Like the rest of the world, priorities also shifted for BTS and they also dealt with burnout and exhaustion, Yoongi admitted. The only difference is, the whole world was watching them. (You don’t even have to have the stats to know the ARMY fandom size grew considerably during the pandemic.)
Though BTS say they have been living separately for a while, the dinner party video was filmed at their dorm, which they will leave behind soon since their lease is up. That doesn’t stop them from reminiscing about all the dorms they have shared in the past and sharing how their current individual homes are most reflective of their unique styles.
The seven members are speaking literally, but it also feels metaphoric, as halfway through the video Yoongi announced the group is going on a some kind of break. (In Korean, the literal words he uses are “off period” and HYBE has since clarified to AP that they will still be releasing group projects sporadically though it won’t be the main focus.)
“I started music and became BTS because I had a message for the world. I didn’t know what I would do after ‘ON’ but then COVID-19 came up so we did ‘Dynamite,’ ‘Butter,’ ‘Permission to Dance,’ ‘Life Goes On’… And I realized the group has definitely changed. We have to accept that we’ve changed,” RM said in the video. “For me, it was like the group BTS was within my grasp until ‘ON’ and ‘Dynamite’ but after ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.”
“Whenever I write lyrics and songs, it’s really important what kind of story and message I want to give out,” he continued. “I don’t know what kind of story I should tell now. I’ve always thought that BTS was different from other groups. But the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music and keep doing something. I’ve changed as a human over the past ten years, so I needed to think and have some alone time and then those thoughts can mature into something uniquely mine.”
Though RM admitted that until now balancing personal growth and BTS’s astronomical growth has been manageable, something has shifted and it’s time to place the former higher — a decision all members have been pondering for a while, particularly for the last two years.
“I think now, finally we’ve come to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered as to our fans. I think that’s why we’re going through a rough patch right now,” Jimin added. “We’re trying to find our identity and that’s an exhausting and long process. Our fans know us and we know us. We have so many things we want to tell them, but we can’t be honest all the time. We want to be comfortable with them, but it’s so hard and that’s worn us out. We’re trying to slowly figure things out now. It feels so wrong to even say that we’re exhausted.”