WD-HAN - Exclusive Interview
In 2008, a group of teenagers formed a blues and rock band called WD-Han, and they have been writing and performing great music ever since. WD-Han is Spencer Barnes (lead singer), Cal Henry (guitarist), and Lea Barnes (percussionist) along with the band’s manager Marjorye Henry. WD-Han aims to make a positive impact on people's lives through music. 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 have appeared on Daytime America twice, toured Taiwan three times, and recorded four albums or EPs. Currently, the band is releasing new songs every 4-6 weeks, touring, and appearing in more festivals.
What got you into music?
I heard Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix! Then I asked a buddy of mine if he was a one-hit wonder because I didn’t want to buy his CD (at the time streaming hadn’t come out yet) if I was only gonna like that one song...my friend assured me I wouldn’t be disappointed. I loved every song and now have more Hendrix albums than any other artist in my catalog.
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
I honestly love all of it. There was one time we set up a CD Release show all by ourselves, stage, sound, getting the other bands and fans there...it was in a field so we all took the day off from work (don’t tell anyone!) and set up the stage and everything, played the gig and then broke everything down and returned it, went to bed at 4am and decided this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
Time doesn’t exist in there! But not like going to the DMV or the bank or post office where you’re just annoyed and needing to be somewhere else. It’s the exact opposite. It’s always so fun to hear each piece of the song being laid down, we’re constantly learning about new gear, and pushing ourselves to make better and better music. Being in the studio is such a fun creative lab for us! I would live in the studio if I could.
As a songwriter or musician, are there any obstacles you have had to overcome or obstacles that you are facing right now in your career?
I think the biggest one is fighting with myself over if an idea is “good enough” or not. But what’s so awesome about our group is we have a rule where any idea is heard and tried without negativity. It’s freeing as an artist to have a space where no idea is a bad idea. Sometimes the off the cuff ideas are the best ones!
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
I really admire The Band Camino for being an indie artist and succeeding on tour and on Spotify. Now they’re signed and playing bigger and bigger crowds. It’s awesome! Oh Wonder is another group that’s awesome. A few years ago they put out one song a month for a year and took off! Now they just released their third album, recorded it all at home in their house (or should I say flat) in London! Now on a world tour...! Come to Florida! Haha
To date, what do you think your best song is? Can you describe the song for us?
I really dig all our songs. I think the one I’m digging most is our latest single, 'Bad'! That’s a song where I came up with this bluesy, dirty riff, Lea started playing drums and Spence has more of the lyrics in about 20min or so. Then our producer came to town, we fleshed the rest of it out in a day and it was done!
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
Yes, we are constantly writing new stuff. I recommend never stopping your creation of whatever art you’re doing. The great artists I admire are always working on new things. They finish one thing and they’re onto the next right away!
Our plan this year is to release one song every 4-6 weeks. It’s quite an exciting challenge for us. We’ve never released music so quickly before! I don’t see us slowing down anytime soon.
Tell us where fans can access your music?