SUPER JUNIOR is back with their latest album, The Road: Keep On Going, and ELFs can't wait to hear their latest songs! The 11th studio album's pre-release track "Don't Wait" was a crowd favorite, and with all the teasers for the title track "Mango", fans can look forward to a brand new sound from the group.
Cosmo got invited to the K-pop legend's virtual press conference, hours ahead of the album's release.
Members Leeteuk, Yesung, Shindong, Eukhyuk, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook, Kyuhyun were all present and dressed to impress in sleek black suits (Side note: Heechul couldn't attend due to a pre-scheduled activity), ready to take over MC-ing duties, as usual. LOL, as expected from our variety-dols! Fun fact: The host, Han Suk Joon, first met the group in 2005 on the Star Golden Bell show (what a throwback!), so he’s known them for a long time!
To start the media showcase, MC Suk Joon shared an interesting tidbit that even the members were surprised to learn. SM Entertainment has a very long history, and they're home to many artists, but SUPER JUNIOR's latest comeback is the first time the company is releasing an 11th studio album. Leader Leeteuk shared that he's very happy that the group can continue to make new history in K-pop with their album. The members have been working with SM Entertainment for more than 20 years. Yesung still couldn't believe that last year, they released a double-digit album, so he’s very touched that SUPER JUNIOR is now releasing their 11th album. Ever the sports commentator, he joked that they can even give out their albums to all the players in one football team!
SUPER JUNIOR Keeps On Going
As a veteran group, SUPER JUNIOR has definitely made their mark on the Korean entertainment industry. Members have been doing individual activities alongside group promotions, and are almost always seen on TV. In February 2022, they released a ballad single titled "Callin'"; members have released solo albums (Kyuhyun's Love Story (4 Season Project ?), Ryeowook's A Wild Rose) and undergone several acting roles (Yesung's The Girl on a Bulldozer and Siwon's upcoming second season for Work Later, Drink Now). And now, they’re preparing for the Super Show 9: The Road concert tour together. Leeteuk jokingly said that when together, the members can only focus for around 2.5 hours, so that means that during rehearsals they chat and play for about three to four hours then practice for one to two hours. LOL!
According to Siwon, the differentiating factor of this album is their goal to meet more fans. They prepared the 11th Album Vol.1 [The Road: Keep on Going] first, which will be disclosed at the concert, while Vol.2 will be released in the second half of the year. According to Donghae, the album title symbolizes that SUPER JUNIOR will continue to go on the same road together. They have albums to represent the past and the future, and with this album, the group wanted to express the present and the current journey of SJ.
When it comes to the SMCU (SM Cinematic Universe, aka "Kwangya"), Ryeowook explains that in the universe, SUPER JUNIOR is the space traveler, not a travel agency. So they travel separately to different planets, then gather together to do the activities for this album. They’re kind of aliens in a way, he laughed saying. SUPER JUNIOR is kind of running a travel agency, so that their fans can travel with them.
In regards to their pre-release single "Don’t Wait," Kyuhyun describes it as a mix of retro and modern sound, a quite upbeat pop track. The lyrics are very witty in describing a guy on his way to confess his love. According to the members, Leeteuk was very excited to dress up as a woman in the music video. Before the MV shooting, the director asked Leeteuk how he would manage it at his age. If they had to change the concept, the director was worried that the whole schedule would be delayed.
Shindong then interrupted Leeteuk's story time to say there was a misunderstanding. The members actually all discussed whether they should dress up as women for the MV, but Leeteuk kept saying that maybe he should do it alone. The members guessed that their leader wanted to do it solo, so they supported him and let him have the spotlight. Leeteuk then continued his storytelling, saying at first they were supposed to be making decent love confessions; however, everyone acted so seriously, that they ended up creating funny scenes. As expected from a regular day on set with SJ!
What can fans look forward to for this album? Siwon describes "Mango" as a funky pop song with a heavy and rhythmic sound. The lyrics are both sweet and daring, talking about how SUPER JUNIOR will be your oasis and fill you up with love—it’s very colorful, just like the MV! Eunhyuk chimed in to say they worked with Aiki, and that they were so grateful to her. Aiki's choreography fits perfectly with SUPER JUNIOR's style, and during the entire process, she kept modifying it to match their style.
SJ's main dancer said the point of the dance is when the members all roll their chests (*he then demonstrated!*). In "Mango", they also mime squeezing a mango at the end—fans should imagine mango juice flowing down as they squeeze the fruit. They don’t have a name for the point dance, so in order to make it go viral, SUPER JUNIOR is asking for fans' help in the form of name suggestions! Kyuhyun says the MV has the opposite charm of the “Don’t Wait” MV, but that there are also fun scenes at the end, depicting the pranks of the members. So, make sure to watch till the end!
Leeteuk and Eunhyuk said the last scene in the MV was actually made for the teaser—in fact, it wasn't planned or part of the original storyboard, but the director loved it and that’s how it got into the MV. We love how SUPER JUNIOR's genuine antics somehow always end up as part of their MVs! Regarding SS9, Donghae shared that the members were worried that it would be delayed and that after the press conference, they’ll actually be practicing again. They have great teamwork that’s better than ever these days! The upcoming concert tour is the first time in a long time that they’ll be hearing the voices of the fans, so he has high hopes, and in order to connect with international fans, the 9th rendition of Super Show will be aired online via Beyond Live. Have you already bought your tickets, ELFs?
Lastly, SUPER JUNIOR took the time to answer questions from journalists. On their thoughts about the constantly-changing concepts and sound for each SUPER JUNIOR album, Leeteuk shared that they do feel pressure every time they prepare to release a new song or album because they’re worried about having to match the latest trends—would it fit them? But together the group has to climb over that barrier and challenge [things], in order to continue [walking] the road.
It's quite rare for a group to still be actively promoting together after 16 years (SUPER JUNIOR celebrates their 17th debut anniversary on November 6, 2022!), but Eunhyuk said he doesn't think there’s a secret—everyone is just very patient. Shindong chimed in to say it's because of their company, SM Entertainment, that they can work that long together. Proving his variety chops, he joked that since he's about to sign the contract, can SM please raise the amount? Of course, Leeteuk can't be left out, and shared that there’s another reason for their longevity: They’re all cowards. No one wants to leave the team because they all know what will happen: Everyone will talk about that member when they're are not there!
Since the tour dates for Super Show 9: The Road are coming up (three days left until July 15 to 17, 2022, for their Seoul 3-day con!), can fans expect any innovative stages? Because they’re meeting fans in person after a long time, Eunhyuk (who has directed several Super Show concerts in the past) said they had a difficult time choosing the setlist. SUPER JUNIOR has countless hit songs and many more new songs, so the group thought very hard about how they can mix them up to present them well in front of the fans. We honestly can't wait what songs they picked!
After their three days in Seoul, SS9 will take the group to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan—and all the way to Europe and Latin America! Leeteuk also said they’ll also be shooting variety shows in Korea, so ELFs have plenty of new group content to look forward to.
When asked to share a spoiler for The Road: Keep On Going (Vol. 2), Eunhyuk kept it short but sweet. For Volume 1, the group is coming back with “Mango,” a summer-type cool song. Perhaps another type will be released for the second volume? Our brutally honest maknae (*youngest member*) Kyuhyun said they actually can't leak anything because it's not ready—they haven’t confirmed the final list of songs yet, because the members requested songs with different styles. Funnily enough, Siwon mentioned that a few members had not heard of Vol. 2 before the press conference today!
When asked for their final words before the media showcase ended, the leader took charge. Leeteuk wants to tell fans that SUPER JUNIOR is still alive. As time goes by, entertainers can be forgotten. He wants to tell the fans, as well as the public, that SUPER JUNIOR can have a stronger bond and ties with their fans as they pursue a longer career. Eunhyuk continued by saying this album is one they worked on after the pandemic, so it could be the beginning of a new start for the group. Siwon added that their concert tour will be their first offline concert since the pandemic, so they're looking forward to it! In the end, Leeteuk thanked the journalists for writing good articles and supporting the group. "Please continue to do so, because SJ will do their best." SUPER JUNIOR signed off with their signature greeting and hand-sign, and a request for viewers to watch their MV "Mango". Time to stream, ELFs!
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