MCM Buzz previously interviewed TOPP DOGG back at the beginning of 2014 just as the group was settling into the whole entertainment scene. They were rookies back then, promoting their hit song “Arario”. How times change. This time when we talk with them they were in the midst of a major European tour, visiting Milan, London and Paris.
While fans were waiting to enter the Troxy in London to see TOPP DOGG perform live for the first time in the UK, MCM Buzz sat down with the super K-pop boy group’s 12 members: P-goon, Jenissi, Sangdo, Nakta, Gohn, B-joo, Hansol, Hojoon, Xero, Yano, Kidoh and A-tom. We wanted to catch up with them to see what a difference nearly two years can make. It seems that the members have grown in all aspects as we speak about their upcoming album, fans, dancing and the zombie apocalypse. As you do.
Since the last time MCM Buzz interviewed you, how have things changed for you?
There have been individual developments within the group. Musically we have expanded and we feel there has been an increase within our fandom (Topp Klass). We have a new album coming out soon and we hope a lot of our fans will support us with it.
You have all obviously grown – personally, musically and vocally – whilst keeping that unique quality that identifies you as TOPP DOGG. A year and a half on, what does Topp Dogg mean to you now?
TOPP DOGG felt like a village where we felt like friends rather than family. However recently we felt like it was more like the army or military; not because of the tough training but more for the relationships that we have created and grown, along with the brotherhood we have made.
Although the basis of your music runs with Korean hip hop and K-pop, you have always bought something completely new or reminiscent of the past to the modern day music scene. What themes would you like to cover next?
It’s true that in the past with music like “Annie” and “Arario” we did put in all the old-school features to create TOPP DOGG’s colours. However, we no longer wish to recreate anything any more as we want to create something that is completely new to TOPP DOGG and to our fans. Just as we did with “Love Me Like You Do” we would like to work on more pieces similar to that.
As Korean music has become more mainstream in the western world, do you feel that it has reached its peak? Do you feel there is more to come from the Hallyu Wave?
There are a lot of seniors and juniors beside our group who are not part of and also part of the Hallyu Wave. We don’t feel we have reached the peak just yet. There is so much passion and feeling within the movement that there is a lot more to show in terms of performances.
The dances are getting more complex and dangerous to perform, with acrobatics and harder and faster choreography. What has been the hardest piece of choreography that you have performed? Do you feel you can raise your levels of dance from what you have already done?
We believe that a lot of dancers base their routines on their feelings rather than technique. For example, our choreography in “Follow Me” was particularly difficult because there was a key point to the dance; that was definitely the most difficult dance for us. We feel we can also up our level of dance but it will just depend on our personal will power to do so.
You’re finally in Europe promoting as a group. What do you hope to see or do whilst your touring this time around?
When you think of Europe you think of the culture and fashion so we wanted to shop and sightsee around for a bit. We were lucky enough to have the chance to shop around Milan for a little while which was fun. As for London and Paris I would really like to look around and eat the local food to see what it’s like.
As you progress throughout your career you gather many fans along the way. What do your TOPP KLASS fans mean to you?
We would say that Topp Klass fans are like oxygen to us, because oxygen helps things to grow so we feel that in a similar way they allow us as TOPP DOGG to grow. It’s very important to have fan meetings with our fans as it gives us a unique chance to meet them in such a personal way. Even if it’s not a very secretive occasion, it’s a nice way to meet them all and look at them in the eye whilst they are looking back at us.
Long-term fans can easily define each member of the group but it wont be easy for new fans of yours to keep track. What is the easiest way to remember each member?
We divide into separate units where we specialise in a certain subject. We have the sub-groups called Wizard, Lion, Knight and Dragon and we feel it could be easier to learn our names that way. Fans and friends can also check us out on our social medias to get to know us better and so we can catch up with our followers there.
Who is the funniest member? What nicknames do you have? And what do they mean?
B-Joo is the funniest member of the group and Hojoon is the least funniest. As for nicknames Yano had a big face so we nicknamed him “Gyeranppang” which is a form of big bread in Korea.
What are the items you cannot leave behind when you know you are going to perform? What are your lucky charms?
Underwear is important with some of the members; the fit and colour is very important and kind of a lucky charm for us, it allows us to create a fun stage. So for our London concert we have prepared a lot of different types of underwear.
If there were a zombie outbreak, how would each member react to the panic? Who would end up leading the group? And where would you go?
If there were a zombie outbreak we believe that Hansol would be the most scared and would run away screaming. We don’t think there would actually be a leader at all and we would probably all go our own separate ways in the panic. But we think there should be a stage at the end where TOPP DOGG can gather with our fans.
Thank you for your time, do you have a message for the MCM Buzz readers and for your European fans?
We really wanted to come to London so everyone who has supported us has made our dreams come true. It has been a year since our last album, so we ask our fans to look out for our new album that will be released next month. We also ask that you can show unconditional love and never ending support to us in the future. Thank you ever so much and Fighting ~!
A very big Thank You to Stardom Entertainment, TOPP DOGG, Jazzy Group, and Kpop Agency for their time and effort. Be sure that you keep checking back to MCM Buzz for a full review of TOPP DOGG’s concert in London, and be sure to check out more photos from the interview and concert on our Facebook.
Photography by: Sarah Tsang