Genre-bending Ohio natives WHY? have kicked off a new tour and they hit Minneapolis in a couple days! Fresh off the release of the new EP, Sod In The Seed, and an announcement for the new full-length, Mumps, etc., they are truly jazzed and ready to show us a good time.
MFR spoke with Yoni Wolf, mastermind and producer (along with brother Josiah Wolf) behind the group’s brilliant efforts. He talked about the the new music, tour, and love for Minneapolis; you can read the interview below.
Eskimo Snow and Alopecia were noted to be vastly different albums. What is your take on the new album, Mumps, etc. in relation to those two?
I think it’s pretty different than either of those. Everything comes out different, and that’s what I like about working. You try not to repeat yourself and always sort of come at it from where you are and what you are working on. Know what I mean? Physically, actual location, mentally, and all that. I try to let that all sink in.
You, along with Josiah, were a producer on the new EP and full-length. How close did that recording process/final product stay to the original vision?
It stayed pretty close. I made arrangement demos during the winter of 2010/2011 and they’re pretty damn thorough. A few developed a good amount, but most of them stayed true to the demos, these ones were pretty etched out. I’ve always like that. Like Elephant Eyelash; Josiah and I did that without demos really in my little cottage. Once we started working in studios.. you’re paying so much every day that you make sure to get in there and knock it out; [they are] not labored over in the same way.
What was it like working with Graham Marsh on the new material?
This was my first time working with him; last August. It was great. He is fantastic and we got along really well. We’ve become friends and I will probably work with him again in the future. He’s a good guy, very talented, and he’s younger than me.
They’re getting younger and younger.
They are. And, you know, I’m getting older and older. Back when I was in my early twenties it seemed like everyone I worked with was a lot older than me, nowadays they’re younger.
We have definitely seen artists take longer lengths of time between projects that you have, but did you feel any pressure around taking a few years to put these projects out?
No. I’m just trying to make something that I feel good about. I feel so specific about what I like that it takes me time. I could of put something out a lot earlier but I’ve dealt with a lot of health issues and stuff so that sort of put a damper on things for a little while. But, you know, you can’t think in those terms. I mean, there is always going to be some people that like you. You make something and you want it to be something people will respond to or something to feel good about. Someone saying, “I listen to your shit, I relate to it, I like it a lot.” But, you want to try not to think too much about hype even though it does seep in as an artist. As an artist you try to block that shit out and focus on making something that is genuine.
You are touring with friends Serengeti and Doseone. Does this tour carry the “one big happy family” vibe?
Yeah, it should be good. It’s going to be cool. They’re all coming in busloads. We’ll have to keep a clean bus, all these guys, all these boys in there. Luckily we will have 3 women so hopefully we’ll keep the dirty whites out of the way.
The new material has more bells and whistles than in the past; how does that translate to the life show?
Yeah I mean, in some way, shape, or form. We’re not going to bringing the choir nerds like we did in the studio but we have a six-piece band and everybody has parts. If we’re going to do it we go for it, we go big. We don’t fuck around with having backing tracks or MIDI shit. We do it real and as good as we can. It’s not going to be exactly what you hear on the shag carpet recording but I think it’s really cool. New drummer, and vibraphone, piano, organ, glockenspiel; we’ve got all kinds of different things to work with so we do what we can.
If you could describe the band as a comic, which comic would you choose?
Marmaduke. We’d be different parts of Marmaduke. I’m not sure who’s Marmaduke’s owner, I don’t want to say owner, it’s not a master situation, but dog’s friend? I’m not sure who the dog’s friend is, but maybe we are all parts of Marmaduke.
We love Minneapolis. We recorded the last two albums there and we have lots of friends there and our piano player/singer is from there now. Well she’s from Minnesota, but she lived in Minneapolis for a few years. It’s exciting.
WHY? hits the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis this Saturday, September 8 2012.
The new album from WHY?, Mumps, Etc., will be out on 10/2 via Anticon.
Interview by Laura Yurich
w/Serengeti & Doseone
Saturday, September 8 2012
7pm // All Ages // $15
Cedar Cultural Center
Posted 8 months ago