Why Don't We Keeps Going (And Growing)
The guys of Why Don’t We are just as funny, humble and kind as they were when they first sat down with iHeartRadio.ca in September 2017. What is different is their confidence, which the pop group has earned from working hard over the past two years.
Jonah Marais, Corbyn Besson, Daniel Seavey, Jack Avery, and Zach Herron – who range in age from 20 to 17 – are in the midst of a tour that includes a show on Monday night in Laval, QC and one in Toronto on Tuesday.
Eight months after releasing their debut album, 8 Letters, Why Don’t We has dropped a catchy new single featuring Macklemore.
In Montreal, Jonah Marais and Jack Avery sat down for a quick chat with iHeartRadio.ca.
What has this journey been like for you?
Jonah: “For us, we’re living it every day so you see, ‘wow, the shows are getting bigger,’ but it’s everyday life. We wake up and go do our thing. But the shows on this tour have been insanity, just with the fans.”
Jack: “And the venues. Like Radio City Music Hall. I think every artist has performed there. It’s a legendary stage to perform on and we got the chance to do it, so it’s crazy.”
You seem to work so hard but do you feel like you’re taking the time to enjoy this ride?
Jack: “Yeah, totally, and especially this tour because it’s been so easy to do. There’s less work for us to do and more fun, I guess, on this tour and it’s been nice."
Jonah: “And even the interviews have been great. In the past sometimes they’d line us up with like 20 interviews in the day and then we’d go do the show and we’re all exhausted by the end of it. With this tour, it’s been interviews that really matter..."
...and then they slip me in there.
Jonah: (laughs) “That’s what I’m saying.”
Jack: “It’s because you really matter, man.”
Jonah: “Yeah, you really matter to us.”
BELOW: iHeartRadio.ca spent a day with Why Don't We in April 2018.
How important has social media been to your success?
Jonah: “I firmly believe we wouldn’t be where we are at all if social media wasn’t a thing. It’s helped us all tremendously and I think it’s a great platform to use to get yourself out there. On social media in general these days there’s a lot of… it’s really easy to compare yourself to everybody. Everyone kind of deals with that to some extent, like you see people’s… only the best versions of themselves on Instagram. It can be kind of a toxic place sometimes but then there are amazing parts of it, like a platform to put music on.”
Do you feel like your sound is evolving?
Jack: “As we get older our music’s going to get more mature as well. We’ve been working with so many crazy writers and producers lately. We’ve just gotten a lot better, I feel like, at what we do just because of the people around us.”
Jonah: “Our writing has progressed a lot through the years. We’re a few years into it, working with all the big A-list songwriters. It’s like going to school except you’re learning songwriting rather than astronomy.”
When you work with someone like Macklemore do you use the opportunity to pick his brain about working in the industry?
Jonah: “On the video shoot, I shot a lot of scenes with him. We had a lot of time on set and I was just kind of asking him questions about the industry, telling him how I was 11 or 12 years old when I went and saw his show in Minnesota. His album The Heist was the first one I ever really listened to. He had a huge impact on me musically so it was fun to talk to him – and I was actually shooting a video with him! It was actually insane."
And, kudos on the disco dancing in the video!
Jonah: “Thank you."
Jack: “Did you like it?”
Jonah: “They taught us that the night before we shot it. We just learned it as good as we could.”
Is there someone you’d love to collaborate with?
Jack: “There are so many different things that can happen when you have different people in the room. Personally I’d love someone like Jaden Smith. He’s a super cool rapper.”
What about a Canadian like Shawn Mendes?
Jonah: “That would be sick. I was thinking Shawn Mendes. Shawn would be so tight. We did some shows with him back in December and got to pick his brain a bit and he gave us some good advice. Good dude."
What are you giving your fans on this tour?
Jonah: “We’ve never performed any of the album songs up until this tour so it’s tons of new music. We went and decided it’s time to start working with a serious choreographer so we’d go in every morning for a few hours and do that before going into the studio – so it was long days but I think it’s definitely paid off. The show is miles ahead of any other show that we’ve put on in the past.”
Jack: “Totally. I agree.”