Tranquilising math-rock by blanketing it with twinkly riffs and tender soundscapes, What? Nah are simply a delight. Despite being a relatively new band, the fresh-faced foursome are well versed in the Leeds music scene and are set to make waves in the upcoming year.
Your delightful mathy sound is very unique and refreshing. What are your motives behind it?
We try to make our music accessible and fun to listen to, despite our math-rock tendencies. We’re a bit noisy, a bit twinkly and a bit silly, and we want to play music that challenges our abilities and helps us to grow as musicians. At the same time, we try not to let our music become self-indulgent and wanky, or take away from an enjoyable experience.
You’ve each been in different Leeds bands, such as Colour of Spring, Wormboys, Fern Veh and Lelo. What are your thoughts on the intersecting music scenes in Leeds?
There’s a diverse range of music genres in Leeds with lots of independent and DIY music spaces. The potential for crossing musical boundaries and creating a flourishing scene is there, but it’s crucial for artists to support one another to make this possible. Venues like the Brudenell Social Club and Headrow House excel in promoting a variety of live music, while spaces such as Chunk and Wharf Chambers play an important role for the more DIY approach. Leeds is an incredible, diverse city for new music.
You’d been working on the band for a year before you introduced it. How did you form?
Westlife had the idea to start a math-rock band with Mark. They thought saxophones with twinkly emo-tinged mathiness would be cool. Edie was super keen, begging join the band (Edie’s an eager beaver and a cool cat). We had one practice and liked the sound of it. Mark then longed about for almost a year and we had to reluctantly threaten him with replacement. Shocked, offended, and faced with potential FOMO (his biggest fear), everything magically came together. Adam was the natural (and best looking) choice for a bassist.
Is your band name an answer to a particular question?
What can we expect from What? Nah in the future?
More twinkles, noise and silliness for the foreseeable future. Recording an EP in 2020. Taking the math-rock world by storm in 2021. Completing a sold-out World Tour by 2022. Inevitable burnout, collapse and falling out in the following years. 2040: Money-grabbing reunion and obligatory sell-out album. 2041: A return to form.