Badass Canadian rockers Whatzername are guaranteeing audiences always put a song to the name with the unleashing of this, their searing, sardonic anti-establishment single, “Freedom” — available now!
“This song is a tongue-in-cheek anthem to those that work minimum wage in a first world society,” band members Ashlee Standish, Clairisa Rose, and Jess Gold share.
“It addresses the idea of social responsibility, and how hard it is to stay sane while being poor and impossibly trying to get ahead,” Rose continues. “It’s about poverty, and the limitations people face because of their financial barriers…
“All while living in a ‘ree world,” they add.
It’s the same edgy and fierce torrent of songwriting perspective that welcomingly prods and provokes from across the St. Catharines/Niagara Falls, ON-based trio’s collection of work — including 2019’s breakthrough single, Something, follow-up offerings Vulture and Heart Of The Undead,” and more.
And it’s all come to a head with their newly released eponymous debut EP, Whatzername (2021).
“For some, music is a hobby, or something you enjoy listening to,” Gold says. “For us, music is as important as breathing is. It’s how we heal, express, communicate, and connect with others on this planet.
“We’re familiar with the heavier and darker side of living, and have an edge,” she adds. “We are not happy pop music; we’re moody, dark, haunting — yet soothing in a knowing, consoling way.”
Much of Whatzername’s ethos mirrors Standish’s as the band’s principal songwriter and leader. “I’ve played keys since I was six and am a classically trained pianist with the Royal Conservatory of Music,” she explains. “I’m a multi-instrumentalist, a poet, storyteller, empath, animal lover, LGBTQ supporter and friend, and encourager of humanity and our need for recognizing our ongoing social, political, and environmental issues.
“I’m a deep-thinking woman who truly wants to love, and shine light, and ignite it within others. My joy in life is to share ideas; stories and songs about reaching for the impossible dream. Being an artist, a songwriter, a musician, a community arts supporter, and a single parent with limited means, music is how I survive and strive.
“The concept of our songs are about strength, perseverance, embracing living life, and accepting death — all through a sarcastic tone,” Standish adds. “Stories about the people you meet, both the good kind, and the bad — and why it’s important to effin’ try.”
Commanding attention with their wailing guitars, melodic lo-fi distortion, and snarling vocal harmonies, the up-and-coming heroes of rock punk are a formidable hailstorm of talent each in their own respective ways.
Having worked with Wow! Recording Studio & Creative Space’s owner and sound engineer Joe Lapinski, and director Bryce Smith — as well as guest collaborators Serena Pryne and Danno O’Shea — it’s their unifying love for alternative, edgy rock music that radiates as a force to be reckoned with, daring anyone who tries to stop them to step up… These three aren’t messing around.
Emblematic of Whatzername, both the album and the band, as a whole, “Freedom” dives into the deep end, refusing to back down from the very first note.
It’s electric-guitar heavy, with industrial riffs that challenge the pulsating percussion. Its lead vox and harmony meld like Joan Jett and Cherie Currie; a timeless Go-Go’s vibe in a Distiller’s chokehold that reminds that punk is very much alive.
“Freedom” and Whatzername expunge all you thought you understood about music — and twist it into a mysteriously woven collection penned by three multi-talented artists redefining what modern rock should sound like.
“Freedom” and Whatzername are available now.