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[Herald Interview] MCND aims to show teamwork with ‘X10’

MCND returned with its 6th mini album, “X10,” with the ambition to continue music as long as possible.

MCND, debuted in 2020, proved their international popularity earlier this year by successfully holding their “Odd-Venture” concert tour in seven European countries and six cities in the US. The quintet is also gaining popularity in regions where K-pop stars have not frequently ventured, such as the Middle East and South America.

They appeared at the K-Expo in the United Arab Emirates in November last year and at the Korea Tourism, Culture & Medical Festival held in Qatar this May. They also garnered significant local interest by becoming the first K-pop group to be interviewed by Radio 1 UAE, the top radio station in Abu Dhabi.

“When we go to Arab countries, we’re always curious about what the reactions will be like, but every time we arrive, we are greeted with large signs with our names. We’re very grateful,” said Huijun.

Leader Castle J added that they paid attention to details, such as choosing outfits that respect local cultures and countries. “For an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Qatar, we wore burgundy-colored clothes reminiscent of Qatar’s national flag,” he said, adding, “Seeing fans on the other side of the world enthusiastically supporting us was incredibly moving. Performing on many stages has also improved our stage manners.”

The group’s new album “X10,” which takes its name from a term used in archery to denote a perfect score, showcases their growth from overseas experiences.

Minjae explained that MCND, known for hip-hop-style songs, has tried something new with the country genre: “The title track ‘X10’ is a country genre song, which feels different from our previous hip-hop-influenced tracks like ‘Top Gang’ and ‘Ice Age.’ The new song has a richer sound that blends country and hip-hop.”

Bic added, “We hope the listeners would focus on our teamwork and how we support each other on stage.”

Minjae shared a memorable moment during the music video shoot when unexpected rain almost halted filming. “While shooting a football scene, there was a heavy downpour. However, the final result captured us with our hair wet, looking like we were sweating and giving our all, which added to the youthful energy we wanted to convey,” he said.

Another challenge came for the youngest member Win, who mentioned that he struggled with a scene requiring him to ride a bicycle. “I can’t ride a bike very well, but all the staff members helped me, pushing the bicycle for me with a lot of encouragement. Thankfully, I managed to get a nice shot,” he recalled.

Castle J stressed that they put effort into including stories in the album that only MCND could tell, by participating in writing lyrics and composing.

In particular, “Top Gang Vol.2,” a follow-up to their pre-debut song “Top Gang,” was written, composed and arranged by Castle J. He emphasized that this song showcases the members’ growth.

“Win wanted to create a second version of ‘Top Gang.’ He felt he was technically lacking and hadn’t gone through a voice change period at the time, so he wanted to show his growth. The new song shows how all of us have grown.”

Bic said that “Top Gang Ver.2” was the hardest song to write lyrics for because “Castle J wanted aggressive rap, which was my first attempt at that style, so it was challenging. But the effort paid off with a good result.”

Another B-side track, “Girl Friend,” with all English lyrics, is MCND’s first love song according to Win. “We received this song about six years ago when we were trainees. We decided to include it in this album as a love song now that we’re all adults,” he explained.

As the quintet celebrates its fourth anniversary this year, bandmates emphasized their wish to continue making music for a long time.

Minjae expressed his aspiration for MCND to become “a memory of an era,” beyond just an idol group. “When you listen to old songs, you remember the scenes of that time, the games you used to like, and the snacks you loved. I hope MCND can become such memories for someone,” he said.

“The ultimate goal for MCND is to make music together for a long, long time. We want to stay together for many years to come,” added Castle J.

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