Han Sung-ho Interview in YAB Guidebook Vol.2

I’m sure you know Mr Han is the president of FnC Music. As he’s the producer of YAB OSTs, there’s this long interview in the Japanese guidebook. I read the full Chinese translation of it. And below is my English translation based on that. Sorry that I only translated Yonghwa/CNBLUE related Q & A’s.

Q: How did FnC Music artists Lee Hongki and Jung Yonghwa get the chance to do this drama?

Director Hung had seen the fashion brand CF by FTIsland and he found their band image matching that of A.N.JELL very much. He said, “Let’s meet.” I took Hongki along when we first met. He said, “I want the role of Shinwoo be played by a band kid too.” At that time, CNBLUE was having indie activities in Japan and it’s not long before they’d debut in Korea, so I suggested his meeting them too. He asked, “When will they come to Korea?” For the audition, I had them come to Korea for one day. He met with Yonghwa. Yonghwa played the guitar and sing at the audition. Seeing his performance, Director Hung thought Yonghwa was perfect for the role of Shinwoo.

Q: How did you feel about the audition result?

Actually even before the audition, I thought Yonghwa really suited the image of Shinwoo. Yonghwa is a vocalist who plays the guitar and he gives the impression that he’s quite mature.

Q: So it was decided Hongki and Yonghwa would participate in the drama, what were your thoughts then?

Of course I was happy. He was just a newbie but got a great role. Yonghwa wasn’t at the top of the list during the casting process and so I was surprised. On the other hand, without Yonghwa, the other CNBLUE members had a hard time with their Japan activities at that time. (Laughs)

Q: Tell us a project which you really chased with time doing.

Yonghwa sang ‘Because I’m a Fool’ in the drama. I was to have him cover a song by foreign artists. But I couldn’t settle the copyright thing in time, I just wrote a ‘confession’ song myself. I started writing it at 2am the night before the scheduled filming. As Yonghwa would have to film the singing within an hour, I had doubts if he could memorize the lyrics and guitar chords. I actually recorded the guitar accompaniment on a CD to be used for the filming. But it happened the CD player broke down. So I had Yonghwa listened to the song on the set. He had to overcome the great difficulty of memorizing the melody as well as the lyrics within a short time for the filming. Anyway, he pulled it off.

Q: Hongki and Yonghwa’s music sense in the drama and OST?

The two are basically born singers. Of course they did very well. Hongki is in FTIsland, which music style resembles that of A.N.JELL much. But Yonghwa’s style doesn’t goes with that of A.N.JELL, so he didn’t sing in the OST at all. He just did the rap part in ‘Promise’.

Q: How do Hongki and Yonghwa go along with you, the producer of FTIsland and CNBLUE?

Hongki is a moody person; he is often affected by people around him (Laughs). If he isn’t in a good condition, he can’t even show 10% of his ability. At times like this, recording has to stop. I can see he works by pure talent. He debuted early and has a carefree personality, so he can be his own self even in front of me, a totally difficult-to-get-along person. As for Yonghwa, he’s still kind of nervous, feeling uneasy in front of me. A few days ago, we had recording for the first Korean full album, I said to him, “When you were doing the debut album, you couldn’t use your voice very well actually, but you’ve improved a lot now.” He smiled. I think he feels more comfortable in front of me now.

Q: CNBLUE is quite popular now. When did you start training them?

Right after FTIsland debuted. We planned to have another band with a style totally different from that of FTIsland. We began with a music style in mind to pick suitable band members. Jonghyun’s tender loving feel can be a great support to Yonghwa’s rhythmic style. If I say FTIsland is a band of strong vocal lead and melodic style, CNBLUE is a very modern band of strong rhythms.

Q: What was Yonghwa like during his trainee days?

Actually, he skipped lessons most among all. But he was the most serious one after debut. All CNBLUE boys are honest hard workers. Of course they have born talent, but they surely gained the present abilities more by working hard. When Yonghwa first came, he was the oldest among them and he often had this puzzle: “Can I get along with members younger than me? Can I be really good in the band?” Maybe he really had a bad time, he once said, “It seems I’m not doing well at all in CNBLUE.” Hearing that, I had a staff member go tell him: “There’s absolutely nothing unsuitable about your being a member of CNBLUE, please try harder and see how things go!” Even now I say this to that staff member from time to time, “If we hadn’t stopped him from leaving, Yonghwa would be living a very ordinary life in Busan now!” (Laughs)

Q: Why did you send both bands to Japan?

Up till now, Korea’s music market isn’t that big. There are little opportunities for indie band performance. The condition in Japan is much better however. And in Korean, FTIsland and CNBLUE are ‘hand syncing’ during performance and have been so misunderstood. We have actually predicted criticisms along that line. If circumstances allow, we let them play their instruments live. They do the instrument parts all by themselves recording the albums too. We were worried that they’d just be criticized without their growth being seen as budding bands and would therefore disappear in the music scene too soon. That’s why we say: “Go to Japan and perform a lot. Be more like a band before you come back.” Still there’s this kind of comment: “CNBLUE actually has a talent agency, can they be considered an indie band?” But we just helped them with their basic living essentials there. They carried their own instruments around, traveled by trains, living exactly like any other indie bands. To the boys, the criticisms targeted at them by people having no knowledge of their history hurt them most. But I think they wouldn’t survive anyway if they couldn’t stand such prejudiced comments.

Q: How would you like to see the two bands to grow?

Both are star groups recognized in both Korea and Japan now. I hope they can still be recognized as bands even if they have solo activities or appear as actors. Now there are many idol groups entering the Japan music market. But they aren’t all idols, some have strong focus on music and can thus gain some status.

Because of FTIsland and CNBLUE, many new singers have become very interested in instruments and are planning to debut as bands. To get into the mass, these boys have got to make those criticisms resulted from ignorance vanish. That requires their working even harder and to be recognized overseas is a must for that.

Japanese into Korean translation by yurerukaz

Korean into Chinese translation by SonoTriste @ CodeNameBurning

Chinese into English translation by klaritia

PS This is an indirect translation of an indirect translation! Any translation mistakes are mine.

7 thoughts on “Han Sung-ho Interview in YAB Guidebook Vol.2

  1. thank you so much klari for the translation… this interview is really good to know more about the boys. Though FNC kinda suck as an agency, but I’m glad the president have a great sense of musics and actually cares for our boys. I believe he can nurture them into a more great musicians in the future.

    and omg.. yong ALMOST left!! THANK GOD they stopped him! KPOP will miss him, WE WOULD MISS him dearly!!!

    I’m hoping all of them, individually and as a group, will have their rightful place in the Korean / Japanese music industry. They trully deserves it. what an amazing talented band indeed!


  2. Thank you so much for your translation.. knowing YongHwa was almost leaving this group.. i got teary..
    Every little thing about them.. make me love them more than before.. T___T
    May i say my love for these boys is timeless??

    i couldn’t say thanks to you on twitter.. since i locked my account now.. (got some problem with some people)..

    once again thank you..

  3. can i say i ♥♥♥ thousandsssssss times ♥♥♥

    Thank God Mr. Han found those talented boys!!
    if only Mr. Han also could stop Kwangjin left from the band and just added JS,that would be thousand times better.
    CN BLUES (Code Name : Burning, Lovely, Untouchable, Emotional, Sweet)
    LOL.. xD

    Thanks for the translation. ^^

  4. Thank you so much Klaritia. This article is the best way to understand and make us feel more love to CNBLUE.
    Thanks to their patience in hard practice…and for YongYong, You are the best leader and elder brother (as well as Hyun) I’ve ever known.
    Be the great beloved band – CNBLUE!!!

  5. Thanks klaritia for this translation. It is nice to know more things about the boys. I have a love/hate relationship with FnC….I love them for discovering 4 amazing and talented young men and hence giving us CN Blue, but I hate them because I feel that they don’t know how to do proper PR for their talents. I mean the changing of comeback dates and teasers alone can lead me to pulling my hairs out but because of my admiration for these boys I endure it. Anyway, never thought Yong almost left the band. He must have felt so pressured to fit in with his younger brothers before and like President Han, I will be forever grateful to the staff you was able to change Yong’s mind from leaving. Never would have imagined that Yong had that kind of worry of fitting in with his bandmates cause from what we can see from bts and interviews I can’t really imagine anybody else that fits like these boys do (including KwangJin from before). It’s like these 4 boys were just meant for each other (in a non-romantic way. LOL).

    Anyway, thanks again for providing amazing translated materials for fans to spazz about until the boys return. I miss YAB and ANJELL, too. The best drama for me. Hope and pray that PSH and JYH rumored team up again will push through. Thanks again.

  6. Pingback: [Interview] Han Sung-ho Interview in YAB Guidebook Vol.2 « C.N.BLUE STORM

  7. oooo… thanks for the translation .. i have heard of the 1 hour memorizing chords and lyrics.. this kid is definitely a genius … (still love him of cos though i keep saying i hate him) … glad that that he still stays in CNBlue so that I can love him still … can see that though he looks confident .. he is someone who need assurance badly … i hope FnC will continue to work on the boys future as a band being the priority …

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