BTS’ Break The Silence: Docu-Series episode 2, “You Can Call Me Idol,” the members continue on tour as they face the challenge of keeping up the excitement while working on their own goals.
The BTS members are in Taiwan at the start of Break The Silence episode 2 “You Can Call Me Idol.” Even after their flights they still have almost an hour drive to go.
“If you think about it an idol group is a rare social construct. Complete strangers live together and have to get along well. Also, they perform and make music for thousands of people. You can’t find something like that anywhere else in the world,” Yoongi comments.
Finally, at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium in Taiwan, the members sleepily get ready for the day ahead of them. They talk about the length of their journey to get there before taking the stage to practice. It’s raining out when they finally get out there.
Yoongi adds, “Whether we like it or not, we have to more forward together. We always have to think about how we’re going to do that, and it’s not easy. That’s why many new artists want to become like us.”
Despite the long day and the late hour, the BTS members are still able to have fun. Taehyung shows off his dramatic musical skills for the others. It gets everyone in a good mood and laughs fill the stadium through their microphones.
Once they’re done they can head back indoors to practice their speeches for the next day. The laughs continue as they think about tweaking the lines prepared for them with more fun adlibs.
“We respect each other, yet our focus is on the team. That’s how we were able to win out. We all know what’s good for the team is what’s good for each member,” Yoongi says.
The day of their show in Taiwan, the crowd gathers at the stadium early in excitement.
Taehyung says, “For some people, it’s their first time seeing us perform but there are also fans who come to our concerts every day. That’s why I was worried that our fans, ARMY, might grow tired of our performances.”
“Although we are doing our best, you can’t avoid getting used to a routine. Since I feel much more at ease, the audience may also feel more comfortable rather than getting excited when they see me onstage,” Jin says.
“Normally, pop stars are very free-spirited. They spontaneously decide what they want to do each day. They do what they want. ‘Let’s do this song today,’ or ‘I think the audience would love this as an encore.’ There’s a lot of that, but for BTS, even our concerts have a set storyline and narrative. The lighting and VCR are all pre-arranged, so there aren’t a lot of thing we can do offhand,” Hoseok explains.
Namjoon talks more about the pressure to bring fresh things to stage, “In this age of new media, people watch numerous videos and GIFs online, repeatedly. They become an extension of our concerts, allowing fans worldwide to tour with us. That’s when the dilemma arises. A long time ago, if you had a concert people would go, ‘Wow! I finally got to see the performance I had only heard about! I finally saw that performance.’ But now, as the tour continues, the same clips would surface, and the people who’ve seen them will go, ‘Oh, that again?’ So I’d think, ‘Should I do it differently?’ I know people will like this. But if I do it differently, the people seeing us for the first time in that area might be missing out on it.”
The BTS members do their soundcheck with a small group of ARMY cheering them on. They’re still dressed casually and without makeup or hair done. Just BTS and ARMY having some fun without as much pressure.
“I’m sure there are some who come to see our concerts again and again, and people who come for the first time. Regardless, they would have seen or hear us before coming. I think we need to break through that. When artists have to put on a concert, I think it should be done in new and fun ways that prevent the audience from getting bored,” Jungkook says.
Hoseok continues on the subject saying, “To make things more fun, we try to change the freestyling parts or present different visuals with various accessories, because the moment the audience finds our routine boring, I too begin to find the concert boring. That’s why we’re always trying new things.”
“Coming up with title medleys A and B, and changing my hair color played a part in that as well. With every concert, I think we just wanted to show ARMY something new,” Taehyung says.
Yoongi adds, “We were told that we have to change our stage outfits, so we did that too. We tried to bring about some changes, here and there. We thought that there should be more opportunities to change things on the next tour, so we’ve been talking about it amongst ourselves and with the company.”
That night, BTS performs to an excited crowd. The choreography for “DNA” livens everyone up that watches.
“If it were up to me, we’d release two more albums and show new things, to be honest. Since the numbers are set, we have to stick to the routine. So we tend to quickly run out of things to do, which is a shame. It really is. It’s too bad, but because of that, we saw our energy levels grow vigorously in a short period of time. I think that’s why we’ve been able to rub shoulders with global stars, even though it’s only been five years since we debuted,” Namjoon says.
After the concert, the BTS members laugh about some mistakes they made on the stage. Laughing together as they thank the staff for their part as well. Jin shares his excitement with everyone that his glasses went over well with their ending mentions. He talks with the staff excitedly about the other options he brought as well.
“The best part is knowing that there will be people coming to see us for the first time, that there will be first-timers,” Namjoon adds.
Jimin listens to the song that he’s been writing by himself over the months while he waits for the others.
“I’ve been writing the song since then…it’s probably been even longer than that, but I keep changing it. I changed the message over and over again. I thought if I finished the melody before leaving Korea I’d be able to sleep easy at night, so I stayed up a few nights. I think the song came out better than I thought it would. I can’t say it’s super good, but it’s the first song I’ve written myself,” Jimin says.
Taehyung and Hoseok ride in the car together back to the hotel. Hoseok talks about the song “Scenery,” that Taehyung has been working on. Taehyung tells Hoseok more about the changes he wants to make and the meaning behind the song. They also talk about Jimin’s song “Promise” that he’s working on at the same time.
Back at the hotel, Jimin joins Namjoon to play “Promise” and get some advice on the lyrics. Since Namjoon has a lot of experience with writing songs they talk about the message that Jimin is trying to show in the song and the lines he’s been working on.
Namjoon tells Jimin that it’s good to write down whatever he thinks about the song. They sing variations of lyrics together. Break The Silence gives an interesting insight into lyric writing from the group that fans don’t usually get to see.
Meanwhile, Taehyung continues to work on “Scenery” on his own.
“It started with the thought, ‘Maybe I should try songwriting’ When I had played what I had written, they said ‘it’s pretty good. You just need to work on it a bit more.’ After hearing all that, I gained more confidence,” Taehyung explains. “Most of all, all the rappers in our group have been writing songs at home, so after watching them naturally and consistently, I really wanted to try writing songs, too.”
“It’s been five years since I took up photography. The way I look at the world when I take photos and the emotions I feel while taking them are the things I wanted to express in my lyrics. When I take photos, the people I see through the lens, the scenery, the streets, and the sky…I wanted to write about what those things mean to me. They’re not just photos, but a real source of strength for me. The things I felt then are still within me. I can feel them, even now.”
“In a way, I think I can understand them best, because I also moved to Seoul to study and write songs. That’s why I can understand their emotions and their ambitions. What sort of music they want to make, and their musical identity are all reflected in their work,” Hoseok says about his younger bandmates.
The group moves on to Singapore later in Break The Silence episode 2. It’s hotter there than they expected as they start to prepare for a new set of performances. Jin jokes with the others about his big mistake getting dressed in warm clothes.
“The weather is so hot. It hasn’t been that long since we started our stadium tour. So we’re not experienced in dealing with hot or cold temperatures. In that sense, I’m a little worried, because we’ve never performed in a stadium this hot and humid before. They say you need to experience it. We’ll have to experience it and we’ll learn and grow from it,” Hoseok says.
Jin has his own worries about the show, “Because it’s been a while, I thought ‘What if I get the moves wrong? What if I stumble through the lyrics?’ That did cross my mind, so I went over the lyrics and choreography in my room by myself. Still, you can’t help but feel anxious.”
Despite the weather and their worries, the show goes on and the members adjust. The staff works hard to keep them on schedule and keep them cool so that they don’t get overheated. Moments like these on Break The Silence show how hard the BTS members work at every performance they give.
“It could be because we’ve been a team for so long. When one of us is having a hard time, it’s hard for us to see that, too. If I’m having a hard time, someone else will have a hard time seeing that. Then, as we see each other struggling, it starts to weigh down on everyone. Because we’re a team, we’re able to lift up a member if they have troubles, but if we fall into a slump, it could make things hard for all seven members. I think that’s one drawback of being part of a team,” Yoongi says.
“In a way, it’s been seven months, but if you include the extended tour dates, it’ll be almost a year. During that time, the way we think has changed a lot. To be honest, it’s the perfect time for exhaustion to start setting in. But someone would then make up for what I lack, and vice versa. Just being there for each other, is a source of strength, even if we don’t say anything. It’s not about picking one specific person. We know each other so well, even without words. Even if I had put a team together for myself, it wouldn’t have worked out this well.”
Yoongi continues, “When you travel, there are some people you travel with from the start, and some you meet along the way. I think the reason would all be different. Whether it was done voluntarily or not, we started our journey together. As we continue, I can’t think of anything better than this. Rather than doing something on my own, the seven of us doing it together has more synergistic effect. ‘Could there have been a better match?’ ‘We must have been destined to meet.’ I think that a lot.”
After their show is done the BTS members still can’t believe how hot the stadium became. But Hoseok hopes that it will help them in the future.
“Ever since our debut and until now, I think I’ve been quietly and gradually improving, very slowly. By experiencing a lot of things, I think I’ve naturally gotten better. But from here on out, I want to try a little harder to improve further and faster,” Jungkook says. “Ever since we started touring last year, although it’s important for me to do well, I’ve wanted to show people that I’m constantly growing at a rapid pace. Then again…no matter how hard I try, there are things that are hard for me, which can be very frustrating.”
The members talk after the show and Hoseok warns Jungkook that he should work to pace himself better so that he doesn’t get weak. The fans can see how powerfully he’s dancing but the others worry about him. Yoongi lightens the mood by comparing himself to a camel that moves slowly and consistently.
As they get ready to leave Hoseok talks to Jungkook some more, telling him it all went well. Namjoon is there too and says, “When has Jungkook ever done a bad job?”
Hoseok later adds, “Jungkook is someone who dances until his body breaks in every performance. I know that feeling all too well. The fans come to our shows to see that moment. We may perform it every time, but the fans who come to the performance, come just to watch that. I was reminded of that, so I could empathize with Jungkook.”
“I’m still very ashamed of myself. I can’t propel myself forward with confidence. What I’ve always shown on stage is all that I’ve got. Getting better, faster, is my goal,” Jungkook says.
“Focusing on the present and doing my best to live for tomorrow and the next day are the only things that I can do now. The future is the future because it hasn’t arrived. Time that’s not yet come. What’s important to me is the present,” Namjoon says.
“Instead of holding onto a future that’s uncertain, standing in front of 50,000 people and putting on a good performance is the best that we can do.”
BTS Break The Silence can be purchased exclusively through Weverse! New episodes of Break The Silence will be released every Tuesday and Thursday, as the series follows the 351-day journey on the Love Yourself tour.