[SHOWCASE] 'It’s thanks to our fans': TVXQ celebrates 20 years with album, concert, exhibit

TVXQ poses for cameras during a press conference for its ninth full-length album ″20&2″ on Tuesday at the Conrad Seoul hotel in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul. [SM ENTERTAINMENT]

Veteran boy band TVXQ is celebrating 20 years together on Tuesday with a gift to fans: a new album.

Its ninth full-length album “20&2” is set to be released the same day at 6 p.m. Its lead track “Rebel” not only tries to encapsulate TVXQ’s fierceness by being a “rebel,” but focuses on breaking boundaries and looking forward to the band’s future.

“After 20 years, we realized that we might end up stuck in a rut,” Max Changmin, a member of the duo, said in a press conference a few hours before the album release at the Conrad Seoul hotel in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul.

“So we wanted to defy that, and send the message that we will continue to be progressive in our path as TVXQ.”

“It’s not necessarily going against what we’ve presented all these years, but rather accepting it and trying to show what we have in store for later,” U-Know Yunho said. “This is an album in which fans can learn how TVXQ continues to evolve with new music.”

“20&2” has a total of 10 songs: “Down,” lead track “Rebel,” “Rodeo,” “Jungle,” “Life’s A Dance,” U-Know’s solo track “Fix It,” Max Changmin’s solo track “Take My Breath Away,” “Promise,” “The Way U Are (Unplugged Ver.)” and “Starlight.”

“The Way U Are (Unplugged Ver.)” is a remix of TVXQ’s 2004 song of the same name.

A teaser still from TVXQ's latest lead track ″Rebel″ from its ninth full-length album ″20&2″ [SCREEN CAPTURE]

In the K-pop industry, a group celebrating 20 years is considered quite a feat, as there are very few groups that actually make it that long. Fans are typically at the edge of their seats when a group’s exclusive contract to their agency expires after seven years, as that’s when groups decide to renew their contract or disband altogether.

So it comes as no surprise that TVXQ is thankful to its fans, as reflected in the song “Promise,” dedicated to Cassiopeia, the name of TVXQ’s fan club. Max Changmin wrote the lyrics for the song.

“We’ve had so much help from not only our staff members, but particularly our fans,” Max Changmin said. “It’s thanks to our fans that we were able to make more music and hold year-end concerts. Everywhere we go — it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s all thanks to our fans’ love and support.”

“This album is like a coming-of-age party for us, since we turned 20,” U-Know said. “And we want to be a group that ages like fine wine. I believe TVXQ’s charm has aged well over the past two decades, and I hope it continues that way.”

TVXQ debuted in 2003 as a quintet and became one of Asia’s biggest boy bands in the 2000s with hit songs like “Hug” (2003), “Rising Sun” (2005) and “Mirotic” (2008). Three members quit in 2009, but the remaining two members have still seen success throughout the years.

TVXQ will promote its 20th anniversary with a year-end concert on Dec. 30 and 31 at the Incheon Inspire Arena, as well as a special exhibition at the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in Yeongjong Island in Incheon.

The exhibition, which is filled with never-before-seen videos of TVXQ and hands-on programs for fans, began on Saturday and will continue until Jan. 6.

To learn more about TVXQ, visit Celeb Confirmed!