“I hate losing. I have a desire for winning,” Mark said with his eyes sparkling.
A face seen for the first time on GOT7 Mark.
Two days after the completion of GOT7’s 2018 World Tour <Eyes On You> Seoul concert, Mark walked into the studio quietly, greeted us with a light smile and sat in front of the mirror. Throughout the period in which he changed into his seven outfits for the shoot, I didn’t hear Mark being louder than the staff. Even at the staff responses of ‘You’re handsome, you’re so suave’, half feeling good and half embarrassed, without a word, he only smiled widely. GOT7’s <Eyes On You> concert that came after 2 years, the questions came endlessly for the staff and artist whom prepared for the concert and completed the stages together; it was a solid show that was put together well from start to end. After the show that went on for over 3 hours ended, ahgases were still not able to leave the place and stared at the empty stage for a while. To Mark whom was not able to control his final emotions and ended up tearing on the last day, we asked if he had anything to say that he was not able to do back then. It was only then that the beautiful lines on Mark’s face began painting the various layers of emotions.
Did you rest well after the concert?
Yes, I met my friends who came from the States for the concert and went to an amusement park. I was thankful so I bought them a nice dinner too. We hung out together after not meeting for a while so it feels nice.
We were wondering what kind of concept we should do for this photo shoot since you’ve digested many other concepts so well and suddenly flowers came to mind. Have you ever gifted someone flowers? There are many men who are bashful about buying flowers.
I’ve gifted my mother flowers on days like ‘Mother’s Day’ but if you were to tell me to go to a flower shop and buy flowers now, I too would probably be a little embarrassed (laughs).
Are there flowers you like?
I like red the best so red roses look pretty to me. There’s no special reason behind it, it’s just because it’s red.
And coincidentally, today is Parent’s Day.
Really? I forgot. In the States, (we celebrate) Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and I always remember (to wish them) but every year I have to look up the dates before it happens (laughs).
Are you a son who expresses your affections well to your parents?
Ah, I call them often but I very rarely say ‘I love you’. I’ve texted it to them before but saying it is rare. However, I do tell them often that I miss them.
You look like a son who would unreservedly tell your parents that. At the <Eyes On You> concert, it seems like the members too wanted to show (skills/performances) properly so everyone was firmly prepared.
That’s right. We paid a lot of attention starting from choosing the set list. We chose songs that would make the performances on stage look cool and songs that fans would like to watch. We also have new choreographies for songs that we remixed. We gathered choreographies that were only seen during end of year shows; we prepared many various things.
We also saw (stage) designs that were made in consideration for fans on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the venue.
We are always using the lift when we perform but this time round, even if it’s just a little more, we wanted to approach the fans even closer so we discussed various options. Because we wanted to meet them at the closest distance possible, even if it’s just once during the concert.
You performed with JB and Youngjae as a unit of 3 people. What kind of stage did you want to make?
I sang ‘Think About It’ with them but I was originally in BamBam’s and Jinyoung’s team. When we started preparing for the concert in full scale, we thought of how we should complete the stages in high quality; we thought showing new combinations that we didn’t get to show before was good and thus I changed teams. For us, we focused more on singing than performance and the other 2 teams decorated the stage differently.
In Mark’s point of view, is there a stage that is especially cool?
Um, everyone’s color is completely different but I find Yugyeom especially cool. When I look at Yugyeom’s stage, I feel proud but I also feel like I should do better (laughs).
On the last day at your last stage, it seems like it would be the time where various thoughts would come to mind at one go; would there be anything that you’d like to say that you were not able to convey back then?
As I performed for 3 days, the emotions came surging in bit by bit continuously. I was really thankful to the fans. On the last day, I wasn’t able to hold it back and I burst/broke down. The concerts were really fun and thanks to the fans, I really gained a huge amount of strength.
You said that you like talking to yourself when you lie in bed. What did you feel when you laid in bed at night after the concerts ended?
I’m satisfied with the Seoul concerts so it feels like we started off the tour well. The anticipation for the other performances in the remaining cities became bigger. After the concert ended on Sunday, at the wrap-up dinner, all the members felt good. We also didn’t forget to tell each other that we all truly worked hard together.
There are not many groups that can hold a world tour in 17 cities. GOT7 must feel a huge sense of pride.
More so than that, the gratitude towards the fans is definitely much bigger. It is so with selling out the venues as well; (selling out venues) it’s not possible (simply) because we are singers but I believe that is the result of the hard work put in by the fans and the company. Honestly, the huge love shown to us by the fans is not something that is a definite given matter. It is because that they want to see us and send their support that we GOT7 are able to go to more cities and stand on bigger stages.
Throughout your performances, we were able to feel those emotions from GOT7. The members too all alternate with one another with the gratitude, saying things like ‘we didn’t get here because we are the ones doing well.”
Yes. We are still, as ever, lacking in a lot. I think now we are starting to be a little better. All of us have the same thoughts.
You can have more pride as it was really a great concert. You said in the past that you’d like to attempt skydiving alone; seems like Mark is someone who doesn’t have a lot of fear in an area where strong energy is needed.
When I’m doing it, of course I’m scared. But after I jump off for skydiving and I touch the ground, when I learn a new technique for martial arts and I succeed in it, the feeling is so good. I feel really proud.
But you also like gaming. There’s a perception that people who usually like gaming feel lazy in using their bodies. (laughs) Is your winning desire strong, by any chance?
Yes! (laughs) I get very upset if I lose in anything and I want to do it again till I win it. But if it’s rock, scissors paper and winning means taking away a prize or something, then of course that can’t be helped. Since you can’t do it over again. But when it comes to gaming, I will have to do it till I win.
From the time we started the interview, your eyes shine the brightest now. (laughs) You are someone with a strong desire for winning. You always seemed like the oldest hyung who is gentle and would stop once you either win or lose. In the previous interview, you said that the <7 for 7> album is an album that you won’t get sick of and can listen to for a long time. What do you think is a well made album?
Um, explaining this is really hard. (Editor: Shall we do this in English then?] No. I’ll do this in Korean. I think songs that makes one’s heart comfortable when listening, and that the listener can relate to it, are good songs. Be it in the melody or the lyrics, there would be a part that is addictive and you keep thinking of that part and it makes you want to listen to it again – I think that is a song well made.
That’s right. In GOT7’s concert too, even though they’re not the title songs, I became to know of many songs that I want to listen to again.
Thank you. In our albums, there are many good songs and I think that even if we promote them as title songs, they wouldn’t pale in comparison.
Summer is approaching. Are you someone who catches on to the changes in seasons well?
I’m not someone who is that susceptive. Only that when the season changes, my skin gets sensitive so I start having troubles. So I’d look at the calendar and I’ll go, “Ah it’s spring soon.” (laughs) Since we have to go through schedules, I just remember things according to days.
So your body reacts first. It seems like in LA, it’s clear all year round so it’s possible that you don’t really know when the season changes. In Seoul though, the 4 seasons are very distinct.
When I was living in the States, I really liked the snow. The snow doesn’t fall in LA so we have to go to the mountains to see the snow. After coming to Korea, I’m most comfortable with spring and summer (laughs).
This year, Mark’s summer will be made hotter with the world tour. As a wrap up, is there something else you’d like to do in the summer?
I want to travel with my family to another country outside the States. Before I came to Korea, we would definitely have a family trip once a year. Since it’s been a while, I think it would be nice to go again.