TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s ‘The Name Chapter: Temptation’ Is the Relatable K-Pop Stars’ Biggest Step Yet: ‘It’s Really Our Story’
When TOMORROW X TOGETHER unveiled the first visuals for their Billboard 200 No. 1–contending album The Name Chapter: Temptation, the K-pop boy band quickly set the Internet ablaze with the dreamy, skin-baring set of photos and videos. Even if the group’s millions of fans and followers aren’t similarly preparing for fantastical photo shoots and TV performances on the regular, the quintet is honest about the relatable mindset to push towards their goals and showcase why TXT is increasingly earning its title as “K-pop’s voice of Gen Z.”
When discussing The Name Chapter: Temptation, TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and HueningKai don’t differentiate when speaking about the ways diet, idleness and exercise affect their lives as both musicians and everyday people. At just 20 years old, youngest member HueningKai describing resisting certain meals as “a war against food” may be an essential part of his K-pop experience but also a battle that everyone fights from time to time. Taehyun mentioning “the temptation of laziness” may be more top of mind for a schedule-packed starlet, but who hasn’t had a morning of hitting the snooze button an extraordinary amount of times?
TOMORROW X TOGETHER don’t preach to rise above vices, nor do they try to appear as if they don’t fall to temptations themselves, but instead bring these shared experiences to life through more outstanding creative contributions (like “Happy Fools” with Coi Leray) and the most impressive choreography of their careers (watch “Devil by the Window” and new single “Sugar Rush Ride”). The guys emphasize that not only are their lived experiences inside The Name Chapter: Temptation, but the front-to-back listening experience previews the next page in their story, which is sure to continue this deeper look into these five engaging, empathetic superstars.
Read on for Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and HueningKai’s reflections on their latest EP, new goals, favorite songs and more.
Congratulations on the new music, TOMORROW X TOGETHER! What are you most looking forward to starting this new chapter?
TAEHYUN: What I look forward to the most is the reaction of our fans when the music first releases. When we are preparing for the album release right now and that’s the time when we can most feel that “Oh, we are finally releasing the album” feeling.
Your album titles The Dream Chapter and Chaos Chapter give obvious hints about where the music will go, but The Name Chapter is a little more open-ended. Can you explain it?
TAEHYUN: We always talk about growth. We’ve talked about friendship for The Dream Chapter, and some love being broken in our Chaos Chapter. And, finally, we arrived at The Name Chapter and you know you have to grow up but sometimes you don’t want to yet. That’s what this EP is about: You’re tempted to stay in “Neverland” because it’s sweet and you’re young and free. But at the end of this album, you say “Farewell, Neverland” because you know you have to go, so you have to go.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER always put your stories into your albums. How do you relate and fit with what you just described?
TAEHYUN: The overarching theme of this album is “temptation.” And I think that we come across many temptations from different places as we grow. The track that I’ve felt like it’s really our story is the third track “Happy Fools.” We all contributed in making this track and it talks about a story of how we fall into the temptation of laziness. YEONJUN did a beautiful job top lining the song, and all five of us contributed to the lyrics writing so it truly became our song.
What does the new single “Sugar Rush Ride” represent in your story?
HUENINGKAI: I think this song really incorporates our overarching theme of this album, which is temptation, really well. So it talks about a temptation of a sugar rush, which is irresistible and very, very sweet. So, I think it represents our refreshing, dreamlike and even sexy charms.
SOOBIN: It’s not only about an experience that we have, but I think it’s an experience that everyone has. So, I think everyone can resonate with the song too.
“Sugar Rush Ride” has the lyric, “The devil said, ‘Gimme, gimme more’” and you have the “Devil by the Window” song. With the album’s theme, what temptations do you battle in your lives?
HUENINGKAI: I think the temptation that you come across in everyday life is diet. So, when you go on a diet, you can’t really resist the temptation of food. It’s basically a war against food. So, I think that’s the strongest and scariest temptation we can ever come across.
YEONJUN: I agree.
You guys always look great and the Internet went wild with your concept photos. Did you do anything specific to prepare for those, either mentally or physically?
YEONJUN: Yeah, I worked out almost every day.
Tell us more about the visuals for this album: You have “Daydream,” “Nightmare,” “Farewell,” and “Lullaby” concept photos.
TAEHYUN: I can basically explain our concept photo that it has different concepts and, I think, they’re basically in a chronological order. In “Daydream,” we depict how we fall into the temptation and how happy and pleased we are falling into the temptation. For “Nightmare,” we express how we recognize that we have fallen into the temptation and try to fight off the temptation. In “Farewell,” we finally overcome the temptation and take one step further away from the temptation.
You always emphasize wanting to grow with every album release. In what ways do you feel like you grew with this new album?
HUENINGKAI: Every time we release a new album, we give a try to new and various genres. And of course, for this album as well, we gave a try to many new genres. So it was our first time trying Afropop genre, which is a pretty difficult genre but I think everyone did a very good job in recording “Tinnitus (Wanna Be a Rock)” and we wrapped that up pretty nicely. And other than the songs, I think the concept photo–wise, it was our first time trying that concept of a “dreamlike” concept, but every member did a good job pulling off that concept.
What’s everyone’s favorite track on the album?
TAEHYUN: That’s my favorite today, “Tinnitus (Wanna Be a Rock).”
HUENINGKAI: I would choose “Farewell, Neverland,” the last track.
YEONJUN: I’ll choose “Happy Fools.”
SOOBIN: I’m the same with HUENINGKAI, the last track, “Farewell, Neverland.”
BEOMGYU: I will choose “Happy Fools” too.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER has hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200. I have a really good feeling about this album, but do you have any new goals, hopes or dreams this time?
HUENINGKAI: Of course, to perform at the bigger stages and perform at the AMAs.
YEONJUN: Attending [American Music Awards] was a really good experience, but next time we want to perform.
TAEHYUN: We also want to build and strengthen our color. We want people to listen to our music and think, “Hey, that’s TXT and that was awesome.”
What else do you want to emphasize to fans with this release?
TAEHYUN: Fans want spoilers and hints every time we release a new album. And I want to tell our fans that if you listen to the tracks from Number One to Number Five, in order, then you can get a hint for our next album.
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