Even while being celebrities constantly in the spotlight, BTS have always been very vocal about their hardships. They’ve talked about the ups and downs of their fame countless times, whether it’d be in their music, in interviews, or in one of their many behind-the-scenes documentaries.
With the release of their latest LP, BE, they served to remind us once again that they’re only human, and they feel the weight of their achievements weighing down on their shoulders much more than we can imagine.
In their global press conference, held in the morning of 20th November before the release of their album, they were asked about the “shadows” that came with the kind of fame they’ve gathered – carrying forward SUGA’s analogy from his intro “Shadow” from Map of the Soul: 7 where he likens this fame as intrusive dark entities constantly grabbing at them the higher they rise.
When RM – the leader of the group – was asked about how he tackles obstacles in life and the sense of emptiness that follows after, he gave a well-crafted answer befitting his many credits as lyricist in the groups discography.
“In my opinion, it’s all about relationship, eventually,” he said, then went on to expand on it. “For example, even if we were to win a Grammy, while there would be an enormous sense of joy and fulfillment, there will always be a sense of emptiness afterwards.”
Holding true to his honest personality, he continues to explain that no matter how much they achieve, the sense of not doing enough will never leave him.
“Even if we finish our performances perfectly, I think I’ll always feel the feelings of regret and despair which always discourages me. Even in this moment with ‘Life Goes On’ I struggle with those feelings.”
However he did finish his answer on a more positive note, going back to his previous statement of relationships.
“There are a lot of good and meaningful people in the world. The members, we all mean something to one another. The label means something to us and vice versa. There’s also all the people around the world who listen to our music and people like you who allow us to communicate. All of the people and the relationships we have help me cope with these types of feelings.”
RM was also asked about how they deal with the negativity that inevitably comes with this kind of profession. Another simple answer from the honest charismatic leader was enough without any more explanations.
“I think we are supposed to cope with all of the noise that [comes with] the great love we receive as artists.”
Similarly, V was also asked about how he overcomes the feeling of burnout, a feeling that he and his members are no strangers to, as they’ve experienced the harmful mental and physical exhaustion that comes with overworking. His answer was precise to his feelings.
“Honestly, I’ve been burnt out before, I know the feeling. In the past, I had a hard time because it hit me directly.” However, this feeling didn’t last long for him as he was able to get back into music and writing.
“Recently, however, I think I was able to overcome it by expressing those feelings into lyrics and music.”
He finished his answer happily, satisfied with his work and how well he’d done for himself. “I feel thrilled and accomplished by it.”
Jimin, too, gave an honest answer while talking about the current situations that are out of everyone’s control.
“For me, I think I’ve broken down a lot already.”
As someone who has performed from a really young age, who loves the stage and being in front of the fans, losing concerts – one of the only ways to meet fans from all over the world – at the start of the year hit him hard.
“At first, when this all happened…the virus hit us all in a way we never expected. I mean, honestly, performing on stage and meeting fans mean a lot to me and that feels like something I have to do. So when I couldn’t do that, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.
“It was the members by my side who comforted me,” he said, once again emphasizing how important the members are too each other; more than teammates but a source of strength for each other. Working on music helped him behind the scenes, talking to the members freely about his worries helped him get back to his purpose.
“That’s how I once again realized the reason why I love music and I do what I do. I had to move on”.
And it shows splendidly; their efforts have shone through with this album, their pain and happiness and confusion surrounding the pandemic and its uncertainty being captured perfectly in a clean 8 track LP. We hope this album can comfort more people, as it has helped BTS too and given them more meaning behind their purpose and goals as musicians.
Watch the MV for the title track “Life Goes On” below and feel the song’s simple message for yourself.