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In their 10th year, BTOB is ready to ‘be together’ with fans by making memories to cherish

Boy band BTOB speaks during an online press conference Monday. (Cube Entertainment)
Boy band BTOB speaks during an online press conference Monday. (Cube Entertainment)
After a four-year hiatus, boy band BTOB is ready to greet fans as the spring season nears and the flowers bloom. Now that all six bandmates have finished their mandatory military service, they‘ve returned with their 3rd full-length album, “Be Together,” released Monday evening.

In an online press conference on Monday, Eun-kwang described the album as an album that spells out what it means to be “together” and defines “togetherness.”

“BTOB is a group that wants to remain next to fans and music listeners with our tunes and songs. And as the title of the album suggests, it‘s like being together with them,” the leader said.

This is the first time the bandmates had reunited for the first time since 2018, when they last dropped an album as a six-piece band with “Hour Moment.”

Min-hyuk said the album reflects on the 10-year timeline BTOB has shared with fans. He went on to say that it’s about revisiting the moments and memories he had cherished with fans for the past decade, and added that he wants to walk toward the same path with fans eternally. The rapper also expressed hopes that fans and music listeners would resonate with him through what he wants to convey.

As a self-made idol in the music scene, producer Hyun-sik listed himself as a lyricist and composer. Not only did the vocalist pen the title track “The Song,” but he also wrote seven different sidetracks: “Intro,” “Be Together,” “My Way,” “Interlude: Re,” “Lonely,” “Dance With Me” and “Outro: Encore.”

Hyun-sik described the titular as a “tuneful song that melds the different voices of BTOB.” He added that the song connects the emotions of their past ballad songs like “Missing You,” “Only One For Me“ and ”Beautiful Pain.“

Talking about the titular song, Hyun-sik said the word ”song“ first popped into his mind when he thought of BTOB. ”I thought of writing the lyrics by starting with the term song, and since what we are most confident about is singing, I decided to go with ‘The Song’ as the title to express that we are keep on going to sing.“

Of the tracks he composed, Hyun-sik said “Lonely” is a song that holds a special place in his heart. ”It‘s a song that I wrote ages ago, but I came with the words to song when I was in the military. I was really lonely back then, so I had to meld in the emotions I felt at that time,“ he added. 
Boy band BTOB speaks during an online press conference Monday. (Cube Entertainment)
Boy band BTOB speaks during an online press conference Monday. (Cube Entertainment)
Hyun-sik also said that BTOB took a leap of faith this time, as the two bandmates took the helm in producing the whole album, which was also the first time they had done this.

”Producing an album on our own was a hassle. It was difficult, but on the other hand, it means that I’ve devoted that much time and amount, so I‘m satisfied with our outcome,” he added.

Min-hyuk also wrote five other sidetracks, including ”Whiskey” and ”Thank You,” filling the 13-song package with musical diversity. Speaking about the tracks Min-hyuk came up with, Eung-kwang said ”Thank You,“ written by Min-hyuk, is his favorite song on the album. “It’s a song that says thank you, and in line with the meaning, the song expresses how I‘m thankful for everything.”

In celebration of their 10th anniversary, which is on March 22, BTOB is also gearing for a concert next month. Also, the band ended 2021 and rang into the New Year with fans by holding an offline fan meeting titled ”Welcome to BTOB’s Home.“

Min-hyuk hinted at the band‘s upcoming concert, describing it as ”an event where we could all sing together. Sung-jae chimed in, saying that it would be the group’s “all-time” best concert.

Talking about being on stage after his discharge, Sung-jae said he had worried about whether he had changed during his time in the military, but said he could remain as the same person before he enlisted because of fans. He added that preparing for the band‘s 3rd LP, fan meetings and the soon-to-be-held concert was a long slog, but he was able to endure this period because of fans, and mainly because he misses them the most.

Eun-kwang said he finally feels like one after being reunited with Hyun-sik and Sung-jae. “I promoted myself as BTOB 4U when the two were in the military, but something was empty,” he reminisced.

While Hyun-sik and Sung-jae were in the military, the other four bandmates -- Chang-sub, Min-hyuk, Eun-kwang, Peniel -- continued their promotion by featuring in Mnet‘s competition program “Kingdom: Legendary War,” which aired last year. They made their debut as BTOB 4U in 2020, which is the second official sub-unit formed under the group.

Eun-kwang was the first of the then-seven-member group to enlist in the military in 2018, and Changsub announced that he would be serving as a member of ROK Army’s Music Corps. Minhyuk became the third bandmate to enlist in 2019 as a conscripted policeman. Hyun-sik and Sung-jae started their military service in May 2020, while Peniel, who holds US citizenship, didn‘t have to undertake compulsory military service.

At the end of the event, Eun-kwang expressed hopes that he would be more than happy if fans and music listeners loved their songs and album as much as they do.

“Doing well on charts and record sales are also crucial, but I wanted to make a story with fans and listeners, and I want to continue making more memories with them,” he said.

The 13-track package was released at 6 p.m. on Monday.

By Park Jun-hee (junheee@heraldcorp.com)
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