A night with The Rose
Milan, Alcatraz. The day before the show.
For music enthusiasts and live concert aficionados, it might sound normal to see people camping outside venues the day before a concert. Witnessing it in Milan, with my own eyes, for an indie-K-rock group left me astonished.
It wasn't the first time Hajoon, Woosung, Dojoon, and Jaehyeong - aka The Rose - performed in Milan. Since 2019, the group's first time, a year before Covid, the public has grown in passion and knowledge about Korean music that's not purely K-pop. Still, it left me dazzling in emotion hearing from people on the barricade, «We have been here since yesterday just to see them close».
For those unaware, The Rose is an indie-rock band from South Korea composed of four members: Woosung, also known as Sammy, is the leader of the group, the main voice, and the electric guitarist; Dojoon, also known as Leo, is the main vocalist, keyboardist, and acoustic guitarist; Hajoon, also known as Dylan, is the drummer, sub vocalist and rapper; and last, but not least the maknae, Jaehyeong aka Jeff, who's the bassist, sub vocalist and The Rose's visual.
Their fandom is called Black Roses and, as Woosung once said, the band's name «It's a name to show music that coexisted with the beauty of flowers and the sharpness of thorns».
After a superlative gig in Milan, a laugh&cry meet&greet, and a photo moment, the members of the group took some time off to relax and have an exclusive chat with Panorama.it
Finally, you are back together... And in Italy too. How does it feel to perform here again?
Woosung: Honestly feels great. And we're so glad that we have people that come to share this moment with us.
I want to talk about the show: it was terrific. Black Roses were very, very happy. I have asked around, and there were people crying and people sleeping here till, like, ten in the evening from the day before the concert. They were crazy for you guys. The gig just ended, but if you close your eyes, what is the moment that comes to mind?
Dojoon: Oh... When they have sung to us... Beauty. You are beautiful. How do you say it in Italian? Bello...
Dojoon & Jaehyeong: Yes! Sei Bellissimo (Dojoon sang a little bit of the song)
Dojoon: I remember that moment. I have this picture in my mind. If I close my eyes, I can clearly see someone singing it very sincerely.
HEAL. It's the name of your album and also of your show. What does this word mean to you?
Woosung: Heal. I think Heal means music to us because we feel that music is healing. And that through writing music or even listening to music, there are so many aspects of healing that goes into it. Music. Heal is music.
Ten tracks, the lead single is Childhood. How was working together on this project?
Woosung: Wow... Thinking of how it was working on this track...
Dojoon: I would like to say more about the after-production. While we were shooting, we had so much fun. And after the final, you know, the video came out with the music, and I was monitoring for a few adjustments. And I was lying in my bed, just lying by one side, watching the video, and it healed me a lot: the lyrics and the video and all that together. It wasn't expected, but, you know, some few drops of tears shred. And I thought: it's our song. Even though it was our songs, it was something mysterious and a great, beautiful moment—an extraordinary moment to have as a writer.
I have a difficult one for you guys. If you had to choose a song from your discography that represents you right now at this moment, which would it be and why?
Woosung: Right here, right now... I would choose I.L.Y. Sharing Love.
Dojoon: For me, Beauty and the Beast. Because I have this image of Milano and us, and I think it kind of suits: when we sang, and Black Roses sang along, it's like they can be the beauty and we are the beast.
Jaehyeong: Oh, right now... Time.
Jaehyeong smiles and sighs. To break the silence and make them laugh, we interfere: «because you boys are running on time,» I said. They all laughed. The mood is very light and friendly. And Jeff seems relieved from being tired after the show. So he continued in Korean, Woosung translating for him.
Jaehyeong: I feel like I'm living in the present moment, and I can only feel it now because it won't come back.
Hajoon: For me, it's Shift. Because when I'm down, I feel like someone is standing by me, which is very emotional.
You just ended a show... Which is the thing you want the most right now? A suggestion... maybe sleep?
They all laughed, nodding.
Woosung: We've been on four, like, four months now, right? Four, three, four months. And prior to that, we got ready for our album, and then I did a solo tour, and then I was open for, like, another show. I think we're a little bit tired. Yes. But at the end of the day, this is what we wanted to do. This is the schedule we chose. And yeah, we definitely love sleeping afterward. But we have been resting, trying to rest a lot so we can put our energy into the shows.
I have one last question for you. Who are The Rose right now?
Woosung, Jaehyeong, and Hajoon: Who are The Rose? Who are The Rose.. Oh my God... it's hard
Dojoon: Who are The Rose... Who are The Rose... We are a bunch of dudes who love music, who love to interact with people through music and enjoy the moment of their life as much as possible.
Woosung: I'm thinking of a phrase...
Jaehyeong: Messengers for people who healed through music.
The boys all agreed with this final definition: The Rose are messengers for people who healed through music. They laughed, and we took pictures and shared a few more words about the night and what will happen next on their tour. After a long show, it's time to rest; the bus tour is waiting for the band outside the venue, ready to take them to their next destination.