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everything we learned from BTS’s comeback interview

It was a long five weeks.

by Douglas Greenwood
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Oct 2 2019, 1:54pm

It’s funny, now that we’ve waited almost four years for Rihanna to come back out of the woodwork with a new album, that a statement-worthy hiatus for K-Pop behemoths BTS is pretty much just a five week holiday for the rest of the music world. The South Korean septet, who have been touring and releasing songs non-stop since their rise to fame back in 2015, have swiftly become known as the hardest working people in pop, and they have the receipts to back that up: they’re the first K-Pop group to top the Billboard Hot 100, have been the highest rating musicians in the world on social media for the past two and a half years, and have sold out multiple dates at just about every stadium on the planet.

The news of their decision to take five back in August caused many fans to think of the unthinkable: that BTS were using “hiatus” as a euphemism for disbanding, much like how One Direction bowed out a few years prior (yes, we’re still bitter). But worry not, the seven lads are still on good terms and are already back on the road , with plans to make new music later this year.

Thanks to this new cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, marking their hotly anticipated return after a few weeks (we know) off, we’ve found out some juicy details about the BTS bunch, including where they hang out in their home city, how long they plan on sticking around in the K-Pop sphere, and what they’ve all been up to during their time off.

They eat at a bougie restaurant called Dotgogi
When the boys are not touring, it’s safe to say they have total ownership over any table they desire in Seoul’s restaurants — but you best bet they’re not sitting among the public diners. In order to avoid a mass pile-up at the front doors, the BTS gang agreed to meet The Hollywood Reporter journalist Seth Abramovich in the VIP lounge of Dotgogi. It’s a five-star restaurant famed for its dry-aged pork, some of which has been cured for 21 days before it hits the palates of the K-Pop elite.

Soju shots are always on the table
They might be the biggest band on planet earth at the moment, but when BTS are off the clock, they act like seven college-aged kids. During their conversation with Seth, he points out how proficient they are at knocking back lettuce wraps filled with that aforementioned pork belly and soju shots, left right and centre. Legends.

RM went to Venice
While the majority of the BTS boys spent their five weeks back home with their families, RM decided to hop back on a plane and head to Europe. He spent his vacation in Venice, exploring the art scene and having some well deserved R&R. Does this mean he was in the Italian city at the same time as Timothee? He also likes to binge Stranger Things like the rest of us, which is quite reassuring.

They’re still baffled by all of the attention
RM also said that he can’t quite wrap his head around why people have taken such a keen interest in BTS’ lives off-stage. He still feels like a normal boy, apparently, but he’ll “turn on CNN and BBC and they're talking about our vacation. It feels like we're living in a different world”. The dichotomy between real life and celebrity, even when you’re mega famous, is still wild.

Their pad in Seoul sounds insane
They might have the money to buy their own plush pads now, but all seven boys live under the same roof in one of the most exclusive apartment buildings in Seoul. They don’t even have their own rooms either: instead, they sleep 2-3 to a room like they’re in boarding school. Though, as the article points out, said dorm rooms have Banksy artwork on the wall. Like if Ibiza Rocks and the Saatchi Gallery had an architectural baby.

They can’t back out of military service still
Sure, they might be the most successful group in K-Pop history and account for $4.65 billion of South Korea’s GDP, but the rule that all men under the age of 28 must serve two years of military service still stands. In fact, Jin could be conscripted at any given moment, since he turns 27 in December. "The company believes military service is a duty,” Bang – the man behind the group and just about every other K-Pop group of note, told THR, “and we will try to show the fans the best of BTS until, and after, the members have fulfilled their service duties."

The group could still be going in a decade’s time
While the shelf life of the average pop group tends to be five years at a push, BTS are hellbent on doing what they do for as long as possible. Nobody has any plans to go fully solo, nor do they want to become big Hollywood stars anytime soon, either. Jimin says: "We're not really compelling each other to keep this going. It's nothing like that. We just have so much fun together singing and dancing that we want it to continue." Suga chimed in to echo the sentiment: "As long as our bodies hold up, we'll be doing the same thing in 10 years”. Looks like the BTS Army have nothing to worry about – the boy band they love won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Read the full interview here

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.