You wrote the lyrics for all five songs in your album, 'One Kiss', 'Mine', 'Healing for Myself', 'You Fill Me Up' and 'All Alone'. Are they all about your own experiences?
"Healing for Myself, which has lyrics that speak of longing for a lost love, is based on a true story (Laugh). I've written about my own relationships ever since I started writing lyrics for TVXQ (DBSK), and my fans know that I've been using my own experiences for my lyrics. Of course, I need to have experienced love to be able to write about it (Laugh). I do sometimes write lyrics based on films, though."
Then did you recently break up with your girlfriend, as the lyrics say? When were you last in a relationship?
"I won't answer this question (Laugh)."
It seems the lyrics for 'Mine' contain a message stronger than one of love. They seem very abstract too.
"Like I felt I needed to write more symbolical messages of love when I heard One Kiss, I felt the same for Mine. Since it's hard core rock I felt it wouldn't fit with sweet lyrics that say things like 'I love you.' The expressive methods used in Mine are often used in Japan, in which I draw out the pains that I had to endure, and use my own love stories. The confidence expressed in Mine is also my own."
It's been 10 years since your debut. When do you feel the most that it's been a long time?
"I recently listened to the songs I've sung since my debut, and they added up to be about 130-140 songs. I felt then that it's already been 10 years, and that I've worked hard."
Your music must have changed a lot from how it was back then.
"I feel embarrassed (Laugh). I actually think I'm still very young. My mind and my looks both seem very young. I think so, and then I watch videos of when I was younger, and I realize just how much younger I was back then. I used to think four or five years ago that I was all grown up actually (Laugh)."
Before, whenever you released a song it would immediately go to the top of the charts, but these days your songs aren't able to rank that high.
"I care more for the album rather than the ranks of my singles. It would be great to have them land on the top, and it would be nice to have more people listen to our songs at least through audio since we can't perform on TV... but I think all musicians usually have less opportunities to show their performances."
What do you think about the recent MBC 'Infinity Challenge' issue on the music charts, or any other songs released by comedians?
"I know there's a controversy on the issue, but you can't really blame anyone. Sometimes people look down at songs performed on variety shows even though they were produced with sincerity. Still, songs from popular stars make it easily to the tops of charts everywhere in the world. In Japan, even a song sung by a five year old lands on no. 1. I believe it's natural for the [Infinity Challenge] songs to reach the top because they were sung by some of the most popular people in Korea."
You'll be holding your concert from January 26-27. I heard it will be a new attempt, with three parts including a mini concert and fanmeeting.
"It will be comprised of an event in which I can express myself, one in which I can do what my fans want from me and a small live performance. It's an event and concert produced to bring together the three parts on one stage. I always say when I hold a concert that I want to relate to and converse with fans, but I always end up showing off about myself instead of actually conversing with the audience. This time, though, I have parts in which fans can participate, and I'll be accepting requests. I also believe there will be a part in which fans can come up onstage to join in a game."
What are your plans for 2013?
"What we know for now is that JYJ will be releasing an album. I think it's time we had another world tour. If I have time, I want to act again too. I have many things I want to do."
Do you have any plans to go on a world tour like Junsu?
"I really want to, but I don't have enough songs and I don't think I'll be able to hold a world tour alone yet. That's why I was jealous of Junsu. It's a great thing, that the member of a group can tour the world alone."
Do you feel happy?
"I'm very happy, but there are many moments in which I'm not. I think it's because I have to meet a lot of people. I live a life that no one else can live for me, but I also have to go through what no one else has gone through. I guess the conclusion is that I am happy (Laugh)."
Photo credit: C-JeS Entertainment
Reach reporter Choi Eunhwa on Twitter @silvercandy88!