As a quintet formed by skillful musicians and lyricists, the music of Day6 unleashes a kaleidoscope of emotions for the listener. Their discography is tinged with melancholy, joy, anger, nostalgia, nostalgia – sometimes all at once – wrapped up in a delightful three-minute ride. Due to their relentless experimentation and refusal to fit into predetermined categories, the South Korean band quickly became synonymous with crossing borders, exploring everything from sad ballads to bossa nova and reggae to 80s disco anthems without ever sounding out of place.
This quality was also transferred to the group’s first sub-unit, Even Of Day, formed by members Young K, Wonpil and Dowoon. The trio debuted in August 2020 with their debut mini album “The Book Of Us: Gluon”, which has carefully pursued the story and essence of Day6’s story until now. The animated video for the project’s title track, “Where The Sea Sleeps,” even featured characters from their DENIMALZ merchandise line.
Now, with the release of their second mini album ‘Right Through Me’, Even Of Day is embarking on a new journey, one that widens its orbit around the Day6 universe. As the members previously noted in a promotional video, this album touches on styles they “haven’t tried before.” For starters, Young K gave up his bass for electric guitar, and their eponymous track “Right Through Me” mixes sounds from Korean ballads, hip-hop and ’90s East Coast jazz.
Before the release of “Right Through Me”, which arrives today, NME met the band on a phone call to learn more about the album, the lessons they learned and the importance of trying new things.
Congratulations on your new album! It’s been almost a year since your first mini album ‘The Book Of Us: Gluon’ was released. How do you feel about this moment?
Wonpil: “We think we can show you very good performance. We are looking forward to it and we feel very good.
Your first mini album followed Day6’s “The Book Of Us” series, but “Right Through Me” is the start of a whole different story. Why did you want to differentiate this album from your previous work?
Young K: “To be honest, we weren’t planning on doing a series when we wrote the very first one. [‘The Book Of Us’] album, ‘Gravity’. But over time, we thought it would be interesting to continue the story and talk about our relationships and stuff. And we and the company planned to end the series with [2021’s] ‘Negentropy’, so starting a new story was already settled. Before we wrote ‘Right Through Me’, we didn’t know what we were going to write about, we had the freedom, and we just kept going with whatever came up, whatever we wanted to do.
“I think it’s a great album for us. It might not be perfect, because perfection is really hard to achieve, I don’t even know if we can achieve it. But I think it’s close to perfect [laughs]. This is the best we have done so far.
So would you consider this album to be the best of your career?
Young K: “We plan to grow each time. So when people ask me what’s the favorite song I’ve ever done, I tend to say, “The last title song we did”, because I think it’s the one that represents us the most.
Can you tell us about the visual concept of this album and what kind of feelings you wanted to express through it?
Wonpil: “It’s vintage style, something we’ve never tried before, and we hope that [our fandom] My days will enjoy it. Also the vibe we were giving, I think it matches the vibe of the title song.
Young K: “The visual concept was created after the songs were created, so it was presented very adequately. “
You mentioned that writing this album was a big challenge for you. Why do you think it’s important to challenge yourself when creating music?
Wonpil: “We don’t want to limit ourselves to one specific genre, so we keep trying new things.”
Young K: “For us, first of all, it’s fun to try new things. There are a lot of different genres that we want to try out, but it’s not always essential. There is a way to keep creating a similar vibe over and over again, it’s just a choice we made [to try new things]. We’re not saying dating a similar vibe is a bad thing.
The title song, ‘Right Through Me’, mixes so many different styles. It’s very nostalgic, but with a modern twist. It’s sad, but also full of hope. What was the thought process when you decided to combine these two styles?
Wonpil: “We didn’t think of every part of what we did, but we just went with the flow. When we sing a brilliant song we want it to be touching, and when we sing a sad song we want to bring hope to it.
Young K: “And also, we wanted you to nod your head at the music, feel the music and understand what we’re saying. Like that “Oh, that could have happened to me” feeling. I guess that kind of thought process is affecting the way you are feeling right now.
Absolutely. I think Day6 songs in general are songs through which you can feel a lot of emotions. Even if you don’t understand Korean, you can understand a lot of what you are trying to express.
Young K: “It’s amazing, because we speak different languages. We sing in Korean, but whenever we listen to songs in different languages, there are always feelings, there are always emotions that we can feel.
Your album explores a myriad of sounds. How do you refine the styles you are going to explore? Were there any styles you were afraid to try or doubt it would work?
Young K: “New genres, or new things, are always a challenge. We don’t fear them, but we don’t always find them easy. However, we don’t stop ourselves from trying them out. It is also because we have confidence in our members that we can play any music that happens to us.
Are there any special lyrics that you personally identify with on this album?
Wonpil: “’We’, the very first track on the album. I think the song contains the reason we live.
Young K: “I agree too. “Sometimes we fall, sometimes we get up. Sometimes there is light, sometimes it is dark. But let’s try to remember all the good things, and we just go on living. And that’s how we are, we are, we are.“
What messages from this album do you hope that will get “through” the people who listen to it?
Dowoon: “After listening to the album, I hope you feel like you got a pat on the back from a friend. That you’re thinking, ‘Yeah, you know what? I should go ahead and live a fun life ”.
Young K, you don’t play bass in any of the songs on this album. Why?
Young K: “Like we said earlier, we always challenge ourselves and try new things. In our first EP I was playing bass but the style was different from how I play in Day6. This is because I was playing the roots, which are like the bass notes, and also the main line, which is usually played by a synthesizer or an electric guitar.
“So this time I tried the electric guitar, which also plays lead and chords, but also bass and bass notes. We wanted to create a new sound, something Even Of Day had never tried before. For example, in our previous album, the synthesizer filled all the main lines and all the mood and so on. This time it’s done by the electric guitar.
Did you miss the bass on this album?
Young K: “To be honest, playing the electric guitar was a bit awkward for me. [laughs]. When I say I play guitar, I usually play an acoustic guitar, which has the same notes, I strum the same, but it’s still different. Basically I didn’t play electric guitar a lot, so it was a bit awkward, but also fun. I practiced a lot for the recording. More than that, I think the sound was done right and suited the ambience we wanted to get.
Wonpil, what songs were the hardest to record on this album? And in your career in general?
Wonpil: “In this album, probably ‘Us’. It was higher than I expected. And the hardest song of my career was “Shoot Me”, because the bridge was so high.
Dowoon, you mentioned that you are always learning something. What new skill have you learned recently and what is the next thing you want to learn?
Dowoon: “Recently I’ve learned to write lyrics, and that’s what I want to do next too.”
You will be celebrating Day6’s sixth birthday in September. What are the biggest lessons you have learned since you started?
Dowoon: “It’s very simple: My Days is everything for us, and we want to share our music.
Young K: “Perfectly!”
What sounds, concepts and experiences would you like to try with Even Of Day in the future?
Dowoon: “We want to try bigger sounds so that everyone can sing along, like a big family.”
For stadiums and others? So you can do a full turn?
Dowoon: “Coldplay-style? Yes!”
Young K: “Yes exactly!”
Day6 (Even Of Day) New Mini Album ‘Right Through Me’ Now Available.