2014.01.02 Interview with RAIN
English translation by 화니 at The Cloud
[Press] (hereafter referred to as P) : You've really lost a lot of weight.
[Rain] : I felt physically sick. I think I‘m not physically up to it. Getting influenza, I became very heated. My body isn't what it used to be. (laughs)
[P] : How have you been since your discharge from the army?
[Rain] : While I was only at a recording studio, I composed all the tracks on my album myself. Bae Jin Ruyl co-wrote the materials in a few tracks. I stayed up all night working. As a result, I've reached a satisfactory result.
[P] : How do you get along with actress Kim Tae-hee?
[Rain] : I'm still getting on okay with her. She treats me really well.
[P] : You must have gone through a lot of distress these days.
[Rain]: (laughs) As you know, being beset by controversies, criticisms, and contretemps is my daily life itself. I think facts are stubborn things. Since I never have an obsessive personality, I only concentrated on my preparations for the comeback by emptying my mind of all thoughts of such issues.
[P] : Why didn’t you ask for help, rather than trying to do it on your own?
[Rain] : There are a number of good songs I've gotten, but those songs are high on the charts these days or one of them has already been dominated by an idol star. Instead of trying to be too trendy, I wanted to find something suitable for me. "30 Sexy", one of the double title tracks from my album, is a kind of electronic music with a fast, rhythmic beat in the 80s, and "La Song" is a Latin pop. I decided to sing such songs to live up to my name Rain. Receiving royalties was not my objective. (laughs)
[P]: The thing that bothers you is the song chart.
[Rain] : Singers want to get better grades. Of course I want my song to be number one on all the music charts. I feel there is not a morale problem, but I think the day is approaching when I have to quit my job as a dance music singer.
It has been harder for me to move toward higher and grander goals since the target was exceeded. Now I would lower my sights than to abnormally claw my way to the top of my profession.
[P]: Are you announcing your retirement from the music scene? (laughs)
[Rain] : I didn't mean that. I'm sorry. (laughs) The person that I respect most is Park Ji-young (JYP) because he still overwhelms the audience throughout his show with his passionate dance skills even though he has passed the age of 40. I would be better off if I had thoroughly lived beyond my means. I just want to pleasantly work hard for who I am.
[P] : So, can we see paunchy Rain soon?
[Rain] : Eating like a horse, I only gain weight in the gut, but I should workout steadily to stay fit.
[P] : You were a perfectionist, and an icon of our popular culture who had on average less natural body fat. Now you're a changed man. What is the reason for the change?
[Rain] : When I clenched my teeth, I chipped off pieces of them. I belatedly found out that working tenaciously with venom was my poison. While I was having the bad as well as the good, I kept having a cobweb in the throat as if I drunk the seawater. My original goal was to buy my father a house and to win first prize on the music shows, but there was no limit to my greed.
[P] : They say the reason for joining the army is to rest their mind, but you had a harder time during your military service by getting yourself talked about. You must have been under a lot of stress at the time.
[Rain] : I wondered why this world turned so cold at the time. I admit that I was wrong about not wearing my military cap, but just because I didn't do so, I was misunderstood as a solider who had vacations for more than 100days. But I only had vacations for a total of 59 days including a few days I got off as a reward when I was chosen as a special warrior. I was summoned by the prosecution, the Defense Ministry, and the police and was placed under overnight investigation for days. I had been thoroughly investigated (laughs), but I was acquitted of all charges. I thought truth would eventually come out. Now I've come to have an opportunity to clear up the misunderstanding.
[P] : How are your making inroads into America going?
[Rain] : Jay Z actually offered for me to work with him. It's my honor to be offered by him, but the matter is under discussion. First, I want to be well regarded by Korean people like my parents prior to going to America. That's why I have been shooting the reality show series to show my real humanity.
[P] : This time, you are barely exposing your body to the public during your performance.
[Rain] : I think a man in his 30s is voluptuous enough to be able to look sexier without taking off his jacket. (laughs) I wanted to compose the songs everyone wants to listen to while driving rather than the visuals. I was more interested in sparing no cost when it came to making the album than in the past.
[P]: Are you going to launch a world tour again?
[Rain] : My acceptance will hinge on whether or not this album succeeds. (laughs) I'm planning a concert tour sometime this summer for my fans. They say it is a world tour. I'll put on a small but lavish performance where I can communicate with fans. As I've got love calls from South America, Europe, etc., it seems like I treat the crowd with energetic performances. Instead of performing in a large-scale stadium, I'd like to perform songs with my music band, wearing a T shirt.
[P] : You are still popular in the US.
[Rain] : Fortunately, many of them remembered me. I've heard that they are looking for a distinctive image that differentiates that from Psy who's been getting famous. Accordingly, I've probably gotten more love calls and had more auditions than before. After an audition, I've earned a role in film "The Prince". I've forgotten a lot how to speak English, but I'm focus on studying English.
[P]: What is your ultimate goal in Hollywood?
[Rain] : I'm aiming at a target which is to continue acting in Hollywood, not to work in the short run. I think I'm a competitive Asian actor despite not belonging to one of the major actors. Going through auditions, was the opening I needed for my career.
[P] : What is your goal for yourself that you’re going to push to the next level as a singer?
[Rain] : The most important thing for me as a singer is good producers who are highly involved in making albums. There is no reason why I shouldn't look for a chance to hit a last shot. I'm now looking for good producers.
[P] : Having a struggle for perfection as if your life depends on it has tarnished the image of Rain as a singer. What are you thinking of doing?
[Rain] : Now I don't need to struggle. I won't get the first prize just because I dance hard. I can shoot for the top if there are good producers. A very good producer is one of the keys to success. If I get a good chance, I'll give myself fully to my work.
[P] : I am sorry to say that they say that the epithet "World Star" has gone nowhere, and that you can't be comparable to Psy. When the media judged you by the way you look, you were said to be proud and arrogant. Some say that you seem to have become intoxicated by your success.
[Rain] : I've never called myself a world star. As I mentioned earlier, to the best of my knowledge, there is no such word in epithets. Nobody calls Brad Pitt a world star. Psy reached number two on the American Billboard charts, and everything that he had was his through his own efforts and talents. He is entitled to high praise. As for me, I think my efforts will surely be rewarded. I'm always prepared to welcome criticism excluding malicious comments. My reputation may have foundations built on sand, but I feel proud of myself because I was selected twice by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people, I'm throwing myself into Hollywood, and I was chosen as the 'Biggest Badass Star' at the MTV Movie Awards. Even so, I don't know what the future holds.
[P] : Being a target of criticism might cause bitterness to you.
[Rain] : People around me know the truth. It's a shame the way the media twists my career and accomplishments and misrepresents me. You know, we can't always receive favorable evaluations.
[P] : What kind of reaction do you want to receive this time?
[Rain] : Rain is confident of showing his own style.
[P] : Rain is not dead - Do you want to hear this?
[Rain] : I'm confident of hearing such things.
[P] : Your passion and expectations about music is on another level.
[Rain] : I think nothing is more interesting than composition. JYP is just the same, really. What an interesting work!
[P] : Now there's something different about you.
[Rain] : I feel much freer after I let go of my greed that is out of my bounds.
If current idol stars want to get ahead, they have to make more mistakes than their competition. haha.
[P] : Your new songs seem to be easy to dance to.
[Rain] : More flexible dance movements can forge a link between the audience and me.
[P] : You're taking on TVXQ?
[Rain] : Baddies! (in a jovial manner) It's going to be a lot of fun, but I don't know why they always choose to come at the moment. (laughs) I'm sure it is win-win, so I feel good about this. My personal fave is Yunho, who is really loyal.