WD-HAN - 10 Questions Interview
WD-Han is a band that formed as teens in 2008 and have remained diligent in their musical mission ever since . They are driven to make a positive impact on people's lives through music. Lead singer Spencer Barnes, guitarist Cal Henry, and percussionist Lea Barnes, along with the band’s manager Marjorye Henry (yes, two married couples) make up the heart of WD-Han. For years, they have studied, practiced and learned how to connect with their audience, wrap their music around listeners’ best inner selves, and make it safe for people to reach out to a better life. WD-HAN works in musical magic with emotional depth, mixing blues and rock and ballads with accents of other genres to drive their message home. The band has just released a new single titled "Bad." Get to know WD-Han through 10 intriguing questions.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Hey! I'm Spence, the lead singer of WD-HAN. The catalyst for me was actually performing for the first time. I think that's because my path to being a musician was a little different and later than most.
Cal and Lea (our guitarist and drummer) were playing music together in high school and I was on the sidelines wishing I was a part of it all. I loved singing in the shower, but was terrified to sing in front of people. Then one day I was in the audience at one of their gigs and Cal called me on stage. No warning, no prep - he just announced that I was going to perform a song. It sort of took the choice away from me and I had to do it. I only performed one song, but once I got off the stage I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Touring Taiwan three times has been an insanely amazing experience. Honestly, being there I have to pinch myself every day. A highlight was taking a day trip out to a remote mountain town, hiking up a random path having no idea where we were going, and finding a beautiful lookout over a misty bamboo valley. It was an incredible experience and we decided to record a video there! There's a YouTube video of us playing "My Body" by Young the Giant from that day and I'm so happy we were able to capture the memory.
What has been the high point of your music path?
I think the highest points are playing gigs to large audiences. We've had the honor of opening for some incredible acts in our hometown, as well as taking part in some amazing festivals. When we take the stage in front of an audience that's amped to see live music, there's an energy that you can only understand if you've been part of a crowd like that.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
Our process is totally collaborative. We take the approach that we're each responsible for our own areas, and that we also have to be open to suggestions from each other. That way we have full creative freedom, but we can all also put our stamp on each song. It's a hard rule in our band that we have to try any suggestion, no matter who made it, or how crazy it might sound at the time.
Check out the bands new single, "Bad."
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I think the challenges are the same as they've always been for artists, it's just the ways of connecting to an audience have changed. Honestly, I think today's music industry presents more opportunity for artists, but more than every it is a meritocracy. You have to obsess over your art and keep working your ass off to make a dent when there is so much content vying for everyone's attention.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
For me, Third Eye Blind. I think they're a songwriting force and I've always admired their work so much. To stay relevant for so long in the industry is testament to the fact that their music speaks to a huge amount of people. I've also seen them live a few times, and it's a freaking blast!
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
A lot of cracking up and dirty jokes...a lot of Office quotes. When we're playing it depends on if it's a writing session or rehearsal. If we're rehearsing for a gig then we play exactly like we're on a stage. We want to bring the heat.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
For me, it's Summertime Star Sign. That song was started a few years ago when I lost a family friend to cancer, and in the aftermath of his funeral I decided I wanted to write a song to honor my friend. I wrote a couple of lines, but couldn't come up with anything that I felt was "good enough" because this song in particular was so important to me.
I ended up coming back to that song again and again over the course of the next couple of years until I finally had something I felt was ready. The result was, almost unbelievably to me, everything I wanted in those first moments when the loss was raw.
What's coming up in the future?
A TON of new music. We're writing like never before and are so excited to have songs coming out once a month in 2020. In fact we just released our single for February, 'Bad', a driving, crackling blues banger that asks the age old question of the jilted, "What were you thinking?" If you've ever been done wrong in love, crank this one to 11. Make sure to follow us on Spotify to keep up with the releases!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Listen to our latest single 'Bad' here:
Or find and follow us directly on Spotify.
For more information on W.D. Han, please visit their website.
More about WD-Han
WD-HAN has played at hundreds of local venues, many major music festivals, appeared on Daytime America twice, toured Taiwan three times, and recorded four albums or EPs. Now, in 2020, this is their year, this is their decade. Releasing new songs every 4-6 weeks, touring, and appearing in more festivals, they are inviting you along for the ride. Music is also the vehicle these energetic music-meisters use to focus their intentions for a better world where life can flourish. They play many benefits for anti-drug groups and pro–human-rights groups. They have supported orphanages in Ghana and Haiti and charities like the American Cancer Society. They measure their success in people helped. WD-HAN is no fly-by-night band; they are the future of music in America, fulfilling the very purpose of music: to raise people to the heights of livingness where they belong.