2017 has not only brought the release of a new BTS album, You Never Walk Alone, but also a world tour. 117,000 tickets have been reportedly sold for this tour, which includes New York area stops at the Prudential Center on Mar. 23 and 24. Following the pair of sold-out concerts in Newark, BTS has sold-out arena shows in Chicago and Anaheim. In celebration of these major events, Downtown conducted Q&A with all of the BTS members — Rap Monster (Kim Namjun/Team Leader, Rapper), JIN (Kim Seokjin/Vocalist), SUGA (Min Yoonki/Rapper), J-HOPE (Jung Hoseok/Choreographer & Rapper), JIMIN (Park Jimin/Choreographer & Vocalist), V (Kim Taehyung/Vocalist) and JUNG KOOK (Jeon Jungkook/Vocalist, Rapper, Choreographer) — via e-mail.
BTS toured New York in 2015 as part of the 2015 BTS Live Trilogy Episode II: The Red Bullet. Was that your first time in New York?
Jung Kook: Yes, it was our first time in the city. We were very excited to go back with even bigger shows packed with new songs and performances.
Did you try any restaurants while in New York? Any sightseeing experiences that were especially memorable?
Rap Monster: I loved Shake Shack last time I was in New York. Best burger yet! Thank god we have Shake Shack in Seoul now. I was enchanted by the scene at Times Square because it was my first time as a tourist.
J-Hope: I tried a Korean restaurant in New York back then and the meal was some of the best Korean food in the world. I also loved walking around Midtown area and Times Square. Awesome!
V: I had the best Korean food at Korea Town in New York!
Will you have any time to explore New York during your tour dates?
Jung Kook: Our tour schedule is very tight this time since we have other shows coming up in Chicago and the L.A area. We hope we can find some time to explore New York during the stay to check out the beautiful night skyline and everything else.
Do you have a favorite musician from New York?
Rap Monster: Nas, Biggie, A$AP Rocky, Lady Gaga.
What is your favorite song on the You Never Walk Alone album?
Suga: “Spring Day,” the lead single. I wrote the lyrics based on my very personal story that involves my old friends.
Jung Kook: “Not Today.” It has very intense lyrics that excite people and I especially love choreography of the song. It is one of the best and coolest of BTS.
Aside from your upcoming tour, what is coming up for you and BTS?
Jung Kook: The upcoming tour is the most important event for us in 2017. We’re trying to go to as many cities as possible this year. We’re also planning to write more music on our own.
What is your favorite part of touring?
Jimin: Favorite part of touring is that we get to meet thousands of fans from around the world. Wherever we go, fans are passionate and they show us lot of unconditional love. It is very special experience for all of us to sing and perform in front of people who are singing the song in Korean together.
When not busy with BTS, how do you like to spend your free time?
Jin: When not practicing, I’d stay home and take rest. I like playing games with other members and watching TV.
J-Hope: I write lyrics or play around with tracks I’ve made. I also try to study foreign languages during my free time.
Jung Kook: I work out from time to time and play games with my BTS brothers at home.
Rap Monster: I usually read books in my free time. I go out and meet my friends sometimes. But most of the time, I wander around the city listening to music.
What was your favorite album of 2016?
J-Hope: Mac Miller’s The Divine Feminine.
Jin: Gallant’s Ology.
Rap Monster: dvsn’s dvsn, J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only, Chainsmokers’ Collage EP, Justin Bieber’s Purpose, and Flume’s Skin.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Jung Kook: Hey, BTS is coming to New York! We’ve been waiting for this tour for a long time. We’ve got so much prepared for the shows, so expect the unexpected of K-pop!