In 2020, COVID-19 put the world on pause. Now, the “new normal” is still in effect more than a year later. The ongoing pandemic continues to take a toll on BTS, their plans, and the individual members.
Less than a week ago, HYBE canceled BTS’s postponed MAP OF THE SOUL that was originally scheduled to launch in April 2020. Unable to perform in person, BTS has come up with other ways to entertain fans, including putting on “on-tact” performances, such as the MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E concert.
In a new interview with Billboard magazine, BTS fielded questions about their online shows, contract renewal, goals, and more. “It was nerve-wracking when we were waiting for the curtain to rise,” Jimin said, “but when we went onstage, there were just a lot of video cameras in the place the audience was supposed to be.”
“I know I should be grateful for the chance to perform at all,” he said. “but it was painful.”
BTS has done their best to stay positive, but performing online just isn’t the same. “It sapped our energy and killed our morale,” RM confessed.
At the height of the pandemic, BTS released their BE album song “Blue & Grey,” a track originally intended for V‘s future mixtape. It conveyed the emotions he was feeling at the time.
Letting these emotions hurt me, torment me and scream inside me was upsetting.
Now, a year and a half later, BTS is still unable to perform live for ARMY. Suga has been feeling “pensive” about the situation.
I’ve been getting very pensive lately. You know, we haven’t been able to perform in a year and a half, not being able to do the work we do.
“These days, my thoughts are more scattered than they usually are,” J-Hope told Billboard. “Sometimes, I just feel like taking some time off. Other times, I feel like I need to keep moving.”
“Just keep moving,” “life goes on”: phrases like these are BTS’s mantras. Although the pandemic has brought many unpleasant changes, there is a silver lining: a healthy work-life balance.
For the first time in maybe 10 years, we kind of have a clear line between work and life.
“That’s probably the only good part,” Jimin added, and Jungkook acknowledged that, “It’s still COVID times.” The Golden Maknae keeps himself busy by practicing, and he uses online feedback to stay motivated.
[I still practice singing] all the time, even to a pillow pulled up to my face when I’m in a hotel room or at home.
For more from the interview, find out what Jin had to say about BTS’s contract renewal, or how RM feels about going mainstream abroad.