ATEEZ just came out with the second of two title tracks, “Thanxx”, from their latest album, ZERO: FEVER Pt.1. Having previously come out with the first of the two tracks, “Inception”, on July 29, the almost 2-year-old group has a lot to discuss about the meaning behind the songs, why storytelling is so important to them in their music, and what it’s like to begin a new era. They sat down with Forbes interviewer Tamar Herman to answer questions on these topics.

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As most fans of the group should know, their previous album, Treasure Epilogue: Action to Answer, was the final installment of their “Treasure” era, which could be considered the first “chapter” in their story, as it was their debut concept. While the “Zero” chapter is coming out afterwards, it actually serves as a prequel to the “Treasure” era.

To define the new series Zero, I’d say it’s all about youth. We can say that it’s a prequel story, the story before the Treasure series, so we wanted to put in some diverse perspectives on youth itself. All the music, and all the contents like the diary film, are all related to the theme of ‘youth.’ Honestly, I would say it’s about youth but it’s not about any age or any generation. The overall message is that youth can be hurtful, but it also at the same time makes your heart flutter. We want to combine all the feelings and messages of youth that everyone can relate to, and it’s related to how you can find Treasure.

— Hongjoong

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When asked how they felt about changing eras, ATEEZ’s members spoke gratefully about their fans supporting them through this change in their story.

“It’s an honor that so many [of our fans] ATINY are cheering us on and supporting us, so we’re trying to do our best.

— Wooyoung

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Hongjoong continued,

“Honestly, while we were promoting our Treasure albums, we always wanted for the listeners to know about our whole story, the one we’re relaying through our music and performances’ alternative, creative universe so we’re very happy to start anew with the Zero album series. We’re so grateful that ATINYs are interested in this new chapter.”

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It’s clear that the inclusion of storytelling is an important aspect of ATEEZ’s music. From the beginning, they seamlessly wove the two together, creating a mysterious, intriguing world that has fans rich with theories. When asked why the story of ATEEZ was so important for the group, this is what Hongjoong had to say:

It’s such an essential thing for ATEEZ. The whole story was planned before our debut, it’s something that goes with the history of ATEEZ. It contains important messages about our music. I think the story is the medium for our music, to deliver the messages that we want to talk about. Many people are very interested about this message and story, and that’s interesting to us too.

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For “Thanxx” and “Inception” specifically, the members have specific things that they want fans to take away from the songs, namely in regards to their theme of “youth” and living young.

“Thanxx” is ATEEZ’s puberty. Honestly, many of our listeners may not know that ATEEZ’s name refers to “A Teenager Z,” so those in their adolescence and those who have experienced that, everyone can enjoy that song.

— Hongjoong

 Songs like “Say My Name” or other songs in the past have represented ourselves as ATEEZ but songs on this album like “Thanxx” and “Good Lil Boy” represent ourselves as, and the spirit of being, teenagers.

— Wooyoung

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With a group like ATEEZ, it’s hard to say what you can expect from them next, except that it will be phenomenal with all of their talent. If you haven’t already, you can watch the music videos for “Inception” and “Thanxx” below!