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Before their show at the 40 Watt last Thursday, October 25th, brothers Yoni and Josiah Wolf from WHY? came into our lovely studio to talk about pretty much everything, some of which related to their musical endeavors and their new album “Mumps, Etc.” You can find some highlights of the interview below before you jump into than abbreviated transcript of our near 30 minute long interview that was not taken very seriously (as you can probably tell below). We (Ella Grace Downs and Will Guerin) had a lot of fun and so did the band, and we’d like to thank them once again for  coming into the studio!

Highlights

Yoni repeated the question “Is that what making love is?” twice during our interview, both times it didn’t really apply to what was going on

Yoni- Sometimes when they have the wrong kind of organic mango or whatever, you throw a fit, you throw the mango back at them.

Josiah- Well if the mango was riper, it wouldn’t have hurt so much when it hit them.

Yoni on Death Grips- We would whoop that, that’s all talk, he doesn’t look that big, he’s a softie, he’s just a big teddy bear. He can put a Death Grip on my nuts. I’m just kidding, I like him a lot.

Yoni- Speed skating, that’s a whole other thing man, I’m into the aesthetics, the beauty of figure skating, it’s not about how fast you get there, it’s about what route you take to get there. I’ll skate circles around you, but not in a way to say I can skate better than you, but just in a beautiful way that I would skate circles, literally around you.

Yoni- I don’t. I hate that song. It’s catchy in the worst way, like AIDS is catchy.

Yoni- Literally. Come to the 40 Watt and see who has the biggest penis in our band and we have our penis shaped baked goods.

Josiah- Another game we’d like to play, and this is a good one, who has the biggest penis in a band, we’d pick a band and it’s always someone you didn’t expect.

An Abbreviated Transcript of the Interview

Will- Thanks for coming in guys, so what goes into making a WHY? setlist with such a large discography?

Yoni- Doug actually normally handles that, Doug is our setlist man.

Josiah- Doug isn’t here, but I thought Doug just walked in for a second (laughs).

Yoni- No, that’s just another tall guy.

Josiah- He kind of writes it, sometimes we help, sometimes we don’t. If it’s a big important city, not Athens though. Ohhh (laughs), I mean like New York or Los Angles.

Will- You guys have some pretty cool music videos out, like Strawberries, were you guys actually in that parade.

Yoni- Oh we were actually in a parade, we signed up and we had a float and we were in the parade in Cincinnati.

Will- Did you guys win?

Yoni- It was not a contest. Well everyone’s a winner.

Josiah- It’s fun, it’s fun, it was the Fourth of July Northside Parade.

Will- Tell me a little about the Mumps, etc. cover art, it looks pretty complicated, why the whale, why Pinocchio?

Yoni- Um, symbolism, imagery, metaphor.

Will- A lot of great literary words I picked up in high school literature.

Ella Grace- Allusions.

Will- Alliteration.

Yoni- I don’t know how well that fits in there, but you can use it if you want.

Will- What have you guys been listening to lately?

Josiah- Well the other Doug DJ’ed last night between sets and I liked what he played and that was the last thing I listened besides us.

Will- Man, we need the Doug’s in here, do you think they’re listening?

EG- Well if they are, they should call in at 706-542-4567. But I don’t think the phone lines are working very well today.

Josiah- Man people should call in, people need to call in.

Yoni- I always like that too.

Yoni- 706-542-4567

Will- Now we can use Yoni’s voice for our phone bank fundraisers.

Yoni- I better get a cut.

Josiah- That’s not what radio is all about though, no one gets a cut.

Will- Did you ever think WHY? would this big?

Yoni- Freaking huge, just enormous.

Will- You were thinking arenas, stadiums, U2 opening for you guys.

Josiah- I didn’t have a lot of expectations at the beginning, now I have tons of expectations.

Yoni- Sometimes when they have the wrong kind of organic mango or whatever, you throw a fit, you throw the mango back at them.

Will- And then that’s all over Pitchfork and you’ve got to deal with that, always in the spotlight.

Josiah- Well if the mango was riper, it wouldn’t have hurt so much when it hit them.

Will- When WHY? came in there they were pretty mean, they were pushing people down and yelling “WHY? coming through, WHY? coming through!”

Josiah- That guy shouldn’t have been in my way.

Will- How does it feel to be constantly asked questions about…

Yoni- Did you say cunt-stantly?

EG- He said constantly.

Yoni- Cause I, I know you can’t say that on-air.

Will- Well I like to throw in subtle vulgarities every once in a while to keep things interesting. But yeah, for people to ask so this album is more hip hop flavored than the last one and basically put you under the microscope as this “different band.”

Yoni- Say it’s a stupid question, deflect it and turn them around.

Will- Are you tired of interviews?

Josiah- Depends on the interview.

Yoni- Some of them are rejuvenating.

Will- Like this one.

Josiah- Yeah like this one, this one is on-air and we are all conscious of that.

Will- And Yoni is over there in his boxers, we pushed him in the bed and rolled him out and told him he was doing an interview.

Yoni- I’m like “Whatever”, then I pushed that guy over.

Will- Any fancy costumes planned for tonight?

Josiah- Not tonight, we’re waiting for Halloween

EG- What are you going to be for Halloween?

Josiah- I don’t know what we’re going to be for Halloween, but the 40 Watt is really Halloween-y tonight, they designed it for tonight.

Will- You thinking about revitalizing your figure skating career Yoni?

Yoni- Well its more of a hobby now, I don’t have the physique or the young intensity that I once had, but I still enjoy it and I intend to do it as long as my body will allow.

Will- Sounds like a tried and true professional athlete.

Yoni- Amateur athlete, dabblerer, hobbyist.

Will- One day you’re going to be up there with Apollo Ono.

Yoni- Who?

Will- That famous speed skater, even though I kind of hate him.

Yoni- Speed skating, that’s a whole other thing man, I’m into the aesthetics, the beauty, it’s not about how fast you get there, it’s about what route you take to get there.

EG- Do you apply that to your life too?

Yoni- Absolutely absolutely, I’ll skate circles around you, but not in a way to say I can skate better than you, but just in a beautiful way that I would skate circles, literally around you.

Josiah- This feels like one of those morning shows with three rude guys and the one girl. With the guys talking a lot of crap.

EG- I’m trying to bring it all together and have a loving moment.

Will- You take a lot of group photos with the crowd during the show, what made you do that?

Yoni- Yeah most shows we do, that was Sarah Winters’ idea, she’s our new piano player, singer and she had that idea and we thought it was a pretty neat idea. It’s collecting stamps, but its like collecting people.

Josiah- Is there another interview going on in there?

Will- No, it’s just our audience

Josiah- They have balloons.

Yoni- Is that what making love is?

Will- Didn’t follow that comment, but I was looking at an article I saw in Fact Magazine where you walked through the creative process for each song on Mumps, etc. where you pretty much openly said I tried to copy “Hey Ya” or A Tribe Called Quest…

Yoni- Well I feel like I’ve been doing this long enough, if I try and copy something its never going to come out like a copy, its still going to be within the reaches of my own styles, or maybe I’m just not good enough to copy something, but every time I try it still comes out sounding like a WHY? song.

Will- I heard you liked the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song?

Yoni- I don’t. I hate that song. It’s catchy in the worst way, like AIDS is catchy.

EG- AIDS is catchy, Yoni Wolf, 2012.

Yoni- Oh god, don’t pin me into a corner, cause I’ll skate right out and I’ll skate circles around you.

Will- So there is a lot of suffering in WHY? songs, do you actively try and put your own suffering into your songs.

Yoni- No, we just make it all up, it just seems more vulnerable to say things like that.

Will- That’s just to get the chicks right?

Yoni- How are you going to get laid unless you talk about not getting laid.

Will- If all the cereal mascots engaged in battle, who would come out on top?

Yoni- Snap, Crackle and Pop that ass.

Josiah- No!

Yoni- But they’re doing it together, they’ll go three’s up.

Josiah- But they’re so small, man.

Yoni- But I don’t know, man. Oh, it’s Tony the Tiger, Tony the Tiger.

Will- What about Captain Crunch?

EG- He’s merely a human, though.

Yoni- Nah, Tony the Tiger is actually really sexy.

Josiah- Actually, I think it’s one of those new cereals.

Yoni- Big Mix? Remember Big Mix, that was a creature right there.

Josiah- What is that peanut butter guy? One of those healthy cereals?

Yoni- Peanut Butter Mumpers? Oh with the big Gorilla on it?

Josiah- Gorilla Munch! That’s it, gorilla could beat a tiger.

Yoni- No, the tiger is bad ass. The only thing that could beat a tiger is a lion or a saber tooth tiger, but those don’t even exist anymore.

Will- How would you figure yourselves in a fight against other bands, let’s say The Black Swans?

Yoni- I mean we would whoop the Black Swans pretty quick.

EG- What about Naytronix?

Josiah- We would take them too.

Yoni-And it’s not about your morals, but it’s just about if it went down, if you had to fight.

Josiah- We actually have talked about this a lot and what guy from the band is going to step up

Will- What bands would you have trouble with?

Yoni- Metallica, ever since they got that new bass player, he’s a monster. Henry Rollins or someone like that.

Josiah- I mean hardcore bands those guys are tough, some of these bands with these huge singers that are screaming, you don’t mess with those guys. And they’re sober all the time.

Yoni- I don’t drink though, man, I might have a glass of wine, but I’m still ready.

Josiah- A lot of the bands we travel with we could beat.

Yoni- We generally try to tour with female bands, no offense, just in case.

Josiah- Another game we’d like to play, and this is a good one, who has the biggest penis in a band, we’d pick a band and it’s always someone you didn’t expect.

Yoni- I don’t think you can say horse penis online.

Josiah- You kind of think it’s going to be the biggest guy.

Yoni- Generally it’s the quietest, and frailest guy in the band. Or the slightly off guy.

Will- What about Radiohead?

Yoni- Very small.

Josiah- I think they’re all about the same, you know medium, fine size, but no one that sticks out.

Yoni- Literally. Come to the 40 Watt and see who has the biggest penis in our band and we have our penis shaped baked goods.

Josiah- We kind of do shows for bachelorette parties a lot.

Yoni- Yeah, if the cash is right we’ll do whatever. We got to grind it out or whatever.

Josiah- It’s rare to find a bachelorette party with a huge budget though, usually they just want to pay $100.

Will- Well what can we get here at the station?

Yoni- Are you trying to coax us to nude dance in here? WUOG! WUOG! WUOG! You can sample that, WUOG 90.5 FM!

EG- You can do a live ID.

Yoni- You can ID these nuts! Am I allowed to say that to the WUOG listeners? Actually you can’t ID these nuts unless the money is right.

Josiah- You can’t say that, they are going to cut us off here.

Will- Can we book you for a fight? How much for a fight?

Josiah- I don’t want to fight anyone really. It’s all hypothetical really

Will- What about Death Grips?

Yoni- We would whoop that, that’s all talk, he doesn’t look that big, he’s a softie, he’s just a big teddy bear.

Josiah- If all six of us went after him we’d get him.

Yoni- He can put a Death Grip on my nuts. I’m just kidding, I like him a lot. His he from here, isn’t he from Atlanta?

EG- Eh don’t think so, we have Ludacris and Usher.

Will- What about Michael Stipe, would you like to fight him?

Josiah- Oh yeah, if he’s listening he should come to our show tonight, we won’t fight him.

Yoni- I guarantee he knows the martial arts though. Biggest penis in R.E.M.? Peter Buck? I think we’re getting kicked off air though.

Will- Haha, I’m sure you guys have to run anyways, but we’ll see you at the 40 Watt tonight.

Yoni- This might be the best show of 2012, hashtag this interview with best show of 2012, best interview of 2012 too.

-Will Guerin

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