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Show Interview/Review: Why? the Crofoot Thursday, June 13

The band Why? has never played in the Greater Detroit area until last week. A shocking fact for a band that has been around for 10 or so years and high level of indie credibility. This revelation along with a few others  I found out last week when I spoke to drummer, Josiah Wolf, before the show.  As we sat outside at the Crofoot patio on a beautiful early evening we talked about the tour, his relationship with his brother Yoni  and life in Cincinnati.  Josiah has played drums and percussion for most of his life and with Why? has made his living at it, but admits it isn’t easy. “I’ve had side jobs as a waiter or doing various things but we make our money on the road so it’s always been more temporary than permanent.”

While he’s spent time on the West Coast in the Oakland area he’s quick to say his home is in Cincinnati where he recently purchased a house and spent his formative years there.  Josiah is the older brother who with his casual button down shirt and relaxed tone makes it easy to pick out a few differences between him and his more eccentric brother, Yoni. “Yoni is maybe more temperamental than me but we have always gotten along.” Later, that evening it’s clear the crowd is enthralled with Yoni as his name is chanted and shouted out throughout their set.

Josiah explains the difference with this tour is they have a 2nd drummer along as an added element. There are also no electronics or samplers on the stage. ”We have more of an organic approach to playing live. My wife, Liz, is on tour with us playing keyboards and bass.” Why? make good use of the vast floor space of the Crofoot by placing the drums at opposite ends of the stage and the other instruments, keyboards and guitar in between them forming  a “U” shape, leaving Yoni plenty of space to dance and run while performing his run-on rapping and antics.

“This is only our second show and last night was a little choppy. The crowd was great though. I have no idea what to expect tonight, I’m not even sure how many will show up.” Josiah tells me this with a bit of concern. However, his concern was unnecessary as a nice size crowd of enthusiastic fans are in attendance. Moreover, there’s a great mood throughout the audience as on most songs many are rapping and singing along with Yoni. Despite the crowd and the comradery with the fans, there’s one sticking issue with the mic cord popping. It’s distracting from their otherwise exceptional set but not enough to upset the crowd which at the end is still begging for more.

If you are reading this because they are coming your way soon make sure you check them out, they make any day a “Good Friday” (and, yes “Good Friday” is prominently featured on the set list.) You can check out all my pics from the show here.

Article and pics by Mikel O.D. of MPAD Media