The Jolly What!
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The Jolly What!

Newark, Delaware, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Newark, Delaware, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Delaware Music Festival, Take Three: The Jolly What!"

Ah, the mid-'00s. Things were simpler then. Things were better then. Say the word "MySpace" to anyone who doesn't play an instrument and they'll practically laugh their tonsils out at you. Say the word to a musician, though, and you can see a tear run down their cheek like that Native American in the famous commercial.

Mark Degz is probably one of those musicians. His former band, Dead Loretta, made quite a ruckus on the Delaware indie rock scene during the middle part of the last decade, a scene that centered on the amazing Mojo 13 in Holly Oak as well as its previous incarnation, Sneaky Pete's.

You could see great original music there several days a week, and national acts began showing up there as well, including Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen and, later, The Hold Steady.

And you could see Degz and Dead Loretta cranking out great singles like "Miranda" and "Symphony of a Wasted Youth" that helped them get regional play and exposure and a ride that ended just short of a big break.

MySpace gave artists like Dead Loretta a free platform for sharing their music via stream or download and for promoting shows and connecting with other bands and fans.

Hold Steady: The peak of the Mojo 13 Movement.
But like the Blackberry, it's just another good idea that's become a joke because someone said so, and bands are left with choosing between various platforms, like Facebook's band pages (features a music player, but do you really want to give Mark Zuckerberg the rights to your music?), Bandcamp, Sound Cloud, Reverbnation, etc.

They're all good in their own way, but there's too many of them. Fans are sent all over the place and can't find what's good.

That's where good folk like First State Rock come in. If you lost track of Degz after Dead Loretta went up in flames during a show with an industry suit at Mojo 13, here's what he's up to:

This shit owns your music.
He formed The Jolly What! in 2007, recorded their first release, "Life Is My Favorite Sport" in 2009, and has continued to release some fascinatingly quirky stuff, from straight-up vintage '90s indie rock ("Topanga") to desert rock to reggae-rock ("Heaven in a Heartless World") to the just plain whacked out (the faux blues number "18 Year Old Girls").

They're putting the finishing touches on their new album, "Surviving The Supervolcano," which features the roaring rocker "Super Flare," and the tune "Girl of my Dreams," which is already a local hit.

The Jolly What! hit the stage at the Delaware Music Festival in Dewey Beach at 12:20 a.m. Saturday March 30 (technically Sunday, but whatever)

- First State Rock

"The Jolly What! is Surviving The Supervolcano"

By Andre Lamar
Updated Aug. 10, 2012 @ 10:16 am

Newark, Del. —
A drawing of an ominous grizzly bear clutching a machine gun while gliding through the sky on top of a bumblebee isn’t just promo art for the third The Jolly What! album.

It’s also a description of what the new album, “Surviving the Supervolcano,” is going to sound like.

And if you happen to be at Mojo Main on Friday, Aug. 17, you’ll have the pleasure of hearing the Pike Creek-based indie-rock band’s set, of which bassist Brian Lafferty says the group will preview a number of tunes from the new album, which is slated to drop this fall or early winter.

The Jolly’s will share the bill at Mojo with acts Aunt Artica and The Honey Badgers.

‘Surviving the Supervolcano’

The million-dollar question is how does the promo art for The Jolly’s forthcoming album represent how it’ll sound?

Lafferty says it’s symbolic of his bandmates: Mark Degz (lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar), Matt “Big P” Pulliam (lead and rhythm guitar) and Curt Gibson (drums).

“The image came about when the band was discussing promotional art and trying to visually depict the raucous sound of The Jolly What!” explained Lafferty, 26, of Wilmington, who used to live in Pike Creek.

Lafferty added the illustration conveys “Curt's rapid-fire percussion, Mark and Matt's aggressive, crunchy guitar and Brian's grizzly baselines.”

Originally a duo then a three-piece outfit, the addition of Pulliam (a childhood buddy of Lafferty) has allowed the band to spread its bumblebee-wings and soar to a new place on “Surviving the Supervolcano.”

“We added a blues influence that’s definitely going to come out,” Lafferty said. “One track is straight blues.”

The track is titled “18 Year Old Girls,” a song about “one of the best time periods” in anyone’s life, he added.

But the album’s not completely bluesy. It’s still anchored in The Jolly’s crunchy, home-studio sound as evidenced in “Girl of my Dreams,” inspired by Degz’ wife, said Lafferty, who added, “We can’t escape what we sound like.”

Back to the ‘90s

The Jolly’s paid tribute to ‘90s pop culture with gems like “The Pog Collector” (based on the popular game Pogs, which was played with disks and was essentially the “Call of Duty” of non-electronic games for young boys back in the day) and “Topanga” (the love interest of Corey Matthews from the hit TV series “Boy Meets World”) on its sophomore album “So, You Wanna Be A Quitter?" in 2011.

With “Surviving the Supervolcano” still in the works, Lafferty said the group is considering slipping in another song themed around a ‘90s TV character, this time from the iconic show “Saved By The Bell.”

“We’re working on putting in a ‘Topanga Part Two’ about Kelly Kapowski,” beamed Lafferty.

What’s significant about Topanga and Kapowski?

“Mark wrote ‘Topanga’ and I think it’s kind of his childhood crush and we all had them,” he explained. A lot of people relate to that.”

- Hockessin Community News Andre Lamar

"50 States of Talent: This stop Delaware and The Jolly What!"

Well before Sandy comes and pays my area a visit let me get this post out a day early.

This week I am featuring The Jolly What! from Newark, DE. They got their start in 2007 but really started a s a full band in 2010. So far they have released two studio efforts 2009's ”Life Is My Favorite Sport” and 2011's ”So, you want to be a quitter”. Currently they are working on their third album “Surviving the Supervolcano”. However, after this week they may want to consider renaming it ‘Surviving the Frankenstorm”.

The current lineup consists of Marky Degz (vocal,guitar), Josh Howard (keys,tambourine), Brian Lafferty (bass), Curt Gibson (drums) and Matt Pulliam (lead/rhythm guitar). Their songs are catchy with “the Pog Collector” being a favorite. It has all the makings of a quirky Alt band hit and it is. The Jolly What! has even channeled their Boy Meets World days and wrote a song about Topanga. Find me another band that has done that.

I would best described The Jolly What! as a quirky Alt band, and quirky is good. The sound is melodic dance infused pop rock. They have the local band sound but one of local bands that has a large following. The Jolly What! doesn’t have a sloppy sound, it is well put together and fun! They remind me on many successful local bands that followed in my younger days.

Current chart topping artists that you could easily compare The Jolly What! to are The Strokes, Weezer and Foster the People.

The Jolly What! has a fun web page. The artwork is fun and I would gladly wear a t-shirt with that artwork because it is conversation starting. I did have trouble with the links to the video but a quick outside trip to YouTube and I was able to watch them in action. They have a section on their web page titled SHOWS so you can see if they have anything coming your way. A plus for any local artist.

I recommend that if you like Alternative rock music check out The Jolly What! I am sure that the live show is just as quirky and fun.

They can also be found on Facebook and MySPace. - Nothayden


Still working on that hot first release.



The Jolly What! is an indie rock band from Delaware. Formed in 2007, The Jolly What! started as a recording project by college students Mark Degz and Brian Lafferty. The band is said to have composed the first Jolly What! full length Life Is My Favorite Sport (2009) with the help of a haunted Ouija board. One college radio DJ from WCEW 107.7 FM described the sound as water color paints and grain alcohol amplified.

The band completed its sophomore album, So, You Wanna Be A Quitter? in 2011. The song Topanga gained notoriety with Boy Meets World fans across the country. The groups 2011 World Famous Whisky A Go Go show was featured on the television series Selling LA.

After completing their first US Tour, The Jolly What! got busy crafting an award winning radio jingle for Keenan Auto Body Inc., which was featured on every Philadelphia Eagles radio broadcast during the 2012 season.

The Jolly What! released its third studio album Surviving The Supervolcano in 2013. It was mixed and mastered by Mike Tarsia (David Bowie, Hank Williams Jr.), as well as Mike Tate (Beach Boys).  The album's lead single Girl Of My Dreams was nominated for a Homey Award for best alternative song by 93.7 WSTW.  2014 found The Jolly What! on US tour once again, with the band playing key dates in the Philadelphia and New York areas.  

In 2015, The Jolly What! bassist/founder Brian Lafferty, experienced major league success with his side project Born Sisters, snagging a spot on the main stage at the critically acclaimed Big Barrel summer country music festival, with stars like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meryl Haggard, and Miranda Lambert.  With a move to Nashville imminent, lead singer/songwriter Mark Degz is taking The Jolly What!'s music on tour across the US once again in 2016, as part of a never before seen series of intimate solo performances.  

Band Members