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DAY6 Open Up About Their Long-Awaited Comeback and What “Fourever ”Means to Them: 'It's Our Time' (Exclusive)

"I think the last three years was a period of self-care and self-love," Sungjin says of the 4-piece band's hiatus

After a long break, returning to the stage again might feel a little intimidating. Just like with any activity, time spent away might make anyone feel hesitant — like trying to re-learn how to bike, or going through the motions of swimming again.

However, when the K-pop boy band DAY6 pulls back the curtain with a flourish, it’s clear that their three-year-long hiatus hasn’t stopped them in their tracks. For the boys — Sungjin, 31, Young K, 30, Wonpil, 29, and Dowoon, 28 — the stage is their natural element.

From the way they passionately sing as the spotlights fall on their faces, they couldn’t be happier to be together again. And as the chorus of their latest album’s first track builds up, they have one message for those who have anticipated their comeback: “Welcome to the Show.”

<p>JYP Entertainment</p> DAY6

JYP Entertainment

DAY6

Their eighth mini-album name, Fourever, hits the nail on the head with its overall theme, composed of seven tracks about love, nostalgia and what happiness really is. As the boys gather one late evening to talk about the comeback, they can’t help but reflect on their pop rock journey together since their debut back in 2015. While dressed warmly in long sleeves and quarter zips, the energy they exude together is just as heartwarmingly bright.

“It’s our time,” Young K says to PEOPLE. “Being able to put out this album would be our biggest joy, really coming back altogether and being able to present ourselves in front of My Days because they have been waiting for this moment as much as us, hopefully.”

Indeed, being together in front of their fans, dubbed “My Days,” has been a long time coming. Through all the trials and tribulations, their unity is what stands out as they speak, and especially in their lyrics.

“I’m so moved by the stage / That I won’t be alone any longer,” Young K sings in the first track, surrounded by his fellow bandmates.

However, with any comeback from a break, a bundle of mixed emotions is to be expected.

“If you listen to our song, ‘I Smile,’ there’s a lyric that says ‘half-nervous and half-excited,’” Dowoon says of the track, released in 2017. “That’s exactly how I feel.”

For the past three years, the DAY6 members completed their required military enlistment in South Korea. While they underwent basic training, they also could reflect on what meant most to them.

“I think the last three years was a period of self-care and self-love,” Sungjin says. “I have come to realize that in order for this band to exist, I have to exist first, so I really try to teach myself how to take care of myself well.”

<p>JYP Entertainment</p> Sungjin

JYP Entertainment

Sungjin

For Sungjin, self-care might be as simple as buying a small gift for himself, or meeting with loved ones. And even though all the boys were completing their service, that didn’t mean they were restricted from seeing one another. In fact, Dowoon recalls a humorous moment when he was in a TV program, and Wonpil and Young K joined him to perform.

“They insisted that they come into my room and share my bed while we were training, while we were practicing together — so that’s one memory that I have,” Dowoon shares.

“That’s how glad we were to see him,” Young K adds with a laugh.

When asked how large the bed was, Wonpil doesn’t beat around the bush with his response: “Yeah, it was very small.”

The boys also had ample free time outside of training to engage in hobbies, and Dowoon’s was especially productive. The drummer, and the band’s youngest member, says he taught himself how to play the bass drums and pushed himself to continually “relearn.” Mastering the instrument became the challenge he set out to accomplish for the album.

<p>JYP Entertainment</p> Dowoon

JYP Entertainment

Dowoon

Dowoon is far from the only member who plays an instrument. In fact, what makes the boy band especially unique is how every member excels at their own instrument. While Sungjin rocks it as the rhythm guitarist, Wonpil effortlessly works the keyboard and synthesizer. Young K has always been the bassist of the group, but surprisingly, has never played a bass instrument before becoming a trainee. However, you wouldn’t be able to tell because of how much he practices for upcoming albums.

“That becomes the best way of practice for me,” he says of his practicing regimen. “Of course, doing the chromatics, slowing down and then going at the right pace — that would be a great practice session.”

“That’s why I don’t call myself the best bassist, but that’s what I do,” he simply adds.

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Regardless of how they practice, their instrumental mastery shines through in each of the tracks. They serve to highlight the deep meanings associated with each song, like Sungjin’s favorite — “Happy.”

The second track revolves around one question: “Why am I gradually sinking when I want to be happy?” For Sungjin, the melancholic song is one that he can especially relate to.

“I empathize with it the most because it talks about the question that I had for myself for a long time, which is how I had this obscure thought that happiness will come along one day,” he says.

As the boys begin to contemplate about what the songs mean, it’s apparent that they draw on a lot of memories and feelings from the past. Indeed, nostalgia ( a feeling “relatable to everyone,” says Sungjin) is a core tenant in tracks such as “Get the Hell Out,” which address lingering, and often tormenting memories.

Embarrassing memories might often fall under the same vein, and Young K can recall an especially funny memory. When he was still a trainee, he appeared on a TV show and said he was “from Toronto.” However, he chose not to say the Canadian city’s name in a Korean accent, and that’s what people will “still make fun” of him for to the present day.

“I don’t even have to think back on it — people make me think back on it,” he says of the inescapable memory. “People bring it up, and I’m still that guy from Toronto.”

<p>JYP Entertainment</p> Young K

JYP Entertainment

Young K

Perhaps just as recurring in all the boys’ lives is the motif of love, which many of their tracks explore. Yet, even with tracks like “The Power of Love” and “Let Me Love You,” the boys still agree that much is still unknown about the power of the emotion.

“I’m not 100% certain if I know what love is, but I think for now, sacrifice takes a big part of it,” Wonpil says.

“And consideration,” Sungjin chimes in, before diving deeper.

“The definition of love is still unclear to me, but I feel it,” he continues. “I really feel from my parents what real love is, and it’s something that I didn’t realize before. Now, I really realize what my parents gave me was real love.”

Dowoon says he can feel a special kind of love between him and the fans.

“When I look into the eyes of My Days, I can feel their love for us,” he says. “I learned a lot about love from My Days, and I constantly think about how we can return that love and I think I’m still in the learning process of the definition of love. But for now, I can say that the love that My Days gives us — we feel that a lot.”

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Young K, too, also has much to contemplate about when thinking about love. For him, the idea of love is “very interesting” in many ways.

“Love has been existing ever since human beings existed, or ever since language existed, and people are still asking what the definition of love is,” he explains. “It still hasn’t been defined. I can say whatever we say is not the definition for everyone, but I feel like I can certainly say love exists everywhere.”

Later on, the group also demonstrates how love isn’t only between them or their fans, but even for their past selves. That’s something they don’t forget to mention as they grow into their late twenties and early thirties, as Dowoon proves with a message to his younger self.

“Just be there and stay there, and it will brighten up one day,” he says after a thoughtful moment. “Learn to love yourself as soon as possible in order to help others.”

Despite their more mature outlook on things, it’s clear that the DAY6 members haven’t lost their charismatic and youthful energy. Since they’ve united together again, the band has shared countless memories, full of ab-forming laughs.

<p>JYP Entertainment</p> Wonpil

JYP Entertainment

Wonpil

“When we were practicing, I asked Wonpil: ‘How much longer are you going to practice?’” Dowoon recalls. “He said, ‘I can practice as long as I want, what’s wrong with it?’”

As the members begin to smile, Dowoon adds: “And he shouted, ‘Just leave me alone, let me practice in peace!’”

Wonpil also adds his two cents as well about what, or in this case, who, makes him laugh the most.

“I always get a laugh from Young K,” he says. “He always makes me laugh. I can’t exactly point out what it was recently, but I remember laughing really, really hard because of Young K.”

In response, Young K shrugs humorously in confusion, just as Dowoon brings up his Toronto motif again.

<p>JYP Entertainment</p> DAY6

JYP Entertainment

DAY6

Now, with their comeback, the DAY6 members are ready for what’s ahead, no matter how rocky, smooth or unpredictable the waves may be. In fact, unpredictability is already something that they’re used to, Young K says.

“When we first came out, there were no numbers, or very small numbers compared to now,” he reflects. “For example, ‘You Were Beautiful’ went in the charts years later after it was released. So, you never know what’s going to happen in the future. All we got to do is just make good music and work hard.”

As for any upcoming plans? Besides a concert in mid-April, they can’t make any guarantees about anything else. However, they have their hopes set in stone.

“I don’t know if anything is set yet, but we’re hoping to go around the world,” Young K teases. “I promise you, and this is a promise — nothing is set yet.”

Fourever is now available to stream.

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