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[INTERVIEW] June 2012 Edition of Marie Claire

This is an extended version of the one posted a couple weeks back.
Donating Infinite’s Birthday
The 7 males of Infinite have much more strength than they think they have. Infinite, who came back with their third mini album, ‘The Chaser’, started something suspicious.
The day we met with Infinite was 2 days before their new album was released. They were ready to open a large-scale showcase where they go to five cities, Gwangju, Busan, Daegu, Daejun, and Seoul, with a personal helicopter in one day. It was a time where the 7 males of Infinite were so busy to the point that they didn’t even have time to breathe. (Although it seemed like Hoya, who said he liked helicopters ever since he was younger, was excited. Anyways.) On the day of the photoshoot, we were more sorry than happy to see them as they walked in rubbing their eyes, having gotten only 30 minutes to 1 hour of sleep in the car because photoshoot preparations started at dawn. Someone was drinking red ginseng extract, saying that he endures everything lately with red ginseng. Someone did the interview with his eyes closed because he couldn’t open his hurting eyes. “My feeling right now? I feel really nervous. And afraid as well. Because there were a lot of worries about the new album, I couldn’t sleep even when there was time to sleep. The other members slept really well. I’m normally sensitive and the type to think about my future of 10 years later—-“. (Woohyun) “It seemed like he was playing games every night, though?” (Hoya)
Even though their schedule was really too much, the reason why they went through with the photoshoot wasn’t because they felt especially greedy for the photoshoot nor was it that they favored Marie Claire. It is because this photoshoot was to inform many people about the Unicef birthday donation campaign. Infinite revealed that they wanted to take part in this campaign since a long time ago and they showed will to do it right if they were going to do something with such meaning. They also showed their loyalty that they will keep any promise they make, no matter what the situation is. Truthfully, we know that this is harder to do  than you would think it to be. It would rather be unnecessary to explain the fandoms of popular idol groups. Idol group members inevitably become someone’s hero and role model. The ‘phenomenon’ where they can change the styles, values and even eating habits of boys and girls with just one word or phrase, have already  been observed numerous times. To be honest, this is a bit strange. However, it’s not strength that comes out from fabricated words, but the strength that comes out from the truth of being alive in this reality. The fact that Infinite would be participating in the Unicef birthday donation campaign, where you symbolically donate your birthday and gift presents to weak children, made us think of an enjoyable ‘phenomenon’ where this strong energy would go towards a positive direction and create a larger change.
Marie Claire met with Infinite two years ago, right when they had their debut album’s release ahead of them. Although the world didn’t know of their existence yet, it was an interview that took place when the 7 of them were just about to have their dreams come true. Luckily, I became their first interviewer and I lightly asked what kind of present they wanted to receive from fans after debuting. At that time, they gave a cheerful answer of chocolate or sashimi which fit their average age of 20. They were nervous and afraid about the large and small changes that would happen to them in the future. 2 years after that, a lot has changed. They debuted successfully, captured the hearts of many, and grew into great musicians and entertainers. Even if they may not know, presents are gathering up to the point where their entertainment building will explode. And now the fans’ active willpower will soon be sent to children on the other side of the world as well. Does Infinite know that they gained that kind of power in just 2 years? “We’re really happy that we can create positive events with our small efforts. If we think about these kind of thoughts, I think we become happy as well. It’s fun. The fact that you’re making someone happy when you’re just doing all you can do.” (Sunggyu) “The feeling is strange. Until just a bit ago, I was living as someone who wouldn’t make much of a difference even if they did something, but suddenly I received all this love and the fact that I can do something meaningful with this love—- it’s quite fascinating.” (Woohyun)
The title song for Infinite’s third mini album is ‘The Chaser’. Once I brought up their new album, there were ‘testimonies’ coming out from everywhere, mixed with excitement. “The emotion that we’ve been constantly showing in our songs’ lyrics was ‘obsession’. Since this album’s title song is ‘The Chaser’, we’ve gone to the ends of obsession. Our songs this time are in a faster tempo than we’ve done before, the melody line is easy, and you get this excited feeling that makes you feel like you’re riding on a horse when you listen to the song.” (Sungyeol) “K-POP is  the craze right now. As a singer in K-POP, we wanted to put in a lot of Korean-style emotions and beauty in this album. When you listen to the lyrics or the melody of our title song, you will be able to think of this as a fresh try and you may even get a little shocked and say ‘Ah, so this is what the Korean-style is’.” (Sunggyu) “Our stylist tricked us for up to a week, saying that our clothes would be Hanboks [T/N: Korean traditional wear] to match this album’s concept. We learned that it wasn’t the truth on the day of our music video filmings. I was worried with thoughts like ‘Would it be okay?’, ‘How will I dance wearing a Hanbok?’. That evil person… (laughter).” (Hoya) Anyways, the overall result is that they like this album the most out of the ones they’ve released in the past. But, I liked the last album too? “It will be even better this time.”
With their perfect group choreography that needed practice amounts beyond your belief to do and their vocal abilities, which are getting better as promotions continue on, Infinite proved that they didn’t have thoughts on doing anything flippantly. Differing from the idols who seems like they were hundreds of light years away from reality in order to make a perfect idol or idols who give off ‘strong’ and ‘dangerous’ charms with a concept of a playboy or a bad girl, they have the looks that seem like they’ve been keeping their feet on the grounds of reality (this is a compliment) and even if they sway just a bit, they have an innocent human nature and these qualities allow them to be very humane idols. “Those words, you’re not calling us naive right now, right?” Although they were people who even shook the hearts of women around me in their 30’s who only like music, the fact that they don’t feel their own popularity is ironic. “Truthfully, we can’t feel it yet since we’ve been only looking ahead till now. There’s no end.” (Sungjong) “Since we’re not allowed to go out often—- (laughter). We know that we’re influencing fans and vice versa. We remember more fans than you would think. The time we had fansignings or when we did high-fives at the Japanese airport, I remember it all as if I captured and saved each of these passing moments.” (L)
While watching performances of my favorite musicians or buying their albums and listening to them, it must have been my severe error in thinking that their energy was influencing people in only one direction. Infinite, who I met after 2 years, definitely changed and grew. And it seemed definite that the energy given by fans was a large portion in their growth. “The place where we can feel the existence of our fans is at a concert. Because there’s only our fans. Because they’re all concentrating on each and every one of our songs, choreography, and expressions. It feels like everyone is giving us good energy.” (Sunggyu) “At a concert, you can do as much as your heart desires and it’s quite fun to steal someone else’s and doing adlibs till my throat goes bad is quite fun too. You’re normally not allowed to take pictures at a concert. However, one fan secretly took pictures, put it into a frame, and gifted it to me. I really liked that present. The frame is currently hanging up in the store that my parents run. When my parents look at me in the picture, they tell me that I look quite happy. That I look like I’m showing the will to do well.” (Dongwoo) “When we look from far away, it’s difficult to see each and everyone’s faces. We only see their figures. So it feels like I’m dreaming and that it’s not reality. However, it is reality.” (Hoya)
I still don’t know the reason as to why you can ‘love’, not just ‘like’, someone that isn’t your own flesh and blood, isn’t your lover, and isn’t someone you’ve ever talked to. I even thought that wouldn’t it this kind of thing, where they give the energy that they receive from the full affection and energy from those who they don’t know, to unknown children on the other side of the world, be suited as missionary work. “You start out not knowing about it, then gain an interest in it, then love it. I hope that it the process gets repeated like that.” (Woohyun) This might be the infinite energy that Infinite possesses.
L: Birthday – March 13th / “This is Infinite’s L. For my birthday present next year, how about a vaccination to prevent polio? I would like to gift health to weak children.”
Sungjong: Birthday – September 3rd / “This is Infinite’s Sungjong. I’m happy because I was able to participate in Unicef’s birthday donation campaign. Please gift a four-wheel drive car to kids on the opposite side of the Earth!”

Woohyun: Birthday – February 8th / ”This is Infinite’s Woohyun. I would like to receive a bicycle. When we were younger, we all really wanted to have a bicycle too. I want to make going to school a bit more comfortable for children who live in areas where traffic is uncomfortable. We need a lot of help from everyone.”

Dongwoo: Birthday – November 22nd / “This is Infinite’s Dongwoo. There is something call malnutrition treatment. It’s a present that helps young children who live in poor environments create strong bodies. I would also like to be of some help.”

Sungyeol: Birthday – August 27th / “This is Infinite’s Sungyeol. I was able to participate in Unicef’s birthday donation campaign this time. I would like to receive a manual pump and help children be able to drink clean water.”

Hoya: Birthday – March 28th / “This is Infinite’s Hoya. My birthday is on March 28th, but sadly, my birthday has passed by not too long ago. On my birthday next year, I would like to receive a mosquito net and protect children on the opposite side of the world from malaria-infested mosquitoes.”

Sunggyu: Birthday – April 28th / ”This is Infinite’s Sunggyu. My birthday is on April 28th. To allow children living on the opposite side of the Earth to run around and play to their heart’s desire, I want to gift them a soccer ball. Let’s all do this together!”
trans. cr; hyejin @ infinite updates | source cr; marie claire korea ; take out with full credits