Can you imagine a world without MAP OF THE SOUL: Persona, MAP OF THE SOUL: 7, and BE? These best-selling albums almost didn’t exist. At 2018 MAMA in Hong Kong, Jin revealed that BTS had considered disbanding at the beginning of that year.
We had a hard time mentally during the beginning of this year. While talking with each other, we even thought about disbanding. But we regather our hearts, and I’m glad that we were able to produce such a great result.
Since then, BTS has discussed their almost-disbandment in interviews and in their documentary film, Break The Silence: The Movie. According to Suga, BTS felt pressured by the attention they were receiving, but after taking a short break, they were able to continue.
We were pressured, as if… All we did was diligently do our job, but we then heard that we contributed to the nation, so we were so pressured. [. . .] The break refreshed us a lot, and when you take a break for a month, it makes you want to perform again.
In a new interview with GQ Korea, RM mentioned disbandment when asked about his hardships and fears.
In the BTS documentary Break the Silence, you spoke about your fears. And your solo track ‘Always’ contains lyrics you had written during a time of hardship. Why do you find it important to recognise, accept, document, and share your fears?
— GQ Korea
While many celebrities choose to keep up a mystique, distancing themselves from the public, RM prefers to be open with his fans about the struggles he is going through. This includes discussions about disbanding.
Many celebrities, stars, and artists choose mystery, preferring to be seen as enigmatic figures. Maybe it’s because they have many scars, or because they don’t want to open up. Personally, though, I think it’s good to share with our fans both the good and the bad, the pros and cons, and the shadows that hang over us.
“From an outsider’s perspective,” RM said. “it may look as though BTS’ success has grown exponentially, but that’s not true. It might not have been necessary to reveal we had considered disbanding, but confessions can sometimes make people stronger.”
BTS’s “confessions” don’t happen in the moment, but rather after the members have moved past the crisis and processed their emotions. This helps them see their problems clearly before they share with fans.
We don’t, however, bare our hearts immediately. Only once the moment has passed and we’ve processed and identified our feelings do we look back and share a more coherent version of what we’ve gone through. In doing so, people realise we, too, are human, which bridges the distance between us. I truly believe we need to open up to a certain extent.
Although RM believes it is important to be honest, honesty can make him feel vulnerable, like a “pushover.”
But to be honest, it scares me. I’m scared people will think I’m a pushover or that these confessions could be seen as weaknesses and prompt a backlash.
Even so, RM still chooses to bring his struggles to light in a way that is “professionally ethical,” and expressed in the “best medium” for BTS: music.
It feels good. Once you turn over a card, you can’t help turning over the other cards. [laughs] In a way, I think it’s only right to be honest, rather than hiding the negative and always saying, ‘We’re doing well.’ But the manner in which we confess our fears would have to be mature and professionally ethical.
Between books, documentaries, interviews, and music, music would be the best medium for us, no? And to do it in such a way that listeners can gain something for themselves, just as I had, and then be able to apply it to their own lives. I regularly contemplate what the best way would be to share such things.
For more, check out this moment from Jungkook‘s interview.