It was December 27 on a cloudy day in Bangkok. We were waiting anxiously, praying so hard that it would not rain. However, K-popped! crew’s morning that day was definitely brightened as soon as we welcomed three good looking rock stars to our exclusive interview at Centre Point Thong Lo.
James cheerfully said good morning to us, while Sooyoon just shyly smiled. Moon on the other hand excitedly greeted us in Thai, probably after memorizing it the night before, only to be explained by us that we didn’t understand Thai. (Your effort was indeed commendable, Moon. Although we sincerely hope we didn’t spoil your excitement to show off your Thai speaking skill that morning.ㅋㅋ) After the short “misunderstanding”, we explained to Royal Pirates that we are from Malaysia and the interview will be done fully in English. Let’s check out our exclusive interview with Royal Pirates now!
K-popped!: What made you decide to pursue music?
James: It’s a little different for all of us. Personally, when I was in elementary school I was always listening to music. One of my teachers gave me a trumpet. I decided then that it was something I wanted to do. As a career, actually I once decided to quit music. But then I met these guys (Moon & Sooyoon). After meeting them again I realized that we have the opportunity to create something special. So I decided to go back and do music.
Moon: Actually for Sooyoon and I, we met at a church in America. We saw our ‘hyungs’ at the church, they were in a band. We thought it was really cool seeing them playing the instruments. And we’ve always wanted to do music. Back then I was really into games (i.e. Playstation etc.) so one of the ‘hyungs’ said that I played (Playstation) too much and that I should get rid of it. I agreed with his idea and the ‘hyung’ helped me to sell it. But he was paid counterfeited money for it. He felt really bad for it so he gave me his old guitar. That’s when I started playing the guitar. So in a way it’s kind of fate to me.
Sooyoon: For me I think, it was like destiny. As a kid I was actually kind of a nerd, study freak. I had no interest in music. I went to the same church (as Moon) and I saw a ‘hyung’ playing the drums and I thought, “Oh, I need to play that too.” I asked him to teach me but he said no. So I sneaked into the church and I started playing. I learned to play it by myself. After that I met Moon and the rest is history.
K-popped!: Will you release an official version of your demos like “Royal Villain”, along with your pre-debut English songs like “Shooter” and “Heaven’s Sole Design”?
Moon: (laughs) I don’t think so. Haha. But I think we should? Maybe if we re-arranged them we’ll consider releasing them. We do miss doing that kind of music, more aggressive genre from what we’re doing now.
James: Back then, we had no filter. Between us and the fans. So I think it was more genuine. Nowadays there are producers, recording engineers and all sorts of opinions between us and the final product (of the music/song), so it won’t be everything that we wanted it to be. Also back then, we were able to deliver the product straight from our hands to the fans. But we didn’t have the skills to package it well. As of now, since we’ve grown as musicians and having all the support from the company we were able to do that.
K-popped!: Do you have any plans to go and perform in the US? Also what about other Asian countries?
Moon: We would love to, but for now there are no specific plans to go back to the USA yet. As for Asia, we’ve actually been to China about five times as opening act for Lee Minho. We’ve been to Japan too. But this is our first time coming to South East Asia to perform.
Sooyoon: We were actually supposed to go to Singapore, but it was cancelled. But we definitely want to go to other countries too like Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines et cetera.
LIFE & FRIENDSHIP
K-popped!: 2015 is coming soon, we would like to ask each of you to tell us ONE thing that you want to surely achieve next year.
Moon: I think we still need the public to hear our music. We had our debut and it has been a year and we gained a lot of fans. But publicly, since South Korea is our main market now so I think we need to get our music heard to the masses. To have more promotion and release more music.
K-popped!: You’ve been together for quite some time. What is the strength of the member next to you? And what is one thing that you wish he could change?
Sooyoon: Moon’s strength I think is POSITIVITY. Despite whatever circumstances we’re in, he always tries to stay positive. He doesn’t like to get depressed; he likes to encourage us to forget about all the bad things and to just do what we have to do. So I think that’s his strength.
Moon: Well I think James’ strength is… his HEIGHT? (laughs) No, I think his strength is his DILIGENCE. That’s definitely his biggest strength. He’s very diligent; he’s always works out every day. He does what he has to do.
James: To me Sooyoon’s strength is he’s very PRACTICAL. He is very passionate about the things he does. And he can see the goal and he’s very good at breaking down how to actually achieve that. For example if we have a song, and he has a sound in mind, he’ll figure out a way to get that sound.
FANS & LOVE
K-popped!: What does ‘fans’ mean to Royal Pirates?
James: I think we really found out, especially after coming here to Thailand that fans are really like a LIFE FORCE to us. We won’t be doing music if we don’t have people to show it to. And none of us had any idea at how much energy the fans can give to us. If there isn’t any positivity coming from them, it would a very dark career for us. To be able to see these people at the concert, loving what you’re doing, it really helped us a lot. It’s everything!
K-popped!: If you were to confess to a girl, what would you do?
Sooyoon: I think I’ll just tell her straight that I like her. Naturally and genuinely.
- Favorite song in noraebang? – Brown Eyes – 가지마
- The cutest member? – James
- I want to try this CF? – Coffee
- If I have a superpower, it would be… – Flying
- Actress : Ha Ji Won vs Jeon Ji Hyun – Jeon Ji Hyun
- Favorite k-drama? – I Hear Your Voice
- The noisiest member? – Sooyoon
- I wish to be in this drama? – The Heirs (as Kim Tan)
- The drink I get often at coffee shop is.. – Americano
- Soloist : Ailee vs IU – Ailee
- Favorite singer? – Bruno Mars
- The member who likes skinship the most? – Sooyoon (in terms of fanservice)
- I wish to have a duet with.. – G-Dragon
- I used to stalk my crush.. Yes or No? – Definitely no.
- Athletes : Kim Yuna (skater) vs Son Yeon Jae (gymnast) – Kim Yuna