Whatever Happens, Don’t Be Yourself (WHDBY) is a band/project initiated by Nils Are Drønen. The drummer, bandleader and composer was educated at the Academy of Music in Bergen, Norway. Their second album got a very favorable review by Geir Rakvaag (Dagsavisen). He also said that the record gave reason to have high hopes for the live experience!

Whatever Happens, Don't Be Yourself - bandphoto
Whatever Happens, Don’t Be Yourself

WHDBY started as a project with several participants. The self-titled debut album was released on Christmas Eve 2016 to maximum non-commercial effect! When Mads Berven joined, the project drifted into a less eclectic band format. Somewhat surprised, they found themselves having a party playing avant garde jazz and free impro based on the compositions of the bandleader. Whatever Happens, Don’t Be Yourself is now a band!

The new album is recorded live with a more or less new lineup. The Barcelona based trumpeter Audun Waage is still a part of this. Mads Berven and Snorre Bjerck are the new veterans of the band. The line up is completed with the new breed of jazz musicians of Bergen: Aksel Røed, Isach Skeidsvoll and Nils Henrik Sagvåg. Nelly Moar sings on the album, and may join the band live. 

The legendary master of noise, Lasse Marhaug, is featured on both albums, and may be a part of the concert line up on request.

The recording of “Simple Thought for a Troubled Mind” was done live in a few sessions. The mood of it all made the project drift into a band format, as everyone involved in the sessions wanted to keep doing this. Whatever Happens, Don’t Be Yourself! 


«Simple Thoughts For A Troubled Mind» is a refreshing multifaceted album that explores many of the possibilities of jazz. I can imagine that Whatever is a band worth experiencing live.

Geir Rakvaag, Dagsavisen

The musicians

Nils Are Drønen is educated at the Music Academy in Bergen. He has recorded and toured with artists like Kjetil Møster, Jørgen Sandvik, Jon Irabagon & John Hegre (Rune Gramofon) and more. Mads Berven won the Vossasjazz price in 2008. The Barcelona based Audun Waage is recognized for his spirited trumpet playing by allaboutjazz.com. Nils Henrik Sagvåg is like Aksel Røed and Isach Skeidvoll educated at the Grieg Academy in Bergen. Røed and Skeidvoll is also known from the up and coming band The General Post Office. Snorre Bjerck is known from sessions with Nils Petter Molvær, Arve Henriksen and more. He was awarded the Vossajazz prize in 2007. Nelly Moar is young, already recognized for her talents. She is also the daughter of Nils Are Drønen,