Dreamcatcher with the ‘Nightmare’ concept. What is the mystery of the ‘hey’?
Photography: Ogasabara Masaki (stills) Chiba Satoru (Video) Article: Yi Soohee – 2019.4.8
Since their debut in January 2017, Dreamcatcher has stood out as a unique group in the K-Pop scene, featuring the “Nightmare” concept while singing and dancing to Metallic rock sounds. Employing heavy sounds and armed with vocal and performance skills to match, as well as music videos with strong story elements, they have gained worldwide recognition. In just 5 months after their debut, they had grown enough to hold world tours that included Asia, Europe, and Latin America. They made their much-awaited Japanese debut last November with 「What-Japanese ver.-」. On March 13th, we interviewed Dreamcatcher members as「PIRI～笛を吹け～-Japanese ver.-」was released. We talked about the charm of Dreamcatcher as a group.
From the left, Siyeon, Gaheyon, Handong, SuA, JiU, Yoohyeon, Dami.
–‘PIRI ~Fue wo Fuke~ -Japanese ver.-’ is your second Japanese single. What is the song like?
JU: ‘PIRI ~Fue wo Fuke~ -Japanese ver.-’ is a song that expresses the loneliness that people face in modern times. The song depicts an attempt to escape the Nightmare, which is also our concept.
SA: To relieve the stress and melancholy of modern life, listen to our song, ‘PIRI ~Fue wo Fuke~ -Japanese ver.-’. We hope it helps reduce stress, even if it’s just a little bit!
–The song was a big hit in Korea as well. Are there any stories from during the recording or the Korean promotions?
SA: This was a song that got us excited even as we were recording, and a song that allowed us to realize just how much we’d grown. We were nominated as a candidate for first place in music shows in Korea, though we sadly didn’t win. Even so, it was a valuable chance for us to get a feeling for our growth. The song also got us excited for our next promotion.
JU: There are parts where we say ‘hey!’ in the song. We say it on stage as well. On one music show, during this part, the voice of only one of us got broadcast. And it was a very threatening voice, too. (Laugh) The fans were also making a big deal about whose voice that was. We actually still don’t know whose voice that was. It wasn’t me, though.
SA: It wasn’t me either! Maybe it’s Yoohyeon.
JU: I think it’s Dami!
SY: Wasn’t it Gahyeon? She said herself, ‘It’s probably me.’
GH: Ehh. But it still could be someone else.
JU: Then let’s just leave it at this being a mystery forever. (Laugh)
SY: When we were recording that part, we thought doing it normally wouldn’t be any fun, so all seven of us did the part in seven different voices. That was fun.
JiU Leader, Sub vocal. Born on May 17th 1994, 167cm, Blood type: B, Assigned Nightmare: The dream where you are chased by someone.
–About Dreamcatcher, your concept of catching nightmares is a unique one. Are you happy with the concept?
YH: When I first heard that our concept was ‘Nightmare’, I honestly was concerned. How in the world would we express it? But once we did it, it was so much fun.
(Laugh) There really aren’t any other groups that go with such a different concept, so I think it helps us be noticed. In the past, I didn’t really listen to rock on my own, but as our promotions went on, I’ve come to really like rock!
SY: From the time I first heard of the concept, I thought it would fit us perfectly! I also personally like impassive expressions. I knew there would be someone out there who would see the charm of this concept.
SA: I feel that the Nightmare concept goes very well with metal and rock. Also, I think that thanks to this concept, our facial expressions turn out cooler, chic, and scarier. There are people who say they don’t really want to watch our music videos because they are scary. When I hear something like that, I feel just a little bit happy. (Laugh)
JU: Also, while ‘PIRI ~Fue wo Fuke~ -Japanese ver.-‘ is a rock song, it’s catchier than the songs before it. I think it’s a song that can reach people who haven’t heard of Dreamcatcher until now. Dreamcatcher’s basis is rock. But we think we proved that we can present diverse styles of music to everyone.
Yoohyeon Lead vocal Born on January 7th 1997, 168cm, Blood type: O, Nightmare assigned: The dream where you wander unknown places.
–When I think of Dreamcatcher, the guitar riffs and the beautiful melodies stand out. What are the charms that Dreamcatcher offers as a group?
GH: Dreamcatcher is cool just for being Dreamcatcher! Friends told me that ‘your group is good at everything.’ Being thought of like that made me really happy, and boosted my confidence!
YH: Musically, our songs are rock based, so the strong vocals and sounds in them are charming.
JU: We think it’s great when we can get fans curious! For instance, the story is an important part of our music videos. If you watch them while thinking about the storyline, you’ll become a Dreamcatcher fanatic before you know it. (Laugh) In terms of our music, we covered many different genres outside of rock, so there’s bound to be one song that you like.
DM: The fact that all of us are eager to learn is another charm of Dreamcatcher! We are never content to stay where we are now. We train ourselves to do what we want to do and try new things. Even as a member, that’s awesome!
SY: I think the gap between us on stage and us off stage is charming! When we do interviews like this, we’re often told that we’re cheerful and energetic, unlike how we look on stage. (Laugh) I think it’s fun how different we are on and off stage.
JU: Also, the fact that the members are as close as family!
SY: We’re often told that we’re like girl’s school students, because we don’t pretend to be innocent at all. (Laugh)
HD: I think every member is cute off stage. (Laugh) Especially Siyeon. She has a fierce look in her eyes on stage, making her look almost scary. But she’s actually cute and jokes around a lot off stage. Everyone likes eating, and also likes talking.
DM: I think JiU’s like that too. On stage, she’s a perfectionist. But off stage, she’s unexpectedly clumsy. (Laugh) Also, she usually likes to wear comfortable clothes. And though she may not look it, she’s the biggest eater among us.
JU: I’m not picky. I eat anything!
SA: Everyone isn’t afraid to try new foods. Even when we’re overseas, we eat well. We clean off our plates and don’t leave leftovers. (Laugh)
JU: Yesterday, we had Tendong, and it was so good. But it felt like I’d gain weight if I ate too much of it.
Siyeon Main vocal Born on October 1st, 1995, 166cm, Blood type: A, Assigned Nightmare: The dream where you are confined to a small place
–Yesterday’s events were the first you held in Japan in a while. How did it go?
JU: We met our Japanese fans for the first time in a long time. They are always warm. Whenever we meet them, they make us feel happy. We’re so thankful!
–You must be realizing how popular you are in Japan by now. Are there any memorable stories?
GH: We were out shopping in Osaka when a fan recognized and approached us. At the time, I was surprised that there were people in Japan who knew us.
DM: Yesterday, a fan recognized us while we were waiting to get on the car, so we waved at them. For me, that was memorable.
SY: With this song, we reached 8th place on the Oricon chart! It’s the first time we’ve entered the top 10 on the Oricon chart. I truly realized how much support our fans give us, and decided that we needed to work harder!
SA: When we went to Tower Records to do autographs, our album was sold out! It made me realize how popular we were. Yodel-ay-hee-hoo! Ah, please include the Yodel-ay-hee-hoo in the article!
SuA Main dancer, Sub vocal, Lead rapper Born on August 10th, 1994, 162cm, Blood type: O, Assigned Nightmare: The dream where you can’t move your body
–I will. (Laugh) What are you looking forward to during your time in Japan?
JU: The food, of course! The food in Japan tastes good and the plating is also pretty. The bentos are also plentiful. I always look forward to it!
DM: I look forward to the food, too. I really like the convenience store foods! When I go to convenience stores, I’m always checking for new products. Yesterday, I bought two and they were both great. Yoohyeon generally doesn’t eat food she hasn’t seen before. But this time, she took and ate what I was eating. (Laugh)
YH: It was something made of Sunagimo (Chicken gizzard) I think. It was totally delicious.
JU: There’s something that I want to ask. Do Japanese people also go to convenience stores every day?
–The people who go frequently seem to go every day.
JU: So it’s similar to Korea!
Gahyeon Sub vocal Born on February 3rd 1999, 160cm, Blood type: AB, Assigned Nightmare: The dream where you fall from high places
–Though in Korea, convenience stores have areas to cook ramen, as well as seats where you can eat food. In Japan, stores like that are hard to come by.
SY: Japanese convenience store food is so good, though! Ah, I look forward to talking in Japanese. I like the Japanese language, and when I speak in Japanese, I feel like I get better at it more quickly.
–Is there a Japanese word that you memorized during your stay?
SY: Um… Let’s see. (in Japanese) I can’t remember… Ah, tonari(隣: adjacent, neighbor)! I memorized tonari.
Dami Main rapper. Born on March 7th 1997, 163cm, Blood type: A, Assigned Nightmare: The dream where you get hurt
–You always sport fierce looking makeup on stage. Usually, what kind of makeup do you like to put on? Is there a type of makeup that you want to try this spring?
JU: I like to do my cheeks. I want to try the famous Japanese Igari makeup in various colours. Maybe purple. Wouldn’t that be great!
HD: I’m very interested in makeup. This spring, you can’t miss pearl colors!
GH: But Handong always likes pearl colors, not just during spring! (Laugh)
HD: Yes, yes. (Laugh) Pearl makeup is the proof of one’s resolve. Cheeks are also important. For the color, I like coral.
GH: I like Peach Pink. It looks fresh, and I think it fits my face well. I try to make my makeup look natural.
SA: These days, it feels like matte has become less popular while glossy lips are back in fashion.
JU: In lip care, lip balm has become less popular while lip plumpers are in. They make your lips more pouty.
GH: In addition to lip plumpers, I like putting on glossy lipstick. I can’t do it on stage, though. My hair gets stuck. (Bitter laughter)
DM: I’m okay. (Laugh) I’m not that into makeup. Usually, I’m often not wearing any makeup. Still, I don’t like my lips being dry, so I never forget using lip balm. Recently, I really liked a honey colored lipstick that a Japanese fan gave me. I ended up ordering more of it online. (Laugh)
YH: Since it’s spring, I want to try putting on cherry blossom stickers!
Handong Sub vocal Born on March 26th 1996, 165cm, Blood type: O, Assigned Nightmare: The dream where you are watched by someone
–How do you spend your days off?
DM: These days, I’ve started composing, so I often stay in the practice room alone, playing the piano.
JU: I generally spend holidays with my family. We have meals, take foot baths, and eat delicious food together. Now I’m talking about food again. (Laugh)
SY: It’s springtime, right? So I want to go hiking. The weather’s great too, so I also want to relax on a terrace of a cafe, maybe drinking some coffee.
SA: Again with the hiking talk!
JU: She’s talked about going hiking before, but she hasn’t gone hiking yet. (Laugh)
SY: But nobody wants to go with me!
GH: On holidays, I want to get up late. After sleeping in, maybe go get a massage, or go out with friends. I want to eat something good, or go to an amusement park. I haven’t been to an amusement park in Japan yet. We did stay in a hotel that was right in front of one, though.
YH: On off days, I don’t want to get up from bed. Watching movies in my warm bed is the best!
HD: Whenever we get days off, I go eat chinese food. Though I usually go with friends, on days when I just have to eat it, I’ll go alone. (Laugh)
GH: Handong is the one who makes the most of her off days. By the time I get up, she’s already gone. (Laugh)
HD: Not every day’s a holiday. I’ve got to enjoy it!
SA: If we can get a long holiday, I want to go travelling. Though I’ll probably just stay in bed while thinking that I want to go travelling. (Laugh)
–Lastly, can you set forth the strong points of Dreamcatcher for readers who haven’t heard of Dreamcatcher before?
JU: Everyone, you’re really missing out! You’re wasting half your life! Not having heard of Dreamcatcher songs. (Laugh) It’s still not too late. Please try listening to them once. It might just change your life!