Pop Punk World: Hello What Is This? Could you tell us a little about yourselves, how did you guys meet and come up with your name?
What Is This?: ”About two and a half years ago, Adam Oswald, myself (Lou Oswald), and a good friend decided to play in our schools talent show and cover a Green Day song. Adam and I are brothers, he’s only 17 and I’m 19. Our original bassist was a long time friend but he unfortunately parted ways with us and that’s where Thaddeus Gibson came into the picture. He’s also a good friend of ours and I only recently taught him to play. As for the band name, we got it from Cedar Point theme park. A woman was yelling loudly on a roller coaster “WHAT IS THIS?!” and it became a joke in the house until it was time to name the band. We decided it would be the most appropriate to keep things a little fresh and funny”.
PPW: Residing from New York, which is home to some great bands of the past decade, what were your influences starting up as a band?
WIT: “The thing we hold most common is Blink and Green Day. They have always been iconic to us and still are to this day. We all bring something a bit different to the band though. I grew up on 80’s glam bands such as Mötley Crüe and Guns n’ Roses but I’m also really into New Found Glory, Of Mice & Men, The Color Morale, and many more. Adam digs anything with a great drum track and more recently he’s been into Bring Me The Horizon, ADTR, and The Story So Far. Although Tad’s the new guy, he’s come in with some hardcore influence behind him such as Gideon, Terror, and Counterparts”.
PPW: Now you’ve only been a band since 2011, how have the first couple of years been for you?
WIT: “They’ve been great! Yeah we’ve had our highs and lows but who doesn’t? Our best aid and the one we’re most grateful for is Rob Takac from the Goo Goo Dolls. Being a Buffalo native and huge supporter of the arts, he has set up a great charity known as Music is Art in which he has us participate in often. It really has given us the support and connections that have made a big difference for us through our time together”.
PPW: Now you released some new music recently on your Bandcamp. What was the reception like and is there a specific theme behind the release?
WIT: “We got a lot of positive feedback from everybody that listened and we were really stoked about that. As for a theme, I would say that there’s more of an idea behind it than anything. Basically I’m tired of this lovey-dovey crap and wrote some good old fashion, pissed off songs and a ballad”.
PPW: Staying on the subject of music, can we expect a full-length album in the near future?
WIT: “I’m giving a very optimistic yes. We’re currently writing loads of new material and we’d love to get back into the studio soon. Money is a bit of an issue but we can find a way around it by working our asses off at some minimum wage jobs”.
PPW: Being a three-piece you must get the obvious comparisons to Blink-182 and Green Day. Is this something that flatters you or you simply take in your stride?
WIT: “We love that we’re a three piece and when we do get compared to Blink or Green Day we basically just run with it. Most of time, we’ve gotten people saying that we have a huge amount of power coming from just three guys. What’s strange is that the majority of people actually compare us to bands like Rise Against and New Found Glory”.
PPW: Let’s talk tours. Have you got anything set up for the rest of the year?
WIT: “It’s difficult to say. Adam is still in high school while Tad and I are in college. What I can say is that it’s a possibility that we could do something small around the end of the year”.
PPW: Now we ask these last two questions to all our bands: What’s the craziest moment you have as a band to date?
WIT: “The craziest moment we had was opening up for the Aaron Carter. I know it’s strange and you might think that’s it’s not so punk of us but we think of it as something completely different. We had over 500 girls thinking we were this great touring band and for the entire night it actually felt like we were. To me punk is about not giving a shit at all, and when we were asked to play we basically thought why the hell not? All in all, it was the bee’s knees”.
PPW: What van do you drive?
WIT: “We drive a cute little Pontiac Vibe. It’s no van but it gets the job done and with little style to boast”.