whysowhite
Gig Seeker Pro

whysowhite

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Funk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

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

Music

Press


North Coast Music Festival 2013 finished off on Sunday, September 1 with performances by Wu-Tang Clan, Gary Clark Jr., Danny Brown, Purity Ring, and many more. You've already seen pictures from Day 1 and Day 2 of the festival, and shots from Day 3 are in this post. More below... - Brooklyn Vegan


Live at The Fire House, is the latest release from the highly eclectic seven piece band, whysowhite. The group spans four states, multiple genres and a smattering of haircuts and fashion styles that keeps fans guessing. In a congested market like Chicago it can be very hard for a band to differentiate themselves but whysowhite is easily one of the most fun acts coming out of the city right now. Live At The Fire House was recorded exclusively at the group’s home, a converted Fire House (Engine co. 86). The firehouse was built in 1898 and is the last free-standing wooden firehouse in Chicago’s North Center where whysowhite writes, rehearses, records, and lives. The album was recorded there on April 6th, 2013 and features many of the songs on their self-titled debut, self-titled album, two new songs, and a cover of Common’s “The Light” for which there is a video below. They perform tonight at Township to celebrate the release with Pinegrove and Treehaus, tickets available here. - Ruby Hornet


N.E.R.D. made an album a few years ago called Seeing Sounds based on synestresia. On the recently released self-titled debut album from Chicago band Whysowhite, that’s what they’re all about, seeing music as art – with different sounds representing different colors.

“For us, we knew the band name was right,” says Davis Haines, a vocalist and conga player in the band. “We didn’t know why. It started to reveal itself because we realized that the whiteness that we were referring to was the blankness of a canvas. So we decided that if we were going to be a band about art and painting and showing every part of the spectrum that is life and our experience, that we were going to make music of every color. The album is a great representation of really dynamic, loud choices of many different shades of colors – red, blue, green, etc.”

“We kind of made our own genre,” adds founder and vocalist Nick McMillan. “We call it ‘Chicago.Funk.Love’ because it implies a lot of things, but really, our driving force in our creation is just honesty. We have a lot of influences, a lot of things that we like, so we have to be honest.”

Life+Times caught up with some of the Whysowhite crew to discuss their music and debut album.

Life+Times: Talk about your name, Whysowhite. Where did that come from?
Nick McMillan: The name itself actually came out of the kind of usual stream-of-consciousness type of jokes that go around the band space. If I [remember] correctly, the Dark Knight was out so “why so serious?” was the beginning and it kind of just jumped out. We pulled it out of the air – we were thinking of band names at the time – and I was like, “Shit, that’s a really good name, Whysowhite. That’s a nice mouthful, it feels good.” And the next few months as it settled onto the band and we deliberated over it, it’s resonance and importance found itself as we discussed what it would and could mean. Through that discussion we realized how powerful the name could be,
Charles Haines: When you start a band, you have an infinite amount of potential to do whatever you want, and part of us – because we had no relevance at the time, we were just your classic garage band, a couple of kids jamming – we wanted to be heard. We wanted to have something that raised eyebrows, that suggested there’s something deeper going on besides just another band. Part of that was giving ourselves [a name] that challenged not only the people that would hear us, but challenged us. We’ve spent the entirety of the past two-and-a-half years honing in and challenging ourselves to understand what it is that we represent.

L+T: How did all of the members find each other?
CH: Basically, the whole story started with Nick being the center-point, being the kind of person that was constantly pursuing music. At the end of his college career when kind of knew he was fixing to drop out of school, he knew that he wasn’t gonna do it for nothing. He wanted to start a musical venture, he wanted to start a band. So the first thing he did was sign on our friend Joe as the manager, and then he started tapping into all of his musical resources which included Chris Miller, our lead guitar player who he knew from other bands; included me, who he’d been singing with in college, and I brought in Davis who was moving in with us from Birmingham, AL and from there, everyone that came into the band was just someone that someone knew or wanted to get to know better. We just started bringing in people. It was a series of people falling into place. A right place, right time kind of thing.



L+T: Tell me about the firehouse and the chemistry that you all have developed.
NM: We have a band space, which is the firehouse. That’s where we recorded our album, where we have band practice.
Davis Haines: The beautiful thing about the firehouse is that our band carries a lot of energy and need a massive space to let that energy out and create a big field so that we can explore our sound and how we communicate through music. We’d been rehearsing in basements and it really gave us a crunchy sound, really contained. When we were on stage, it was like we had all of this energy that had been contained, so when we performed it was like an explosion, which was great. But now we have this massive space with foam padding, it’s basically a little playground. We just go over there and pick up our instruments. We record there, rehearse there, write there, party there. We do everything in that space and it continues to fuel the creative flow.
CH: One of the huge things about the firehouse is that every time we’ve been in a basement or an attic, not everyone could see everybody. There was always someone in front of someone or poles in front of people – the eye contact was not there. The energy wasn’t connected. But in this space, it’s big enough to fit a fire [truck]. So we have an eight-person band, can stand in a huge circle and really look each other in the eyes like a gigantic jazz band. We can - Jay-Z's Life and Times


*whysowhite portion

"Also hailing from Chicago was the second band on the bill: whysowhite. These guys have built some buzz over the past year or so for being a true live band hip hop group. Yes, we just saw a similar approach with Young General, but overall this approach isn’t all that common. Especially when you consider this band’s great mix of lyrics and music. The playing was great– if there weren’t lyricists in the mix, they could be an instrumental funk band with the sharp grooves they carved out. But they lyricists were there, and they were able to fully utilize the live band, while fully standing out from the music with their words. These guys were just overflowing with energy. There wasn’t a still body in the room, the band wouldn’t allow it. They were a nonstop wrecking ball, constantly bouncing around and bringing ruckuses. The highlight of the set was a rendition of the All That theme song (flashback to the 90s?), that was much funkier than the original. It was definitely a bit corny, but the last thing whysowhite did was take themselves too seriously, so the whole thing came off as humorous instead of cheesy. All told, these guys did a fantastic job getting the crowd buttered up and energized for rjd2." - SoundFuse Magazine


If you seen these guys lives, then you know how wild they are. whysowhite is probably one of the more unique groups I’ve seen in the Midwest. Blending rock and hip-hop with their own comedic twists, whysowhite is sure to get you out of your chair. Look for these crazy kids to drop something new for the masses later on this year. Be sure to check out their track “Get Busy” below. - Fake Shore Drive


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Chicago funk/hip-hop group whysowhite released their self-titled debut album in February 2013. Well received by listeners it shot to the front page of popular social news site Reddit, #1 on Bandcamp with featured coverage on Jay-Z's Life + Times. During SXSW 2013, whysowhite played several showcases including a supporting set for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Headlining dates at Chicago venues like Subterranean, Double Door and Martyrs followed with a main stage performance at North Coast Music Festival in Chicago and sharing the stage with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic.

whysowhite started off 2014 recording a session with Audiotree.TV and releasing a music video for fan favorite "Get Busy." As a result Ruby Hornet labeled whysowhite as one of their "Chicago Acts To Look Out For in 2014." whysowhite will be on a 17-date national tour in March 2014 with stops at SXSW. The group's sophomore album is slated or Summer 2014 with national tour and festival dates to be announced. whysowhite played Summer Camp Music Festival in May of 2014.

We released our debut album in February of 2013. We landed the #1 spot on BandCamp for a week and were voted to the front page of Reddit.com, bringing in over 250K plays as of Spring 2014).

BandCamp: http://www.whysowhite.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/whysowhite/sets/whysowhite

We are a little bit of everything... a funk mentality...hip-hop rhymes...soul harmonies...

Our live show is where we really shine. As our one of our listeners described:

"The album is its own entity its own performance it does not try to duplicate the live performance, but is the band in another more thoughtful light. A well crafted cocktail vs. the beer bong that is the live show. Both have a proper place." - Catchgroove.com

WE LOVE YOU. WHYSOWHTE.