Edit: Many thanks to cnbluetheband, who crosschecked and made necessary changes for posting to their site. Please refer to the corrected version. Below is for the record only. 😉
CNBLUE’s first major album in Japan, CODE NAME BLUE, released!
CNBLUE, who major-debuted in Japan in October last year with their first single “In My Head”, will release their first major album “CODE NAME BLUE” on August 29. It doesn’t just include songs from the previous singles, but also brand new songs through which they challenge new recording styles. We invited the band’s representatives, Jung Yonghwa (leader, guitar and vocal) and Lee Jonghyun (guitar and vocal), to reply to our questions about the album.
EMTG: “CODE NAME BLUE” is your first Japan major album, does it come with a special meaning?
JH: Since it’s our first major album, we especially thought about our first intentions doing music before we worked on it. I thought of how we all felt when first making music; we were thinking of doing various kinds of music. I think people will understand once they listen to the album!
YH: As it’s our first major album, there’s this meaning of introducing CNBLUE to everybody too. There are many different genres of songs inside. We want it to be an album that people can totally enjoy.
EMTG: It does have very different songs. Did you have a hard time deciding the order of the songs?
JH: It was really a tough job making a meaningful track order. (Laughs)
EMTG: The album has many new songs too. What were the criteria picking songs for it?
JH: We didn’t set any criteria. Yonghwa hyung and I just wrote a lot of songs. Then all band members picked some from the lot. Then the music staff had some screening … basically they are the songs that we want everybody to listen to.
EMTG: I see. So I’d like to ask about the individual songs then. What were you thinking when you wrote track 4, “Time is over”?
YH: I wrote the lyrics when I was having a vacation in Korea. Having watched the movie, The Avengers, I thought we could be heroes too with our music.
JH: Since Yonghwa hyung said it’s a song made after watching The Avengers, I’d been thinking, “What kind of song is it?” (Laughs)
EMTG: What surprises me is “Have a good night”. It’s such a party song?
YH: Yes. This song is full of the kind of mood when we’re doing lives.
EMTG: Doing lives is really like partying! And I think “No more” has a very mature (the Chinese term used is “adult”) sound. The guitar cutting has a lot of feelings too.
JH: When I first wrote the melody, there’s always this feeling, “It’s just a bit inadequate.” Then I went to Yonghwa hyung for advice on how to finish it. So, it’s now included in the album. I have always liked this kind of music, but find this kind of songs difficult to write. It’s also why I’ve been studying more on music lately. Though it’s fun playing that kind of music, writing it is actually real difficult.
EMTG: The fun of listening to the music while playing, it’s really not the same thing having fun writing. (Laughs) So, “No more” is a really a challenge to Jonghyun.
JS: Right. The single, “Come on” is very difficult too. I didn’t intend to write such a “fierce” song, but then I imagined Yonghwa hyung’s way of singing. And after some arrangement, it just became fierce like it is.
EMTG: It really looks like a powerful song for live. Did you have fun recording it too?
JH: A powerful song like this is CNBLUE’s very first. A total challenge to me too.
EMTG: Which song does Yonghwa find most difficult then?
YH: It’s still the problem of using languages which are not my mother tongue. They differ so much in terms of pronunciations. It was particularly difficult when we first started.
EMTG: “These days” is a song with full Japanese lyrics. Actually when I first saw the title, I thought if it’s a Bon Jovi cover. (Bon Jovi has a song with the same title. It’s well known that CNBLUE members are fans of Bon Jovi’s.)
JH: Oh, right… (Laughs)
YH: It’s a totally different song. (Laughs)
EMTG: Why do you want Japanese lyrics for this song?
JH: For I was thinking it as an ending song of a Japanese TV drama.
EMTG: There are more songs in English actually. Do you find it easier compared to singing Japanese ones?
JH: No, not at all! (Laughs)
EMTG: Anyway, do you find it easier controlling the beats with English or Korean songs?
YH: True. Because of the pronunciation characteristics of Korean, rapping and catching the beat is easier to me.
EMTG: Korean, Japanese and English, all mixed together. It looks confusing to me. You don’t have problems at all?
JH: No. Though different songs have their different characteristics, we have no problem in this area.
EMTG: That’s great! (Laughs) Next, a question on “with me”. It’s an encouraging song; it sounds like you are singing to your fans.
JH: This song is written and arranged by a composer who wrote songs for our indie activities in Japan. We are so honored to have another song by him in this album. We are very thankful to him.
EMTG: I see. There is that message.
JH: And, “Blue Sky” has a similar message too. To the composers who wrote the songs which were indispensable during our indie days, we are very grateful.
EMTG: “Blue Sky” really relates to those who are chasing dreams.
JH: Yes! We’ve been working hard together. It has the meaning that we’ll continue to work hard together.
EMTG: The English version of “Where you are” is included in the first press edition too. Why do you put in the English version?
JH: We actually recorded the English version first. We think it’s a good recording, so we made it a bonus track.
EMTG: After the album release, your concert tour is near. You will go to Hiroshima and Saitama too. But these will be the first cities you have concerts?
YH: Yes. As it’s our first time going there, we’re particularly excited.
EMTG: Last, it’s the first time that Saitama Super Arena open for one man live too (Oct 20, 21).
JH: Very happy! So, we’ll prepare well, to give everybody the best live.
EMTG: Guess you will perform a lot of new songs in the album too?
YH: Of course! The album is around to introduce our music; the tour is to show how we aren’t forgetting our first intention.
Japanese article link: http://music.emtg.jp/special/20120801699ef2a4b
I read several Chinese translations (YHFS, Baidu CNBLUE, Baidu LJH) to make the above English translation. ^^;;; Any mistakes are mine.
I’m particularly interested in the first Jonghyun and Yonghwa collaboration, “No more”. So I translated that part from the Oricon Style interview too, reading the Baidu LJH site’s Chinese translation.
Q: Though there are two members in CNBLUE writing music, is there a song you find particularly difficult making?
LJH: It should be track 7 “No more”. At the beginning, I was working alone on it. I found it inadequate, especially in the melody phrasing. I thought of giving it up but I didn’t want to, having spent so much time on it. Then I went talking to Yonghwa hyung. Hyung used the synthesizer to change the melody. He’s such a great help, solving my problem and finishing up my work.
JYH: I spent around one to two hours working on it.
LJH: If not for Yonghwa hyung’s help, it might not be in the album. And writing this song was really a challenge to me.