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“If you are visiting a rigged system, are you a villain or a hero?” asks Gun-il, the group leader and drummer for Xdinary Heroes. The six-piece act from JYP Entertainment, made up of Gun-il, Jungsu, Gaon, O.de, Jun Han, and Jooyeon, debuted in late 2021 with the rock single, “Happy Death Day,” which immediately emerged from Obviously, the group wasn’t operating within the typical range of K-Pop.
While their group’s name is meant to encourage the idea that anyone can become a hero, they’re equally interested in the other side of the coin – while not necessarily entering their own evil era, it’s this balancing act of good and evil in the hero’s journey that is a major focus for them. This is especially true of the themes on the new EP, overloadwhich is now available.
For anyone new to Xdinary Heroes, it’s not just the concepts or their sounds that make them special – they’re a real band who write their own music and play their own instruments. Gon Il studied drums at Berkeley. Jungsu on keyboards and serves as the group’s lead vocalist, while Gaon and Jun Han provide guitar, O.de the synthesizer, and Jooyeon the bass. In other words, these guys are the real deal.
I reached out to Xdinary Heroes to chat about their ridiculously fun new EP, places they’ve been finding inspiration as creators lately, and their effective work lately. Read the full chat with all the members and find the dynamic music video for their latest single, “Haircut,” below.
What kind of themes do you think run stronger through this album?
gun il: There are many topics in this album. For me, fighting with fear and anxiety is the main theme.
Jungsukisa: I think it’s an “internal anti-anxiety.” This album shows the process of struggling with one’s attitude or self-confidence and fighting those issues. Although each song has a different theme, it would be nice to focus on the story line with similar messages.
Gaon: Our first album dealt with external pressures and conflict, but this album focuses on the struggles that arise within. I believe the strongest and most formidable opponent in the world is myself. Thus, the key points are the feelings of fighting with yourself and the story of how you exposed those feelings.
O.de: The main theme of this album is “Are you an elephant or a hero?” , which is a slogan written in our spoiler pictures. It is the basic message that this album talks about, and it is linked to the story we are going to convey.
John Han: Just like the name of the album, we tried to express the complex feelings of facing the evil side inside us.
Guyon: I think this is the strong desire to get rid of the growing paranoia, anxiety and bad hearts within oneself.
Does each of you have your favorite track on the album?
gun ilAll 6 songs are my favourites, but if I had to choose just one, I would pick “Haircut” as the best among the songs.
Jungsu: My favorite is “Zzz…” I think it’s the only song on this album that shows the fun and playful side of Xdinary Heroes. Its mood is also brighter compared to other songs, so I think it will be easy to listen to.
Gaon: My favorite is “X-MAS”. It is very attractive and has a lot of killer parts that you can sing along to. I tend to devour without realizing it.
O.de: My favorite is “Crack in the Mirror”, which I’m looking forward to doing live.
John Han: My favorite is “X-MAS”. I love the overall mood of the song, and I especially love the verse in the beginning.
Guyon: mine is “stealth”. I find the dark melodies and the top line with falsetto very attractive.