Following ATEEZ's return from their world tour, The Fellowship, the group sat down for a press interview on March 23 with Yonhap News in Seoul to share a few words about their experience touring across various countries. They shared many stories about how they were happy to connect and communicate with fans who support them from all around the world.
They also talked about how they spent their time overseas, the places they visited, and how their time passed in between shows. However, what caught the attention of many was when a journalist pointed out that the group lacked a worldwide hit song that was widely popular.
This more or less referred to how ATEEZ's music appeal was restricted to the boundaries of Korea, and attention from other countries was minimal. Nevertheless, Hongjoong, the group's leader, disagreed and said that the group should prioritize maintaining their essence rather than focusing on the release of a widely appealing song.
Fans are proud of ATEEZ's stance with their musical journey and bold response to criticism
Given that press interviews are usually charged with criticism and questions that are hard to answer. Hongjoong's effective handling of questions that would have been difficult to answer otherwise was highly commended. When the journalist fired a question at the group about their thoughts on ATEEZ's lack of a hit song, Hongjoong gave a calm and collected answer.
That's a matter we are always thinking about, but even so, I would say it will be difficult for ATEEZ to undergo such a radical transformation just for the sake of having a hit song, a song that can 100% satisfy the public. We want to maintain the frame that is ATEEZ, while pursuing music that will earn the empathy of many listeners around the world.
Fans were proud and happy to hear such a well-thought-out answer from Hongjoong. While the purpose and goal of many K-pop groups is to appeal to more and more people and make music that excites everyone, fans were happy with the bold yet appropriate decision of the eight-member group. San, another member, has a few words to add to the mix.
Appealing to the general public is constant a dilemma for us. But that is because we make ATEEZ music. So I think that if we just keep moving forward on this path that we have decided to take, some day, people might start to notice us.
It's also no secret that they have been one of the most experimental groups in K-pop. Playing with noise music and stringing together various genres, ATEEZ has always showcased itself as something different and non-generic, despite the negative criticism and considerably low engagement they gain from fans.
However, their tenacity and strict adherence to the authenticity they set out to achieve have been one of the primary reasons for the group's steady growth and popularity. Fans celebrated the way the members stood up for themselves and the kind of music they made, flooding Twitter with praise for the same.
In other news, now that their world tour has concluded, the group has revealed a few details about what they have planned for the months of 2023.
This is a year where we need to show the world once again what music and what performances define ATEEZ. We are at that point in our careers where we are not rookies, but we are not exactly K-pop veterans either. As a group looking aheah 10 years into the future, this year, when will be celebrating our 5th anniversary, is an important milestone.
With the group's last tour dates for their world tour, The Fellowship, being held in Seoul at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium on April 28 and 29, fans are curious about the tour's closure and the other activities they have planned after its end.