Local Current Blog

Why Not: High school band turn their young age into an asset

courtesy Maia Jacobson

Why Not are a local band made up entirely of teenagers who are way cooler than I could have ever hoped to be when I was in high school. Joshua MacGregor, Isaac Dell, and Henry Breen make a self-described indie-math-punk rock sound that has earned them a supportive fanbase and a special place in the Minneapolis music community.

The boys all started playing music at different points in their lives. They’ve been playing together for over a year now, and really committed at the beginning of this past school year to creating something more serious. Why Not draw influences from a wide array of artists including Björk, the Mars Volta, Yo La Tengo, and Pavement.

With the release of their debut full-length, Friends, on its way, fans can expect recorded versions of a lot of the songs they’ve been playing at shows recently. “We have so many songs, and every other practice someone brings in a new song, so we just need to get it out, so we can work on new stuff,” says Breen.

Though they worry about the release of an album being a bit of a bold move from a smaller-scale local band, Why Not hope Friends sets them apart from the rest. “There are so many songs that I’m proud of that I want to share,” explains Dell.

While Why Not may be young, their youth isn’t something that’s stopping them from moving up. “As far as our experience with being a younger band, I don’t think we realize that it’s as difficult as it is because we don’t have the experience of being people who are over 18 and being able to book shows pretty much wherever they want,” says Breen.

Every member of the band understands the power in knowing how to write a well-worded e-mail to booking agents that reveals their age, and their accomplishments at the same time. “You have to state that you’re a high school band, but use it to your advantage. Telling them we’re doing all this, but we’re still in high school so that they’re impressed and not surprised by our age,” explains MacGregor.

The band haven’t run into too many problems when it comes to booking shows, but they have noticed the power that the youth of today have when it comes to making art. They understand that young bands are being noticed more and that their generation, as Breen puts it, “holds so much potential to be doing a lot of crazy things with their talents.”

The band are trying to set a good example and be an influence on their peers to go out and pursue their creative sides, and — considering their loyal fanbase and the support they’ve received from other local bands — they seem to be succeeding.

Why Not explained that when you reach a certain age, it becomes more difficult to just randomly make friends at concerts or to bond on the internet over a common interest, and that is something they’ve noticed their young fans being able to do. The way they’re able to bring people together is something very empowering and important to the whole band.

In the future, past the release of Friends, Why Not hope to continue to approach music with an open mind, and hope that their fans do so as well. They don’t want to pigeonhole themselves, intentionally leaving space for creativity and exploration.

They looking forward to making new connections when they play with local favorites the Happy Children — as well as the Everett Interpretation, a local psych-rock band whose music differs greatly from Why Not — on July 16 for an Amsterdam Bar and Hall benefit concert for Twin Cities Pet Rescue.

Maia Jacobson is a student at the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities.