BIGBANG On Their Reunion, World Tour & New Album ‘MADE’: Idolator Interview
Whether you’re a K-pop aficionado or not, chances are you’ve at least heard of BIGBANG. With over 1.5 billion YouTube views, collaborations with Diplo and Skrillex under their belt, and celebrity super-fans that include Emma Stone and Pharrell Williams, the quintet is the biggest K-pop band on the planet.
After taking a three-year hiatus to tour and work on solo projects, BIGBANG reunited in May to begin promotion for their third full-length album MADE (due October) — an epic project consisting of at least eight (!!!) singles and a world tour that’s set to hit the states later this year. I interviewed the boys earlier this summer and asked about their long-awaited return, unique promotional strategy and the sexuality in hit single “Bae Bae.”
You’re currently in the middle of promoting your new album MADE. What’s it like being back together after promoting as soloists and sub-units for so long? We’re all so happy to be back together making music and promoting as a group after three years, and we’re driven more than ever. Since the fans have been waiting so long to see BIGBANG come back together as a group, we really want to present them with the best music and performances so that all their waiting is worthwhile.
Most Korean artists only promote one single per album, but for your last LP Alive, you promoted three. For MADE, you’re promoting EVERY track as an official single. Why have you taken this unique approach? Since we are finally coming back together and meeting our fans as a group for the first time in three years, rather than following the existing promotional method we wanted to actively promote in a way that would allow us to meet with our fans for a longer period of time. We actually used this unconventional promotional method when we first debuted.
We chose this approach again because we really put a lot of effort into each and every one of our songs and we wanted to introduce them individually so that each track could be thoroughly enjoyed in its own time. Releasing our songs in this staggered manner is also our way of showing our thanks to our fans who have waited so patiently for BIGBANG to return.
Every single that I’ve heard from MADE has been unique — no two singles look or sound alike. Was it a conscious effort on your part to make everything as diverse as possible? It’s not necessarily that we pre-determined from the start to produce songs that each have its own unique style. In general, the kind of music we like and pursue doesn’t all fit into one category or genre. And since we enjoy and attempt so many diverse styles and genres, each single just organically resulted in having its own unique sound and style.
“Bae Bae” is my favorite new song, but I was surprised by how sexual the lyrics and video are. Did you ever worry about how people might react to seeing this image from BIGBANG? No, we weren’t worried. Rather, we just enjoyed ourselves and had a lot of fun while working on the song. Of course there may be some who found the lyrics and MV sexual, but we just had an enjoyable and great time working on the song and filming the MV. Even amongst fans, there were a lot of favorable reviews saying that the lyrics and MV concept were a lot of fun.
Since coming back you’ve faced strong competition from other top artists, but your new songs have still managed to reach number one. Why do you think you’ve been able to remain so successful for all these years? A lot of it has to do with our amazing fans, who are constantly supporting us in all our musical endeavors. We are always trying to create music that highlights our strengths like our unique style, and we believe that’s why we receive unwavering love and support from our fans.
You’ve performed overseas many times before, and your upcoming MADE world tour is coming to America and Canada. What’s the biggest difference between performing for Asian audiences and Western audiences? Basically, there isn’t really a big difference between meeting and performing for Asian audiences versus Western audiences. They all share the underlying trait that they are fans of BIGBANG and of our performances and they show up to our concerts for those reasons. The only main difference really is the default language. Obviously, depending on where we are we have to adjust in order to communicate with the fans.
I know you’ll be busy promoting MADE and going on tour, but do you have plans for more solo projects next year? Seungri’s solo albums are my favorite, so I’m hoping that he will make a third album! As of now our plans for next year are undecided. For now we just want to focus all of our efforts on the upcoming MADE promotions and world tour.
BIGBANG’s MADE LP drops in October. Their US tour kicks off on October 2 in Las Vegas. Get your tickets here.