Name one good thing that happend in 2020. We'll do it for you, it's Why Don't We's comeback!
Why Don't We is back from an eight-month break with a banging new song Fallin' and a new album to boot—all created during the quarantine!
Early this year, the American boy band announced their hiatus with a post saying that they're taking a break to work on more music. "We’re so excited and we’ll see you soon," they wrote. A few months later, the hashtags #whereiswdw and #welcomebackwdw began trending on Twitter, and a clip of the boys in a recording studio surfaced announcing, "we're back."
The quintet—composed of Jonah Marais, Corbyn Besson, Daniel Seavey, Jack Avery and Zach Herron—is gearing up for the release of their new album The Good Times and The Bad Ones, and PhilSTAR L!fe got the chance to talk to three members of the band: Jack, Corbyn, and Daniel via Zoom, to ask them about their music during quarantine, the US elections, their new single, and more. Read on to find out what they had to say.
Thank you for your time. First of all, how is your band coping with the pandemic?
Jack Avery: I think—this was what I’ve been telling everybody—music has been alright, [it's our] coping mechanism. Just being able to get in a room together and write down our thoughts about life and make it into a song.
Are you rehearsing or making music together during quarantine?
Jack: Oh yeah, totally! During this whole quarantine, we made our entire album, so we definitely made a bunch of music.
Since everything is mostly online these days, how do you interact with your fans?
Corbyn Besson: It’s honestly a bit tougher for all artists. But you know just staying in touch. Social media has played a really big part in our career, especially now more than ever, you know, people are connecting through social media—Instagram, Twitter…. That’s been fun, you know, talking directly to fans. We even have this text messaging app where we have a phone number and fans text the phone number and we call back to them. That’s been fun! We’ve done Zoom meet-and-greets, interview with fans and whatnot.
Let’s talk about your latest performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. How was the experience performing without an audience?
Corbyn: Performing without people in the crowd is really different. It’s definitely new. I miss the energy of a crowd a lot. But I think what’s also cool is it sort of takes the pressure off of having to get it right in front of a bunch of eyeballs right then and there, people are staring at you. So there’s some sense of safety net there where you kinda feel like, "Okay, I’m not being watched by everybody. Like, I can kind of just be in my own world right now." Which is kinda nice.
You also partnered with HeadCount and Atlantic Records to encourage fans to vote. What’s your take on the recent elections and how did the voting go for you guys?
Corbyn: Yeah, we all went out, we all voted. You know, I think this election was really important, for young people, especially. It’s really to have their voices be heard and I feel like young people these days especially are more open to change, more open to ideas, and I think that’s worked well off on some of the older generations as well. And I think with an election like this, which was obviously a very massive scale election, you know a lot of opinions here, everywhere, I think it was just important for, we always said, "Everybody, go out and vote. And vote for whoever you feel like’s gonna impact your community and your family and your life in the best way because that’s why you have the right to vote in America"—it’s to go out and choose your leaders. So, whatever that meant for everybody, we just want people to get out to vote, have their voices be heard and you know, I think we’re in a good spot going into 2021. Just move forward, and hopefully, as the pandemic eases up, and tour comes back, hopefully, this 2020 has been kinda a lot of this *makes a thumbs down sign*, hopefully we come into 2021 on the upscale. You know, the world just starts to get better from there.
Moving on to your new single, what was the songwriting process for Fallin’ like? How did you record this single?
Daniel Seavey: The songwriting process for Fallin’ was amazing. It was honestly really special, how quick it came together. The song took us about an hour to write, and usually songs take us at least a month to write. One of the songs in the album actually took two years to write, and we’re still fixing parts of it to this day. So, Fallin’ was special, how it just came together so quick and really felt like magic while we were writing it. We remember the first time we heard it back, we just knew that we had to come out with it first. We’re like, "This is special, this could be the one, we need to come out with this right away." And even the drums, the intro it felt like such an intro to the album. Definitely a special one, but super fun to write. We all could relate to the song. And we’ve all been in relationships, and the song is sort of about committing to somebody and committing to a relationship. So we all could relate, and I guess it was kind of a therapy writing it for us. It was stuff we could get along on, that’s what music should do!
Were there any challenges while making the album?
Daniel: I think the biggest challenge pretty obviously, is COVID. We were actually halfway through with the album when COVID hit. And I would say the blessing in disguise is during COVID and during quarantine time, we would probably be on tour and had not written that song if it didn’t have when COVID happened. But the hard part was we really were a touring band—we were on the road 3 years straight, and it was super tough to be writing this album, thinking that we were gonna go perform for our fans. It’s really hard to not be in contact with them like that, and we miss them. But, you know, doing stuff like this has definitely helped us become better and we’re just trying to take it a different way to kinda just stay in touch with them because that’s been different for us. But that was definitely a challenge for the album, figuring stuff out how to record, especially ‘coz we all had COVID.
Corbyn: Me and Jack actually had COVID at the same time while we were recording Fallin’, which was kinda crazy.
And finally, any upcoming plans?
Corbyn: Just more music. Definitely more music before the album drops, write music videos, and hopefully next year, if we can get out on tour by sometime next year, safely, that would be amazing. If not, we’ll be out back on the road as soon as we can. We just plan on just keep on writing music and do performances when and where we can, and we’re really excited to be in the next step for us in our careers. And shout out to the fans because they are ultimately the ones who inspired us.
Listen to their new single Fallin' below.
Images by Zack Caspary and Pamela Littky. Special thanks to Warner Music and Grace Foronda