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Seventeen Talk New Album, Writing as a Group of 13 and First English Song: 'We're Really Excited'

·4-min read

Seventeen is thrilled to have just released their ninth EP, Attacca — but even more so, they say, they're excited to hear how their carats (their fans' group name) around the world feel about.

PEOPLE sat down with three of the group's 13 members— Joshua, Vernon and Woozi — to discuss their latest release.

"Everyone's really stoked about this comeback. We just can't wait for our fans to listen to it," says Vernon, 23. Asked what he thinks their reaction will be, he says with a laugh, "Honestly, I think they'll love it, because we love it."

While the K-pop superstars have stayed true to themselves on Attacca, their lead single, "Rock with You," features a new pop-punk-inflected sound.

RELATED: K-Pop Group aespa Talk Finding Fans 'All Over the World' with Debut EP

Seventeen Attica
Seventeen Attica

courtesy PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT

"'Rock with You' is a song about expressing that will toward a person, the target of your love," says Woozi, 24, who was a lead composer and lyricist on the track. "So we thought about how we could express that passionate love, and we chose rock and this genre of music as the best way to send that message."

It's no coincidence that some listeners may be reminded of hits of the late '90s and aughts, as Woozi notes the sound was inspired in part by nostalgia for the music the members grew up on: "Rock is one genre of music that you're really naturally exposed to from when you're young, so there's countless rock songs that you've heard over the years that really come to you. That's what we drew from when we were working on this song," he explains.

Seventeen Attica
Seventeen Attica

courtesy PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT

Another punk rock-inspired track, "2 MINUS 1," marks a major first for the group: Its first song completely in English. It was written with the group's two American-born members, Joshua and Vernon, who hail from Los Angeles and New York, respectively, and say it's a milestone they've long been looking forward to.

"It's something that we've talked about for a very long time. But we finally got the chance to release a fully English single, so we're really excited about that," says Joshua, 25. "We worked really hard on it."

Seventeen Attica
Seventeen Attica

courtesy PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT

Adds Vernon, "We think it's important not only to reach out to our U.S. carats, but also all the carats worldwide, and English is one of the best tools to do so."

Attacca's other five tracks, which the group teased in a video trailer ahead of the album release, span genres and styles — something that shouldn't come as a surprise given that all 13 members contribute to the writing and producing process, a talent Seventeen is well known for in the world of K-pop. In addition to Woozi, Joshua and Vernon, Seventeen consists of leader S.COUPS, Wonwoo, Mingyu, Jeonghan, DK, Seungkwan, Hoshi, Jun, THE 8, and Dino. The members are divided into three sub-units based on their focus: Vocal, Hip-Hop and Performance.

Seventeen Attica
Seventeen Attica

courtesy PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT

"When we work on an album, we have a group meeting. We all come together and we establish a working culture and a process where it's a free exchange of ideas and nobody hesitates to express their opinions or throw out their ideas — not just in music, but in all aspects of the album," says Woozi. "It's a very open process and it really comes naturally. "This is something that we've seen since we were very young, first starting out."

Vernon gives Woozi even more credit: "Along with a close friend of ours, Bumzu, Woozi is the main producer when it comes to music, so he takes the lead and we just really trust in him and we follow him."

It's a formula that's worked incredibly well for the group, who debuted in 2015. They made their first appearance on the Billboard 200 earlier this year with their last EP, Your Choice, and have made appearances on The Late Late Show with James Corden, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Seventeen Attica
Seventeen Attica

courtesy PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT

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Of their U.S. TV appearances, Joshua admits, "It's definitely big for me, because those are shows that I grew up watching all my favorite artists on. Also since my family and all my friends are in the States, they were able to see that."

In a press conference Thursday night, the group expressed their hopes for the future, including, from Mingyu, a fully English song with all 13 members, and from Dino, something they surely all look forward to, a chance to reunite with carats live again soon.

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