It has been two-and-a-half years since VERIVERY burst onto the K-pop scene with their boyishly charming debut single ‘Ring Ring Ring’. Coupled with their energetic performances and solid vocals, the seven-member act have proven their prowess as the successors to their Jellyfish Entertainment seniors and third-generation K-pop powerhouses VIXX.
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The septet – comprising members Dongheon, Hoyoung, Minchan, Gyehyeon, Yeonho, Youngseung and Kangmin – have since matured in sound and style, adopting complex storylines in their releases and a sleeker, darker aesthetic. Earlier this year, VERIVERY embarked on their new ‘Series ‘O’’ story, taking on the concept of a “death-game”, which main dancer Hoyoung later explains.
Back with their sixth mini-album ‘Series ‘O’ Round 2: Hole’ and its powerful title track ‘Trigger’, this time around VERIVERY tell the story of each member as they overcomes a series of quests while fighting the darkness that threatens to take over them.
Shortly after its release, VERIVERY sat down with NME to share more about the story behind ‘Series ‘O’ Round 2: Hole’, the long-awaited return of member Minchan, their admiration for Coldplay and more.
Hello VERIVERY, and congratulations on your new mini-album, ‘Series ‘O’ Round 2: Hole’! It has only been about five months since your last release, how does it feel to be back so quickly?
Dongheon: “It feels like it’s been a long time since our last comeback, but I was very happy while preparing for our fans and getting ready for this album. And we’re also really glad to have this interview!”
Could you tell us more about your new title track ‘Trigger’ and what your fandom VERRER can look forward to in this comeback?
Hoyoung: “[in English] Our title track is called ‘Trigger’, and the song features a unique sound that is signature to VERIVERY. The concept of this album, it’s like a death-game, as if we’re completing a quest one by one in this album. If you watch it, it’ll be fun [laughs].”
Minchan: “Instead of talking about ‘Trigger’, I’d like to introduce our album. In our last album, we were invited to a party by an unknown person, while in this album, we’re in a situation where existence is washing away, and we’re all confined to our own spaces, and slowly get taken over by darkness. We focused on the storyline that follows our individual quests that we each overcome, and we hope that piques your interest!”
How does the music video for ‘Tigger’ connect to the one for your previous single ‘Get Away’?
Gyehyeon: “In our last release, it was more about finding darkness, while this time, the story is more about being trapped in that darkness and being confused while in that space and situation.”
Aside from ‘Trigger’, what are some of VERIVERY’s favourite B-sides from the new mini-album?
Yeonho: “My personal favourite song is ‘Prom’, which we wrote ourselves.”
Kangmin: “[in English] I like ‘Prom’ too, but I like ‘Underdog’ the most.”
Speaking of ‘Prom’, quite a few of VERIVERY’s members were involved in the writing and composition for the track. Can you tell us more about this song and how it came about?
Dongheon: “Personally, while recording the song, we enjoyed it as if we were going to a prom party. The atmosphere was very free and energetic.”
Yeonho: “Writing for ‘Prom’, it was actually Yongseung’s first time participating in songwriting and composing, so we had a lot of fun giving feedback to one another.”
What was it like recording a song that you were so deeply involved in writing and composing? Was it more comfortable, or did you feel more pressure when recording the track?
Gyehyeon: “I didn’t really feel any pressure because we directed everything ourselves. So no, no pressure!”
Yongseung: “Because there was no other director, I think it was more comfortable for us to give and receive feedback.”
What are VERIVERY’s biggest goals for this comeback?
Yeonho: “My biggest goal for this comeback is for many people to enjoy listening to VERIVERY’s music to overcome the hot summer.”
Dongheon: “I hope that through this album, people will see us as a group with limitless skill and potential to transform. And we hope to give hope to those who are listening.”
Also, congratulations Minchan on your return to group activities! Your fans are definitely excited to see you again. How does it feel to be back and what do you hope to showcase to fans with your return?
Minchan: “While I was taking a break, I was actually monitoring our other six members while they were performing on stage for ‘Get Away’. I really wanted to get involved and participate then, so I’m really excited to be back and for all seven of us to be a part of this album. I hope to be able to show fans a good performance and image.”
VERIVERY are the second boy group to debut under Jellyfish Entertainment, after VIXX. What kind of advice have you received from them?
Dongheon: “VIXX have a really big presence in K-pop, and it would be a lie to say that we don’t feel any pressure. They’ve given us a lot of advice, especially when it comes to our preparations for our title tracks. They have actually come along to our recordings to personally coach us in our facial expressions and all. While they are a bit more mature and sexy, I think we have a cuter image and style!”
How do you think your music and style have evolved between your debut and now?
Yeonho: “I think from our debut album, we’ve grown in many ways, such as our facial expressions. And we’ve also grown from our more cute side to show a more mature image.”
Do VERIVERY have any artists you particularly look up to as role models? Why do you look up to them?
Kangmin: “I personally look up to SUPER JUNIOR. Like them, I hope for VERIVERY to enjoy a long career and perform together for a long time.”
Dongheon: “I’ve been watching a lot of videos of Coldplay recently. In one of their videos they were performing on a really big stage, so I hope that we can also go on a stage like that as artists who can give hope to people the way they do.”
Are there any genres or concepts you wish to explore in your future releases?
Yeonho: “For our future albums, I hope we will be able to show both the more refreshing and mature sides of us.”
Dongheon: “In the future, I hope we can do a mix of band music with K-pop, or Jazz music with K-pop and kind of create a new genre within K-pop.”
Finally, what would VERIVERY like to say to your fans who have been eagerly awaiting your return?
Hoyoung: “[in English] So our fans have been waiting for us for a long time, it was our longest rest [period] since our last comeback so I want to thank them for giving us endless love and waiting for us. I hope they will love our new song ‘Trigger’, and we will show them great performances on stage. So, please look forward to it! Thank you guys.”
VERIVERY’s new mini-album ‘Series ‘O’ Round 2: Hole’ is out now.