'We're back with the music they know and love': DAY6 makes triumphant return from military service

Rock band DAY6, back with its eighth EP ″Fourever″ [JYP ENTERTAINMENT]

K-pop’s unique rock band DAY6 is back for the first time in three years, with yet another ode to both the marvels and complexities of youth that the quartet captures like no other.

“Fourever” comes as DAY6’s first EP in three years; the band dropped its seventh EP, “The Book of Us: Negentropy — Chaos swallowed up in love,” in April 2021 before its members began their military duties.

Now, the four members are back, and they want to start fresh with what they do best: Cherishing every moment of their lives and the people they share them with.

“We wanted to show where DAY6 stands and who we are right now, especially because this is a new album to come in such a long time,” Young K told reporters in an interview Wednesday ahead of the album’s release on Sunday at 6 p.m.

“So rather than making a big transformation in our music, we wanted to show you what we have through the kind of music that we used to make, but more matured and developed than before, and say, ‘Everyone, we are DAY6 and this is the kind of music that we make.’”

A scene from DAY6's upcoming song, ″Welcome to the Show″ [JYP ENTERTAINMENT]

“Fourever” is thus a way of easing fans back to DAY6’s music while also introducing the essence of the band to people unfamiliar with K-pop’s rare rock stars.

All of the members took part in writing either the music or the lyrics for all seven tracks of the album, including lead track “Welcome to the Show.” The song is an upbeat, post-Brit-pop rock “serenade to the people who stuck by us on this stage we call life,” especially the fans who waited for DAY6 to return, according to the band.

“We’ve been loved by so many people, even during our military service, especially My Day,” Wonpil said, mentioning the band’s fan club, My Day.

“We wanted to tell them that we’re back with the music they know and love, the music that they’re used to. We have become better in some way, but we wanted to come back with a song that’s similar to the others that people liked in the past.”


“We knew that such an opportunity would never present itself again”

An uncommon example of a K-pop “idol” with a rock band theme, DAY6 has been famed for its portrayal of the different emotions that young people encounter in their lives, both the good and bad. But the band has also been making a mark with what’s referred to as yeokjuhaeng in Korean.

Yeokjuhaeng generally refers to driving in reverse. In music, it refers to songs that climb back up the music charts years after they are released. Examples include EXID’s “Up & Down,” which was released in August 2014 but came to the public’s attention two months later, and Brave Girls’ “Rollin’,” which was released in March 2017 but topped the charts four years later in 2021.

DAY6 was blessed with a surprise yeokjuhaeng when “You Were Beautiful” suddenly shot up the charts in 2020, three years after its 2017 release, and yet again this year, when “Time of Our Life” (2019) climbed the same charts this January. While “You Were Beautiful” reverse-drove its way back up the online ladder thanks to online listeners’ desire to find a good song from the past, “Time of Our Life” owes its newly found fame — quite ironically — to the military.

A captured image of DAY6 performing ″Time of Our Life″ (2017) in 2022 [SCREEN CAPTURE]

A video showing the three DAY6 members — Wonpil, Young K and Dowoon — singing the song, which encourages listeners to cherish the memories and passion of their youth, while clad in their respective Navy and Army uniforms went viral late last year. The members special outfits and joyful expressions caught the attention of online users, pushing the song back up music charts years after its initial release.

“I think we wanted to get a record of ourselves in that moment, because we knew that such an opportunity would never present itself again,” Wonpil said.

“The fact that Sungjin wasn’t there because he had already finished his service was a catch, but, still, we really wanted to record ourselves wearing our different uniforms. I didn’t realize what made it so special back then, but I’m just so grateful to everyone who saw it.”


When asked which song they hoped would next receive the yeokjuhaeng treatment, all four members chose the same track: “Zombie,” the lead track from the band's sixth EP, “The Book of Us: The Demon,” released in 2020.

“It’s a song that’s left us with some form of regret, especially due to the pandemic,” Dowoon said.

“’Zombie’ was a song that was meant to console everyone who listens to it,” Young K said, echoing Dowoon. “It was tough back then, but it’s still tough for everyone who lives such busy lives. I wish that people would listen to the song and realize that they’re not the only ones going through hard times.”


“I was so bad at dancing”

None of DAY6's members joined JYP Entertainment wanting to be part of a rock band. Some began training in dance before finding that instrumentals, instead, were their calling. While most rock bands name a single vocalist as their frontman, all DAY6 members sing while playing their respective instruments.

“I was so bad at dancing,” Sungjin said, laughing. “I am the only person that has been banned from dancing in JYP Entertainment. Honestly, having to learn a new instrument and sing at the same time just seemed too difficult. I also thought that playing an instrument would only interfere with my singing, but being part of a band has actually helped me learn how to understand the construction of music as a whole.”

“We owe DAY6 to Sungjin,” Young K said with a smile.


Still, the members are grateful for how things turned out — and they're looking forward to their upcoming concerts.

DAY6 held three shows last December titled “The Present: You are My Day,” marking the first time in four years that the members had all performed together. The quartet will hold its next three concerts, titled “Welcome to the Show,” from April 12 to 14.

The band has a word of advice for fans: Wear sneakers.

“We’re going to play a lot of lively and upbeat songs,” Sungjin said. “We’ll also be performing our new songs, but that’s all I can tell you about the concert. Our goal for ‘Fourever’ is that we just pull off everything and do it while staying healthy, because that’s actually easier said than done. We’re going to try everything we can.”