Dreamcatcher may do pop music, but it’s a hell of a lot louder than anyone else’s in K-Pop.
There are little ruses – like intros of tinkling piano keys and whooshing synths – but these fast give way to walls of rock guitars and hard, driving percussion, which made their 2017 debut single, Chase Me and its follow ups, Good Night, and Fly High, stand out from the pack
Within that trilogy, JiU, Siyeon, Handong, SuA, Yoohyeon, Dami and Gahyeon let the story of their dream concept play out through the videos – each girl represents a different nightmare, such as being trapped – while they’re pursued by a nightmare hunter, played by actor Jo Donghyuk.
While fans of J-rock, anime and mainstream groups such as Paramore or Babymetal will be familiar with the layering of pop vocals over tempestuous instrumentals, for K-Pop, and particularly a female group, this is a stepping stone beyond the norm.
With last summer’s EP Prequel taking a top 5 position on South Korea’s Gaon chart, and Billboard’s US World and K-Pop charts, it’s clear Dreamcatcher’s sonic ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ style has found a fervent following. The members have brought their Fly High show to Europe for a seven-city tour and although they won’t divulge any clues as to their upcoming new material, Dreamcatcher talk girl power, touring, and British accents in their interview with Metro.co.uk.
Your nightmare/horror concept is refreshing for a girl group, but which members did it suit the best, and why?
SuA: Every member, really…
JiU: That’s right. Because every Dreamcatcher member suits the concept so well and keeps getting better at it, I honestly even thought that we were born to be in Dreamcatcher.
Dami: Also, even with the same concept, everyone has a different way to express it.
Gahyeon: It’s hard to pinpoint which one suits the best
Siyeon: I guess it just depends on individuality. The concept suits every one of us. Maybe one of these seven nightmares is your type of a nightmare!
You’re known for your rock sound, but your albums also contain ballads (Emotion, 괜찮아!) and a dance track (Sleep-walking). What style would you like to try next?
Dami: I want to try electronic and legit hip hop.
SuA: R&B and hip hop would be great.
Yoohyeon: I especially want to do retro.
JiU: I love jazz so much. I’m excited to see how it will be if Dreamcatcher tries jazz.
Gahyeon: For me, EDM!
Dreamcatcher are powerful on and off stage – does this come naturally to all the members?
Dami: I was actually a very shy person when I was young. When I was in school, I never raised my hand to speak up in class.
Yoohyeon:Same with me.
Dami: But I started changing once I started becoming a singer. I used to be very shy around people I never met before, but now I strike up a conversation with them first, which is quite interesting.
Siyeon: For me, I am not a shy person in general but I get kind of sensitive when it comes to my personal relationships. I get shy around new people…
JiU: My personality also changed a lot since being in this industry. For me, when I was in middle school or even high school, I could not even say “I want to become a singer!” when people asked me what I wanted to become. I’m not sure why, but I just felt self- conscious. My face would also get super red whenever people ask me to dance in front of people. I would be like, “What should I do?!?!”
The group had their one-year anniversary recently – did you throw a party, and who is the party animal?
All: Party animal! Hahaha!
JiU: Actually we released a fan song (Full Moon) and had a fan meeting.
Gahyeon: I had so much fun that day. I was so happy and and cried because it was so touching.
Siyeon: We celebrated it along with a new year’s party at the company. We really enjoyed it with good food and JiU did the toast for Dreamcatcher!
JiU: Yoohyeon should be a party animal.
Yoohyeon: No way.
Siyeon: Honestly, we’ve never had a proper party before.
Yoohyeon: Right. Never had one.
Dami: It’s a party every time we’re together.
Siyeon: When we’re together, we have more fun than anyone in the world.
Gahyeon: Even in a car ride?
Who is your roommate in hotels, and what’s their most noticeable habit that you either love or hate?
Gahyeon: Actually our roommates change per tour.
Jiyoo: Are you glad you’re rooming with her?
Siyeon: It feels like she is using the room independently.
Gahyeon: That means you are easy to room with.
Siyeon: I actually think it is a good thing. I roomed with Dami and Dong before. Both of them use the room quite independently. In the morning when I wake up, I am….alone….
SuA: Siyeon tends to be very quiet when rooming together.
Handong: Unless I talk to her first, she is usually very quiet.
Siyeon: I am usually just… (looking up at her phone)
SuA: What about a bad thing?
Siyeon: There was none. I will look for one this time.
Handong: I won’t give you a chance!
SuA: I’m rooming with JiU. A good thing is that we talk a lot and feel very comfortable around each other. As for a bad habit… hmm… Oh! There is one I remember!!! She takes (a) long (time) when washing.
Gahyeon: Yoohyeon and Dami…
Yoohyeon: It’s been a while (since we roomed).
Gahyeon: She will crush you if you accidently cross her side of the bed.
Dami: I know that’s going to happen. I’m thinking of ways to distract her.
JiU: Yoohyeon usually can’t be the room. When she and SuA roomed in Brazil, she would ask SuA to come to the swimming pool constantly or go out
When can we expect you to name your fandom? Have there been any new ideas that the members really like?
JiU: We know a lot of fans are waiting. But since the fandom name cannot be changed once it’s set, we’re trying to be as careful and thoughtful as possible to make the name connect well so that we can call our fans with love. We hope you guys can hold tight just a bit longer! As for the name idea that we liked….
Gahyeon: Oh, “Suncatcher” is really great.
Siyeon: Is it?
Yoohyeon: But it’s quite difficult to say.
SuA: Time out! “Suncatcher” was actually my idea.
Gahyeon: “Chers”. That sounds weird
SuA: Hopefully it will be decided this year.
Gahyeon: We will try hard.
When one of the members is having a tough time, how do you support her? And is there a ‘mom’ of the group?
SuA: When we have a tough time, we try to talk it out a lot. We listen to each other well.
Gahyeon: Honestly, we don’t really say “oh, I’m in a terrible mood” first. We’re very good at noticing each other’s mood.
SuA: For us, our family structure is very distinctive.
Yoohyeon: Dad (pointing at JiU), mother (pointing at SuA).
Do you just hang out in the dorm and relax?
Siyeon: We don’t really hang out in the dorm together.
Gahyeon: Because what everyone likes doing is so different.
Siyeon: So we just do things on our own but keep in touch constantly. Even when we’re in the same house, we talk through messenger.
Gahyeon: If we want to do the same thing, we come to the living room and do it together.
Internationally, male, rather than female, K-Pop groups have been riding high for some time. What do you think when you hear that?
SuA: That’s the first time we’ve been asked that question.
Dami: People might think that but there are a lot of popular girl groups so I don’t think that only male groups do well.
Yoohyeon: And we’re gonna make history.
Do you want to change that trend and help bring more female groups onto the world stage?
All: Of course!
JiU: It was our goal to go on a world tour before our debut. We had no idea that we would be able to go on a Europe tour so soon in our career. We’d love to give a performance that will make people rave!
[This interview has been condensed for written purposes]