[Interview] Two Guns N′ Roses, Roy Kim & Jung Joon Young
Our guesses turned out to be wrong. We had thought Roy Kim would be the kind boy, while Jung Joon Young would be the cold boy. The two were actually a pair of guns and roses. Roy Kim aimed spot on like a gun, while Jung Joon Young flew outward like the petals of a flower.
It was the day before the Superstar K4 Top 12 Concert was to be held at the Handball Stadium in Olympic Park.
Roy Kim and Jung Joon Young′s rehearsal was well underway.
I thought it had been a good idea to set a separate date aside for the interview instead of talking with them during the pictorial shoot.
"Let′s do this again," a staff member said.
Onscreen, a video showing Simon and Garfunkel, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney and Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston played. The last scene was that of Jung Joon Young and Roy Kim. At first glance, it was a bit too much, but the meaning was clear. These two men will go their ways in their different careers, but the sparks fly brightest when the two are together.
The sound of the guitar rang through the air, and the two appeared onstage. They then sang After Turning Into Dust. My heart skipped a beat, just like when I first saw them.
How was the shoot?
Joon Young: We were like delinquents. I felt it would come out that way when they did our hair and makeup.
Roy: Delinquent youths trying to be cool.
Joon Young: Full-set delinquents.
What style does Roy like?
Joon Young: Clothes that cost 1 million won. (Laugh)
Roy: I just like clothes in general. When I was little I wore the clothes that I wanted to wear instead of those my mother got for me. I like dirty(?) styles like cardigans on bare skin or layered bracelets.
How do you feel these days? How have you been doing?
Roy: I′ve filmed pictorials and commercials for the first time in my life, and I′ve appeared on TV shows and radio shows also. I′ve been getting through a schedule that involves more than just singing, and I′m thankful that so many people want to listen to my songs.
Joon Young: I was also happy without any complaints though I was tired. I move with my schedule, but in between I make sure I find time to slack off so I really have no time in between.
You′ve been to ′MAMA′, and Roy even performed onstage; how did it feel? Did you feel you′re popular now or that you′re now a singer? Or were you still going through an identity crisis?
Roy: We made such a big issue after our third round of preliminaries. We were no. 1 on portal site searches too for a few days. That was when it was the most confusing. I wondered who I was at that point.
My friends all told me I should be happy or that they′re jealous, but I wasn′t really immensely happy. I didn′t feel yet that I had become a singer. How should I say this? You talk first.
Joon Young: I think we′re just not complete now. My identity changes based on where I am. When I play around with my friends I′m just Jung Joon Young, when I′m preparing for a concert I′m a worker and when I meet with actors or senior singers I feel maybe I am on my way to doing something.
I nearly had a mental breakdown at MAMA. I couldn′t get used to the sight of seeing all those senior actors and singers in one place. They said hi and they talked to me so I answered, but I just felt all through the event, ′What is this?′
Roy: That was the first time I got to saw the people I only saw on TV up close. They probably weren′t all my fans, but when they told me they were my fan I would say inside to myself, ′Oh, but I was the fan.′ Anyway I′m on my way to learning how to enjoy it.
Did you get any short breaks at least?
Joon Young: When we were in camp we put together plans to travel or do things, but after the end of the broadcast, I don′t know.
Roy: We said we should go somewhere warm to fish, but who were we kidding. We just watched a movie.
What do you do in your free time?
Joon Young: I like to go to internet cafes, watch movies, drink, exercise. I also read too. In other words, I do most of what I can.
Roy: I like eating, going to saunas or just sitting in a cafe more than jumping around like crazy. I like to waste time.
Joon Young: He really likes movies.
Roy: Oh yeah, I really like movies. I′m also crazy for soccer. I like the Italian league, and Liverpool is my favorite team. I think if I hadn′t become a singer I would′ve been a soccer coach.
Who are you when you′re with your friends?
Joon Young: I′m usually the funny one, the one who has fun though he′s broke. These days I′m the guy who won the lottery.
Roy: I never really lead anything. People tell me, "You′re the school president, shouldn′t you be doing this?" We′re busy on our own. Wait, maybe they′re saying that I′ve gotten the top star bug or something.
How do you two get along so well?
Roy: We kept running into each other ever since Super Week. We became close then when we talked about how we can become successful.
Joon Young: We know that our images are completely different. Our songs are different, too. In terms of fashion, we′re the unbalanced type. It doesn′t seem we′ll look good together when we′re apart, but when we′re together it′s like the perfect match.
Roy: We′re really quick. We always realize the same thing at the same time.
Joon Young: Definitely.
You must be soulmates. You must also know what type of girl the other likes.
Joon Young: Roy likes styles that are calm, pure and smart; the types that are pretty even though they′re not made up.
Roy: I hope she′s pretty even though she′s not made up, and she has to have pretty eyes. For [Jung Joon Young], she has to be pretty no matter what.
Joon Young: Of course she has to be pretty, and she has to be sexy too. She also needs charm. We like charming girls. Do you think we could fall for the same girl?
Roy: It could happen. It could happen, but if it does, we need to do rock paper scissors.
Have you been in many relationships?
Roy: You′ve been in a lot, haven′t you?
Joon Young: I′ve had my share.
Roy: I haven′t been in many; I′ve been in long ones.
Joon Young: In front of my girlfriend I′m not a rocker; I become cute.
Roy: I need to learn from you.
Joon Young: You can′t do what you want to [in front of her], right?
Roy: I never really express myself.
Joon Young: I guess you could say Roy is a guy in front of girls, while I′m more girly.
What kind of sons are you in the eyes of your mothers?
Joon Young: A son who likes to play around. These days, I′m the son that doesn′t keep in touch because he′s busy. I like to play around now, but when I was little I really liked it even more. I never really thought about the future. I didn′t think of bringing my life to a new level; I cared more about bringing my game character to a new level.
Roy: I′m the youngest, but I′m not very cute. I think my family believes in me and depends on me. I want to be a proud son, and I think that′s what′s happening these days.
I saw that Roy got involved in so many things since he was little. Your 20 years of life were definitely action-packed.
Roy: My parents expected a lot from me, but it was also a battle I fought with myself. I thought people who were talented in everything were cool. When I think back to when I was little, I think I spent most of my time on reflecting upon myself rather than going out to play.
I traveled to Canada when I was in elementary school to study, and that was the first time in my life that I lived the way I wanted without anyone to tell me what to do. It was the first time I had so much time on my hands. I was young, but I learned a lot then.
That′s why I worked harder when I came back to Korea, and started to learn scuba diving, singing, speech making, acting and more.
You must have been talented.
Roy: My mother is talented. She used to be an artist, and she can do a lot of other things too. My father, on the other hand, was far from the arts. He was the type that always sat down to study. The two are different, but they go well with each other.
Joon Young: When I look back on when I was young, I don′t know. I knew that I liked music but I don′t think I′ve ever thought that I should become a singer when I grow up. I think my dreams changed when I started to sing in a band.
When was the high point of your lives?
Roy: When I was in first and second grade. That was the best time of my life. I was handsome, and I made issues in school when I appeared in a comedy show.
Joon Young: Oh, if you mean that by high point, I guess it′s every Friday for me. Just kidding. (Laugh) I don′t think my high point has come yet.
Then when were you the saddest?
Joon Young: When I was in ninth grade. I really liked this one girl, and I was a jerk. It was like having a mental breakdown.
Roy: When I was preparing to enter college.
Joon Young: Oh, just the thought of it makes me shudder. (Laugh)
Roy: For example, once I tried to become school president but I failed. I thought I would make it. My father said you can do everything if you just work hard, but you know how there are things that don′t work even though you do work hard, right? I didn′t know about that then.
It was a shock to see something not work. The things that I cared for so much are so little pricks in the full course of life and people can be happy even without achieving such things, but I stayed in my room and pouted. That′s why I became determined to do whatever I want when I came to Korea last summer. I pretended to be a delinquent.
You′re still young, but you had your moments when you had to make decisions and such moments will continue to hit you in the future. How do you make your decisions?
Roy: I decide based on whether I′ll regret it if I don′t do it. That′s how I came to be on Superstar K4 too.
Joon Young: I don′t know how I make my big decisions.
Roy: From how I see it, I think you just throw out an answer first. You just follow one moment, but it works out. That′s what happened for his live performances on Superstar K4. For me, every week my plans fell into place while I showed what I wanted to show, and for you, each little moment came at the right time.
Joon Young: It′s just my gut. If I think it′ll be okay I jump into it, and if I think it won′t, I jump right out.
Now that we′re on the subject of live performances, what was your favorite?
Roy: I liked most of them. Oh, I felt regretful about my first. The performance in which I started to show off my efforts rather than my style was Moon of Seoul.
That was when I started to take on crazy challenges. I wasn′t afraid to keep my color yet show off some different sides. I think that′s when people started to realize that I know how to enjoy being onstage.
Joon Young: I like rock and heavy metal. I wanted to try heavy metal here, but then I thought I would get eliminated immediately. Instead I tried to show off many different things through rock. My favorite song is What Should I Say from my first audition, and my favorite performance is the one where I sang Outsider.
What type of music do you want to sing in the future?
Joon Young: Rock, of course.
Roy: Acoustic music.
Do you have any icons you look up to?
Roy: No. I don′t have anyone I want to be like.
Joon Young: Me, neither.
It′s an answer that can be expected from ambitious youths like yourselves. I′m curious on your plans for the beginning of the year.
Joon Young: I think we′ll continue to perform in concerts.
Roy: Don′t ask. It hurts.
Joon Young: The only party we′ll have will probably be the afterparty after the concert. I think we′ll have to give up on Christmas or New Year′s Day now.
Roy: I wish I could give up. I don′t really know what we should do now.
Joon Young: I want to go to a sauna, go to a spa, get a massage.
Roy: Ah, that sounds good.
Contributing editor: Song Bo Young (Visuals), Kim Bo Mi (Text), Photographer: Hong Jang Hyun