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The band We Three talks with Long Island kids

Kidsday reporters Silvana Scullari, left, Jenna Giorlando, Jayden

Kidsday reporters Silvana Scullari, left, Jenna Giorlando, Jayden Klemm and Ashley O'Brien with We Three band members Joshua Humlie, left, Bethany (Humlie) Blanchard, and Manny Humlie at the Paramount Theater in Huntington. Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We met Joshua Humlie, 27, Bethany (Humlie) Blanchard, 24, and Manny Humlie, 21, and they are the band We Three. The first time we saw the group was when they performed on “America’s Got Talent,” and we thought they were amazing. We were so lucky to sit down with them before their performance at the Paramount Theater in Huntington.

How was your experience on "America’s Got Talent"? And what was the most memorable thing?

Joshua: First, it was amazing. It was really, really crazy. We got to meet so many very talented people. And the crew was also really nice, and so were all the people on the show. We got to hang out with a lot of those people.

Manny: I think my most memorable thing was our second performance when we did “Lifeline.” There was just something about it. It was a really special and fun night. And that’s still one of our favorite songs just to play in general. And that was literally our debut of that song. We’ve never played that song for a live audience before that night.

Bethany: We recorded it two weeks before that. This is weird. But if I'm really honest, my favorite experience was this little coffee shop that we went to called Chocolate Coffee at our first audition in Pasadena, California. And it was the best. It was after we found out that we made it through to the next round and that next morning we were like — oh, we were just so happy. And I went and got pastries and coffee.

Joshua: And she comes back with all this stuff.

Bethany: So that was pretty cool.

Joshua: I think it changes. But right now my favorite moment, was actually when we got to stay for Round Two, I think it was Round Two. At the Beverly Garland Hotel, it was this really beautiful hotel. It wasn’t like super-super-fancy, but it just had a really cool feel to it. You felt like you were stepping back in time a little bit, which is neat. And there was a hot tub, which we all love. And we got to sit in a hot tub and order food and order drinks. And we just got to hang out in the hot tub. They brought the food to us in the hot tub!

Being siblings, are you guys competitive with each other, and do you have disagreements about songs?

Joshua: We never disagree.

Bethany: I’d like to say that rather than it being competitive, it’s kind of interesting. I think when we were younger, it might have been more competitive. But I think when you realize you want something really bad, which — this is what we want to do very badly — it turns into more of a respect thing for each other. We want to say it like, if one other person is practicing at a 10, or performing at a certain level, we feel like we’ve got to get to that level and perform at that same level because we respect each other. And we want to make sure we each do our best, so we earn that spot to be able to basically perform with each other. It’s kind of changed from competition to more, let’s work hard to make this work.

Manny: Well, we do disagree, and then we have to work through those things. And we also realize what each of us are good at. And we’re starting to dial that in and go OK, you’re good at this, so maybe I’ll back off and you do that. Before it was like, we’re all pushing at different things and trying to do everything. So that’s one thing that has helped a lot. Yes, like everybody, we do disagree. But we want to do what we’re doing, and so we do keep pushing and work hard at it.

When did your love of music start?

Joshua: Well, my first memory with it is my mom would tell me, I would drum on the table all the time. And my mom would tell me — and I still do that all the time — but my mom would always tell me no drumming on the table.    

Bethany: And then you realize, oh this is music.

Joshua: Yeah, that’s right. So yeah, it started really young. Our parents were musicians. And our aunts and uncles were musicians so they all played together. We just kind of grew up in it.

Bethany: I started taking piano when I was 6. I think the first time, I was like, this is a musical instrument, and this is how you come play it. I wasn’t very good at it. But yeah, and then I think probably my love of music started when I picked up the bass for the first time.

Manny: I did start on the piano when I was 6. We all started on the piano around that age. But I feel like my real love of music started when I started writing songs. That was one of the biggest things. I was probably 12. They weren’t good. But that’s when I really started to realize this is what I wanted to do.

What is your favorite musical memory when you were little?

Manny: We would sing a lot with our dad when we were little, in a band. We were at a performance once and I had sung a few songs, but I was really timid and I didn’t really belt anything out. I didn’t really sing very high. I remember he pushed me, and we were singing a song, and he was like, I know you can sing louder than that. I know you can do it. He was saying, sing louder, sing louder. Finally I did. I just let go. And all of a sudden, I was like, oh, I can do this. And that, I remember that moment, that was a moment of — I had so much more confidence.

Bethany: A fond memory was when I realized I could sing and play at the same time. I remember sitting in my bedroom trying to do this song — I would play bass for a girl who would sing the song. I was her backup, and it was this whole bass thing. I was always like, why can’t I sing it and play it? I remember sitting there and I did it for like an hour, just trying to sing it, and my fingers wouldn’t work while I was singing or my voice wouldn’t work when I was playing. All of a sudden I felt my brain split into two. And it was like bass happened and vocals happened, and they worked simultaneously.

Joshua: I think probably one for me was when we were playing, we did a lot of music growing up together with Dad. And I think there was one time when we were playing a farmers market or something downtown, and up until that point I had been messing around with playing a piano and playing a drum at the same time. I started actually putting shakers in my sock. And I could go chicka-chicka-chicka-chicka-chicka. And it was really cool. And when I figured out that I could do that, that just allowed me to start to split and be able to do more on the piano. So instead of doing the shaker with my hand, I could do it with my foot, and then I could play stuff with my hand on the piano. That was pretty cool when I figured that out.

What do you think your mom would say to you three after seeing you on “America’s Got Talent”?

Bethany: She would have been so excited. She loved adventures and just crazy cool things. She just would have thought it was so cool.

Manny: She always said, whenever something exciting happened, she would go, "You guys!" Just out of excitement. There would have been a lot of that for us.

What musician or music inspires you?

Manny: I love John Mayer. He’s one of my favorite guitar players. I love Ed Sheeran. He’s amazing. We have a lot of the same ones.

Bethany: I like Jillian Michaels.

Joshua: I like 21 Pilots. One of my favorite artists of all times is Stevie Wonder. You guys know who Steve Wonder is, right? OK, that’s the next homework assignment.

What are some other talents or hobbies that you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Joshua: Eating. We love to eat.

Bethany: I really do like to eat good food. That’s one of my favorite pastimes. Finding nice cool restaurants and eating good food.

Manny: I love exercise, like physical fitness. I don’t do it very often. But we both wrestled in high school. And so I love going out and doing a match or something like that. But anything like fun and outside.

Joshua: Physical exercise and I also like exploring. I love to go exploring.

Bethany: I like watching movies.

Since you’re from Oregon, who is your favorite team? The Trail Blazers, the Seahawks?

Bethany: The Trail Blazers. Just because they’re dangerous.

Bethany: Even though we’ve never been. I’ve been to one game.

Manny: I had never been.

Joshua: I had been to one game.

Manny: I’m going to go Trail Blazers. Huge fan.

How did you not get emotional when you sang “Heaven's Not Too Far Away,” the song about your mother?

Bethany: When we first started practicing that song, it was hard to play. But I think when it comes to performing you can get into a space where you want so badly to connect with the audience. And you want to give them your best performance. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get emotional. But you want to do it for them. You just turn the switch on and perform it, and then sometimes not necessarily feel it later but do it for yourself later. When you’re up and performing it, it’s for the people that you’re singing it to.

Patricia Alberti’s fourth-grade class, Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School, Rocky Point

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