Interview: Yoni Wolf of WHY? on home studios, album artwork and new LP ‘Moh Lhean’

After a four-year hiatus, you have returned with a new album Moh Lhean. What can fans expect from the new album?
I’m probably too close to it to say how it is similar or differs from previous WHY? albums. But I can definitely say it has a more optimistic or half-full outlook for me at least. Folks will just have to hear it and judge for themselves what it is.

Your press release said that you suffered an unspecified health scare while writing the new material, leading to “self-deprecating swagger and cynical squint [to be] replaced by a sense of peace in the unknowing.” Are you able to elaborate on this?
Laughs. I’m not quite sure what all that means but yeah, I think I am trying to be more open to other people and knock down some walls I’ve built up around myself.   

Much of the album was recorded at home. What was the process like and how has it differed from recording previous albums?
Actually the entire process took place in our home studios other than mastering.  This is the first time WHY? has worked this way since Oaklandazulasylum, which I made in 2002.  That means, since we weren’t paying a studio by the day, we could really take our time and get things feeling like how we wanted them. But it also meant we had to do every aspect ourselves like engineering and mixing, which take a lot of time and energy.

The artwork on the new singles have been brilliant, who illustrates those and why is album artwork important to you?
I do that stuff.  I had help with the layout by my friend David Woodruff.  I like the art to feel like another clue into what the album is about.  I think it can be a really cool accompaniment to the audio.

What can newcomers expect from your live shows?
We always put our all into performances and hopefully concertgoers can feel the heart emanating from it.  Many have told me we are better live than on record. 

Jack Lloyd
Jack Lloyd lives in London. He has written for websites such as Music Vita and The Metropolist and is currently hosting his own podcast Ramble on Records at www.soundcloud.com/rambleonrecords.

Interview: Yoni Wolf of WHY? on home studios, album artwork and new LP ‘Moh Lhean’

After a four-year hiatus, you have returned with a new album Moh Lhean. What can fans expect from the new album?
I’m probably too close to it to say how it is similar or differs from previous WHY? albums. But I can definitely say it has a more optimistic or half-full outlook for me at least. Folks will just have to hear it and judge for themselves what it is.

Your press release said that you suffered an unspecified health scare while writing the new material, leading to “self-deprecating swagger and cynical squint [to be] replaced by a sense of peace in the unknowing.” Are you able to elaborate on this?
Laughs. I’m not quite sure what all that means but yeah, I think I am trying to be more open to other people and knock down some walls I’ve built up around myself.   

Much of the album was recorded at home. What was the process like and how has it differed from recording previous albums?
Actually the entire process took place in our home studios other than mastering.  This is the first time WHY? has worked this way since Oaklandazulasylum, which I made in 2002.  That means, since we weren’t paying a studio by the day, we could really take our time and get things feeling like how we wanted them. But it also meant we had to do every aspect ourselves like engineering and mixing, which take a lot of time and energy.

The artwork on the new singles have been brilliant, who illustrates those and why is album artwork important to you?
I do that stuff.  I had help with the layout by my friend David Woodruff.  I like the art to feel like another clue into what the album is about.  I think it can be a really cool accompaniment to the audio.

What can newcomers expect from your live shows?
We always put our all into performances and hopefully concertgoers can feel the heart emanating from it.  Many have told me we are better live than on record. 

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