Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 Important Revelations From Kang Gary's W Magazine Interview

Kang Gary's recent W Magazine interview is one of the best mainstream interviews he has had.

There are several things he revealed and reemphasized. For those who want to understand Kang Gary as an artist better, here are 10 things to pick up.

1. Music was, is and will always be the anchor in Kang Gary’s life

In different interviews in the past, he already said that he is a musician first and foremost and everything else “is just noise”. Those who only know him as a variety star believe that Kang Gary gives more weight to his TV career. Here, he reaffirmed that he considers his music as his passion in his career. So much so that he is would rather disappoint the Running Man fans than be unable to progress and grow as a musician.

Image Credit: http://www.theletters.org

Click here for the English Translation of the W Magazine Interview

2. He knew he will be criticized for the lyrics and the videos… but he didn’t care and still doesn’t care

He knew that fans who follow him as Kang Gary in Running Man will be disappointed in his album because of the explicit lyrics. He is the perfect gentleman in Running Man, naïve, pure and innocent. Then, he suddenly sings about sex… and more sex. Disappointing fans is not his primary goal, expressing his music is and that is the priority. Whether that disappoints fans is not important, his primary obligation is to his music and himself.

3. His Running Man persona is part of who he is but far from being everything he is

Yes, he is a gentleman, laid back and crazy but he is also a rebel, an artist, a non-conformist and a deep thinker with the capacity to see things from a perspective not many would comprehend. More importantly, he doesn’t give a fine f$%k whether or not people will understand what him. He needs angst, he needs to make mistakes, he needs to be human as human can be because it is in those depth of emotions can he pull out enough depth to write music.

4. He refuses to succumb to the He feels he is getting to that point when he is comfortable with his laurels and very much “used”

Even the best musicians and artists, after years of working hard and finally achieving success, get to that point when they don’t feel as motivated as they used to when they were struggling. When money starts pouring in, when the whole world is at their beck and call, things become a little less exciting. Gary knows he is approaching this stage but he refuses to give in. That’s why he goes out of his way to get exposed to new things, meet new people and revisit the youth, that stage in his life when he felt most determined.

5. He feels his image in Running Man confines him

The truth is that this is not the first time he mentioned feeling confined to his image in Running Man but this is the first time he did so in a mainstream interview.

He has been a musician for more than 16 years if you include the years he struggled prior to his debut. In those years, he has pretty much done what he wants to do. He never really had any bosses. In fact, his departure from his former groups is due to his unwillingness to compromise his artistry. He never lets anything gets in the way of his music or art.

When he joined Running Man, he suddenly became the gentle, goofy, pure and naïve guy. That’s not who he is. He is not pure and he is not innocent. He was the quietest among the members because he wasn’t “used” to the environment he was in. As the show progresses, people started zeroing in on the small things he does and before he knew it, the millions of viewers became too strong a force. The public built his image and he couldn’t control it.

Giving up control and being “misinterpreted” are two of the things he is not good at. He is not used to having anyone telling him who he should be and how he should act. He tweeted about worrying about his grandmother seeing his music videos but it doesn’t stop him for living his life the way he wants to.

This album, his music is a statement, “This is who I am, lock, stock and bruised-filled barrel. Like it or not, I don’t give a fuck.”

6. Running Man is a business move

He rejected the offer to be in Running Man. Cho PD actually “stalked” him for more than two weeks, eating at his restaurant everyday to get him to agree. Haha, Noh Hong-Chul, and MC Mong all helped out in convincing him. He agreed to give it a try after Gil discussed with him the possible benefits of appearing on the show.

They were, at that time, poised to create their entertainment company, LEESSANG Company. Noh Hong Chul put the final nail in the coffin when Noh Hong Chul told him his future artists and Leessang will benefit from the exposure he will get from the show.
He has come to love the show but variety is not his passion.

7. Clubbing is both fun and work. He gets drunk, dances and picks up women and guess what, he doesn’t care if people see him

He never denied going to clubs often. He admits to sleeping around, drinking and smoking. What people fail to understand is that it is both pleasure and work for him. Going to clubs keeps him in touch with new trends, with young people, with new ideas, allows him to meet new people… it allows him to live the kind of life that’s more familiar to more people and avoid him from building an artificial world ruled by the spoils of his celebrity.

8. The “natural tendency of young people” to rebel attracts him

It is the young that paves the way for many revolutions. Back when music and entertainment meant watching Beethoven conduct an orchestra, it was the young that decided to gather to someone’s house and create faster music. Elvis was barely in his 20s when he started shaking his hips and coming to the stage “undone”. The Beatles were all teenagers when they decided they will write their own music.

It is always that yearning to make their own mark, that fire to seek their own identity, that faith that they will find themselves in the midst of all the chaos that Kang Gary understands, appreciates and agrees with.

9. Freedom matters to him

Freedom from expectation, freedom from stagnation, freedom from predictability, freedom from the dictates of society… he holds these things dear. That’s why he resented the what the public painted him to be because of Running Man. His life is his and he wants that clear. It so happen that his music is his greatest demonstration of freedom.

10. For the first time in a mainstream interview, he mentioned his older brother

He has never done that. He has mentioned his mother several times. He mentioned his father once (he actually said “parents” and not “mother” in one song which is assumed to be a reference to both is mother and father) but this is the first time he mentioned having an older brother.

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