It was a bittersweet moment for ARMY when BTS tearfully announced at FESTA 2022 that they would be going on an indefinite hiatus. They made it clear that they were not disbanding at all, but needed time to focus on themselves and their solo careers. BTS leader RM (born Kim Nam-joon) explained that he felt that the team was losing direction, and he had lost ‘hold’ after their release of Dynamite in 2020, adding that he didn’t know what kind of group they were anymore.
He said, “For me, it was like BTS was within my grasp till ON and Dynamite. But after Butter and Permission To Dance, I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore. Whenever I write lyrics, it was important for me to give out a message, but that was gone now. I don’t know what kind of story we should tell now,” he said, adding that the idol system that it doesn’t give time to mature.
RM added that he kept feeling trapped within himself and he tried ‘shedding’ it off, and take time off. He kept postponing as something or the other kept coming up for BTS. “But the world wouldn’t let me,” he said. “We’ve lost our direction, and I just want to take some time to think.” He mentioned that he was afraid that he wasn’t living up to fans expectations, and V (born Kim Taehyung) added that the fans have always rooted for them. RM also said that he was afraid that he had begun speaking for the group, just because he was more fluent in English, and it made him more guilty.
Jimin said said the members are ‘slowly trying to figure things out now’ and that ‘we’re starting to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered by our fans’. “I think that’s why we’re going through a rough patch right now, we’re trying to find our identity and that’s an exhausting and long process.” He said that he wanted to be comfortable with fans, but its become ‘so hard’.
At this point Suga mentioned, that ‘they have nothing to say’ anymore, and he has to ‘squeeze’ out words. “We have to satisfy people’s wants, and so I squeeze it out, and that is so painful. That’s how this job goes. I’ve made music since 2013 and I’ve never purely enjoyed it, because I was always squeezing it out. But doing that now feels completely different to what I wanted to say 7-8 years ago. Back then I had something to say, but lacked the skills. Now I don’t have anything to say.”
J-Hope explained to ARMY that this time apart was a ‘healthy plan’, and to please not look at it negatively. At the end of the dinner, RM, broke down into tears and said, “I’m scared of you being disappointed in us. When I said that I wanted to take a break, it feels like I’m doing something bad…” He added, “The thing I want to see for all of us, is that we all be together and perform on stage sincerely. When we gather, and talk like this, I want us to be happy without thinking about the rules of the world.” At this point, seeing their leader in tears led to the rest getting rather emotional. “I always want to be RM of BTS,” he said. Jungkook gave a toast and said that they just want ARMY’s blessing and they would be back together some day, better than before.
Later, V penned an emotional post on WeVerse for ARMY. He wrote, “We are happy. Although the things that all 7 of us like, dislike, the personalities, propensities, and tempo are all different. We have the same thought with ARMY so that we had to continue RUN BTS. For the past 10 years, we always going forward while we are looking upwards. We’re scared and we’ve to give up somethings for the team and there’s countless exhaustion and hardships that always came after happiness. To remain as BTS for a long time, it’s time to begin our healthy footsteps and I’m sure ARMY will love that too. ARMY and BTS are connected by a purple strings. Let’s see each other for a long time so that it won’t break off and the colour of the string will still remain the same. We love ARMY so much.”
A representative of Big Hit Music said in a statement, “BTS will start a new chapter in which they will simultaneously carry out team activities and individual activities. This will be a time for each of the members to grow with their diverse activities, and we anticipate that this will foster BTS into a long-running team. The label will actively support this.”