We Three – The chains are off now
We Three have come a long way.
Nowadays, they’re known as a powerful, three-piece pop band whose catchy and genre-defining hooks have wowed audiences around the world.
This October, the Oregon-born siblings, Manny, Bethany and Joshua Humlie, will be hitting the road once again to begin their autumnal tour in the UK and Europe. And, although they’ve only really been around for around five years, their shows have more than doubled in capacity each time.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Joshua grinned over Zoom: “London is a special city for us because it is the first city we played [in Europe] … it was to, like, 100 people. A year later we went back and it grew a little bit, went back, it grew a little bit. And the last time we went there it was like 1,000 people.”
Nowadays, those earlier shows now seem like mere warm-ups. In July, We Three dropped their fourth album – Love Me – and the band have quite obviously settled into a new sound. With pop-produced crescendos and intelligent play on words, you can feel their music composition and gravitas growing with each single. But they aren’t what you might expect.
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Although Love Me sounds like a top-ten pop record, the We Three’s sensibilities are akin to that of your local metal band.
They crafted everything on the record, pack up their own buses, and drive around the world in cramped conditions to bring their music to the masses. Truly, they are a live band at heart.
Manny assured fans their upcoming live shows are innovative. “We haven’t put together a brand new show in a long time,” he smiled. “So it’s very fresh, very new.”
Mostly, the trio are excited to begin changing their music on the fly after they get into a new rhythm. “The songs always change live,” Manny went on. “That’s kind of our favourite part… but this album came out pretty quick. Some of these songs are pretty old – some of them are like three years old – but we pulled them out and brushed the dust off them, so the album came out pretty quickly.
“Translating this [album] to live has been, instantly, very creative.” Whether it means adding solos or extending pieces of their songs, We Three are satisfied in the knowledge that they are flexing their minds to excite their fans.
The band are promising an eclectic and thrilling setlist – even if the siblings cannot agree on their favourite song. (“Mine is Bad A** B***h,” Manny yelled. Bethany hit back: “I like Fire Away!”)
But disagreements are rare for this family. “I’ve got used to their ways,” Bethany laughed while discussing living in such close proximity with her brothers. “Now we just jump on tour with the tour family… If we didn’t have our crew – who we love and adore – we would probably hate each other.”
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That aside, Bethany assured me: “We’re honestly so excited [about going on tour]. I’m counting down the days!” Manny nodded enthusiastically: “Touring is our favourite place.”
Sure, every band on the planet says they’re “really excited” to go on tour – but I really believe We Three. After appearing on America’s Got Talent in 2018 (and making it to the semifinals), they’ve been in front of more eyeballs than most bands ever will in their careers, so it feels like Manny, Bethany and Joshua’s desire to play live music is more about their artistic impact than simple rockstar narcissism.
Naturally, their AGT legacy is something they think about often, as well. In the UK, there seems to be a stigma around talent show musicians and bands. Countless artists have seen their careers crash and burn shortly after the cameras stopped rolling. There are success stories, though. Dare we mention the names of One Direction or Little Mix? Kelly Clarkson? Leona Lewis? And the wonderful Rylan? But these are the exceptions – not the rule.
So then, it’s of course natural for We Three to think about their legacy, and how they might be viewed by new fans.
Do they think they have passed the supposed “stigma” of being on a mainstream talent show? “I would say yes,” Manny jumped right in. “There’s always going to be that piece in the back of our minds where we’re still trying to break out of that – and even if we do completely, I think that’s going to be something that we’re always trying to chase. Just to keep pushing further and further from it.”
Coming back to London a few years ago, when they performed for the most people they had ever played to in a headline gig, Manny recalled: “I do think two shows ago in London was one of the main shows for me where I feel like we broke out of it [the ‘stigma’].”
Taking a second to think about it, he added: “And I actually felt like… it sounds dramatic – but the chains came off a bit. And it was like, oh yeah, we’re a band.”
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Manny concluded: “But, I think that will always be something to chase, because we won’t ever fully feel like we’ve done it yet… Which I feel like is a good thing!”
However We Three are viewed by the masses, they mainly see themselves as creatives. A band. A family.
And, as a result, their music is endless. Although they only just released Love Me over the summer, they’re already looking ahead at what’s going to come next.
“The studio is always going,” they confirmed. “It never stops, but we’ll probably take a little bit of time off when we get back [from the UK tour]. There’s too many songs going on right now so our plan is to just release a ridiculous amount when we get back – just kind of shock people!”
“Mainly,” Manny said. “Because we want people to hear it, and we don’t want to have to wait. We’re going to be doing slightly different techniques with that when we get back.”
We Three tickets are available to buy here.
Listen to We Three – Love Me here.
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