“7 girls who bring sweet dreams, Dreamcatcher”
Girls who sing rock have appeared. Refusing to fall into the dichotomy between pure and sexy that has taken over the music scene, the combination of rock and girl group summons a peculiar charm. We met Dreamcatcher, the seven girls who will present sweet dreams in the place of the nightmares they chase out.
Written by Kim Hee-eun Photography Park Geun-wan
Kim Minji/1994.5.17/Leader/Sub vocal
“Dreamcatchers have the meaning that they’ll give you good dreams. We want to give people a good feeling every time they listen to our music.”
Dreamcatcher made its debut early this year with ‘Chase Me’, choosing a genre rarely seen in girl groups. The basis of their concept is rock. The strong melodic tones, the precise group dance where the seven members move as though they are one person, and the mystic, fantastical atmosphere around them left a clear impression. The recent mini album <Prequel>, which includes the lead track ‘Fly High’, catches one’s eyes as it is filled with songs that brings the musical quality and popular appeal of their music up a notch. Showing off a beautiful yet dark charm, they attracted much attention domestically as well as overseas as soon as they made their debut. Maybe it is because of their name which means ‘girls who will chase away nightmares and give you good dreams’, but listening to their music makes one feel like slipping into an eternal sweet dream.
Please introduce yourselves individually.
JiU: I’m Dreamcatcher’s leader, JiU. I’m the redhead for our current promotion. (Laugh)
Yoohyeon: I’m the lead vocal Yoohyeon.
Siyeon: I’m the main vocal of Dreamcatcher, Siyeon.
Sua: I’m the main dancer, Sua.
Dami: I’m the rapper within the team, Dami.
Handong: I’m Handong from China. I’m a vocal within the team.
Gahyeon: I’m the sub vocal and the cutie maknae Gahyeon.
How was today’s photoshoot? Wasn’t it hard?
Sua: I’ve been really looking forward to the photoshoot. I was actually sad that it was over so quickly. I wanted to show off our cool image more. But it was still so so fun. It was the first photoshoot of this promotion, and I felt that the great synergy was worth the wait. Thanks to the photoshoot being done in two concepts, we had even more fun.
We’re curious about the meaning behind the team’s name, ‘Dreamcatcher’.
JiU: ‘Dreamcatcher’ is originally the name of an accessory made by native Americans. It has a sacred meaning that they’ll filter nightmares and give you good dreams if you hang them on windows or doors. We want to give people the feeling of good dreams when they listen to our music. Our team is telling a story that revolves around the ‘nightmare’. Three parts of the story have been released so far, with ‘Chase Me’, ‘GOOD NIGHT’, and ‘Fly High’. It’ll probably be easier to understand once you see the music videos.
Sua: To add a little, we are a girl group of a new concept that makes music of the rock genre, so listening to our albums will probably be very exciting.
There probably were many stories behind your debut.
Sua: We first debuted as a 5-member girl group called ‘Minx’, and there were many twists and turns until we were reborn as Dreamcatcher. It took a long time for the new members, Handong and Gahyeon, to join us, too. When we first practiced with the new members, it was difficult to coordinate with them, but thanks to the members being compliant, it’s become a lot better. Beyond everything, I want to praise ourselves for the great teamwork between the seven members.
How does ‘Dreamcatcher’ of today differ from ‘Minx’ of the past?
Siyeon: First off, our visible concept has been completely changed. When we were promoting as ‘Minx’, our concept felt like younger girls next door. Now we’re able to display a more mature, unexpected charm. Back then, our concept was cute and tomboyish. You’ll notice differences in in every aspect such as the team concept, the atmosphere, and the music.
It sounds like a fresh start and challenge. You are probably very determined.
JiU: We’re restarting as a new girl group, so we want to do better, more so than anyone else. We were ambitious in the past, but now even our mindset changed for the better. We’re practicing hard and putting in a lot of effort to get ourselves seen. We can’t expect to achieve much at once, but if we keep walking forward step by step, I’m sure we’ll see good results. Also, we’re glad that more and more people are recognizing our efforts.
What kind of song is your lead track, ‘Fly High’?
JiU: Our new track ‘Fly High’ starts with a beautiful piano melody and leaves a deep impression with powerful guitar sounds. Incorporating Dreamcatcher’s unique story into the lyrics made the song a more dramatic number. The concept may feel less intense than before as it presents two sides, the girl and nightmare. But once you know the whole storyline, you’ll understand.
Is there something that you are focusing on the most for this promotion?
Sua: There’s a lot of new makeup points, like putting shiny stickers under our eyes.
Siyeon: Personally, I worked hard on the expression. This time, our concept required us to express both the girl and the nightmare, so I had to embody both the purity of the girl and the evil of the nightmare in me, which was difficult.
Dami: I focused the most on the gestures. I’m always studying to do different gestures every stage.
It probably isn’t easy to do oversea promotions along with the domestic ones. How have the fans overseas been responding?
Yoohyeon: We went to a restaurant in France, and it was a place owned by Korean people. We didn’t think they would recognize us, and were focused on eating without thinking about our image. Then, our song began to play in the place. We realized ‘ah, they recognized us’. We were all surprised. They even requested autographs before we left so we gave it to them. I felt really proud.
JiU: When we visited Japan for promotions, we saw fans singing along to us and even crying. Seeing that made me realize again how love for music is without borders, and made me thankful towards our fans.
Sua: We’re going to do a long promotion in Japan this time. Seeing the love they showed us last time, we’ve prepared a larger promotion. (Laugh)
Let’s change the mood. Have you been to military units?
Gahyeon: I’ve done a show in a military unit when I was in middle school. Back then, I did the show without really knowing anything. Recently, when I went to do a show as a Dreamcatcher member, it was surprising how much they cheered for us. It felt different from back then.
JiU: Because of our dark concept, I thought that men wouldn’t like us very much. But they shouted ‘Deu! Rim! Kae! Cheo!’, cheered, blew whistles and clapped for us. I was really surprised. Someone even prepared a placard, which was surprising. It was touching how passionately they cheered for us.
Is there anyone who has a serviceperson in her family?
Sua: My older brother is serving as a gunnery sergeant in the marines. Maybe it’s because I’ve visited the military to see him before, but visiting military units felt familiar. Having seen how they train, I thought it looked very hard. Then I got to experience it firsthand, and it was very hard. We recently got to experience the training for K2 tanks, you see.
It was your first time on a tank, right? How did it feel?
JiU: It felt so hot and humid in the tank. It made me really appreciate how they protect our country. I want to give them energy through our shows.
[T/N it is not specified in the article who speaks]: That’s right. After being told we were going to experience training, I was very worried. But thanks to the soldiers who kindly explained it and looked after us, we got back safely. I want to go again if I’m given the chance.
Siyeon: It was a bit hard for me too, but it was fun. If programs like ‘Real Man’ return and I’m given the chance, I want to participate in them. I’m sure I can do well! (Laugh)
What do you usually do when you get free time?
Yoohyeon: I’ve gotten really into escape room games recently. I’ve been going with Gahyeon too. I managed to escape in just 20 minutes. I did well, right? There are places that have ‘dreamcatcher’ themed rooms as well.
JiU: I generally like playing mafia with the members or games like red light green light.
Sua: When fans give us board games, we play them at least once with all the members.
Gahyeon: We even have beyblades in our dorm. Do you know ‘Go shoot’? (Laugh)
With there being 7 members, funny things must happen frequently. Are there moments that stick out in your memory?
Siyeon: We all tend to talk a lot in our sleep. We even have conversations in our sleep sometimes.
JiU: There are times when I realize I’ve become very used to the members. I can’t wake up to the sound of my phone alarm, but I wake up to Siyeon or Dami’s voice saying ‘Unnie, get up.’ It’s really interesting. It means that us members are that close to each other, right? Living together, there’s a lot of episodes and funny happenings. It’s to the point that I can’t choose just one.
Going forward, as a team, how do you want to be remembered by fans?
JiU: I want us to be remembered as singers that fans can be proud of, and as the best group to our fans. They often tell us that watching us perform is thrilling. I don’t want to lose that. I want to keep showing them performances like that. We want to be singers that can give confidence to our fan’s shoulders!
Your goal for the year was to release 3 albums. Now that you’ve achieved that, do you have other goals?
Sua: Luckily, we’ve been able to achieve our first goal. While we have many goals,above anything else, I want us to continue on with our musical style while giving people songs of a higher musical quality. I also really want to perform in the year-end award ceremonies this year. I also want to win the Rookie of the year award if we get the chance. Lastly, I’d like all the members to be healthy and happy.
JiU: I’d like to make it into the top 100 in the charts, and I really want us to win first place with the new song. I want us to become the best as singers. Do I have too many goals? They’re big goals, but I think we can do them if we work hard.
Lastly, is there a message you’d like to give to servicepersons?
Siyeon: People call our songs ‘work songs’. Once you listen to our songs, you can’t stop working and have to continue. Please listen to our songs lots. (Laugh)
JiU: Servicepersons, thank you for your service for the country. We’ll work hard on our promotions, so I hope you’ll be able cheer yourselves up listening to our songs. Because of our dark concept, we’ve generally only shown you our charismatic side. Don’t be scared, approach us a bit and you’ll see our brighter side. Please look us up!