What do you do after three years in front of sold out major venues worldwide, billions of streams, platinum and gold plaques, and millions of messages and comments from an adoring audience?
If you’re Why Don’t We, you go right back to basics…
The Los Angeles band featuring Daniel Seavey, Corbyn Besson, Jonah Marais, Jack Avery, and Zach Herron; flat lined all social media, picked up their instruments, and personally wrote, recorded, and produced their next chapter themselves. Powering up pop with D.I.Y. energy, the guys kickstarted their evolution through a combination of deft musicality and bold experimentation.
As a result, Why Don’t We came to life on their 2020 second full-length.
“Writing and producing our own music has been one of the most rewarding experiences for us,” explains Corbyn. “In the past four years we’ve become confident enough to reinvent ourselves, becoming the band we always hoped to be.”
“We went in and made the album we dreamed about,” adds Jonah. “The music is emotional since it comes from our souls and our experiences.”
“It was time to do this ourselves,” agrees Daniel. “I’m happy we got to release our own vision. These are our ideas, melodies, and thoughts. When the fans listen, they’ll know it really comes from us.”
A tireless grind brought them to this point. Since emerging in 2016, Why Don’t We rocketed to the forefront of pop music and culture on their own terms. They achieved unprecedented success highlighted by upwards of 3 billion global streams, 670 million YouTube views, two RIAA Platinum-certified singles, four RIAA Gold-certified singles, a Top 10 bow on the Billboard Top 200 for their full-length debut 8 Letters, and a social media imprint of over 5 million followers. Beyond selling out shows on multiple continents, they’ve graced historic stages, including Radio City Music Hall and many more.
While on the road, the group turned their attention to the future. The musicians wrote backstage, on tour buses, and in hotel rooms. Unable to contain the excitement, short social media snippets sent fans into a frenzy in 2019.
“After shows, we’d go to the hotel room, hop on the computer, and start producing and working on our chops,” recalls Jonah. “Those demos really laid the groundwork for us.”
“It was a little scary at first,” admits Daniel. “However, the fan response to the clips reassured us. We were like, ‘Why don’t we give it a shot and try to write this all on our own?’”
Returning from the road, they planned to go silent on social media for three months. When COVID-19 hit, those three months turned into nine months. Using Daniel’s home studio as a creative hub, the guys tracked parts one at a time. Each member rotated instruments, spanning guitar, bass, piano, and even cello.
“We grew up on social media and it’s part of our daily routines, so it was weird to go dark,” says Corbyn. “At the same time, we found out what we were capable of. The music spoke for us.”
“We went into this as five guys doing a pop thing,” states Jonah. “We came out of it a real band.”
“From the moment we got off tour, we wanted to step it up,” Zach adds. “We had the time to perfect everything and get into our instruments like never before. We put all of our blood, sweat, and tears into this.”
Why Don’t We ignited this chapter with the single “Fallin’.” Incorporating the iconic drumbeat from the Kanye West & Daft Punk collaboration “Black Skinhead,” the track steamrolls out of the gate towards a magnetic and massive refrain punctuated by fiery falsetto and a chant, “Maybe, we’ll just keep falling.”
“Lyrically, I was thinking of a girl,” reveals Daniel. “When you’re thinking about committing to someone, you get those butterflies. It can be terrifying to get into a relationship, because we’re always moving around so much. Sometimes, you can’t help falling though.”
“From the jump, we wanted to be super aggressive and in-your-face,” smiles Corbyn. “It’s not what people would expect from us.”
Speaking of unexpected, “Slow Down” threads vulnerable vocals around the guitar riff from The Smashing Pumpkins’ classic “1979.”
“It’s a vibe,” smiles Corbyn. “It’s our ‘cruising-down-the-PCH-windows-down’ song. The Pumpkins riff is magical. We wrote the lyrics about a taking a step back and slowing down a rocky relationship to get back to normal.”
Originally conceived on tour in London, “Lotus Inn” culminates on original vocals cut in a hotel as it shuffles towards a nostalgic plea, “I never want this night to end.” The album reaches its emotional apex on “Grey.” Cinematic piano and an 18-piece string section resound underneath show-stopping vocal performances as they deliver what Corbyn calls “the deepest and most emotional song on the album.”
In the end, Why Don’t We aren’t just the band they’ve always wanted to be; they’re the band that pop music has been begging for.
“It would be very special for fans to get to know us on this record,” Daniel leaves off. “We also want everybody to enjoy it. I hope you keep playing it and want to go to a show, connect, and have the full experience.”
“Why Don’t We has really changed our lives in the craziest ways possible,” Corbyn concludes. “We’ve gotten the chance to travel the world and meet so many people. We can’t believe we’re living this dream. This is also a brotherhood. It’s a safe haven for each of us in times when we need it. It was really important to make a positive impact on fans and the world. It’s crazy to think we could do that by making music. We’re all musicians, and we’ve dreamed of doing this since we were kids. With this record, it feels like we’re going in the right direction.”
Set to release their latest album, The Good Times and The Bad Ones on 15th January 2021, the band have also released a 4-part documentary on YouTube Originals which documented their comeback with ‘Fallin’ and leading up to the album drop.
We’re extremely excited for Why Don’t We’s upcoming album and more from the band!
Limelights, be sure to tune in on Friday, 15th January 2021 at 10pm for an exclusive Why Don’t We hour where we’ll be having a The Good Times and The Bad Ones listening party and talking to the boys!
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