Interview with SNSDKorean (Part 2)

Interview with SNSDKorean (Part 2)

TOZ

March 10th, 2012

This is part 2 of my interview with SNSDKorean. You can find part 1 right here. Part 2 has Maeniac, along with two more of her fellow staffers, Dreadtech and Steve.

Hello Selective Hearing! I’m Steve from the SNSDKorean a blog that’s devoted to talking about Girls’ Generation. I joined the blogging team last summer (July 2011) and have been doing my best to contribute to the SK community. Besides blogging about GG, I’m also an avid fan of other Asian music acts but have only recently dipped my hands into the ‘ocean’ of all the great artists that are out there. In my spare time I’m a fulltime undergraduate business student that also works a part-time job. People can find me @steSKve on twitter, and also checkout SNSDKorean’s live monthly SNSD Soshicast @ www.justin.tv/snsdkorean =]

Hi, my name is Dreadtech, I am one of the senior staffers at SNSDKorean. I was hired by the original owner bosslady and have been with the team since the Gee days.  Started out as a regular at the oldschool chatroll room that is no longer active and bosslady asked me to apply if I was interested. I was accepted along with greeentee and Maeniac and have been on/off ever since last year. Right now I do the odd original post now and then and also contribute to the monthly podcast.

TOZ: Glad to have you here Steve, because I wanted to know about SNSDKorean. How is running a site dedicated to one group?

Steve: As far as running it is concerned I really have no input. That stressful job is for our current boss man (nukem384) and the former bosses (greeentee, BossLady) who are behind the scenes (the latter more busy than the former) watching. When it comes to working for a blog dedicated to a single group, things take time and a lot of hard work is put into everything you contribute (you’d be surprised). The saving grace is the fact that you write about something that you have a passion for. It makes everything easier and less stressful in a sense.

TOZ: It obviously makes it easier to write for a site where the readers are completely into the subject. But seriously, do the posts about their airport fashion get tiresome?

Steve: (Laughs) That’s true. At times it does get tiresome and tedious to make epic media compilations showing the girls in all their glory. But the thing is when you work for a blog that’s dedicated to something you love with a great fan base that appreciates what you do, it certainly helps. Also it’s important to remember that before we started contributing to the community we were all readers that scoured the web for the latest news, pictures and all that fan accounts. At SNSDKorean we try to make all that easy for our community which is why we do what we do even if at times it is tiring.

Maeniac: You know at SNSDKorean.com we’re fortunate to be running just ANY news at all.  We never expected SNSD to shoot up to the popularity that they have nowadays.  Many of the old fans know that there certainly lulls within the news, especially when they weren’t promoting in Korea but the girls (as well as the fans) are just very fortunate with their success, unlike many groups that are still struggling.

Dreadtech enters the interview.

TOZ: Yo, Dreadtech, welcome to the interview.

Dreadtech: Hello TOZ. Happy to be here.

TOZ: You handle a good portion of the podcasts. How’s that experience?

Dreadtech: The podcast itself is a very different experience from doing posts. I actually had no real idea what we were getting into when I pitched the idea to Boss Lady and Mae, Mae already had experience DJing and the only real experience I had was that being an actor I really had no qualms with saying whatever I wanted. We try to keep it informal with some sort of structure and it’s been very interesting, the hardest is by far keeping to schedule, since everyone lives in different countries and time zones.

Maeniac: (Laughs) I actually had the radio idea in my head too when I was hired but never got around to pitching it to Boss Lady. I’m so glad DT did ’cause I live for our monthly tangents.

TOZ: One of these days you guys should have a SK world tour.

Dreadtech: For the awesome 20 people who actually comment in our blog? (Laughs)

Steve: Maybe, if we even get that big. A lot of the staffers have met each other face-to-face at concerts and events.

Steve: It’s something that might happen later but for now we just meet one another when we happen to be stopping by in someone’s city.

TOZ: I think you having the podcasts monthly is a good thing because even at their most busy, SNSD I don’t think can make a weekly podcast work.

Steve: Weekly podcasts would be a bitch to co-ordinate. It’s tough enough making time for one once a month.

Dreadtech: Probably not at this point in time, it takes us weeks to nail down timing for everyone, and even then we always have the same 2 problems, someone either has to wake up or stay up at an ungodly hour, or people just can’t turn up at that time.

Maeniac: The editing it a bitch. THANK YOU [NUKEM]<3!

Steve: Let’s replace bitch with PAIN IN THE BUTT.

Maeniac: Or like Taeyeon says, “Friendly fellow.”

Steve: (Laughs)In terms of content, there are times when it seems appropriate to do a podcast dedicated to something, for example their appearance on David Letterman/Regis and Kelly, but conditions just make it difficult.

TOZ: Let’s go the site as a whole. I think I commented once on the overuse of the word “angel” and its variations.

Dreadtech: (Laughs) Good ole Kenneth.

Steve: Honestly that angel ‘nickname’ is really common among SONEs because of a song “Nine Angels”. With that said, I think only one staffer really uses the term (Kenneth), and I think he’s changed his writing around to avoid the word. Speaking of which, you guys should interview him some time, he’s one helluva guy.

Dreadtech: He was very understanding when a reader pointed it out, always accepting of any criticism.

TOZ: Kenneth is the man.

Maeniac: He’s definitely one of our more eloquent writers.

TOZ: Just saying, there are a lot more words in the English language.

Steve: It’s important when you do anything to listen to your readers’ feedback and if it makes sense, to make changes. At the end of the day, all SK writers have creative liberty over what they write on the blog as long as it’s not CRAY CRAY. That’s one of our strengths I think. When you read an article by someone like MAEniac it’s totally different from something that me or even Dreadtech would write. We all have our own styles and that’s what makes us different.

Dreadtech: Above all we try to keep content updated in terms of news, but lately it seems to be getting harder since we do value writing on top of just posting stuff, which I maintain is a reason why we do so well. The site is above all a non-profit site so any money that goes into the site is from own pockets, also we value our social/study lives so we are always apologetic when we lag behind.

Maeniac: (Laughs) Can we not bring up my very rare articles?

Steve: They’re a lot fun, Selective Hearing readers should check them out.

Dreadtech: What articles?

Maeniac: TRUFAX DT. I hate you.

Dreadtech: *thumbs up*

TOZ: About the content on the site itself. You have been good with posting the latest episode of Dangerous Boys. But, I gotta be honest. I have no interest at all in that show.

Dreadtech: I lost track/interest after the 4th/5th episode

Maeniac: I’ve been on vacation for the last month, so I need a catch up on a couple of episodes, but I was a very BIG skeptic at first. But it grew on me.

Steve: Like most reality TV, the show fits a certain type of person.

Maeniac: But to be abso-fucking-lutely honest, I could give two shits about the boys.  Maybe blame it on me being de-sensitized to Korean problems since I live in Korea. I watch it for SNSD. If they cut the boys out of the show I wouldn’t even notice.

TOZ: I don’t even want to watch it for SNSD.

Maeniac: (Laughs)

Dreadtech: They aren’t *dangerous*, listen to any podcast on this subject and I make it abundantly clear.

Maeniac: Correction, we.

Dreadtech: (Laughs)

TOZ: I heard one of them just sleeps in class and listens to hip-hop. I did that in school! I should be on that show!

Steve: We all agreed that they aren’t dangerous; it just doesn’t make sense to throw gangsters with IDOLS. And again, reality TV, it’s supposed to be exaggerated and over the top. Have you watched Kitchen Nightmares before? Dear god…

Dreadtech: One guy doesn’t know how to punch guys, needs to go to a boxing gym already if he likes fighting so much.

Steve: That’s not fair, you’re a black belt. (Laughs)

Maeniac: (Laughs)These boys, really aren’t dangerous. They just need a reality check in South Central L.A. They should throw the boys on those prison shows that scare you shitless.

Steve: Join the military, like someone said on the Soshicast. They’ll be set—oh it was DT. BUT HIS MIC WASNT WORKING! So we’re putting it out there.

TOZ: I think my issue with the show, I don’t really care about SNSD helping reform the boys.

Steve: I don’t think the show itself is terrible and has no merit. It’s doing really well and will go down as a success.

TOZ: Give me Factory Girl all day.

Steve: Yeah it’s different; the story isn’t around the idols but the boys. I totally understand from a fan’s perspective it doesn’t really provide you with a deeper connection.

Maeniac: Oh you’re into fashion TOZ? *cue ANTM music*

TOZ: You wanna talk sneakers?

Dreadtech: Please don’t…

Maeniac: You’re a sneaker head?

TOZ: I got a few pairs.

Maeniac: Few hundred?

TOZ: Let’s not talk about it now.

Maeniac: Ok, just let me borrow the keys to your storage warehouse later.

Dreadtech: Don’t, she won’t give it back.

Maeniac: YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE DT.

TOZ: I hope my storage closet doesn’t end up on Storage Wars.

Dreadtech: I had to wiki that show to understand it the other day. We don’t get it here in kangaroo land.

TOZ: Back to SNSDKorean. I’m not asking you to reveal where your news comes from. But, how do you decide what goes on the site?

Steve: Dreadtech or Mae should answer this since I posed a similar question when I first joined.

Dreadtech: Stuff that’s real news, not rumors, needs to be confirmed by more than one credible source. Allkpop on its own does not count, admittedly they are doing better than they did a year or 2 ago.

Steve: WE DON’T USE AKP.

Dreadtech: Correction, we don’t use AKP as the sole source.

Steve: Well I guess what you use depends on the writer. I really dislike AKP for their misleading titles.

Dreadtech: I don’t visit AKP so none of my sources come from there.

Maeniac: Allkpop to SK is what PerezHilton is to CNN.

Steve: They do things for views and comments.

Dreadtech: And I think the writers from SK get the point why.

TOZ: (Laughs) SK to CNN comparison!

Steve: With that said, I just don’t source them but I do actually visit them for other K-pop news. Shout outs to Soompi as well :]

Dreadtech: Shout out to twitter insiders.

TOZ: I like Soompi. They had that JeTi (Jessica and Tiffany) interview which was good. Also, they interviewed Geo from Blue Scholars and Dumbfounded. (Hip-hop plug)

Steve: Anyways, yeah we put what we feel our community would enjoy. Fan accounts, comics all sorts of stuff. Like I said before, as writers and content producers we have freedom over what we share. I wouldn’t call SNSDKorean a news site; it’s a blog at the end of the day. We do include news, but that’s just one of many things.

TOZ: I must be an outlying fan, because I rarely care about fan accounts.

Steve: Fan accounts reach certain people. Personally, I love hearing about the love and joy others have during concerts or fan signs. To be fair, I only read fan accounts that come from people I know, or are really worth sharing/popular.

Dreadtech: I’ll read one just to understand the context and what happened, then that’s it.

TOZ: I brought this up with Mae in part 1, I personally think the music hasn’t been there since Genie. Outside of Echo, I haven’t been fully behind a SNSD song since.

Dreadtech: Star Star Star for me.

Steve: Music is a subjective thing! I remember when The Boys came out a lot of people hated on it left and right, even SONEs. A respected person from the community addressed this issue really well. He basically said that as fans we shouldn’t encourage our girls to remain stagnant in a particular style. If we want them to be relevant and grow they have to go outside of what we’re used to. They might lose fans and gain some but those fans that they lost were never real fans of them as artists in the first place. If the girls were still in their Into The New World days, would they be as big as they are now?

TOZ: If SNSD was still ITNW, we probably wouldn’t have gotten Gee.

Steve: Exactly, that was his main point. From a SONE perspective GG albums are very diverse in style.

TOZ: Growing pains.

Steve: I think in general you can find at least one song you like. Again it’s subjective.

TOZ: In that case, I guess The Boys worked. You gotta know if you can do that.

Dreadtech: I never like albums as whole, I gave 2-3 songs from The Boys a 2/10, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy what I like and like them for it.

TOZ: Ebbs and flows. Shit, I’ve stayed with it this long. That’s my thing with hip-hop. I’ve spend probably my whole like obsessing over it. To turn my back on it now, would be foolish.

Dreadtech: I’m a Metal head, no matter what I listen to outside I always love some Metal, went to see System of a down this week, was head banging awesome.

TOZ: Take the good with the bad.

Steve: Exactly, you can’t have the same style every single time, people will get bored. It’s that whole, if you ate peanut butter jelly every day, you’d get sick of it, even if you love it.

TOZ: Although, I think you can maintain a certain style.

Steve: That’s true. But I don’t think Girls’ Generation would be where they are today if they stuck to a certain image.

TOZ: That applies to any musical act really.

Steve: I mean Run Devil Run made me love them even more.

Dreadtech: RDR made me salivate…what?

Steve: AND it was such a stark contrast from Oh! YES TIGHT WHITE PANTS. THE FUDGE~!

TOZ: The thing that bothered me about RDR. How the teaser beat was so dope. Nothing of it was used.

Maeniac: OMG YES. I’M STILL MAD ABOUT THAT.

TOZ: Me too!

Steve: SM does that. SM. (Laughs) All I know is, if SNSD has a comeback and we get 30 teasers. I’m going to fucking flip some tables. It’s a good thing they don’t need to build a fan base for the girls like EXO.

TOZ: Isn’t SM working on making an airline?

Maeniac: WTF? That’s news to my ass. I’ll take that flight home outta Korean then.

Steve: Taeyeon said she wanted a Chartered plane, that’s where TOZ is getting it from.

Dreadtech: Yeah but it’d cost extra to view MV’s on that flight

Steve: OH, and they recently acquired a travel agency (Laughs)

TOZ: So I wasn’t going crazy!

Maeniac: Taeyeon probably already owns a chartered plane. She’s just trying to drop hints.

Steve: Well getting into the airplane business requires some substantial capital. I’d rather they save it for their musicians. A private jet would be good though as Taeyeon said. But yeah with SM you never know. BUT LET ME JUST SAY RIGHT NOW, a plane with GG as FLIGHT ATTENDENTS.

Dreadtech: Well, if they are planning on their world domination, a private plane would be a great expenditure.

Maeniac: An SNSD plane sounds like shenanigans.

TOZ: They should keep the pink to a minimum. Black and Gold outfits.

Dreadtech: Fuck that, if they get one they need a pink that shit up. Make it stick out like a sore fucking thumb, and have banners flying from it. Flares too.

Steve: Mr. Pilot on the next album.

Maeniac: (Laughs)

TOZ: You know what? Going all out is probably better.

Steve: Although, the driving choreography would be about a flight stick.

Dreadtech: My kind of choreography.

Maeniac: If SNSD were flight attendants they wouldn’t be standing in the aisle showing you how to fasten your seatbelt, they’d be showing you choreography moves and shit.

Steve: Seohyun would tell you to fasten your seatbelt.

Dreadtech: She’d lead the safety protocols.

TOZ: This was totally an episode or two of a T-ara show. Learning to be flight attendants.

Maeniac: Did you know that flight attendants is like one of the elite careers for Korean women?

Steve: Didn’t know that.

TOZ: It’s highly sought after.

Maeniac: It’s like straight after high school, you go to “stewardess” school. They take it hella seriously.

TOZ: Goals. Never hurts.

Steve: That’s fantastic.

TOZ: I gotta know: favorite SNSD song?

Dreadtech: I said it before: Star Star Star. Specifically the R’n’B remix.

Steve: Don’t have a favorite, love too many…but if we go by how many times I’ve listened to one…it’d be Genie. I have 7 remixes of that song alone. Japanese version sounds better than the Korean IMO. Plus the Japanese PV for Genie was pretty freaking awesome.

Maeniac: All of the ballads, and Dear Mom cause that shit makes me cry. The song “Beginning” was totally their S.E.S/Finkl throwback.

TOZ: I love me some Merry-Go-Round. Back when I wanted to watch SNSD on Hello Baby, when they used that song. I freaked out. THEY NEVER USE MERRY GO ROUND!

Steve: (Laughs)

Dreadtech: Fun song.

Steve: What concept was your favorite from SNSD?

Maeniac: I like The Boys concept, girls in power suits is the sex for me. I wish they touched up on the fairy tale characters though. That was such a waste.

TOZ: Gee. It’s simple. White Tees and jeans.

Dreadtech: I really did enjoy The Boys concept. But you can’t beat the white tees and jeans.

Steve: It’s okay Dread, you’re just being a normal dude. DEM WHITE TEES.

Maeniac: I loved Genie’s.

Steve: But really, they’re all awesome and unique in their own way.

TOZ: Outside of SNSD, what other K-pop gets into your rotation? If any?

Steve: Tons.

Dreadtech: Tiger JK a whole lot recently.

Maeniac: Jay Park.

Steve: JK is awesome.

Dreadtech: But I always listen to the new stuff that comes out and make a decision if I wanna add it to my playlist.

Steve: For girl groups outside of GG I listen to KARA, Brown Eyed Girls, Wonder Girls, 2NE1, and SISTAR. Probably forgetting some.

TOZ: Sixth Sense was pretty good.

Steve: Sixth Sense was AMAZING. Brown Eyed Girls can sing.

Dreadtech: I don’t enjoy anything of 2NE1 sadly, I see their talent, and subjectively I don’t enjoy their songs.

Steve: To be fair I only like two SISTAR songs anyways. SISTAR19 gets the most play time.

Dreadtech: MA BOY!

Steve: (Laughs) OH FORGOT MISS A. And f(x).That’s bout it though I think. In terms of what I listen too usually for K-pop girl groups.

TOZ: Well, that’s all the topics I wanted to touch on. Any last words? Or anything else you want to talk about?

Dreadtech: Thanks for inviting me to this interview, I had a good time, even though I turned up late.

Steve: Thanks for having us on! If anyone on Selective Hearing is a fan of Shoujo Jidai/So Nyuh Shi Dae/Girls’ Generation please check us out @ www.snsdkorean.com.

Written by TOZ

TOZ

TOZ is Selective Hearing’s resident Urban music aficionado. He also has a keen interest in K-Pop, sneakers, Star Trek and long walks on the beach.

  • http://arbitrary-greay.livejournal.com/ Arbitrary_greay


    A respected person from the community addressed this issue really well. He basically said that as fans we shouldn’t encourage our girls to remain stagnant in a particular style. If we want them to be relevant and grow they have to go outside of what we’re used to. They might lose fans and gain some but those fans that they lost were never real fans of them as artists in the first place. If the girls were still in their Into The New World days, would they be as big as they are now?

    The problem though, isn’t the girls experimenting with all of the different styles. Every Hello!Project album does that, too. The problem is that those songs in all of those different styles are still not good. Take “My J,” for instance. I think it’s a cute Jpop-y song, but it’s also nearly a dead ringer for Arashi’s “Wish,” and once you hear “Wish,” “My J” sounds incredibly low quality in comparison. I don’t mind their trying to be varied in sound, but that’s different from being experimental with GOOD music. That would be MomoClo. 
    It’s not that people complaining about not liking their music since Genie want them to put out more Genie clones, but simply that “The Boys,” no matter how “different” it is from anything they’ve done before is simply Not Good. No points for effort and not being stagnant if the result is still Not Good. You don’t want growth in the wrong direction, which is what happened Japan album –> The Boys album. 

    • TOZ

      Completely agree with you. But, there is something in figuring out what works and what doesn’t. We can hope that the next thing they put out is better. Artists are allowed to have some bad tracks in their catalog, right?

      • http://arbitrary-greay.livejournal.com/ Arbitrary_greay

        But that really only works if the artist is writing their own songs, or they primarily work with one producer, because then bad tracks can be attributed to the development of the artist or producer’s skills. Since SNSD is operating off of “receive a shit-ton of tracks, pick the best ones,” I’m dumb-founded as to how they keep picking the most generic tracks. SM supposedly holds these huge European songwriting sessions, so I find it hard to believe better alternatives weren’t available, especially when groups around them are putting out good stuff. 
        Plus, other than Gee, SNSD are hardly trail-blazing in sound, which is the other justification for “figuring out what works and what doesn’t.” Every song on The Boys album was just grabbing standard examples of genres that have already existed for years, with no attempt to put a fresh twist on them other than “SNSD is singing this genre.” That’s the difference between the grab-bag nature of SNSD and the grab-bag nature of Morning Musume/Hello!Project, because the latter has that Tsunku flavor, and sometimes he mixes it up. CC was a triplet song, but it wasn’t just another Womanizer/Right Round clone like all of the triplet songs in Kpop.

        • steve

          @openid-128616:disqus It’s always great to hear someone elses view and opinion about GG. Personally, I see where you’re coming from. As artists, even if you differ from your ‘normal’ style what you release should be ‘good’. 
          However, you talk about how SNSD doesn’t have a right to make ‘bad songs’ or have ‘bad tracks’ because they have SM entertainment producing and writing their music so the attribution of ‘awkward’ tracks shouldn’t be an excuse for mediocrity. I actually disagree with you entirely. As performers they have to learn a new style, sing the song in a certain way, and a producer decides that (and humans make mistakes). 

          Not even a lyricist has a say in how their song ends up sounding, the producer makes those decisions, and they can make all sorts of changes that differ from how they imagined it.

          The comment above was a reiteration of a die-hard fan so it isn’t really my personal thoughts but I agree with his reasoning and main idea. I’m not saying that SONEs or FANS should support an artist blindly if their music is horrible.

          What I’m saying is fans shouldn’t complain about how X song isn’t like Y song, because Y song was their favourite song. They should listen to a song, judge it for what it is, not what it isn’t.

          • http://arbitrary-greay.livejournal.com/ Arbitrary_greay

            I can agree with you about how songs change over the course of production, but I’m not sure that it applies to GG. Usually SM buys the songs from European songwriters, and then someone in-house writes Korean lyrics for it. (Sometimes a little bit of the production gets altered, like Yoo Young Jin’s work on TMYW, but for most of their discography the composer and producer are the same.) The exception was the Japan album, where STY and HIRO worked with the songwriters on composition, and then did their own production as well.  
            Besides, so far I’ve mostly been dissatisfied by the composition. The production on some of their (imo) most bland tracks is great, and I can’t complain about the girls’ voices either. But the melodies are dull to me, and that’s something that’s strictly the responsibility of the songwriter, before SM buys it.

            As for the last paragraph, I said that in my first comment as well. “It’s not that people complaining about not liking their music since Genie want them to put out more Genie clones, but simply that “The Boys,” no matter how “different” it is from anything they’ve done before is simply Not Good. No points for effort and not being stagnant if the result is still Not Good. You don’t want growth in the wrong direction, which is what happened Japan album –> The Boys album.”

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