Walking into a room filled with eight idol singers who are waiting for YOU…is a surreal, but not disagreeable, way to start a Saturday evening. This ahjumma interviewer’s withering bog-witch heart very nearly skipped a beat, stepping into a Skyway Theatre greenroom and being greeted by eight-tenths of Golden Child on July 2nd. If you think K-pop idols shine on-stage, please wear sunscreen should you ever need to sit in a room with a whole group.
This interview was conducted in English with translation assistance provided by Studio PAV staff. The transcript below has been slightly condensed, and edited for clarity.
Welcome and thank you for coming all the way to Minneapolis to greet Goldenness!
[Yays! And applause from members.]
Has anyone visited Minnesota before?
[Chorus of nos, one never.]
But I hear someone has visited Wisconsin?
What were you doing in Wisconsin?
I studied abroad in Wisconsin. Kenosha.
Kenosha! That’s the other side [of the state]! Did you eat a lot of cheese?*
Yeah…And Wingstop – the chicken place.
How were the winters?
It was sooo cold, and there were snowy days where you can’t even go to school.
Yes! Snow Days are the best! So, this is your first visit to the U.S. as a group, and your first concert tour. How does it feel to be meeting fans overseas? What are some of your first impressions about U.S. K-pop fans?
[Pause for Studio PAV manager to translate questions.]
Y [with translation assistance from manager]: So, there were a lot of things I was worried about before coming to this U.S. tour. Being able to meet these U.S. fans – I’m very honored and happy about it!
Seungmin [translated by manager]: I think it means a lot to me, meeting the U.S. fans. And one of the things that really surprised me was the fact that they know all the lyrics to our songs and are able to sing along with us.
[Chorus of yeahs and yeses from members.]
You have a very busy tour schedule! It’s every other day?!
[Even bigger chorus of yeahs!]
How are you relaxing between performances? I hear you may have gone to Mall of America yesterday?
[Laughing yeses and yeps.]
Twitter found you!
Jaehyun: Yeah, we did actually! After the show, we go to the hotel and go swimming, and eat something cool. It could be Korean food, or American traditional food. I think that’s our way to take a rest before the [next] show. And we love Minneapolis! The Mall of America was really cool.
Was it fun?
Jh: Yeah it was soo big. We rode lots of roller coasters. It was really cool for us.
So, related to that, what foods have you been enjoying on this trip?
Jh: The [Shake] Shack
[Chorus of others add: Barbecue – Texas Barbecue! Kimchi Jigae! BCD!! BCD!!]
Jh: Oh, we ate at BCD Tofu House!**
Is anyone listening to music? On the flights, what are you guys listening to right now?
[Chorus of thoughtful hmmms]
Jh: Harry Styles
Bomin: Justin Beiber
Y: Post Malone***
Donghyun: Justin Beiber
Fans love to learn about what happens backstage. Can you share some details about how you prepare for live shows? How do you get excited? Or do you have any special habits or rituals you use to help you get ready for performances?
[Another pause for translation help from the manager.]
Y [translated by manager]: To improve the team atmosphere, we like to play around and joke or fool around with each other a lot.
Jangjun [translated by manager]: And before we go on stage we do a team cheer: Hwaiting!!!
Thank you so much for giving Twin Cities Media some of your time tonight before the show! Do you have any messages or greetings you’d like to share with Minnesota Goldenness?
Jibeom [translated by manager]: All the Minnesota Goldenness, it seems like they have waited a while for us and they’ve been very excited, so I think we’re all very excited and we’re going to have a great performance today. Thank you!
Jangjun: It was a very rainy day, but there were still so many fans that were able to come out and support us, so I’m so very happy and thankful about that! And even though it is a rainy day, I want to make the show bright and shine.
Very BIG thank you to Woollim Entertainment and Studio PAV for inviting TCM in to do an in-person interview with Golden Child before their show! And also to the managers for providing translation help on the spot!
We hope the GolCha lads will be back again soon, next time with Tag and Daeyeol, too!
*Interviewer grew up in rural Wisconsin and is culturally conditioned to ask anyone who mentions having visited Wisconsin about their experiences with cheese while in the Dairy State. Also, winter.
**Famous Korean restaurant chain that can be found in L.A. and some other U.S. cities. Seems like the GolCha boys really appreciated that particular meal!
***Interviewer is 85% confident that the member who said Post Malone was Y. However, anyone who has ever sat in an uncomfortably warm greenroom, surrounded by eight radiant idols, and tried to conduct an interview through a language barrier can probably confirm that making sure you can identify who said what in the audio recording several hours later is sometimes challenging if the speaker’s name wasn’t recorded in the moment along with their statement.