The Third Measure: Let’s meet WHUT?
Written by: Matt Drummond
“I met Wookie at Ye Olde Town Inn (YOTI) back in like 2004. One of my fondest memories was playing a show, being super fucked up, and him and Jimmy were all like let’s go back to Wookie’s. I was taken care of, felt at home, and didn’t want to leave. He told me too. He said it’s never an issue to come over whenever. He told me that I was family, and that we will forever be. Truthfully, every moment I can recall with Wookie was always amazing. There wasn’t one moment where he didn’t have a drink in my hand, and let me know how much he loved me. I love, and miss my brother dearly, and I’m overjoyed that Wookfest is dedicated to keeping his memory, and legacy alive.”
WHUT? was activated in 2002. A hardcore/punk/thrash metal juggernaut, they’re comprised of; Gregory Charles (guitar), Philly D (drums), Jeremy Keen (vocals), Bob Mullaney (bass), and Jeff’s dear friend, Jerome Marshall (guitar).
As stated on their Facebook page, WHUT? has never sought out mainstream acceptance, but instead have built a rapid following with DIY integrity, ethics, and a take no shit positive attitude. Along with aggressive riffs, intelligent lyrics, and blistering low end. They have released one studio full length album, one live album, and one EP. The band is also expecting to release a new EP sometime this year, titled; ‘Still Laughing’.
A touring machine these days, WHUT? gives praise to Ziolo as an inspiration, and unparalleled supporter of the band.
“Most of my memories of Wookie are from shows. He had a certain passion for the scene, and love of the music. We shared a liking of a lot of the same bands, with both of us being huge Guns ‘N Roses fans. We always seemed to live far apart, so we didn’t get to see each other often, but he always made sure I knew that he had our backs. Whether it was giving WHUT? early chances by getting us some of the bands early gigs at YOTI, or being down to run sound last minute, if he wasn’t booked. He went out of his way for us very early on. Before he left us, he had made a point to be at the couple of WHUT? shows right before that. We had backed off shows, and weren’t playing out much for a while. He was so stoked we were back to busting ass, and was happy to see the direction we had went in.”
If you know what’s good for you, you’ll follow WHUT? on June 16th. The direction they’ll be heading in is to Reggies Rock Club to show up, and throw down for their brother. Wookfest isn’t just a memorial to Jeff, it’s also a night to show Jeff that all his love, and hard work, has impacted countless people. It’s funny when I talk to his enormous group of friends. The people change, but the stories remain the same. Jeff LOVED us all.
Everyone involved with Wookfest is beyond excited for June 16th. Repaying Jeff for the love he gave us, is impossible, but we plan on spending the remainder of our lives trying.
“I know he would be so proud of all the work his friends, and Wookfest have been doing. I hope we are able to honor him, and his legacy. Hopefully it will help influence people to have the same passion for music, and the scene, that he had for it.”
“I’m extremely excited to play Wookfest. Personally, I know everyone in the bands. They’re all great friends, and with the exception of Bad Blood, all played YOTI back when Wookie was behind the board. I’m honored, and truly thankful to be asked to play with so many friends, and family. I know Wookie would be proud!”
For Chicago metal, June 16th is a holiday. Only Ziolo could being so many people together for one night of celebration. Although our foundation has broken apart, we stand more united than ever.