-A new album has been released. How does it feel?
TAEYEON: We've returned after a year and two months. It's been a while since we've had group activities. I'm more excited than ever and we are making an effort to have a fun promotion cycle. As our fans have waited for a long time, we wanted to show a bit of a newer image, so we also prepared the title song with a challenging one. There are also many other fun songs [on the album].
-What's the biggest change from the last album?
YURI: It's that we didn't do obvious music. We wanted to show a new appearance that would overturn predictions like, 'they'll probably be like this'.The melodies have been easy until now, so it would enter ones ears easily. If it was the same again this time around, there would have been fans who would be disappointed. While people are saying there are split opinions on the title song, the reactions would have been the same regardless of song we would have come back with. I think it's fortunate that we did a song that you only understand after listening to it a number of times. In this song, the lyrics aren't easy, and the content doesn't connect together. It's because it's talking about 9 members' different stories. You can understand it as the chatter of girls our age.
-There are split opinions on the title song.
SEOHYUN: There are people who say it's good, and there are people who say it's weird. It was the same for us, too. After hearing it for the first time, we didn't know what kind of song it was, and it was difficult finding which part was the key point. The opinions amongst members were different, too. Still, the more you listen to it, the better it seemed.
-After the album was released, which response was most impressionable?
TIFFANY: I read reviews on Billboard and MTV. The words, "Girls' Generation just set the bar truly high for pop in 2013," were touching. I also liked the response that read, "Resting for a year and two months in K-POP is equivalent to resting for 12 years. They were probably under a lot of pressure, but they brought back something new and fresh." I was proud.
-How did you choose the title song?
YURI: It felt like the song was given to us. There were two songs that were being considered for the title song. I think the other was just something they made us listen to. They said, "This just sounds like this, but listen to this," and they made us listen to 'I Got a Boy'.
-What kind of performance did you think you would have to put on?
YOONA: When we only listened to the song, it felt unfamiliar, but after constantly listening to it, something like that of a musical started forming in my head. The decision to put on a performance that 'shows music' came about. The organization of the choreography started out wittily. Now, the performances are just fun.
-The choreography is very powerful.
TAEYEON: It was so tiring, that we said to only make Hyoyeon do it. It was so tiring at first that we would have to rest for 20 minutes after dancing through it once. When we dance to the song once, our muscles hurt as if we ran a marathon. It's a choreography where controlling the pace is important. The highlight hook starts as soon as we throw the hats. The fans have also named it the cobra dance. If we didn't have the pride that we are Girls' Generation, it's a dance we couldn't have attempted.
SOOYOUNG: It's a dance where you lose weight naturally. When we complete the dance, it feels like we did our all like when a health trainer tells you, "15 more."
-Did anyone get hurt?
JESSICA: Some have pain-relieving patches on. Whenever I dance, my right arm creaks/cracks. There are members who say their necks hurt from the head banging, too.
-It's been a while since you've had group activities. I expect it to be a new feeling.
SEOHYUN: Even though we do activities separately, we're always together. We were always together at SM TOWN or Girls' Generation performances. We chat through messengers until our batteries die. Fans come to watch us MC 'Music Core', and they seemed hungry for a stage with all 9. We wanted to show them as soon as possible.
-Girls' Generation is now a 6-year old girl group. [How would it be] if we were to look back on the past.
SEOHYUN: There were a lot of schedules, and I didn't know the time was going by because many good things poured in for us. With each changing year, it feels like we're being born again. There are times where we wonder "who am I?" because we're so busy. I think we had a meaningful 6 years.
-I think there could be a burden with becoming mature.
YURI: Rather than feeling the burden of, "We need to be different," we have pride in, "We're different." Those thoughts also reflect on this album. It's also a performance where we need to stand with that will power. Promoting a difficult song became a time for us to bunch up together. We think that we're still growing.
-When was the most difficult time for you?
TIFFANY: It was most difficult 4 years ago, when the release of 'Dancing Queen' was postponed. At the moment, there were a lot of girl groups, and we thought, "Let's mark a spot for ourself with this song." With a gap forming, once the anticipation for what we've prepared thus far disappeared, we were confused. I think we got hurt a lot at a young age. That time, it made me think, "There's no one but my members."
SOOYOUNG: Internally, there's always a crisis. Should I say it's like walking on a thin sheet of ice? Haha. Now, I think of them all as family. All problems get solved amongst us. Even if we fight, everything is worked out all of a sudden. Communication is the secret. Our chats that seem useless in ordinary life, actually help a lot. We've known each other for 9~13 years. Our members are now like family.
-Amongst girl groups, your friend (Wonder GIrls member Sunye) now has someone she is going to marry.
TAEYEON: If we just meet a good partner, I think it would be possible for us, too. If any of our members meet someone they love and decide to get married, I think we will approve. However, there are a number of procedures they will need to pass. They need to receive a detailed examination as to whether or not they'll be a good partner.
-You're at the age to date.
YURI: Guys take Girls' Generation as something difficult. When female celebrities go on talk shows every now and then, they talk about how they were approached/asked out by male celebrities, and it's amazing. We're curious as to what route is taken for them to receive those confessions. Because our pictures get taken when we step out near our home, we don't know where to go and what to do/play.
-How do you spend leisure time?
TIFFANY: We live with the enjoyment of eating, talking and playing games together. There are times where we play games until 4 in the morning. These days, the popular game Anipang is popular amongst our members, too.
YOONA: We live separately, so my room isn't even there at the dorm now, but I stop by the dorm when I have free time. Delivery food is a guilty pleasure. These days, delivery people bring paper to get autographed when we order something. We like chicken, jokbal, snacks, bossam, and Chinese food.
-You're now at the age to have a drink.
HYOYEON: We drink a lot. Haha. We can't outside, but we create a 'Soshi Izakakaya' in our dorm and drink often. We usually have beer and champagne, and have a pajama party, and it's totally fun. It's tastiest when in the dorm by ourselves. Tiffany drinks the best. I got surprised after seeing Sunny drink kaoliang.
(Honestly not sure how to translate what the interviewer said. Something about PSY…)
JESSICA: As the concept itself is so different, it's difficult to compare them. It feels like he [PSY] has opened up many roads, so we're thankful, and I feel pride just as a Korean person. We do the 'horse dance' a lot, too. We're also thankful for the fact that a song in Korean became this famous. He's opened up the possibility for us to advance [into the US]. It's to the point where we worry if his health is all right.
-There's talk about idols facing a critical situation.
YURI: It is true that there are too many idol groups. It might be because there are so many, but no clear color is visible. From a personal perspective, I wish it would go back to how it used to be. There was a time where senior singer Kim Gunmo would sing, and then senior Tae Jinah would decorate the ending. I wish a time where a variety of music receives love would come.