On Nov. 18, 2017, BTS’ interview with Zach Sang of the “Zach Sang Show” was published on YouTube. After numerous repetitive and at times borderline disrespectful interviews on other shows earlier in the week, such as with Mario Lopez and the fan call during their interview with Ryan Seacrest, the ARMY and BTS were justifiably anxious about the content of this interview.
The preceding interviews showed a lack of research into what is really important to the group — their music, their upcoming performance at the American Music Awards, their work with UNICEF, breaking musical language barriers, etc. Instead the questions were geared toward more mundane and frivolous topics, such as American celebrity crushes and the possibility of a full English album release, something that PD Bang himself has stated is unnecessary and unlikely.
Zach Sang did not fall into these traps. Instead, he did research into the Korean music industry, which became apparent in the introductory question of the interview when he used the term idol instead of artist/band. He acknowledged the social awareness of the group’s lyrical content, referencing the studying machine concept of 2013’s “N.O” from “O!RUL8,2?,” released in the same year.
As the interview continued, the members seemed to become more engaged and alive as the questions became more centered on them and what was important to them, with Suga and J-Hope chiming in from time to time to answer questions along with RM.
One question that pleased both BTS and ARMY immensely was about their work with UNICEF. RM even commented that Sang was the first to even mention the partnership, which at the time of the interview had raised over $450,000.
The two standout moments of this interview came at the end. At the 6:51 mark, Sang echoed the sentiments of every single ARMY when he stated, “When you release music, my ask is [to] keep using Korean lyrics…” He goes on to say that their music, although in another language, connects people who are going through similar issues across the globe is a big deal. This is a sentiment that has been resounded by ARMYs worldwide for the last few days after a “fan” called in to the “Ryan Seacrest Show” and almost pressured them into saying that they had to release English-language albums for continued success.
The second moment is found at the 7:35 mark. Sang acknowledges the ARMY for assisting him with asking appropriate questions and their continued interest, not only in the music, but also in the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of the individual members of BTS as well.
After the interview’s posting, it was quickly heralded as the standard for future interviews with BTS, spawning the hashtag #THANKYOUZACH. The appreciation from the fandom and BTS was quite “consoling” as RM states at the interview’s closing, a feeling that ARMY has repeated in the 15 hours since its release.
Check out the full interview below.