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[Herald Interview] Sechs Kies back with ’90s memories

April 28, 2017 - 16:58 By Hong Dam-young
The legendary K-pop group Sechs Kies has returned with a new album to celebrate its 20th anniversary as a group.

Called a “first-generation” boy band here, the group had sensational popularity in the late 1990s, with fans waiting in lines to buy its cassette tapes and camping out at its concert venues all night.

Catering to those who have nostalgic memories of the band, the five members -- most of them in their late 30s now -- released the album “The 20th Anniversary” on Friday. 

Sechs Kies members pose during a media interview Thursday in Mapo-gu, Seoul. (YG Entertainment)
“A lot of things have changed during those years, so we need time to catch up with the current music industry and bond with fans again,” said Eun Ji-won, the group’s main rapper, in an interview Thursday.

The album includes two new tracks: the dance ballad “Be Well” and house rhythm dance track “Sad Song.” The remaining nine tracks are remastered versions of Sechs Kies’ past hits.

Asked about plans to create new songs, the members said they first hoped fans would be able to revisit their youth through the old hits.

“We want our fans to reminisce about the time they grew up with our songs, and we plan to focus on that for now,” said Kang Sung-hoon, the group’s lead vocal.

He added they plan to work on their own songs in the future and connect with fans by increasing their activities overseas and appearing on TV variety shows. 

Sechs Kies holds a media interview in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Thursday. (YG Entertainment)
The group disbanded in 2000, but its members temporarily reunited last April when they appeared as the main guests on MBC variety show “Infinite Challenge.”

Spurred by fans’ support, five of the members – all except Ko Ji-young -- signed a contract with YG Entertainment. The group dropped its first digital single “Three Words” in October last year and released “2016 Re-Album,” a remake album of 10 past hits, two months later.

The members also looked back at their old days, noting how their fans have aged and evolved along with them.

“Most of our fans were young students in school uniform in the ’90s. But they all grew up, wearing heavy makeup and different outfits,” Kang said.

Eun and Kim Jae-duk also said they try to communicate with those grown-up fans more carefully these days, contrary to the past when they could bond with fans in a more friendly way. Eun suggested setting “school uniform” as the dress code for the group’s next concert, drawing cheers from the other members.

Eun, who turned 40 this year, said he feels as if time has stopped when he is with fellow members.

Other Sechs Kies members will hit 40 in the next few years, but they are set to embark on a new start as an idol group, regardless of their age.

“I don’t plan to act my age, or try to be more mature. Nothing has changed except our ages,” Eun said.

By Hong Dam-young (