Humans Being: A Band About Being Human

Emma Dahl

If you’re in tune with the Whitman music scene, you’ve probably heard of the student band Humans Being, a group composed of Mark Glasionov ’12; seniors Jonas Myers on bass guitar, Eli Smith on rhythm guitar, Robby Seager on cajon and drumset and Bo Sagal on mandolin; and sophomores Jessica Shatkin on flute and Maya Abramson on violin, with all members contributing to the vocals.

Humans Being band members, left to right: Jonas Myers, Jessica Shatkin, Maya Abramson, Mark Glasionov, Eli Smith,  Robby Seager, and Bo Sagal (not pictured). Photos by Allie Felt.

Myers discussed the origin of the band and its name.

“[Humans Being] was a name that I had thought of a while ago when Robby and I were still in [the band] Dabbles in Bloom,” he said. “We knew that a change would be imminent [since some members of the band were graduating]. Dark times.”

After playing music over the summer with Seager, Sagal and Smith, a band began to take shape, a band originally called Witch Doctor.

But one day, Myers had a realization.

” … It just occurred to me that I had always wanted to be in a band called Humans Being, and that I had also always wanted to be in the band that we had formed, because it was way fun,” said Myers.

“Yeah, well, we’re all humans––being,” he said, when pressed about any deeper meaning behind the name.

“I like to think of it like … this [human] entity has created this being. Apostrophe, ‘S,'” Smith said.

“I think of it as a way of life in that everyone is valuable and has something to contribute, like we’re all part of a big human tribe. For us, that’s being in this band and playing music,” said Seager.

“A lot of the time, we say, ‘We are Humans Being, and so are you.’ It’s a little hokey,” said Abramson with a laugh.

While the band plays mostly Beatles covers at gigs, they are working on writing original music.

“It’s a lot easier to create a huge set list and have really long gigs if we learn charts for covers and just jam on them. It’s also fun,” said Shatkin.

She cited a wealth of creative energy in the band as a powerful force behind writing original songs.

“Usually they’re more complicated and defined and arranged,” she said of the band’s original music. The band has about six or seven original songs in their repertoire, with more in the works.

Humans Being has played several shows in Walla Walla, at various bars, restaurants and wineries, averaging one gig per weekend throughout the semester.

In addition to local shows, the band also described plans to go on tour over the next spring break.

“We have an ‘infinity tour’ planned,” Myers said, half-jokingly. “We don’t know where we’re going but it’ll be in the shape of an infinity.” As of now, the band plans to visit cities such as Portland, Seattle and Boise.

Abramson cited playing with the band as a way she likes to shake off the Whitman bubble.

“At Whitman … you get wrapped up in your Whitman ways. For me, this is a really good release for that,” she said.

“Be the humans that you are, world,” said Myers as a parting statement.

Interested listeners can find Humans Being on their Facebook page to find out more about upcoming shows and whatever else the band has to offer.