Aug 2020 ImpactStar: Dreamcatcher, The Navigator
Dreamcatcher, the Navigator
Loved for their well-defined concepts and strong world-building, Dreamcatcher is a group that continues to grow by cutting out a place for itself. The meaningful moments they experienced represent the group itself while linking into their path for the future. Thus, Dreamcatcher sets its own direction and wades onwards in a uniquely Dreamcatcher world.
We are glad that <Impact STAR> could be the first magazine to feature Dreamcatcher as its cover model. How was the shoot?
SY: It was so much fun. We tried out new styles, and I was thankful for the kind words they gave us on site.
SA: I really wanted us to do a photo shoot, and I’m so glad that <Impact STAR> could be our first magazine!
JU: It’s our first time being cover models. Thank you for giving us a great opportunity. It was a meaningful time, being able to share pretty moments with the members.
GH: Hehe, It was great, trying on new styles!
YH: We tried bright colored clothes during the photo shoot, and it was so much fun to take pictures with those on.
We showcased a side of Dreamcatcher different from the charismatic look you have on-stage. What are the Dreamcatcher members like in real life?
SA: Off stage, Dreamcatcher is laughing all the time and is filled with friendliness.
DM: We’re all very different. We all rest and play differently but when we’re all together we get along so well and it’s always fun.
SY: All 7 of us are overflowing with so much energy that it can be overwhelming. Many people say that we’re different from what they expected. But we are serious when we need to be. When we practice our performances, we often tell each other that they look cool.
JU: When we’re focused on work, we’re charismatic professionals. But outside of that, we’re actually really soft. We get hurt easily so we try to be considerate to each other. But we’re chaotic, too. That’s our charm.
GH: Haha, we’re so loud and boisterous when we’re together so we let out all the darkness in us when we’re on stage.
YH: We’re all very different, but nobody is like the agressive ‘I-will-eat-you’ persona we put on on-stage.
You are keeping yourselves busy with video call fansigns and an online concert, even while on break.
SY: It’s been so long since we got to meet our fans so we’re trying to see them often online at least. And we’re busily working on our next album. We want to meet the fans as soon as possible being even better than before.
SA: We’re working hard on the next comeback so that we can look good to the Somnies.
JU: Getting to see our fans with online fansigns and the online concert was great. We also got to work on music for a video game advertisement, so we’re having a fun time.
YH: We’re working hard on improving ourselves as well. For me, I’m working especially hard on my English. I wonder what the overseas fans think of my English.
You directly interacted with fans through the online concert. It must have been a special memory. How did you feel?
DM: It gave us a great opportunity to reach out to fans who wouldn’t have come to see us otherwise!
SY: It was certainly different, but it was sad that we couldn’t show them our performances directly after preparing lots of great stages. I missed the cheers and the encore calls. Still, it was like coming back to life, giving them performances in real-time. The best part was reading the letters our fans left on our fancafe after the concert.
SA: Though the cheers of a real concert venue were missing, we could still vividly feel their support coming through bluetooth. I would look into the camera imagining I was making eye contact with every Somnia watching us perform.
JU: As the time we’re barred from meeting the Somnies continues to grow longer, we’re realizing more and more the seriousness of the Covid-19 situation. We can still interact with them through the internet, but I miss the time when we could have fun performing and interacting directly.
GH: It was a shame that we couldn’t be with the fans on-site, but being able to share one emotion with Somnies all over the world was great.
YH: It will go down as a unique memory. Having no audience was sad, but I remember the on-site staff rocking out hard in their place.
Due to the Covid-19 situation, you are being forced to go on stage with no live audience while more and more fan events are being turned into online ones. Promoting without the fans must be saddening to a singer.
SY: I want to hear the screams and cheers as we perform again as soon as possible. Our performances feel incredible when you see them directly. Still, I try to enjoy the things that can only happen in times like these. There’re so many new things. Among recent experiences, the video call fansign was really novel. I mean, when will I ever get the chance to have a video call with fans if not in times like this? (Laughs) Like so, I’m trying to look at the bright side and console myself.
JU: I miss the Somnies so much. I realized again that the Somnies were what made us shine so beautifully on stage.
The member Handong is currently staying in China, unable to return to Korea due to the Covid-19 situation. You had to promote your first full album with 6 members, without Handong, in April due to this. We recently saw Handong saying that she missed the members and the fans on Vlive.
DM: I watched that Vlive in real-time, and it was great to see a non-static image of Handong after such a long time. If I felt that happy, I had to imagine how excited the fans must have been.
SY: Throughout the last promotion, we kept talking about how sad it was to have no fans and no Dongie. I just hope Dongie returns to our arms safely. Dongie, we miss you so much!
SA: It’s upsetting that the time we spend apart from Handong got so much longer than expected. Dongie’s place is still here, so I just hope she returns in good health. Come back safely, Dongdong!
GH: I especially miss her because we were roommates.
YH: She must be in a slump, but she’s been getting through it and interacting with us and fans. I’m so thankful.
JU: We’re waiting for the day that Dongie returns to take her place once again. I miss her so much.
The top 3 countries subscribed to Dreamcatcher’s Vlive channel are the US, Indonesia and Brazil. With your well-defined identity and world-building, Dreamcatcher has garnered popularity not just domestically but internationally as well. What do you yourselves think are the reasons for your popularity?
DM: I’m convinced that it’s our powerful performances, good music and cool music videos. (Laughs)
SY: It has to be our unique musical color. Metal-based music and our powerful performances, along with storytelling elements, are what make us shine.
SA: It’s always interesting to be told that we are popular overseas. On Vlive, you can often see us members having fun and playing around with each other as we always do off stage. I think they enjoy how well we get along with each other.
JU: The fact that our musical elements and our concepts go so well together is probably a big strength of ours. I know it’s our own music but I feel that our songs contain so many emotions. On top of that, the individuality of each member standing out so clearly while still meshing as a team is probably our biggest strength. Haha.
YH: Rock as a genre is more popular overseas, and isn’t seen often within K-pop. I guess that’s why they got interested in our team.
Thanks to you telling the Nightmare storyline, which started with your debut and ended recently, through rock, you command a large, dedicated fanbase even domestically. The team’s clear identity is helping drive Dreamcatcher forward.
JU: I think that the fact we continue on in the Rock genre while mixing in different genres with each new lead track is a strength of ours. We have a clear identity but are ready to take on any concept. That is the strength of Dreamcatcher as a team.
YH: We’re great at taking on concepts. Dreamcatcher’s concept couldn’t have fallen into abler hands. (Laughs)
GH: On top of that, the members share great chemistry and are all proud of the team. That helps further promote synergy.
DM: There’s a certain intensity within the softness, and our eyes look very much alive. That’s us.
The game industry has become the strongest supporter of Dreamcatcher’s concept. Last year, you released an album in collaboration with the mobile game <King’s Raid>, and then you were recently chosen as the models for the mobile shooting game <Girl Cafe Gun>. To continuously find collaborations within one field goes to show how firm Dreamcatcher’s direction is.
SY: Shortly after our debut, we once were asked if there were any goals we wanted to achieve. We answered that we wanted to participate in video game music or anime OSTs. I’m very happy and feel honored that we seem to be reaching our goals one by one.
SA: It’s fun because the collaborations seem to bring out a different energy in us. I hope this type of collaboration projects keep coming. I also want to try advertising different things, like makeup products or food. It’d be a chance to show people new sides of Dreamcatcher.
Including your collaboration projects with other industries, Dreamcatcher always seems to break expectations. Manish suits, costumes reminiscent of shamans, goth-style stage costumes, you are known as a trailblazer for challenging concepts. Is there something you long to try that you have not before?
DM: Trying new things is always fun. If we get the chance, I want to try a Hanbok-style swordsman costume!
SA: Having a clear team color is a difficult thing. So I want us to keep experimenting with new elements while maintaining our color. If we get the chance, I want us to perform with a live band.
JU: There are a few storylines that Dami wrote for our concept, and one of them was a phantom thief concept. I’m convinced that it’ll be a great concept for us. It’s one concept that I’m desperate for us to try.
YH: Personally, I want to release another track with a twist like one of our previous songs, ‘Fly High’. Twists are always fun!
It is interesting that you write stories for your concepts. Do the members take an active role in building your stages and performances?
DM: You bet. While coming up for the choreography for <PIRI>, a past song of ours, we said we wanted to have a part where we all advance, standing in a straight line. That made it into the choreography. Apart from our lead tracks, we also try out things we wanted to do with the individual and unit performances of our concerts. To us, letting our individuality show itself is the most important thing.
SY: We’re always saying, “let’s take it further than our previous album!” We voice our opinions so that the music, the choreography and the styling don’t look similar to our past songs.
SA: We often participate in the creation of the songs, the choreography, and the costumes. Our opinions generally fit together well so it’s easy to put them together.
YH: We especially want our dances to be intense, so we prefer packing in moves with each beat to having parts we can rest in.
Dreamcatcher is known as a ‘sharp group-dance group’ and as such, you are proud of your performances. Tangible achievements are now following your reputation. Your most recent lead track <Scream> was received very well, even getting nominated for 1st place.
SY: It was a happy promotion for the compliments we got from the broadcasting staff and our colleagues. It made me realize we were getting lots of love.
SA: We always want our performances to keep getting more and more grand and cool. <Scream> was a release that made our choreography much grander than before, and I felt happy that lots of people recognized the effort we put in to achieve that. Getting nominated gave us a boost of confidence, too.
DM: It was the lead track of our first full album, so lots of people put in their best effort for the song. It was our first time doing group dances with dancers but it worked out so well, and our b-sides were also satisfactory. The hair, the makeup, and the costumes were ‘just right’. It’s just a shame we couldn’t perform it in front of the Somnies.
YH: It was a track that let me see Dreamcatcher’s further growth, so I was happy. It also made me want to work even harder in the future. I want to express my current mindset with a song. ‘I’ll show you, my fully grown self’(Ailee’s ‘I’ll Show You’) Haha. Look forward to us continuing to grow.
You will soon be able to see that growth for yourselves. We hear that you plan for a summer comeback. What side of Dreamcatcher can we look forward to seeing in the new album?
DM: The ‘Scream’ music video ended with a ‘to be continued’, so look forward to it imagining how the story will be extended.
JU: The story will probably continue from the ‘fruit of the trees’ which started the story of the last album. Won’t we do something so that the tree can stop bearing black fruits and begin bearing white fruits? Haha, please look forward to it.
YH: You can look forward to seeing us being even more intense. Think about how ‘dark’ we can go.
You are now in your 4th year as a group. What is the most memorable thing to happen to you in that time?
DM: The birthday fanmeet was the most memorable. I had to do everything alone, from performances to being an emcee. I was nervous and made mistakes, but it was a fun experience.
SY: For me, it’s the moments that we got nominated for wins. That means we at least came in at 2nd place. (Laughs) I’m also thankful for the fans who poured in time and effort behind the scenes to get us in that spot.
SA: The concerts were the most memorable. Every concert gives me a rush of endorphins and makes me the happiest person in the world.
JU: For me, the biggest memory is that of the ‘InSomnia’ fanclub launch event. When I look back, lots of things happened before that launch event, but the fact that I was with the Somnies made me tear up. It was half because of the difficulties we’d faced, and half because of how happy I was. I felt so thankful for the Somnies that I felt like I didn’t deserve them. It was a meaningful day for me in many ways.
GH: I want to say that it was our debut stage. The nervousness and excitement of that day is unforgettable.
YH: The online concert we tried recently sticks out in my memory. In times that felt rough because we couldn’t see the Somnies, the encouragements from our fans were what got us through that slump.
Dreamcatcher still has lots of charms that are yet to be discovered. Is there one element that you especially want to emphasize to those who still are not hooked on Dreamcatcher?
DM: I’d like people to listen to all of our b-side tracks. Each track shows off a different side of the members, so I recommend that you listen to all of them.
SA: Notice how we’ve grown even better at facial expression.
JU: Look out for ‘Dreamcatcher-ness’. We’re like a tree that can’t be shaken however strong the winds are. Please see how Dreamcatcher has grown while keeping true to being Dreamcatcher.
GH: I want people to know both the charismatic look we put on on-stage and how cheerful we are off stage!
YH: I just want people to see a Dreamcatcher performance once. We are that confident and proud of our on-stage performance.
SY: We always strive for perfection and achieve it. We’re a confident team, so look at us going on with confidence.
They say that confidence is the best weapon. Dreamcatcher’s biggest strength seems to be the confidence in you which stems from your skills. What dreams does Dreamcatcher want to work towards?
DM: I want us to sell out on even larger venues. Even better if the audience is holding our official light sticks!
SY: I want us to always move forward. I want us to embrace people with good stages, and comfort them with our singing. I want us to be great singers who give people strength.
SA: My dream and goal is for the story of Dreamcatcher to continue onwards and onwards without getting stopped.
JU: I really! Want us to get a win!
GH: I want us to be a ‘long-running’ team that can be remembered for a long time. Beyond that, I’d love the public noticing the charms of each member.
YH: I want us to grow even more, becoming more famous both domestically and internationally. My goal is for us to put on good performances on the end-of-year shows or award shows.
Any message you want to share with the fans waiting for your comeback?
DM: We’re working hard to show you a new look, so hold on just a bit longer. And don’t get sick!
SY: I hope you all stay healthy until we see each other again. The comeback is coming really soon, so I hope the Somnies have nothing but excitement and are happy. Love you!
SA: Whenever I think of the Somnies who work so hard for us, I feel so thankful and want to give them so much love. We’ll soon come back to you in great shape, so stay healthy and wait for us! Thank you and love you!
JU: The Somnies are so precious to me. When the Somnies are sick or sad, I feel sick or sad too, so be healthy and happy! Love you!
GH: The comeback is just around the corner so please wait just a bit longer. I want to see you soon! Thank you always!
YH: Like how we always get energy from you, I want us to be people who always give you strength. Did you know we love you? If you didn’t, please note that we do! (Laughs) Dreamcatcher will keep giving back to you with good performances!
Interviewer Kim Ye-seul
Photos Goo Hye-Jeong
Translation by 7-Dreamers Hojoon
Please do not take translation without credit
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