It’s been a hard-fought battle for VERIVERY to get to where they are now. Despite a slew of superb releases over the past four years, from their new jack swing-inspired debut single ‘Ring Ring Ring’ to the sensual ‘Get Away’, the seven-member boyband always seemed to just fall under the radar of most K-pop listeners – though they certainly worked hard to cultivated their modest, dedicated fan base.
That all changed late last year, when the septet hit it out of the park with ‘Liminality – EP.LOVE’. The mini-album became the boyband’s first to sell over 100,000 copies, with its fun-loving title track ‘Tap Tap’ peaking at an impressive Number 13 on Circle’s Download Chart. To add a cherry on top, they also finally clinched their first-ever music show trophy on Show Champion in November 2022.
But they are not ones to rest on their laurels. Just six months after their breakout release, the boyband are back with ‘Liminality – EP.DREAM’, more determined than ever to build on their newfound success. To learn more about their new release, NME speaks to VERIVERY about their groovy new single ‘Crazy Like That’, how idol life has treated them so far and what they’ve learned since their 2019 debut.
Hello VERIVERY and congratulations on your new album ‘Liminality – EP.DREAM’! The record features a very light, refreshing and uplifting vibe, almost like a return to your debut sound. Was this an intentional callback and what was the creative process behind your new album?
Dongheon: “Soon after we debuted, we actually had difficulty with such a bright concept in terms of the creative process. It was challenging to express a bright, bubbly vibe through our vocals or performances. Now that we have grown and improved as artists, I think we’re doing a much better job at expressing that particular vibe.”
Kangmin: “There definitely were challenges while preparing for this album, but members discussed and considered a lot to make a good album.”
This album is the second release in your ‘Liminality’ series. What would you say are the differences between the ‘Liminality’ releases and your ‘Series ‘O’’ albums?
Yongseung: “For ‘Series ‘O”, its concept was about facing one’s inner darkness so it left rather a dark and strong image of us. For the ‘Liminality’ series, we begin to overcome that darkness from ‘Series ‘O”, accept the inner pain, and begin to look at what’s in front.”
Title track ‘Crazy Like That’ is an immediate standout. Tell us, how did the song end up with VERIVERY and what were your reactions to the track when you first heard it?
Gyehyeon: “When we first heard it, I think there were different opinions among the members as well. One of the worries was that it might be less impactful in terms of performance because it is an easy-listening track.”
Kangmin: “In addition, the original guide was actually sung by a female, so we even discussed [lowering the key]. There were multiple candidate songs for the title track, but at the end, we chose ‘Crazy Like That’ because we wanted to take on a new challenge for ourselves.”
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
Yeonho: “My favorite track is ‘Raincoat’, which was written by us. I like this song because it tells a honest story of us, and it represents VERIVERY’s growth.”
Gyehyeon: “I really like ‘Smile With You ( )’, which was written by us as well.”
Yongseung: “I think the B-side track ‘Juicy Juicy’ has an identity that VERIVERY can pull off well.”
Kangmin: “My favorite track is ‘Smile With You ( )’. I actually had some challenges while recording the song, but I think I grew more from the experience so I feel good every time I listen to ‘Smile With You ( )’.”
Hoyoung: “I personally love our title track ‘Crazy Like That’. One of the reasons is that, like Gyehyeon said earlier, it is an easy-listening track so I was thinking its performance might be a bit less impactful. But when I saw the whole performance, I thought the song sounds even better and it completes a great performance.”
Dongheon: “My favorite is ‘Thank you, NEXT?’! When we heard the demo version, I really liked the song and personally I want to do more with this song.”
You are now more than four years into your careers as K-pop idols. How would you describe VERIVERY as a group now compared to your debut?
Yeonho: “Since our debut, we have always prioritised our teamwork and communication with fans. Also, I can see that our teamwork grew stronger compared to four years ago.”
Kangmin: “I think we were more nervous and sensitive when we debuted more than four years ago. Now we have more experience, we matured by letting some things go and keeping our priorities and values. I like that about us.”
How has idol life treated you so far and what has been the most unexpected thing?
Yeonho: “Living as an idol, every year I have an especially meaningful experience on my birthday because so many people celebrate my birthday with me. It feels great to know that I am loved by so many people.”
Dongheon: “At first, I thought living as an idol was about how you’re viewed through music and performance. Something I did not fully understand was that being an idol requires a very serious attitude towards music and a lot of studying in music.”
Kangmin: “I think I was thinking a little lightly about being an idol before the actual debut, even before I was a trainee. Now that I’ve debuted, there are more challenges than expected. However, I also realize that our fans always help us to get through those challenges, which motivate me to continue promoting happily.”
Outside of your own music, what have you all been listening to lately and why?
Yongseung: “I enjoy listening to 99 Neighbors, a group that does rap. While studying more about tracks, I found their work very charming. I also like their voices, and their lyrics are impressive as well. A lot of parts of their music have left a great impression on me.”
Dongheon: “I have been practicing piano these days, and I’m practicing ‘Back on Top’ by HONNE. I personally like HONNE’s music, so I listen to it a lot lately.”
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Yongseung: “I am a big fan of FKJ, and I think I always talk about him in every interview. He’s such a talented musician, and I imagine that if we collaborate, we would be able to create something very interesting.”
Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fanbase VERRER?
Gyehyeon: “We’re back with our seventh mini-album, and we’re bringing new charms so I hope you look forward to it. Also, I hope you have a fun, cool summer with VERIVERY. Thank you always, and love you!”
VERIVERY’s new mini-album ‘Liminality – EP.DREAM’ is out now