Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, musical artists around the world have still been churning out new music during these hard times. It has helped us listeners feel less alone and also lifted us up when things seem bleak. One such talent that has been inspiring us is Why Don’t We.
Consisting of five members, the boy band has achieved ongoing success since their debut in October 2016. The members include Jonah Marias, Daniel Seavey, Corbyn Besson, Jack Avery, and Zach Herron. Since their hiatus, these boys have been entertaining fans with hit after hit.
These boys started their musical journey in 2016, during the summer when Why Don’t We released their first single, “Taking You”, in October that same year. Moving forward, the five-member boy band has released four extended plays such as, “Only The Beginning”, “Something Different”, “Why Don’t We Just”, and their newer holiday EP, “A Why Don’t We Christmas”. For any YouTube enthusiast, Why Don’t We is well known for collaborating with popular 22 million subscribers YouTube vlogger, Logan Paul.
A boy band with a fantastic crew of talented young singers, fans tend to resonate with their youthfulness, which is something that is reflected in their music. Why Don’t We currently has 5.2 million Instagram followers and 3.6 million YouTube subscribers, proving that these boys are already superstars.
With their new sophomore album, “The Good Times and The Bad Ones”, we see the band returning back to their roots. It’s an album with a great combination of themes such as romance, accomplishments, and hardships, alongside an amazing use of instrumentals as well as catchy choruses.
1. Congratulations on the release of “The Good Times and The Bad Ones” guys. Was it challenging having to record some of these songs separately because of the pandemic?
Daniel: Yeah, because of the pandemic, this album took longer than we thought it would finish. We thought it would be done maybe in April 2020 at the latest. And then the pandemic hit, and another 6 months went by without us knowing if we could safely record again. That was tough, but it’s here now and that’s all that matters.
2. You guys have been getting mad respect for writing and producing the songs on the record. Was that a conscious decision?
Corbyn: Yeah, we kind of decided on this, when we went into our hiatus at the end of 2019. Going into 2020, we had a bunch of songs in the can, and we went into the studio, there was a plan for us to record some songs on an album that the label had started prepping for us and whatnot.
We ended up playing some of our music and they were like, “Damn, this stuff is actually really good. You guys have got something special here…”. We were expressing how we wanted to take a shot at writing and producing the whole thing just to prove to ourselves that we could be good. And yeah, it started working out that way, and then we wrote like the second half of the album during quarantine before putting “Fallin” out into the world.
3. You recently mentioned that “Love Song” kick-started this whole new journey. Could you share more?
Daniel: Oh man, “Love Song” is an old one, I remember when I wrote “Love Song”, I had a very terrible demo of it. But I was so excited about it, I raced over to Jonah and Corbyn’s house. I ran in and grabbed Jonah and I was like, “Bro, you gotta listen to this right now”. And rammed him in my car and played it for him and he was like “Oh, this is dope”. But it was such a bad demo, I don’t think he really thought it was that dope then. But it got way better and ended up finishing it around that time.
4. Daniel, you serve as a producer on this record. What do you enjoy most about this part of the process?
Daniel: Production is fun in a weird way to me. It’s equally artistic and like a puzzle – whereby if you can connect the lyrics to the melodies of the song, magic happens. I don’t know, there are certain rules that you gotta follow with production that I love and then there are certain times where there are no rules. It’s very freeing and challenging. I like it.
5. You guys collaborated with Skrillex (“For You”) and Timbaland (“Stay”). Could you talk about how it came about? Have you all met in person? What did you learn from them?
Corbyn: Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet any of them in person because of the pandemic. Keeping everybody safe and whatnot. Our engineer Jason Joshua, who mixed and mastered the whole album, has a bunch of connections in the industry and brought them to work on “Stay”, which is the one Timberland is on.
We felt like that song was kind of like most R&B and needed a little bit more sauce on it. So, he hit up Timberland and was like, “Hey, would you hop on this”. It was dope and he said, “Sure”. Same thing with Skrillex and Travis Barker who played drums on “Slow Down”, “Lotus Inn”, and on “Look At Me”, which is also crazy. So yeah, we had a couple of really cool names pop on and add their little flavour to the tracks, which was really cool.
6. You’ve also collaborated with K-Pop group AB6IX for a remix. Was it different? Is there a certain K-pop group you guys are fans of?
Daniel: I love BTS. I wanna dance with BTS.
Corbyn: Yeah, they’re crazy, mad respect. AB6IX, I mean, they did really, really well too. It was cool to hear that they were fans. The group hopped on the record and did their thing. The K-Pop world has been loving it too which is really great and shout out to those guys because they were super cool.
7. What are some parts of the music industry you are excited to see change?
Daniel: I’m excited to see how crazy touring is.
Corbyn: Yeah, touring is gonna be wild now. I like watching the genre of pop music shift as it has over the years. Right now it’s very urban hip-hop driven which is really cool. But it’s shifting. There’s like some 90s rock, 2000s rock kind of back into the game and it’s kinda cool because you can see the whole industry, the circle of music kind of shifts around, which is fun.
8. What’s the best advice you guys received so far throughout your whole career?
Jack: Work hard in silence and let success be your noise.
Corbyn: Also, Shawn Mendes gave us some great advice. We got to see him backstage at one of his shows in summer 2019. He was playing in Atlanta and we were there for the day passing through the city. He and his team had to supply some tickets for the show that night. We got to watch his show and it was amazing. Huge production and he sounded fantastic. After the show, we got to chat with him for about an hour or so and it was really cool.
I was talking about industry stuff and wanted his take on it – where he is in his career and where we are and kind of comparing back and forth with our experience. One of the things he brought up was our commitment during the day, whether it’s meet and greets, interviews, visiting radio stations, children’s hospitals or the stuff that’s outside of the music. He’s like ‘you go and do all that stuff. Then at the end of the night, you get to go play the show’, and he’s like, ‘you do it all for that moment on stage where you feel all the love, but if you don’t love what you’re doing off stage, then what’s the point…’
We also told him how we play instruments but haven’t really got the chance to showcase that. And he was like “wait you guys play instruments”, and we’re like, “Yeah, we play”. It got us thinking that if he didn’t know, a lot of people probably didn’t know. H told us, “If you guys want to play instruments, then play instruments”. From that moment forward we’re like, “Alright, let’s put our foot down” and we wanted to play it so we started playing “What Am I” live at the end of our tour. So that really inspired the shift for this album and playing instruments when going live. I think it’s just going to take our show to another level and music is very instrument driven.
9. And for each music video you have in your album, can you maybe talk about the concept of each of these music videos?
Corbyn: “Fallin” was kind of performance-driven. We came out of the gym, and we were like, what visual and what sound will kick the door down. And the visual had a new look and a new sound, with us playing instruments. Few of us had changed our hair colours and hairstyles after being gone for 9 months. The song was super like glam rock-influenced so we wanted the most intense visual we could give to fans. “Lotus Inn” was kind of like a coming of age kind of video like Rockstar trash in a hotel room. The time loop sequence with Jonah being a lead actor, the love interest thing, and “Slow Down” is just like that feel-good vibe PCH California dreaming, visual, college party vibes, having a good time, not caring about anything in the world.
10. Will there be another single coming out anytime soon?
Daniel: Definitely, more music coming out, I can’t say when but I can say there’s more than just this album, so yeah, for sure.
Corbyn: We ain’t done yet.
11. Maybe a release of a deluxe album, perhaps?
Corbyn: That would be really cool.
Jack: I think that’s a cool idea.
Corbyn: We might steal that idea from you.
12. What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Jack: Well, probably keep making music, honestly. Now we’ve dropped our album so we got to go back into writing mode to see what we can make. See if we can top our album we just got.
Corbyn: We’ll have some more stuff coming, we’re just waiting to get out on the road by fall. But it looks more likely to be early 2022, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We want to get back on the road as soon as we can.
13. And honestly, we can’t wait to see you guys return to Malaysia if you guys have the chance.
Corbyn: Yeah, Malaysia is amazing. We’ve been there once or twice before, and we went and visited Batu Caves last time we were there, which was amazing. Yeah, we’re stoked to be back man. We’ll be back as soon as we can.
Why Don’t We’s new album “The Good Times and The Bad Ones” features 10 songs, with 3 of them being recent hit singles. You can check their music videos of them here:
Shoutout to Warner Music Malaysia for giving us the opportunity to meet these wonderful and talented singers virtually. Hopefully, we’ll be able to watch them live in the near future.