WHY NOT IN TUCSON
Why Not arrived in Tucson, Arizona and were met with an unfamiliar mid-July heat. The setting sun provided a warm sky with shades of orange and gold that slowly faded into the darkness, as night swept over the desert. Inside an unmarked building, in a neon lit room, the three-piece punk band from St. Paul began their set. The air was musty and thick with sweat.
Affectionately calling their style “melodic punk,” the moniker does a good job at establishing the ambiguity of the band’s sound. Lead singer and bassist Henry Breen provides punchy bass lines which are complemented by Isaac Dell’s frenetic and lively math rock-inspired guitar riffs. All of this is brought together by the bombastic drumming of Josh MacGregor. The end product is a cathartic release of high energy punk music that oozes youthful energy and an unapologetic charisma.
We sat down to have a chat with the band before their show where we discussed topics ranging from their tour through the southwest, to the reception of their debut EP.
HOW HAS YOUR SUMMER TOUR THROUGH THE SOUTHWEST BEEN SO FAR?
ISAAC: It’s been amazing. I’ve never been to Texas and most of the places we’ve been to so far and it's been pretty cool.
JOSH: Driving through the mountains and everything has been the complete opposite from where we’re from.
I: We actually saw a scorpion and millipede while we were in Big Bend National Park.
J: The only word I could use to describe it [millipede] as was juicy. It just looked super juicy.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO PASS THE TIME DURING THE LONG TRIPS BETWEEN SHOWS?
J: The Crime Junkie podcast is so good.
I: One of us will also DJ too.
HENRY: Going on tour with friends has been fun. We’re all pretty compatible which makes the drives go by a lot faster.
WHAT STICKS OUT TO YOU THE MOST ABOUT YOUR RECENT EP?
J: I think the album as a whole sticks out because it drifts between so many different sounds and so many different styles and that represents where we are as a band right now.
H: I think what stands out personally, for me, is that you can hear the effort put into it, a lot more so than any of our previous releases. There are a lot of different moments for ear candy during parts of the songs that make you realize that it’s much more of a project. Being a part of the production process definitely helped too.
I: It’s way more of a statement then our other stuff. It’s also pretty cohesive, both lyrically and musically, while not being the same throughout because we’re still exploring. There are stark differences between songs, but it still sounds like us. It’s everything we’ve toyed with thus far, just condensed better and helps us take the next step as a band.
Inside the cramped and stuffy room, Why Not played a mix of songs off of their most recent project titled EP (2019). Standout songs included “Ready 4 The World” and “Thud. Dead,” with the aforementioned track opening with Dell’s fast paced and groovy riffs that grab the audience and refuse to let go. The song continues on relentlessly until it concludes in a cacophonous heap that leaves the crowd panting as the mosh pit slowly dies down. Additionally, the new songs Why Not played showed growth and change but also were able to stay true to their unique sound.
Why Not’s energetic and jam heavy take on punk is a breath of fresh air. Their youthful attitude is infectious; it lights a fire in your belly that makes you want to get up and jump around. This goofy trio of Minnesotans plans on continuing to make loud, catchy, punky tunes for as long as they can, and they are definitely worth a listen.
Words by Michael Jepsen
Photographs by Marina Shapiro