WHY?’s Yoni Wolf Wants You In a Diaper – Just In Case
Published: Friday, August 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 13:08
“Yoni Wolf” is how Yoni Wolf answered the phone when College Times rang last month for a chat. It sounded like a perfect voicemail recording until he followed with, “Hello?” The Cincinnati musician is a verbose rapper, clever lyricist and talented musician but midday on a press day is probably not the best time to pick his brain.
At the time Wolf had an EP on the horizon, WHY’s fifth album, Mumps, Etc., set for the fall, and a headlining tour all coming up fast. Wolf is a particularly busy dude but he takes it in stride. It’s been three years since WHY’S last album Eskimo Snow was released and fans have been itching to get their hands on new material. Wolf, however, seems take a more relaxed approach to his work. He’s even super blasé about having others document his life. Must be nice to be so cool and have such a nice mustache all at once.
College Times: Hi man, what’s up?
Yoni Wolf: Well, you know, I’m just doing interviews today. It’s my task of the day.
Uh oh. Sorry about that.
I’m fine. I got used to it over time.
Could you tell me about the songs on your new EP, Sod In The Seed, and how they came about?
Well, what do you want to know?
What was the writing and recording process like?
Okay. I started writing for these songs in 2007 and finished writing them in 2011 and we recorded in spring and summer 2011.
How did writing the songs over such a large period of time affect how they came together?
That’s just how it works for me. They come over the course of time and, oh man, my brick wall looks great. Uh, I’m sorry. I’m staring at a wall in my back patio. Yeah, I mean I might write a song or a part of a song and then come back to it a few years later. It’s not like writing every day at that point, but I had a concentrated period over the winter of 2010 and 2011 which was very concentrated time of writing and making demos. Other than that it was just things here and there, y’know?
Was that when you recorded for the new album (Mumps, Etc.) as well?
Yeah. It was all in the same time period. I wrote and recorded in the same time period.
How does it compare to your past work in your opinion?
I think it’s somewhat related to the EP. So it’s not too far off that and it’s definitely different from the last album.
So are you set for this upcoming tour?
I’m definitely looking forward to it. It should be a good tour.
How should people prepare themselves for seeing WHY? live.
Well it depends, y’know. Wrap a fucking diaper on because you’re gonna shit your pants. I’m just kidding. Come with an open ear and an open mind.
I saw you recently recorded a video on the Fourth of July. How did that go?
We did, yeah. It was great. We were in a parade, a Fourth of July parade, and it was cool. We made a float. We dressed up my friend’s truck into a float and had about 20 people with us singing and dancing. I have no idea what it’s going to look like, but it should be cool. I did see the “Sod in the Seed Video” editor’s last cut yesterday and it looks great. It’s bursting to emerge. We have videos for pretty much every song.
Yeah, I mean it depends. Basically these guys are making a documentary on the making of this album itself so most of the videos are their thing. A few of them were my ideas and we moved from there. [For] the Fourth of July thing, my friend Scott knew he wanted to do something with the parade so sometimes it’s just an idea for a cool imagery and the song.
What was it like having them film the entire thing?
You get used to it after a while and you don’t think about it anymore. It’s cool. I’ve actually become friends with the guys doing it and they’re great people. I’m happy for it.
WHY? w/Serengeti, DJ Tony Trimm, Crescent Ballroom, August 27, 8 p.m., $15 to $17