While DAY6 are known for producing some of the most heart-tugging alternative rock songs in the Korean music industry, the band under JYP Entertainment amps up the tempo and showcase their fluidity on their new EP, The Book of Us: Gravity.

The new EP features six new self- written and composed songs by members Jae, Sungjin and Young K, including the band's new single, "Time of Our Life." The release of Gravity on Monday (July 15) follows news of the group's world tour, which kicks off August in Seoul. Making their way around the world with 31 stops, DAY6 will dedicate the month of September for their stops in the U.S. Starting with a two-night show at the PlayStation Theater in New York (September 12 and 13), the band will visit five more cities before concluding in Los Angeles (September 28 and 29).

The quintet, comprised of Jae, Sungjin, Young K, Wonpil and Dowoon, made their debut under JYP Entertainment in 2015 with their EP, The Day. Though they may not be your typical dancing K-pop idol group, each member of the band plays a crucial role in weaving their instrumental talents and vocals.

Below, Jae and Young K discuss the change in tempo on their new album, their music process, favorite anime and their upcoming tour.

You’re back with new music and you’re about to embark on your biggest tour to date. Has the feeling settled in?

Jae: We’re excited because this album's a little different. We’ve gotten a lot of idea contributions; everything that we’ve experienced, we feel, we share, we see is kind of portrayed in our music whether we like it or not and I think that’s a good thing because it’s good to be honest. But as for our upcoming world tour we are super excited because we get to see everybody again

There are more cities than there were before. Which are you most excited to visit?

Jae: One, especially for Wonpil, is Milan. He’s always wanted to visit Italy and his favorite soccer team in Italy is AC Milan. In general we are always excited because new places give us new experiences, which gives us really good memories as well as new experiences that we can put back into our music. Anywhere period is always great for us.

Your new single, “Time of Our Lives,” has a change in tempo compared to your past releases. What triggered this change?

Jae: It wasn’t so much that we sat down and decided, "Guys, we need to change the tempo,” but I guess, especially during our last world tour, we felt like there was a necessity for more concert-geared music, you know what I mean? There are a lot of songs where everyone is jumping and everyone is having a real good time. We wanted to be able to really tap in and connect with the audience, our fans and the people who come to watch our shows a little bit more. For example, in the middle of the song if there’s a clap section everyone can clap along. I guess, with that in mind, we started on the new album and a lot of concert-oriented music came out. Therefore, our title song just became the BPM that it is. I don’t think it necessarily was like... we said, “We need to make it faster." We make what we like to make. 

I read it as a song of hope and I thought it embodies the sound of someone who is about to embark on a new chapter in their lives, which comes across even more clearly when you read the lyrics. It made me think of it as an OST to your lives as a band. Which brings me to my next question: What is your favorite anime?

Young K: For me it’s definitely One Piece; I’ve been watching it since I was very young. Recently, I started re-watching it from Episode 1 up until the most recent episode, which took me like 3 months. I watch it all the time

Jae: For me it’s Your Lie in April. Not because it’s music-oriented, but it’s definitely my favorite. I don’t watch anime, I read manga and it definitely contains the saddest pages of manga I’ve ever seen.

You two are usually involved in producing and writing your music; can you walk me through your musical process?

Young K: It differs from song to song. Sometimes it can happen from a guitar riff or bass riff or a lyric idea. Sometimes I come up with a melody, but most of the time we come up with a track first and then everybody gets together and we just sing along as if it’s a song that we already know. Then we compare each melody to each other’s and we choose the best one. We then write down the lyrics and record.

Is there an instance where you guys just hum it first and you’re like, “Oh this could be a something!”?

Young K: Sometimes we do that, but most of the time we just come up with a track and when the guitar instrumental is playing everybody just writes down the melody.

Jae: I feel like that’s how a lot of music creators in Western areas like North America make music these days. They take a track, sing over it and sing over it again then cut out pieces and mix and match to make a good song. We have four members that all do that, so it’s a little bit easier for us I think.

Young K, since you write a lot of the songs, what inspires you? Do you take influence from movies or real life events?

Young K: I guess the experiences that I had when I was living in Canada helped me a lot. I used to live alone, away from my parents, so I got to live a very free life. Those experiences helped me a lot, but at one point I got stuck with writer’s block. I needed inspiration from anywhere at that point so daily conversations and sometimes movies. Movies have influenced 3 or 4 songs. There’s the song “Man in a Movie” which was inspired by the movie Me Before You.

Is there anyone who you’d love to write a song for?

Young K: I’ve always wanted to write a song about my father and dedicate it to him. But I’ve always been afraid to, I feel like I need to know more about life in order to sing about him. I always feel like I’m too young. For example, in this album there’s a song called “Cover (포장).” We came up with the track first and when I was writing with Sungjin he wanted to write about our fathers, but I said, “No, not yet. Let’s talk about something else.” So instead we talked about covering ourselves up. And for an artist maybe I would like to write for ... I’ve never thought of it. Jae as a solo artist, that’s my answer! Maybe all of the DAY6 members as solo artists!

Like a special album?

Young K: Mhm, like everybody writing for each other.

Jae: I think it’s also because Young K, when he writes melodies, he’s really good at thinking about what that person would sound like and making it best match them. Even with the lyrics it’s easier for us to sing when we have to sing them.

Your music speaks to thousands of fans worldwide. What do you do in your times of struggle? Whenever you’re stressed or struggling, what do you do or what music do you listen to?

Young K: Well, I’m not the type of guy who listens to music when I’m stressed because most of the stress comes from music. Before, when I was younger, I could enjoy music without thinking, but now when I listen to music I always think, "Oh, I could use this from here” and so on. So I tend not to listen to music. If I’m stressed, and I have time, I usually travel.   

Jae: I think I agree with Young K because we’re always on and off writing songs, no matter what our schedule is, when we listen to music now the first thing we always catch isn’t an enjoyment of the song. It’s more like, “Oh! He did this with this?” or “He used this kind of arrangement with this kind of melody here? This guy's wild, bro.” Even if we don’t want it to be, and we do enjoy this process a lot, it’s just that it does become somewhat hard. I guess I cool my head off by playing a lot of games. But the most important thing about the games is that it’s with friends over voice chat. There are friends from overseas that I can’t always see and that’s always kinda nice. Because speaking English is nice.

Are there any words you have for fans who are going through tough times?

Jae: I think something that we really focus on, via melody or lyrically, is that our songs are songs that people can really vibe with. Not just musically, but lyrically they understand where we’re coming from and they have felt it. Whether it’s growing pains or whatever emotion it was at that point in life, you know? And if they vibe with that, if they’re feeling heartbreak through our song or if they’re feeling joyful through our song because our song is emitting that kind of aura, then we really just wanna say thank you because that’s all we want. That’s all we ever want. So I guess just a really big thank you to everyone that’s really feeling through our songs.

Considering you two somewhat kick-started your music careers through YouTube, almost more than a decade ago, what changes have you seen in Korean music while it continues to make its way globally?   

Jae: I feel like when we were younger K-pop, at least in my environment or my neighborhood, it was hard to openly say like, “I really like K-pop”; especially to non-Asian friends. But now that it’s becoming a little bit more accepted and gaining popularity in the global scene I feel like a lot of people are going to be a little bit more open to that kind of music in general. I feel like, for all musicians in general, any genre opening up to the world is an opportunity for everyone else, whether they’re in K-pop or not, to further deliver their music to people who haven’t listened to them. So, positive-good vibes.

Speaking of, can we expect a JaeSix comeback soon? Everyone’s asking.

Jae: So, me and the boys have been planning a little bit, about things that we could do. I can’t promise when, but it will definitely come. We’ve been plotting.

Alright, I’m excited for that. While speaking of the tour, if there is something the world must know about you guys before you conquer their cities, what would it be?

Young K: The energy that we get from the audience and that we can share with them.

Jae: If you’re coming to our show, if you listen to our music, bring all of your baggage. Bring all of your stress, bring all of your worries because we’re gonna settle that. It’s gonna be a good night.   

DAY6 'GRAVITY' World Tour 

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Friday, September 13, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Friday, September 20, 2019
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Sunday, September 29, 2019

2019 K-Pop Concert and Festival Guide

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