Interview with Whythre
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Shon Petrey (Guitars)- My uncle gave me my first guitar and I grew up in a family of musicians. Metallica and Megadeth were my entry points into metal in my early years.
Adam Chambers (guitar/ vox) - As a kid, I started on piano, then moved onto guitar. I grew up in Chicago and had both metal and electronic music playing in the house from a young age. There’s a lot of Midwest history in both those genres and that was my starting point for creativity. When I took guitar lessons I got extremely lucky in that a Berklee School of music professor was spending the summer in Chicago and just so happened to be teaching lessons at the little corner music store near my house. That helped immensely.
Real talk- Shon is a big fan of popsicles, if it wasn’t for music he’d be running a neighborhood lemonade and popsicle stand.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We eat lots of popsicles. Doesn’t really help with creativity but it’s a great way to pass the time.
Shon - Downhill mountain biking and letting loose with friends.
Adam - Underground techno shows and camping with friends
How long has your band been around?
[Shon] The project started in 2010. I was traveling a lot for work at the time and writing songs and recording them in my hotel room with a small interface and Logic. At the time, I was really into the symphonic metal and folk metal influences coming out of Europe. Composing and arranging music became my sole focus from that point forward. WHYTHRE remained a solo project till 2012. I met an opera-trained singer named Jeran Michaels. The two of us released the full-length album “Hel’s Hollows” in 2015. After several years of unsuccessfully trying to piece together a full line-up, we started playing acoustic shows locally to try and get our name out.
I was wandering around Capitol Hill during the 2015 Pride Weekend, and heard a dude, Adam Chambers, playing some Children Of Bodom melodies on his guitar while busking. My lady friend lit a joint for us to all share and we exchanged info. From that point, we started a musical partnership that really defines WHYTHRE to this day.
[Adam] I met Shon while busking late at night during Cap Hill Pride 2015. He gave me a link to Hel’s Hallows. I got home from busking and made some food at 4am, listened to the album & messaged him to say I was interested in joining Whythre. We jammed a few days later and have been working together ever since.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We are from Seattle, WA in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The metal scene here reflects the native forests, nature, and constant rain. There’s a lot of the year where it’s raining with little to no sun….it makes for some great metal musicians.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Shon Petrey- I was drawing in a notebook looking for letter combinations that looked visually appealing. And I like the idea of everything withering.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Opening for Hypocrisy and Fleshgod Apocalypse was sick. The crowd was insane and all our friends showed up to party. That was also our first gig running synths…everything ran smoothly and it was a big turning point for our approach to playing live.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Come to think of it, we’re ONLY interested in playing the WaMu theater. WHYTHRE AT WAMU has a nice ring to it. We’ll have to hashtag the fuck out of that. Whether we busk on the steps outside or rock the massive stage inside doesn’t really matter
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
We’ve played all over the Pacific Northwest, but honestly, the most fun we (Shon and Adam) have had is busking outside a Mariner’s playoff game on the steps of the WaMu Theater.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Hmmm, there’s a great tutorial called ‘spend a few years doing it’... there are no shortcuts!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Forget everything and listen to more Children of Bodom
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Shon- Run it Red is special in that I just locked myself in my room for two nights and the song pretty much wrote itself.
Adam- Scorchbreath felt like the first time we had our own sound & was the catalyst for us to make an LP vs an EP. Scorpions of Sinai is fun too! The lyrics there are interesting… Sometimes you’re the hammer and sometimes you’re the nail. Sometimes you think you’re one but you’re really the other. The art of gifting false confidence to lead someone to their own destruction…that’s the focus here. Based on a short story from the ‘My Uncle Oswald’ collections.
[Shon & Adam] Scorpions of Sinai is our fastest song by far and always leaves Steve sweatin’! There’s a lot of underlying repetition in this song, which was a first for us. Each instrument here has its own texture, there are lots of synths…honestly, the track is heavily inspired by underground techno vibes. The last chorus pulls from each of these textures to finally bring it all together.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Scorchbreath is tons of fun to play. The thrashy songs always land well live & get the pits moving!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Shon Petrey- This one's hard to describe…an idea sparks from somewhere. There’s no rhyme or reason for how or when it happens, but when it does I chase it as far as I can. I love movie scores, new wave and dark wave…those all give me inspiration outside of metal.
Adam Chambers- For the music it always starts with some kind of emotion, then I just write something that makes me feel said emotion or makes it ‘extra’. Every time I try to bring theory into the equation the song ends up sucking, so I really just write by ear. The lyrical stuff comes from living an active life…going out in nature, reading books, listening to people’s stories…Shon and I have partied and traveled together for a few years and some songs on this album chronicle those adventures.
[Steve] Shon and Adam wrote all the material. I came into the band to track drums. They had originally hired me to do their demo. A year later they asked me if I wanted to do their full length. After some time I mentioned my long-time friend Eric Close to track bass for this record.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We’re about to put out an LP called ‘Impregnate My Hate’. As far as what this album is about… ‘Impregnate My Hate’, as a phrase really sums it up….Modern times… Most folks are jumping down each other’s throats, willing vessels to the online projection of what modern entertainment and communication should be. Society is fragmenting into niche groups & how each individual deals with this is literally making or breaking their existence.
(Adam) - Shon and I talk at great lengths about exploring the shattered and celebrating the depravity used to nurture ourselves in the moment. It all comes with consequences…Personally, it’s fun to creatively dive into how this all plays out for each individual on an extended timeline.
[Shon] - Musically we wanted to explore writing ranging from aggressive mindlessness to slow and somber moments…with some catchy hooks!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Oh for sure! Adam has this stupid convertible Miata and always drives around with the top down, even if it’s cold as hell outside. Anyone that has to ride with Adam will inevitably get into an argument about why the top is down when it’s fucking freezing out. This is a routine point of contention and will probably lead to the band’s demise in the not-so-near future.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re full steam ahead on releasing ‘Impregnate My Hate’. Everything this past year has been leading up to this moment…from filming a live music video (Scorchbreath) to working with artists on two animated lyric videos. We’re keeping everything at a pro level while running the entire project DIY in-house.
The new album “Impregnate My Hate” and all the new merch is available on our Bandcamp:
Follow us on social media to keep up with live/ touring situations
Linktree - https://linktr.ee/whythreofficial
Music Video - Scorchbreath -
Lyric Video - Scorpions of Sinai -