VIDEÓ: “Alig várjuk, hogy Magyarországra menjünk” – exkluzív interjú a Why Don’t We-vel

There’s no stopping for Why Don’t We! The 5 guys – Jonah Marais, Zach Herron, Jack Avery, Daniel Seavey, and Corbyn Besson – released their second studio album earlier this year after a few months of silence, and it’s been their most personal work so far as they’ve been more hands-on with the creative process that ever before.

The first single off the new album, “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” was released last September, and it quickly became their most successful song to date and their first ever Billboard Hot 100 chart entry, as well. We sat down to chat about it all with Jonah and Zach at the beginning of February via Zoom.

Watch the interview where we talked about their success, their hardships they had to face to get to where they are now, their performance at last year’s MTV EMAs, a possible world tour, and they sent a message to their Hungarian fans, as well!

Congratulations on “The Good Times and the Bad Ones”. How do you guys feel now that it’s out for the world to listen to and it’s been really successful?

Zach: “My God, it’s just amazing.”

I mean, this album is like, everything we wanted it to be. We put it together, we perfected it, we took the whole year basically to get it right.

“I think we have been waiting to do something like this forever. To actually have it out to the world just makes up happy. That’s like our baby out there in the world and people like it! It’s like… damn, it feels good! You know, we did it ourselves! It feels good.”

© Pamela Littky
How did you choose the title? What does it mean to you personally?

Jonah: “You know, there’s a lot of good times and there’s hopefully less bad ones but there’s both of those things.”

I feel like the title just sort of sums up life.

“When you listen through the songs on the album, I think you can hear, sort of, oh, this was written from a good time and this is probably written from a less good time’.”

Yeah, you can definitely hear that. 

Zach: “And the song “I’ll Be Okay”, there’s “we did it for the good times and the bad ones”…”

Jonah: “Yeah, that’s the actual lyric we took it from.”

Zach: “…which is the actual lyric, as well.”

And which song if your favorite from the album?

Zach: “It switches every day, for me. Right now, I’m probably gonna choose “For You”. I’ve been jamming to “For You” recently.”

Jonah: “I’ve been vibing to “Slow Down” the most lately, but it’s been constantly shifting.”

Zach: “Yeah, that one, too! I’ll switch every day.”

And which one was the hardest to create for you, personally?

Zach: “Stay”!”

Jonah: “Hardest?”

Zach: “Stay”?”

Jonah: “Yeah… It depends. Like, emotionally hardest? I would say “Grey”.”

Zach: “But which one actually took the longest to write and produce? “Stay”. “

Jonah: “Stay” took like, 2 years of trying to make it the best it could be. It took so long! Replacing different lyrics and different verses…”

Zach: “Can we say what it was called? I feel like we have before. Before the first song ever, it was called, it wasn’t “Stay”, it was called “Lemonade Candy”. Yeah, two years ago I remember Daniel coming out and showing me that song.”

And which one would you show to a person that hasn’t heard of Why Don’t We yet?

Zach: “I would show them “Fallin’”…”

Jonah: “I think “Fallin’”!”

Zach: “Yeah, I would say the same, too. I think that’s just the banger.”

Jonah: “That’s a good question, though.”

What’s your favorite part of being in a band?

Zach: “My favorite part is just like having four of my best friends and we can just do whatever we want! It’s cool to have people experience all of this with. I think my favorite part of being in a band is also just going up on stage with these guys and just performing. It’s cool to be up there with your bros who get to experience the same thing. You’re not up there by yourself.

I think it’s cool to be able to look across the stage and be like “hey bro, this is crazy, you’re seeing this with me! This is sick!”. I think that’s one of the coolest parts, getting off stage, and being like “dude, did you see that sign up there in the front row, it’s hilarious” or “did you see me trip back there?”.

“It’s funny, it’s fun, and it’s a dream come true. It’s cool having four guys to do it with, you know. Especially writing and producing together.”

Jonah: “Yeah, that sums it up!”

Now, I’m glad you brought up live shows. Well, because unfortunately, you don’t really get to tour with the album, at least not in the near future, or the very near future. However, you had some pretty exciting performances for example at the EMAs. How did it feel to perform such an important song to you at such an iconic awards show?

Jonah: “Yeah, that was really cool! It felt so good that they wanted us to come and perform so quickly after we released the song “Fallin’”. It felt like sort of a whirlwind because we did a bunch of TV performances in the US right when we did that, as well.

I think that the hard part was, we’ve heard the EMAs are such a fun show to go to and perform at, and like, be a part of backstage and the whole thing. It was a little bit hard because we just went to this warehouse in LA and just filmed the performance. It wasn’t the same as really going and meeting all the artists and everything. I definitely was so grateful that they wanted us to do it, though.

Zach: “Yeah.

But when things are normal, and there’s a crowd an everything, and you perform, do you have a routine that you do right before stepping on stage?

Jonah: “Yeah!”

Zach: “Yeah, we do!”

We do this little handshake thing, just like that. And then, we usually put our hands in, and we say something, or we’re going “one, two, three, Why Don’t We, this is only the beginning!”.  That’s what we used to say, but I don’t know if we’ll continue doing that, we might come up with something new now to start this new tour with.  

Jonah: “We usually say a prayer, too.”

Zach: “Yeah, we usually say a prayer and we just do that little handshake for good luck. But, I mean, we haven’t been able to do that in a while ‘cause, you know, we’re not gonna do that for a show that’s prerecorded.”

Jonah: “Yeah, that sucks, man! It feels like this is the time where we need to be on the road! It sucks! We wanna get back out there.”

But you’re planning a massive world tour when shows will be a thing again, right?

Zach: “Yeah!”

Jonah: “We’ve been planning some really cool stuff.”

And maybe you would include Hungary too? Because your Hungarian fans are dying to see you!

Zach: Ah yes, dude, of course!

We love it there! We can’t wait to go. We can’t wait to just travel the world again. 

Let’s get back to the beginning for a second. Can you recall the very first show that you did as a band, as Why Don’t We?

Jonah: “We were in Philadelphia, at this little, tiny bar lounge called The Voltage. I still remember walking out and feeling like it was really special, I was like, this is the start of something really cool. People actually wanted to come out and see us, even though it was only a couple hundred people, but it was like, this might work! That was the big test, we were like, we’re gonna put tickets out and see if people actually buy them.”

Zach: “They did, bro! The tickets were being bought, and we were like, what, no way! Our first show, as a band, and half of the crowd was Jack’s family and Jack’s friends, it was just funny. But it was fun! We gotta do a show there again! Like now! And have a super limited show there!”

Jonah: “Oh, like, go back?”

Or maybe a livestream concert, right?

Zach: “That’s true, do a livestream concert there, yeah actually, wow, that’s cool.”

A lot of artists do that nowadays. 

Zach: “Yeah!”

Who were your biggest inspirations growing up and who are they now? Did they change?

Jonah:  “Yeah, I think mine are definitely changing all the time, but my biggest inspiration that stayed the same through the years was really Justin Bieber. I remember going to see him when I was like, 12 years old and I think he was maybe 15 at the time. He was on stage in front of so many people and just absolutely killing it and I was like, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. If he’s 15 and he can do that, I can do anything, you know? I remember feeling so liberated and excited and like, oh my gosh, I could really do this. I felt like I kinda was able to grow up with him and see where he really did so well and he definitely had his moments of messing up, which is a normal human thing, and then to catch himself on his feet and get back up and now he’s really doing well again, and it’s been a really cool thing to just kinda see him grow up.”

You obviously have many talents: you sing, you play the instruments, you write your own lyrics… But do you have any hidden talents that we don’t know of?

Zach: “Hmm…”

Jonah: “Hidden talent…”

Zach: “Yeah, probably, I just can’t think of any right now.”

I can make this sound, and it sounds like waters dripping down…

– Jonah.

Zach: “Ah, dude, and he’s like, way too good at this!”

Jonah: “Let me see if I can do it.”

Zach: “Bro! How does it sound that good! It’s impossible. I mean, it’s not really a talent but I don’t burp. I can’t burp. I guess it’s like a cool, weird thing. I gotta have something better… I don’t know, my brain can’t process anything that I can do that you guys don’t know about.”

You can check out Jonah’s hidden talent in the video of the interview here.

If you could go back in time and give yourself just one piece of advice when you were starting out, what would it be?

Zach: Never give up!

Never give up, don’t think too much, don’t overthink it, just do it. Trust your gut and follow your dream.

“If you wanna do music, if you wanna write music and stuff, if that’s what you wanna do, just do it. Don’t think too much, don’t overthink. Obviously, be yourself and don’t take other people’s opinions and really dread on that. People can have their own opinions. When I was in school, when I was singing, people can say what they wanna say! I got to a point where I was like, you don’t like the way it sounds? Cool, whatever. I like it, so that’s all that matters. A lot of people are judgmental about how you sing, or people are judgmental about things because they’re jealous of you, jealous of your success. At the end of the day, if you dread on people saying that stuff about you, it’s gonna make it way worse for yourself when at the end of the day, they’re just jealous of you. But I think that’s stuff you have to think about, ‘cause people are gonna get like that.”

Where do you see yourselves in 10 years’ time?

Zach: “In 10 years?!”

Long time, right?

Zach: “10 years… What, I’ll be… I’ll be 29? Sheesh. 29. Probably I’ll have kids. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Jonah: “I don’t even know what we’re doing in 3 months from now!”

Zach: “Yeah, dude, I have no idea! 10 years?!”

Jonah: “All I can say is I hope that we’re all happy, and I personally hope to be doing music in some sense. Maybe the band’s still together, we’re cranking it out! Still cranking it out, I don’t know, we’ll see!”

Zach: “You know, in 10 years, I can see myself eating out at a normal eating inside indoors at a restaurant.”

Jonah: “Yes! Yes!”

Zach: “Going to the movie theater in 10 years, just like normal again. We’ll be back on stage.”

Finally, is there a message that you’d like to share with your Hungarian Limelights?

Oh, yeah. We absolutely love you guys so much. Seriously, you guys are the best. You guys do so much for us, your support is not going unnoticed. Obviously, we wouldn’t be here without you and you guys are just amazing. We see you guys everywhere on our social media to! It’s like, we just wanna come, so bad! We’re working on a great show, we love you guys, you guys mean the world to us. We’re working on an amazing show, it’s gonna be really different from the other one. It’s gonna be more live. Can’t tell you too much, but we can’t wait. We love you guys, that you for everything!

Follow Why Don’t We on their official pages below.