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BTS “definitely not on hiatus”, says J-Hope as he tries to promote his solo album

By | Published on Monday 18 July 2022


J-Hope has insisted that BTS are “definitely not on hiatus”, despite what you may have heard. It’s a “temporary break”, OK? A short stop. Not even a stop, really. Barely anything at all.

“When we talked about the temporary break, or focusing on solo projects, we really just were trying to be honest with how we feel and what we want to pursue going forward”, he says in an interview with Variety to promote his new solo album.

“I was a little surprised that people took it in a different way than … how we expected them to receive or understand that news. I think there was a little bit of loss in translation as we conveyed that message. And definitely we’re not on hiatus. The [group] is going to remain active”.

The word “hiatus”, of course, first cropped up during an hour long video discussion between band members last month, which marked their ninth anniversary as a group. It actually came up in the English subtitles on the video, but – as talk of the hiatus dominated reporting of that conversation and panic set in amongst fans – those subtitles were changed to say “temporary break”.

In addition to this, the band’s management company Hybe and its Big Hit record label both put out statements insisting that there was no hiatus whatsoever. The band’s members are just focussing on their solo careers instead for a while. Nothing to worry about.

You might be thinking that that temporary break to release some solo records sounds quite a lot like a hiatus. After all, ‘hiatus’ basically means temporary break. But you’re forgetting that in the world of boy bands, ‘hiatus’ generally means something more like: “That’s it, we’re splitting up now, see you in ten years for the cynical reunion tour when we’ve all run out of other options”.

And, to be fair, some of the reporting about the hiatus, or temporary break, or whatever it is, did veer towards that sort of thing. It’s the end of BTS, the headlines cried, even though the band’s discussion had made it fairly clear that, while they were all a bit worn out, they had no intention of stopping.

Reiterating this, J-Hope says in this new interview: “We just learned a lot and we grew together as a team over the last decade, and I believe that was the Chapter One for BTS. So for BTS to sustain longer and to even leap forward, we thought that Chapter Two was definitely needed”.

“So although we grew together and we worked together as a team for the last ten years, now perhaps it is our time to grow and to pursue what we wanted to do as individuals and focus more on personal growth as individuals. So we would like to embrace and experience many different things as we work on solo projects”.

“We expect that after gaining all these experiences and having individual projects, we will have a greater synergistic effect as a team, and we believe that that is the sustainable and healthy way for us to grow as a team”, he goes on. “So I think we are on the verge of starting the Chapter Two for BTS – and going forward, we will definitely be working on group projects as well as solo projects”.

So that all makes sense, and actually sounds pretty sensible. But what if that’s just talk? What if he’s just trying to soften the blow and BTS won’t ever actually do anything together again? Well, you’re forgetting that they have a big concert coming up. Silly of you, really.

The group are set to play a show in Busan, South Korea in October, as part of their recently appointed role as ambassadors for the city’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo.

“This event will be very meaningful to us”, says J-Hope. “So I just hope that there’s no misunderstanding about where we are going and what kind of directions we’re taking as a team”.

Yeah, it must already be getting a bit tedious having to talk endlessly about how your band hasn’t split up, while trying to promote your solo work. Although, actually, in BTS terms, just a few months apart is kind of big news in its own right.

By the time BTS take to the stage in Busan, it will be four months since they accidentally said that they were going on hiatus. In that video, they also said that they’d been working away from each other for several weeks already. So, given that when they previously went on an “extended period of rest”, that lasted less than three months, this latest pause is going to be something of an epic period.

Anyway, I’m sure J-Hope would prefer me to be talking about his debut solo album, ‘Jack In The Box’, which came out on Friday and takes some interesting turns away from the BTS sound. Here’s the video for latest single ‘Arson’: