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[Herald Interview] Xdinary Heroes shoot for the next level with 'Troubleshooting'

The sextet broadens spectrum with deeper emotions and enhanced instrumental sound

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : April 30, 2024 - 07:00

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From left: Xdinary Heroes members Gaon, Jung-su, Gun-il, Joo-yeon, O.de and Jun-han pose for a picture. (JYP Entertainment) From left: Xdinary Heroes members Gaon, Jung-su, Gun-il, Joo-yeon, O.de and Jun-han pose for a picture. (JYP Entertainment)

Xdinary Heroes dropped their first studio album “Troubleshooting” comprising 10 songs, including the title track “Little Things,” for which the band members took part in composing and writing lyrics.

“This album aims to convey inner stories that are often left unsaid, focusing on honest and perhaps even trivial emotions that people may find difficult to express to others,” said Gaon, the band's guitarist.

Bassist Joo-yeon recalled that preparing the first full-length album was challenging, as it demanded more songs compared to the single and mini albums the group released previously. “We tried to write as many songs as possible and to draw out the best quality. We didn't select the title track in advance, because we wanted every song to have the potential to become a title track,” said Joo-yeon.

Bandmates emphasized that the new album came after the continued effort to broaden the team’s musical depth and to add new facets while maintaining their intense, charismatic style. Emotional songs like "Dreaming Girl" and "Until the End of Time" showcase new sides of the team, proving they can convey a more sentimental atmosphere than the tracks of previous albums.

“Our team does not have a specific goal or a final stop. We want to be a band that cannot be confined to a single style of music,” said the Keyboardist O.de. “We always struggle to find ways to combine our unique color with the needs of the public. The new album is the result of such a struggle, and we will continue our journey to expand our music.”

Members also struggled to enhance the instrumental sounds of the songs.

"We wanted to create standout parts for each instrument in every song. 'Money On My Mind' highlights the guitar solo, while 'Until the End of Time' features impressive keyboard melodies," keyboardist Jung-su said.

Gun-il, the drummer and the group leader, also noted that every member carefully chose the type and style of the instruments for each song to embody the sound they wanted.

“Even when playing the same riff, the mood can differ based on the model of the guitar, keyboard or drum kit. The same performance can sound either cold or warm depending on the instruments. Each member selected the instruments for each song by considering the atmosphere and emotions that the song intends.”

From left: Xdinary Heroes members O.de, Jun-han, Gun-il, Gaon, Joo-yeon, and Jung-su (JYP Entertainment) From left: Xdinary Heroes members O.de, Jun-han, Gun-il, Gaon, Joo-yeon, and Jung-su (JYP Entertainment)

Experiences during the group’s first world tour “Break the Brake,” which was held from November 2023 to March this year, helped greatly in making the film.

“(During the world tour) we’ve learned what parts the audience responds to more enthusiastically and where they join to sing along.

Such data was reflected in the production of the new album,” said Gun-il.

Joo-yeon mentioned that compared to the band's previous songs, which were heavy on high notes in the chorus, the new title track "Little Things" has relatively easy-to-follow melodies. "I realized the importance of having a song where everyone can join in for the entire chorus," he said.

Created by JYP Entertainment, a K-pop powerhouse, Xdinary Heroes is both a band and an idol group, but Gun-il believes that the group's identity comes from its music more than anything else. "We don't feel the need to classify ourselves in any particular category," he said.

Joo-yeon recalled advice from J.Y. Park – the founder and head of JYP Entertainment. “He told us to be patient, saying that if we climb the stairs steadily, we'll eventually end up at the top. Ultimately, we are striving for music that many people can enjoy, so we approach music with the expectation that someday people will appreciate it.”

“As a young band, we want to explore experimental music and try various approaches fearlessly," said Gun-il.

From left: Xdinary Heroes members Gun-il, O.de, Joo-yeon, Jun-han, Jung-su and Gaon (JYP Entertainment) From left: Xdinary Heroes members Gun-il, O.de, Joo-yeon, Jun-han, Jung-su and Gaon (JYP Entertainment)