Three boys sit chilling in front of a pool under a high winter sun in LA. Corbyn Besson (guitar), Daniel Seavey (drums, guitar, keys and cello), and Jonah Marais (keys) recline peacefully as they casually bump along to the music pumping from the speakers. Light peaks through the window and casts shadows across the face of Zach Herron (guitar) as he laughs along with the rest of the boys. Whilst in the background, sounds of a children’s television show can be heard as Jack Avery (guitar) cuddles up to his one-year old daughter, Lavender. The five souls who make up pop band Why Don't We are perfectly in tune with each other, harmoniously blending and riffing to make magic.
Since the band’s formation in 2016 and success of their first album 8 Letters, the Why Don’t We boys have grown close from three solid years of making beats on buses and writing on the road - only to go silent on social media during one of the most tumultuous years yet. Making sure to come back with a bang for 2021, the boys have crafted their new self-penned album The Good Times And The Bad Ones, releasing on January 15th from Atlantic Records and designed to shatter their image and re-emerge with a whole new style. Kickstarting the new chapter of Why Don’t We is their iTunes Top 10 single Fallin’ (Adrenaline) with well over 46 million global streams and more than 20 million video views. Lotus Inn and Slow Down shortly followed with a hazy music video and an enigmatic social media campaign which quickly captured the attention of listeners.
In a sleepy neighbourhood, while day turns to dusk, Elizabeth Weinberg photographs the impressive boyband among the whispering trees. Stylist Luca Kingston plays with shapes and silhouettes as Nathaniel Dezan tames the hair of the five boys in the fading light. Having found their groove and taking full ownership of their music, every lyric in The Good Times And The Bad Ones derives from personal experiences, and brings them back to their roots as musicians who just love making music. Incorporating the instruments they play, the boys are ramping up their performances and showing off their abilities, eager to tour again and feel the adrenaline of a live show. Join us as we chat to them about music, mental health, social media, and teasing their fans. Let’s fall in love with them for the hell of it. Maybe, we’ll just keep falling…
The Good Times And The Bad Ones is out on January 15th, 2021.
Who are the souls that make up Why Don’t We?
Jonah: I’m Jonah, I grew up in Minnesota. I love coffee and songwriting.
Daniel: I’m Daniel, I grew up in Portland. I love hiking, I love music, and I love a good ‘ole grand time! I love having fun!
Corbyn: Having fun is fun!
Daniel: Having fun is so fun!
Corbyn: I’m Corbyn, I grew up all over the country. I was a military kid and somehow, I ended up in LA with these fools. I have an odd obsession with space, and I love music.
Zach: I’m Zach, I am 19 years old, and I’m from Dallas. I love music, I’m in a band, and I love beer pong!
Zach: With water! Beer pong with water!
Jack: Hello, I’m Jack Robert Avery the First, I am 21 years of age, and I’m from Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. I like making music and I have the cutest daughter in the world! She’s one year old. Lav, say hi! She’s watching her show right now.
Jonah: We’re a group of five dudes who get to make music together. We were friends before being in a band and I think that’s a big thing you can tell from us - we like having fun together and we just keep doing it.
Corbyn: We’re right in the middle of a band reinvention. We’re going for this new look and this new sound, that’s a bit more true to who we really are. We came into this year with the idea to do it ourselves and show the world who Why Don’t We actually are, coming straight from us five. That’s the goal for this year and the future going forward.
Jack: You tell ‘em Corbyn!
Corbyn: Yes sir!
So, pandemic, am I right?
Zach: For sure…
Jonah: It sucks because we can’t tour which is a huge, massive part of what we do.
Corbyn: That part sucks the most.
Jonah: But there’s been some silver linings to it because we have gotten to be home all year and hang out. We really got into a rhythm of life for the first time in a while, so that’s been good. We wrote most of this album during quarantine as well and that’s coming out in January. Lots of good things, but at the same time I think everyone can agree it’s been a blight on this year.
Since debuting in 2016, Why Don’t We has had a massive impact, amassing over 3 billion global streams, 703 million video views, 5 million followers on the group Instagram, and a Top 10 Billboard 200 debut album. How does that feel?
Corbyn: Oh man!
Corbyn: Yeah, crazy! It’s always weird looking back at the numbers because if there’s one thing that’s true about the industry and about life in general, it’s that numbers don’t lie. When we get in modes when we’re like ‘man, are we making enough of an impact?’ or ‘could we be doing more for our fans?’, it’s good to have these reality check moments to look back and see what we’ve done together and what we’ve done with our fans. I always look back at videos from tour and the shows and videos from in the studio where its magic moments creating songs and thinking about the future. We’ve been sitting on this album for a few months and we’ve been eagerly waiting for the world to hear it.
Jonah: It’s good.
Corbyn: We know what’s to come.
Jonah: I don’t think about it very often in my everyday life because we’re just living our lives and working on music and whatever is on our daily schedule, but then it’s a little reality check moment when you list out all the numbers and I’m like, we have done that!
Corbyn: Yeah, we have done that!
Daniel: It’s crazy! Being in quarantine and being home has given us time to really soak it in for the first time.
Daniel: Like holy shit! This is nuts! This is the first time we’ve gotten to enjoy it and not just be 'in' it. It has been pretty fun to look back and be like ‘woah!’.
How would you describe your music? Where do you fit in the music scene?
Jonah: I would say it's pop music, but with our spin on it. It’s very real. We wrote and produced this whole album so every song and every lyric you hear is derivative from a story and our personal lives. That’s the first time we can honestly say that about our music. It’s not that we didn’t like the music before, it’s that this time we’ve actually been writing from true experiences.
Daniel: It’s like we found our voice in this next album and people are going to hear the difference.
Jonah: You’ll hear us playing instruments more which is going back to our roots before the band when we were solo artists. You’ll hear a little bit more of guitars, piano, and more live-sounding instruments. For the live show, whenever we get to tour again, we’ll all be playing instruments on stage which will be fun.
Corbyn: To anybody that’s listened to our old music, I feel it comes across pretty pop and there’s a bunch of different vibes but nothing that really leans very instrumental, like Jonah said. This next album is very different from what we’ve done in the past but still in the vein of who we are – still pop but a bit more instrument-driven and a little bit more alternative with some rock elements in there. It feels like an exciting step up from us in combination with the fact that it’s coming straight from us on all fronts for the first time in our careers.
Your new album The Good Times And The Bad Ones is dropping later this week and is self-penned and co-produced by yourselves. How has this affected your relationship with the music?
Corbyn: Oh man, in every way possible. We’ve had the chance to work with a bunch of insane producers and writers over the past couple of years. Starting way back with the 8 Letters album, it was the first time that we were able to really get in the studio and start collaborating, but even that process was still labelled an 'industry run'. We were in the sessions and voicing our opinions and writing some lyrics, but I wouldn’t say anything was necessarily based on personal experience in the way that it is this time around.
Jonah: It’s the kind of thing where someone could write a song and we’d be in the room but it would be more like "Okay this song is really relatable because I’ve had these experiences and I can relate to it", but it’s not actually "Oh I’m writing about this exact thing in my life".
Corbyn: With the new music I think the fans will be able to, first of all, hear the difference, but also feel it. Our fans are going to be able to feel that it comes straight from us. It’s definitely more mature. We’re stoked.
Did you sit down and write the songs together or did you write pieces individually?
Corbyn: A little bit of both.
Daniel: It really depended on the song because for a while we were on the road writing, and when you’re on the road we write in the back of the tour bus.
Zach: Yeah, a lot of stuff is written on board.
Jonah: Or staying in a hotel.
Daniel: We would bump the song in the back of the tour bus and it was like whoever heard it was like ‘ohhhhh!’ and they would run back and start writing on it. When quarantine hit, it honestly made it tougher to write so we started doing it more separately and sending each other ideas, and balances of songs. It really depends but typically when one of us comes out with something that’s special, we all hop on it and go from there. Zach just sent me a crazy instrumental beat.
Zach: Daniel was on fire for a minute in the back of the bus.
Daniel: Crank it!
Corbyn: Every night until 4 am!
Daniel: I remember I was up every night until 4 am. Zach slept on the other side of the wall when I was making a beat.
Zach: Right next to me...
Daniel: He was so nice about it but some nights he’d be like "Hey man, it’s 4 am, could you not make a beat?".
Zach: I've heard this song all night!
Daniel: "I love you but shut up"!
Your addictive new single Fallin’ soared into the iTunes Top 10 and has already garnered 46 million global streams. What has been the biggest ‘surprise’ hit that you weren’t expecting?
Jonah: It’s hard because before you put out a song you don’t really know. You feel like ‘oh this is a really good song’, but it’s a moment of truth when it goes out into the world and it’s either taken off or it's going well or whatever. With our fans, almost everything that we put out they eat it up.
Daniel: They go hard!
Jonah: They go really hard. I would say a surprise hit for us was Big Plans. We felt really good about it but it was interesting because we put it out and it didn’t get any radio play but did really well on its own without much promotion.
Daniel: It’s our second biggest song.
Jonah: Are we at over 200 million streams on that now?
Jonah: It’s crazy.
Corbyn: It’s like a million or 2 million behind 8 Letters and 8 Letters came out 6 months before it, so Big Plans is one we felt very strongly about.
Jonah: We were just like ‘daaang that’s taking off and we’re not even doing that much!’.
Corbyn: In terms of Fallin’, there was a bunch of added pressure, at least on our end, because it was the first song that we were coming back with from our hiatus and it’s the first fully self-written, self-produced song that we’ve ever put out as a band. So just that idea of "will the world accept this? Will the world love this? Will the world understand it?". It was a lot and it was like this is our big moment. At least in the past year, this is our moment right now to come back and show people what we’re about. It went crazy – it hit the Billboard Hot 100.
Jonah: It was almost instantly at #1 on iTunes!
Corbyn: The streams have been going crazy. It’s been really, really cool and the music that’s going to follow it up before the album comes out is really going to tell a cool story and give people more of an idea of who we are and where we’re going.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learnt over the 4-year journey since your debut in 2016?
Jonah: Oh man.
Zach: Since 2016!
Daniel: I’d say be more present in the moment. Show people that you love them – really show them in different ways. Think of ways to let them know that you love them.
Corbyn: Patience. I think patience is a big one.
Corbyn: When you live in such a fast-paced environment all the time, it’s really easy to set your expectations high and get impatient about certain things, whether it be streaming numbers or ticket sales or studio sessions - even down to the simple things in life.
Zach: I’ve learned to never give up. As hard as it gets sometimes, never give up. Keep pushing through.
Corbyn: There’s always another side of the tunnel. Unless it’s an infinite tunnel – then you’re screwed.
Daniel: Time loops and everything…
Jack: I might have to agree with Corbyn on patience. I’ve learned a lot this year as you can tell!
Lavender: Baa! Oh baa baa baa!
Zach: Oh Lavender!
Jack: This past year I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety, so I had to be patient in letting that fizzle out, but also having a child is difficult when you’re in a band. You’ve just got to stay patient. So, patience is my word with Corbyn.
Corbyn: Hell yeah!
Where would you be right now if not for music?
Daniel: I was actually going to be an architect which is kind of random, but I love architecture and beautiful buildings.
Zach: It’s a weird question because I feel like I wouldn’t be doing anything else to be honest.
Zach: I feel like I’d always push to do what I do now.
Corbyn: I feel like for all of us, our calling is music, and being in our band was part of our fate or destiny because of the way it came together. We’d all met each other at some point in time, just randomly doing shows and around the internet, and then in 2016 Jack text us all and is like "Hey, I got this opportunity to be in a band if y’all want to be my bandmates", and we were like 'I guess this is what life has led up to’. It’s one of those gut feelings where you don’t know what the future holds but some part of you feels like there’s magic there. I can’t see any of us doing anything else.
Zach: Yeah me neither. Imagine if Daniel really was an architect! I couldn’t see it.
Daniel: It’d be a tough one. Given what we’ve done now.
Corbyn: Guinness World Record for 'World’s Stupidest Building'.
Daniel: That’s the name of the building!
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done as a band?
Daniel: One of the coolest things we’ve done as a band was performing at Madison Square Gardens. That was pretty crazy.
Zach: Selling out Microsoft Theatre was cool too – two nights in a row, right?
Daniel: I would honestly say just the fact that we toured as much as we did in the time we did. We did well over, God, 150 shows – maybe more?
Corbyn: Yeah, even last year alone – in the past three years we’ve probably done, what?
Daniel: 300 hundred shows?
Corbyn: Yeah 300 or 400 shows.
Daniel: Maybe more, and we didn’t really stop in between tours. We would go from tour to home, record music, and go right back out on tour!
Jonah: They’re like "By the way, in that week you’re home, you’re going to fly out to Kansas to do a radio show".
Daniel: We really didn’t stop for three years straight. I think our longest break was Christmas. We had maybe a week or two. I’m really proud of all of us. It was a lot.
Jonah: One of the coolest things is we’re able to make an impact on people’s lives in a positive way. When a fan pulls me aside and is like "Yo, I went through this really personally hard situation in life, and your music, and posts and music videos actually brightened my day". The fact that we’re even able to do that as human beings – I couldn’t ask for more.
Corbyn: If I had to add a third, I would say this album has been one of the coolest things because, like we’ve all said already, it’s the first time we’ve been able to go in the studio and really say ‘let’s do this ourselves’, and accept that pressure and accept that weight on our shoulders and be able to come out with music that we really, really love and feel in our hearts. In terms of the next step in our careers, this being the start of it is crazy and couldn’t have been a better process. I don’t think we could’ve made any better music than we did on this album. I love this music so much.
Zach: That was well said.
Jack: True. True dat!
How does each of you look after your mental health? Especially whilst on tour?
Jonah: That’s a tough one.
Daniel: Oh man. Honestly, I think the question would be how do you keep your mental health getting off of a tour like that.
Zach: That’s true.
Daniel: When you’re on tour, in the weirdest way, you’re connected. We were the band and every night we were cheered for by thousands of people. It really wasn’t too tough to stay strong mentally because you had so much validation every day from your fans and we adore them for it. It was really hard coming off of that to straight quarantine above all things - not even just back to normal.
Jonah: Yeah it went from touring to not even being able to leave your house.
Daniel: Suddenly we’re all doing our own laundry again and not able to leave our house - doing all these normal things and on top of that not doing shows. That was really tough for all of us, and Jack has a kid in between all of that who he is taking care of. It was like real-life hit us.
Corbyn: Like a bus.
Daniel: With a flying baseball bat in the face. And then quarantine on top of it. It was a lot. I would say being in a band helped us because we were able to be real with each other. Shout out to Jack - he was the first one to be like "Hey guys, I’ve been really off lately", and he was honest. That was huge for all of us because it’s something we all do.
Zach: We had a three-hour talk about that.
Daniel: Yeah, in the studio. I remember that.
Zach: He just brought it up and it was great.
Daniel: I would say, just being around people that you’re close with and that care about you is huge. Being with family was really helpful too. Jonah went back to Minnesota and saw his family.
Jonah: Yeah for about 2 months.
Daniel: All that helps. Being around people that you can be yourself with is huge.
Zach: I will say for me, tour sometimes does get hard. But just being around the others and having four other dudes to share it with honestly makes it so much better. Everything has its ups and downs sometimes. Tour is like ‘oh man, I do miss home’, but I miss tour more than anything right now!
How have the events of 2020 shaped you as artists? Having primarily spent the last 3 years touring, what was it like to take a step back?
Jonah: Honestly, I feel like it’s been good for us as artists because it’s forced us to really have time with our thoughts. It’s easy to not think about certain things on tour and distract yourself all the time. To have the time to be super reflective, like ‘who do I want to be as a person?’, ‘what do I want to write about?’, ‘what do we want our sound to be?’, ‘what do we want to stand for?’. We came back from this break and really pushed voting as a campaign. We partnered with HeadCount and got so many people registered. It was a really special experience to feel like we’re making an impact in the world. It’s definitely been hard because we can’t tour, but in a good way, we’ve all been able to have that time with our own thoughts.
Zach: Honestly, Jonah said it perfectly.
You’ve played some incredible venues, including Madison Square Gardens and Radio City Music Hall which sold out in under 2 hours! With the future of live music still so uncertain, how have you been able to adapt as a band? How have you been able to find new meaningful ways to connect with listeners?
Jonah: We’ve done a lot of Zoom calls with fans. Radio stations will give away a contest or something to be on a Zoom call and then we’ll go on there and you see hundreds of fans in their little squares! That was cool. But also, just posting and being able to type something on your phone and push ‘Tweet’ and it instantly goes to all of their phones – that feels like a pretty personal connection.
Corbyn: Just little acoustic performances on Zoom. Give the fans a taste of the music and whatnot. That’s been really cool. And then just preparing everybody for the music that’s about to come. We’ve been working really hard on making every release feel special and meaningful. And also taking fans' ideas that we see online into consideration.
Jonah: They have really great ideas! They’ll tweet us merch ideas or album concept ideas or whatever it is. We really do read that stuff and take it to heart.
Corbyn: They’re creative as hell! It’s crazy.
Zach: We always see them and send them in the group chat like "Yo, check this out".
Your fans are always looking for and noticing ‘Easter eggs’ (hidden suprises) in your music videos and social media. Why do you do include these?
Jonah: It’s funny because sometimes, we’ll accidently include an easter egg that wasn’t even supposed to be there. Like Zach was making a joke a couple of months ago and posted a selfie saying "70 days until the next single comes out" just to mess with them! It was only a joke! But then the single actually is coming out to do the day 70 days after he posted that.
Jonah: We didn’t plan it at all.
Corbyn: Totally on accident.
Zach: I was just sitting there and came up with the caption like ‘70 days!!’ just to mess with them! They knew it was coming out soon and 70 days later it turns out…! So, I need to play along!
What is the story behind your recent single, Lotus Inn?
Daniel: I would say go watch Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
Jonah: Or read the book.
Zach: Nah, watch the movie!
Daniel: This song was meant to be a show ender, and it will be a show ender when we can go back on tour, but it’s a very big song. It’s supposed to be the grand finale.
Jonah: We wrote it with that in mind. We needed a song that’s just going to be epic.
Corbyn: And it’s a new sound for us. It doesn’t sound anything like Fallin’. I don’t think we’ve put out a song – no, we definitely haven’t put out a song in our careers like Lotus Inn at all.
Zach: How long ago did we write the song? It was on tour, right?
Jonah: It was around October last year. We were in London and we were finishing our Europe tour, and Daniel came to me with the melody idea for the hook and he was like "This feels special" and I was like ‘damn yeah, let’s go’. Then we finished that show, flew back to the US where we had a layover at Newark airport, and we’re sitting there at our gate for an hour and we wrote the whole song right there and then. That night we were staying in Atlanta at this Holiday Inn and we were going to do a children’s hospital event the next day, but we stayed up through the night. We rigged this mic up to a lampshade and we were screaming because we just had to hear how it sounded. We were recording it all night long in that room, and it sounded amazing. On the hook, those vocals are from that night because I couldn’t match it.
Zach: That’s the funniest part.
Corbyn: Lampshade vocals!
Zach: This song has been through a lot.
Jonah: It’s come a long way.
Zach: A looong way!
Jonah: It wasn’t a banger right away, it has been through a lot.
Daniel: Lotus Inn should really get you excited for touring again and going to shows because when you listen to it, you’ll understand that it’s meant for a live show. When we were making it, I was really excited that Jonah was on the hook because I don’t know the last time he sang on a hook. When I say Jonah’s voice on this hook is magic – Jonah’s fans, if you’re out there, you'll agree! I’ve never heard him sing this high and this powerful. It’s a special moment.
Jack: Chef’s kiss.
Jonah: Thanks man.
Zach: It’s so nice.
Corbyn: It’s hot!
Zach: It’s so hot!
Jonah: I’m blushing!
Daniel: The music video is a great one.
Jonah: It’s really dope.
Corbyn: It’s one of my favourites. It might be one of our favourites that we’ve done so far.
Zach: It’s funny.
Daniel: It’s funny, it’s kind of cool.
Corbyn: It shows a new side of us too which is really cool. We’ve never had a visual like this before.
Jonah: It tells a story really well.
Zach: Jonah’s shirtless!
Corbyn, of making this album you said that "In the past four years we’ve become confident enough to reinvent ourselves, becoming the band we always hoped to be." Who is that band now in comparison to at the start of your journey?
Corbyn: Oh man! I think as this music continues to come out and especially when this album comes out, it’s going to shock some people. A lot of people aren’t going to expect the new direction that we’re going in, or maybe think we didn’t have it in us. It’s been really eye-opening for us to talk about making this album. We went from this boyband type group that could sing and kind of dance - our good days! We’ve had a lot of success doing that and a lot of people really love that, but we’ve always wanted to be a band. We grew up as solo artists playing instruments – playing guitar, playing keys, Daniel grew up playing the cello. There’s something to be said about that and in a lot of cases, the shelf-life of a boyband is a lot shorter. We want our impact to be greater than that. The longevity of being in a band feels like something we could do for a very long time and have a lot of fun doing for a long time.
Jonah: You know when you put on a sock and it just doesn’t fit quite right, but it still works? It works well and it does the sock job? That’s what it felt like then and now the sock is perfectly fitting.
Corbyn: It’s like a Cinderella shoe and a sock!
Jonah: Once you get used to the sock it’s the perfect wool sock.
Daniel: You’re going to want to wear this sock for the rest of your life! That’s how it feels.
Zach: One thing that opened our eyes to be willing to do this – well, not willing because we were going to do this anyways – but we were talking to Shawn Mendes about our show and his show and he was like "If you’re not loving it, why are you doing it?", and he also said "You guys play instruments?!", and we were like ‘what?!’.
Jonah: Yeah, no one knows!
Zach: No one really knew that we played instruments and that’s something that we all grew up with. I feel like we wanted to come out strong.
Daniel: Yeah, Shawn definitely opened our eyes up to exploring our full artistry because he’s diving into who he is like crazy right now and he encouraged us to do the same. He was like "Listen, if you guys love playing instruments, and you don’t love dancing, then stop dancing and start playing instruments", and we were like ‘oh, you’re right!’.
Corbyn: How obvious of an answer! We should do that!
Daniel: We didn’t want to upset our fans or anything, but honestly it was Shawn in combination with our fans. They were saying the same thing to us.
Corbyn: Yeah, they were.
Daniel: They were saying "You guys should hop on instruments and really do what you want to do on stage". That was huge for us.
Zach: Yeah because we did What Am I with instruments.
Jonah: Right after that talk with Shawn we pushed really hard to start playing on stage. We finished our show every night playing instruments and it was the part of the show I looked forward to the most every night. It was this beautiful moment.
Zach: It feels right to do instruments.
Corbyn: I think what gives us this cool edge and uniqueness about our group is that there aren’t too many bands out there that have five lead singers. I don’t know if there’s even one that has five lead singers that can all play instruments. It’s really cool that we can bring that element to the table where we can shuffle between vocals and have all these different parts during a song to keep it exciting, but then we can all play and we can all shred it on stage! That part of it feels really cool and that’s going to contribute to how great the music sounds.
What’s the best part about performing live?
Daniel: The best part of performing live is the adrenaline you get from it. It’s addictive.
Daniel: A lot of serotonin in your brain. It’s a lot all at once and it’s really fun.
Corbyn: There’s a lot of personal connection with touring because we do lots of meet-and-greets every day. We always do radio station interviews and meet-and-greets with the radio stations on top of our own personal meet-and-greets. It feels very connected when you’re out on the road. You wake up in a new place every day and people know your name and know your face and know your songs. There’s something really special about that. As every touring artist knows, the whole industry is dying to get back out on the road. I know we’re not the first to say it.
Zach: We miss it.
Corbyn: The adrenaline and getting to meet your fans is two things that don’t compare to anything else.
Zach: The tour bus vibes!
Corbyn: I miss the bus!
Jonah: What a time.
Zach: We used to play Minecraft in the back.
Jack: I would say literally every aspect of performing live is my favourite. First of all, what guy wouldn’t like getting on a stage in front of 6,000 girls screaming at them!
Corbyn: That’s a very crazy thing.
Jack: And playing at legendary venues. I remember when we played The Ryman in Nashville. Johnny Cash has performed there, and you’re just like ‘what!’.
Zach: And the London show!
Jack: Yeah, the Apollo! The Beatles played there!
In January you took a hiatus to work on your next chapter as a band and to create The Good Times And The Bad Ones. What was it like going dark on social media?
Daniel: Taking a step back was tough. We knew we had to do it and our fans were actually the people who really convinced us to do it. At the end of the tour, they were sort of like "You guys have been going for a long time and you need a break". To hear that from your own fans is like okay, this is time. We started writing the album and, knowing that the music was going to be so different, it felt like we really needed to separate for a second from the internet and take that time to really hone in on the music. It was nice for maybe a month or two, and then we started to miss the fans.
Then Covid hit and it became a weird situation where we missed our fans but we didn’t want to come back without an album. That was tough for us to not be able to come back at that time. It was tough because they’d been waiting for this music for about three months or so, and we didn’t want our first post back to be us saying ‘hey guys, music in a few more months!’. That’s not an easy position to take. It got really tough for us to be holding off that long.
Where did the mysterious #WhereIsWDW come from?
Corbyn: That was us. We wanted a way to start teasing our most hardcore fans and get them a little bit flustered and trying to figure out what Why Don’t We is doing. We had some pictures from over quarantine that we hadn’t posted so we were like okay, if we can make this account and make it feel like maybe it’s not us but maybe it is, where is this information coming from? That it would stir some talks within our fanbase, and it did that which is really cool.
Jonah: Much stirring occurred.
Corbyn: Yeah, much stirring occurred! We actually changed the username of that account to @atthelotusinn as part of the new teaser.
Jonah: It’s funny because we’re posting promotions like a hotel.
Zach: We basically own a hotel now.
Jonah: It literally looks like you’re following a hotel. If you’re on the outside and you follow the account. It’s really awesome.
What are your personal relationships with social media?
Jonah: It’s a love/hate thing, right?
Jonah: I feel like social media is one of the most insane, amazing things because we can communicate. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for social media. I would attribute a lot of our success to social media, but at the same time, it can be a toxic place too. There’s a lot of comparing yourself to other people. I feel like when you are a successful person in life, there’s a percentage of people who want to see you fail and are looking for that and want to call you out for stuff or comment on something wrong. That side of it can be a dark rabbit hole you don’t want to go down.
Zach: I love social media. It got us here in a way. When we were young, social media was just starting to come into the world, so we learned a lot from that - a lot from our friends, a lot from posts, and a lot of ‘okay, so this is what people like!’, ‘this is when to post!’, ‘this is when we should do this!’. We were at that perfect time. It’s cool but it’s turned into a toxic place in my opinion. People can now say things behind a screen that they wouldn’t say in person. I have very mixed emotions of how I feel about it.
Jonah: It’s a weird thing because it’s addicting to always be wanting the validation and seeing comments about yourself.
Zach: Some people can take it. If they have all these followers, some people can be like "Oh my God, wait, okay so all my likes…", and then you’re caught up on comments and you’re caught up on their likes, and it’s taking over yourself.
Jonah: All of a sudden, you’re basing how your days goes off how many likes you get. That’s not a good spot to be in.
Zach: But it’s cool to post pics and show people what’s going on in my life.
Are you able to easily separate your ‘public’ and ‘private’ lives?
Jonah: It’s not easy!
Corbyn: It’s interesting because in this business, in this career path, our personal lives are our business lives. It’s an interesting line. In most people’s lives, it’s a line that they can decide to cross or not, but for us, it’s a very wide grey area where there’s a lot of mixtures of stuff that we want to share and stuff that, for our own sake, we don’t want to share to keep our own mental health right.
Jonah: Keep a little bit private.
Corbyn: But we love sharing as much of our personal lives as we feel we personally can because our fans want to know what we’re up to. Our fans want to know what we’re doing, what we’re thinking, what we’re eating! The whole thing!
Zach: There is a side we have to and want to keep private.
Corbyn: Yeah, in terms of family and relationships and stuff. We try to keep that off the internet as much as possible.
Jonah: They’ll find it, they find everything!
Corbyn: It’s all in moderation. Like Zach said, there’s a toxic side of social media, and we’ll spare ourselves the negative opinions. I know how I feel about something. I don’t need anybody else to tell me how I feel about someone or something.
Jonah: That’s what matters.
What do you all hope for in the future?
Jack: A tour!
Daniel: Right now, I hope this album takes off. That’s what every artist hopes an album will do. I believe in this music like I never have, so I hope our fans love it and the rest of the world loves it.
Jonah: I hope to leave the world a better place than when I got here.
Jack: That’s a deep statement.
Zach: I got nothing better than that.
Corbyn: Yeah same, that was fire.
Zach: I’ve got to put that in a song!