Resurrecting the Sin: Catching up with WHUT?
Written by: Matt Drummond
Back in 2007, a band calling themselves WHUT? expelled their inaugural EP, ‘Through it All, We Stand Tall’. The bands thrashing entrance was followed by a deep rooted, DIY onslaught of stage performances. Throughout the multitude of shows, WHUT? linked up with SBE Records to record their first full length album, ‘Laughing with the Sinners’, which emerged in August, 2010.
After a handful of lineup changes, this Chicago punk/thrash/hardcore hybrid has cemented a powerful lineup, and done an about face. Philly D (drums), Jeremy Keen (vocals), Jerome Marshall (guitar), Gregory Charles (guitar), and Bob Mullaney (bass), are primed, and ready to show fans the demon they’ve become.
“I definitely decided to join when Greg asked me. I was trying to change my style, and play more hardcore influenced riffs, because that shit is fun. I’m from the school of technical, and melodic metal. I just threw the idea of jamming together his way, and he was like ‘fuck it, I’ve wanted a second guitarist in the band forever, especially one that hits the grooves, and gets it.’ The rest is history.”
August 10th, 2018, will be the chaperone for the new offering from these guys. Having heard it, I can tell you with the utmost confidence, that the new EP, ‘Still Laughing’, is a downpour of aggression. As I got more acclimated with the bands sound, I was curious what the vision for the band was at the beginning, and now.
“We definitely wanted to write tunes influenced by the hardcore bands we listened to, but we didn’t really have a formula that we felt we had to stick to. We were a bunch of hardcore kids, metalheads, punk rockers, that also listened to hip hop. There hasn’t ever been any rules in place, for how we write a song. As time has gone by, and the number of songs that we’ve written has risen, I do think our sound has changed a bit. A band always has to evolve in a sense, but the way we write the songs remains the same. So I guess my original vision of the band is a bit different than what it is currently, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.”
As I got into the new EP, I could hear exactly what Philly was talking about. The diversity of sound on this album is crazy. From melodic riffs, to blazing thrash, WHUT? shifts their sound to perfection. The EP screams open with, ‘Goddamn Waste’. The vast talent in this band, is immediately noticed. With each change in tempo, comes another influence, and its pretty remarkable. WHUT? even decided to pay respects to the Cro-Mags, on ‘Still Laughing’, with their own rendition of the song, ‘We Gotta Know’. Curious where all these influences came from? Gregory Charles gave me some insight, as to where it began for him.
“The intro to Megadeth’s album, ‘So Far, So Good, So What’ really got me early on. I had to be 5 years old, at my cousins house, when I first heard it. After that, he showed me stuff like Slayer, Metallica, Maiden, etc, and it just kind of spun out from there. The first actual song that got me, was Ozzy, and Randy Rhoads, ‘Crazy Train’. It didn’t stop there though. I remember when I was a kid, at Catholic school. I was showing people a Guns ‘N Roses booklet, and wound up getting suspended from school!”
Hey, thanks Catholic school. Due to your narrow mind, Gregory got extra time to study these bands that had such an influential impact on him. Your suspensions created a rock star, so for that, I thank you.
On August 1st, WHUT? will take their demon head out on the road, for a quick 6 show tour. Indiana will be the first pit stop for the boys, with Chicago being the last, and record release show. The record release will take place at The Cobra Lounge, on August 10th. After the culmination of the bands mini tour, do not expect them to take any breaks whatsoever.
“I’m hoping to do some more touring after that. We’ve been in talks with some west coast promoters about doing a run out there, and hopefully get over to Europe as well. We also have a bunch of other demo songs written, and recorded, from our last studio session that we need to go back through and finalize. Hopefully, we can write some other new stuff as well.”
Talking with the band, and listening to the track ‘Punk is Dead’, made me think of something. When WHUT? rolls into town, it’s not punk that’s dead. It’s the mainstream, corporate bullshit that’s dead. I’ll let Gregory fill you in about what being a metalhead is all about.
“Being a metal fan, is about drawing a line in the sand, and picking which side you stand on. It’s a raw, brute energy, that has a deep connection to the soul that not everyone gets.”
If you live in, or near Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Illinois, I suggest you make it out to see this band. The line in the sand has been drawn, which side will you end up on?