towards the end, utilizing metal sounds. In a sea of undistinguishable girl groups, Dreamcatcher successfully manages to set itself apart.
Nightmare: Fall asleep in the mirror
Label: Happyface (Kor)
Lead Track: GOOD NIGHT
Dreamcatcher toys with us again in the second installment of the Nightmare series. If you just listen, you are sure to be encaptivated in a blissful state of sleep paralysis, unable to wake up from the terrifying dream. The Lead track, GOOD NIGHT, convinced fans who suspected Metal to be a gimmick, of the sincerity of the members towards Metal. Though the seven members openly admit to being fans of BABYMETAL, they are no simple followers. Fierce sounds, the horror concept, and the dynamic choreography blend together to open up a new playing field that is unique to Dreamcatcher. Lullaby, a track that seems to calm and gently comfort the listener, is on the B-side.
Label: Happyface (Kor)
Lead Track: Fly High
Released as Dreamcatcher marked their sixth month, their first EP serves as a prequel to their two previous singles. It goes back to a time when the members were all students living in the same dormitory, and shows us how the Nightmare series began. The lead track “Fly High” was written by SEION, the hit maker for female singers. Under his influence, the track features a sprinting feeling, instead of the darkness of the previous singles. It would fit perfectly as an opening theme for an anime. It widens the spectrum of the Nightmare series. On the B-side, Sleep-walking, a song that could be called “the golden standard for lives”, which features cool Drum-and-Bass tunes, and ‘It’s Okay!’ a rock ballad number that comforts fans, are listed.
Nightmare – Escape the ERA
Label: Happyface (Kor)
Lead Track: You and I
Yoohyeon burning the spider to death was the start of everything… This much was revealed in the previous track, Fly High. This time, Yoohyeon is cursed by the spider, which transformed into a woman. The spider woman takes over her body. To free Yoohyeon, the members form a circle and perform a ritual. On stage, this is translated into magic. It’s like watching Princess Tenko’s (a Japanese female magician) illusions! Dami’s stick tricks and the seemingly magical scarf dance of the members bring Metallic K-Pop into a whole new dimension.
Alone in The City
Label: Happyface (Kor)
Lead Track: What
In the previous album, Dreamcatcher ended an era of the Nightmare series which focused on the killing of the spider, which happened when the members were young. The Nightmare series enters a new ERA with the lead track of this album, ‘What.’ Even in the visual images which were released before the album, the members, with the night streets of Shinzuku and Shibuya as the background, hint at a new theme. That theme being the distress of young adults living in the cities. Dreamcatcher’s clothing, which had been unified up to this point, became more vivid, rock-inspired and individualized for each member. Dreamcatcher renews its image and conveys a strong will to free oneself from the nightmares of modern life through hard sounds.
What – Japanese Ver.-
Label: Ponycanyon (Jap)
Lead Track: What -Japanese ver.-
On July 2018, during their Tokyo performance, Dreamcatcher announced their upcoming official Japanese debut, to the excitement of fans. 4 months later, their Japanese debut single, ‘What -Japanese ver.- was released. The sound remained identical to the Korean version, and the lyrics also stayed true to the original Korean lyrics. However, the Japanese music video had subtle changes added, making comparison between the two versions interesting. You can enjoy two tastes with one bite! The B-Side contains the Japanese version of Chase Me. Thus, their first Japanese single contains the song that represents the first two installments of the Nightmare series. With this ‘Best of Dreamcatcher’-esque album, which contains both the starting point and the Latest installment (at the time of writing), Dreamcatcher makes a strong debut.
The End of Nightmare
Label: Dreamcatcher (Kor)
Lead Track: PIRI
This is the End of the Nightmare Series. The intro elevates your expectations to the max with Drum-and-Bass sounds, and then the album explodes into excitement with the lead track, PIRI. “PIRI” means flute in Korean. On top of a heavily electronic rock base, the flute sounds used in the chorus add a folky taste. Another point of note is Sub vocal Gahyeon creating freshness overload with a cool rap part. Suffering from solitude and uncertainty, Dreamcatcher sends out an SOS call through the sound of the flute. But nobody realizes, and the nightmare known as solitude comes to an end. But the Nightmare isn’t quite over. The End of Nightmare was merely a prologue for the nightmare that is the second Japanese single.
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