EPEX’s latest release “Can We Surrender?” tells people not to avoid the topic of school violence, but to fight against it — and not the bullies, but the system that allows it.
“’Can We Surrender?’ explicitly depicts the dark, anxious and nervous reality that boys are facing, and we’ve named the album with the mindset of rebellious boys who face this reality,” Wish, the leader of EPEX, said during a press showcase held Wednesday at the Blue Square Mastercard Hall in Yongsan District, central Seoul, ahead of the release of the group’s sixth EP, “Prelude of Anxiety Chapter 2. ‘Can We Surrender?’”
“Our lead track ‘Full Metal Jacket’ is a song that expresses the current situation of school bullying that we face in our society, without filters,” Ayden said. “It’s about the danger of school violence and how people lose their humanity in the process. We are telling people not to avoid it, but to fight together against the whole system [that allows school violence].”
“Through our past album releases, we’ve talked about the story of boys who are suffering and getting oppressed; Now [with ‘Can We Surrender?’], we’ve tried to incorporate the will to overcome and be victorious against the challenges,” Wish said.
“Even when society is evolving, school violence doesn’t seem to end,” Ayden said. “In fact, I think it’s increasing as time goes by […] we didn’t just explain the current matter, but we’ve included the courage to overcome the matter.”
“Can We Surrender?” marks an end to the band’s “Prelude of Anxiety” album series, which the band kicked off in April last year with “Chapter 1. 21st Century Boys.”
“We are back with another entry in the ‘Prelude of Anxiety’ album series, and this album marks the end of the series. So we are here to put everything we have in the album,” Wish said. The band’s two recent albums were released under a new album series, “Prelude of Love.”
Talking about such a serious matter wasn’t an easy task for the members, especially for Yewang, who just turned 18 this year.
“It was somewhat difficult for me to fully immerse myself into the topic as it was such a serious matter,” Yewang said. “But EPEX is a team that sings about stories that people our age can relate to, so we really wanted to discuss the issue.”
The gravity of the album is also matched by EPEX’s stage performance, where the eight members of the boy band are accompanied by 20 other dancers on stage, making it EPEX’s most ambitious performance yet.
“When we first saw the demo choreography, we were all just telling each other how cool the performance was, followed by us worrying about whether it would even be possible,” Keum said with a laugh.
“But as soon as we started practicing with the dancing crew, we were like, ‘This is it,’ and knew that it was going to work. […] The dance moves are tough, but dancing with 20 other crew members actually helps us gain more energy,” Wish said.
EPEX is also gearing up for its global activities, as the band recently shot an episode of “Buzz Rhythm02,” a Japanese variety show on Nippon TV, even before the band’s official Japanese debut.
“We had a good opportunity to record a show […] when we hadn’t made our official debut in Japan. It felt similar yet quite different to appear in a show in Japan, and it was a fun experience,” Wish said.
EPEX asked its fans to look forward to its overseas activities, which “start in October.”
“We are currently preparing diligently to see our Japanese Zenith [EPEX’s fandom name] and I think there will be good news very soon — that’s all I’m going to say today,” Ayden said.
With another chapter completed, EPEX is also partially prepared for the next chapter.
“While I can’t reveal a lot of the details, we already have the stories for our next album set,” Wish said. “We’ve been talking about the stories of boys up until now, and I think we will be talking about the stories of young adults, as all of the members will be over 18 very soon!”
To find out more about EPEX, visit Celeb Confirmed!
BY CHO YONG-JUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]