The title of your recent concert “Odd Age, 28” left a big impression on me. Like your songs with titles such as “Having Nothing is Merit”, “Good Job Again, Today”, “Dear Hardcore Life”, “Still, It’s OK Sometimes”, the age 28 is a keyword to describe Oksang Dalbit. What did the age of 28 mean to you?
Yoon Joo: The time spent playing the piano because it was a time when I could try again even if I failed. It’s a good age to try anything. I’m always living to the fullest [t/n: litteral translation would “living hard”], but it was a time of my life when there was always excitement thanks to the great and new experiences I went through.
Se Jin: When I look back now, every moment back then was bright. I enjoyed each day, even little things gave me a “hahahoho” moment. And I was also quite busy. Since I was struggling to make a living just with music, I also had a part-time job to teach kids in an academy. I made time I didn’t have to record songs, I performed on weekends, but I didn’t know exhaustion. The outcome of this time of my life is our first album “28”.
Looking back at your life when you were 28 from the perspective of a 32-year-old, do you have this sad feeling that the very end of your blooming youth is gone? Is it the happiness of someone whose experiences made her heart stronger?
Se Jin: It was close to a cool happiness because the end of your blooming youth means entering your 30’s, but it doesn’t mean the end of everything. It’s the same youth, but no bloom.
Yoon Joo: One thing for sure is that we got older. (smiles)
Se Jin: If I compare back then and now, not everything is laugh and tears. I’m happy because we still see each other, we joke around and can have our “hahahoho” moments.
I wanted to give you a round of applause for the line “an odd generation with no time to win love over” in your song “Odd Generation”. Which lyrics make each of you think “I did a good job with this line”?
Se Jin: We both like this line. It seems there’s this fantasy it’s cooler to conquer love than to win it over. [t/n: she uses two different words that would be translated as “conquer” in both cases, but I think she means love isn’t a competition or a war]
Yoon Joo: I like the part “I’m living to the fullest today just like yesterday” in the song “I Wish To Disappear” because, although many people do live hard today more than they did yesterday, the letdown is even bigger when they don’t get the outcome they wanted.
Your lyrics are full of small emotions from our daily lives. They communicate emotions people want to hide deep down their heart and they can relate to at the same time. Do you ever worry or feel pressured that you will run out of emotions to share?
Yoon Joo: Emptying your heart is a good way to deal with the emotions bottled up inside. That’s why there’s no pressure. On the contrary, there are many moments when I question myself about the emotions I’m feeling. It’s actually stressful to live your day without thinking and just following a schedule.
Se Jin: While I worry if I’m not being too candid, I also wonder if it’s not necessary to be this way in order to feel more the truth. What’s difficult is to find the balance between both feelings.
If you keep pumping water out of something, the bottom appears. If your emotions keep pouring out, won’t there be a moment when the source dries out?
Yoon Joo: When such times come, we look and observe attentively every thing around us. We feel differently situations we could have overlooked.
Your music gives comfort to others, which songs comfort you these days?
Yoon Joo: I’m realizing for sure these days that I really love beautiful music. Today, it was like the car wasn’t moving as I had “Valsa Carioca” by Sergio Mendez on repeat. I listened to it about ten times all the way home.
Se Jin: As I was listening to the song “Playground” by 영호네 구멍가게 [younghone gumeongkage] not long ago, I wondered if this was the “song healing” people tell us about. I felt like I was back to the time I was in elementary school. I don’t know why it warmed my heart and it felt good.
I heard you were planning to release a new song in October. Please give us a hint about what it will be like.
Yoon Joo: We came here after another meeting about it today. I don’t know if it’s different, but it seems it will be an attempt at something new for us.
Se Jin: We’re working out hard, we’re eating well for this new song.
Your mind is probably focused on your new album, but what other personal interests do you have?
Yoon Joo: Bowling! I’m back to practising because my score dropped after I bought a new bowling ball. I’m already excited because I’m starting swimming next week/
Se Jin: I’m looking up houses because I will move out when the time is right. The price is my biggest interest and my biggest worry.
Have you ever thought about which emotions you will sing about in ten years?
Yoon Joo: I only had the vague thought that I will sing about what I feel when I’m 42. I don’t know what that will be, but I hope I will still be open-minded and able to tell the stories I want to talk about.
Se Jin: I don’t know if we will sing also songs for children. There will be nothing better than being more heart-warming and generous.
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com