Editors’ Notes Seoul pop-rock band DAY6 continues its odyssey through emotion via an unlikely vessel: thermodynamic physics. The Book of Us series (2019’s Gravity and Entropy) has now given way to The Demon, which references a theory by 19th-century Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell wherein an imaginary “demon” gatekeeper prevents opposing molecules from mingling, creating imbalance. “The whole Book of Us album series is basically forms of human interaction,” lead guitarist Jae tells Apple Music. “It’s a series about the development of social interaction between people. The ‘demon’ plays its part, because human relationships, or social balance, isn’t always positive. The demon represents the negative portion of that.”

Musically, the band’s blend of pop and alt-rock is as colorful and anthemic as ever. They also push the hip-hop tempo, with drummer Dowoon leaning into the kicks and snares. Lyrically, the subdued mood—which Jae compares to a single tear rolling down—feels synchronous with the times. DAY6 didn’t plan to release their sixth mini-album during 2020’s global coronavirus pandemic; it just turned out that way. But it couldn’t have come soon enough. “I want people to feel the songs, to relate, just emote with whatever they’re feeling,” lead singer and bassist Young K says. “We just want to tell them: You’re not alone.” Below, Young K and Jae go through the album track by track.

Day and Night
Jae: “We got our reference points from [JYP Entertainment founder] J.Y. Park. He was telling us that we should go with a brighter song, a more pop-heavy repeating-melody type of song, and then make it our title [first single].”
Young K: “We based it on Maxwell’s demon theory. We showed it at a meeting and it got confirmed!”
Jae: “It was really hard, because J.Y. is an amazing songwriter. He has 50-plus No. 1s in Korea. It’s pretty hard to meet that standard of excellence, but we were surprised that we got it on the first try.”

Young K: “In Korea, there’s a phrase that if you are living a life repetitiously and have nothing new, without any emotions, it’s like ‘zombie.’”
Jae: “It’s like living in a shell. And we just want to clarify that we wrote this song a long time ago! We want to make that very clear. Before Kingdom [a popular zombie K-drama] Season 2 came out.”
Young K: “We wanted to write about people, even us, living life sometimes with nothing new. Wonpil [DAY6 keyboardist] came up with the word ‘zombie’ and we mixed up both of our lyrics and cleaned it up.”

Tick Tock
Jae: “‘Tick Tock’ is about the end of a relationship. You come to a point where you have nothing to talk about anymore. All the love’s lost. It’s a sinking ship. And it’s like, ‘I think we should end it,’ but nobody wants to say it. So ‘Tick Tock’ is the sound of the clock that you hear in the room because it’s so quiet.”
Young K: “This was written way back in summer of 2019.”
Jae: “We like this song. We had it for a while. It’s one of our coveted songs we were waiting for the right time to release. We thought it would be our favorite B-side, but, obviously, it’s just too good.”

Love Me or Leave Me
Young K: “The words ‘love me or leave me’ were based on what we hummed. Then we wrote the entire lyrics. ‘Decide whether you’re going to love me or leave me.’”

Young K: “That song’s vibe was based on the Entropy album. While I was writing it, I came up with a story: ‘Give it up, guys. If it’s not gonna work out, just give it up.’ That story was suited more for this album, because there is that imbalance.”

1 to 10
Young K: “This can fit into the demon theory. ‘I’m going to give you everything, no one loves you more than me,’ but the other person doesn’t feel like that. The amount of emotion that I’m feeling is not the same as the other person, so there‘s that imbalance going on. Also, in Korea, ‘everything’ can mean ‘from one to ten.’ Like ‘I’m prepared, from one to ten.’”

Jae: “Sungjin [DAY6 rhythm guitarist] wrote this one. When we heard it, we’re like, ‘You’re going solo, bro. It’s so good.’ It kind of goes back to the roots of DAY6. It’s a very modern-rock, emotional song, real gritty at the hook. Even the lyrics are very pretty.”
Young K: “It’s talking about: ‘I’m afraid I’m taking so many chances in your life. I’m taking up your time when it could be better.’ Like I’m no good for you.”

Zombie (English Ver.)
Young K: “It’s about everyone feeling emotive. In Korean, with the translation, other people can feel it, but it won’t be as good as the English lyrics itself.”
Jae: “When you translate lyrics from Korean to English, there are a lot of phrases or vocabulary that don’t directly translate well. It either gets oversimplified or gets too complicated. We wrote it in English, just due to the fact it’s such a global message these days and it’s something we want everyone to hear. And, if possible, even for a little bit, feel better.”


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