What? is a local New Paltz band that paints the town groovy with their funk rock. As a funk rock jam band, they differ from some bands you may hear at Snugs or other places around town, especially since the five members create a colorful musical catalogue due to their different styles and influences. The band features Dan Steen on guitar, Ryan Perrone on trombone and keys, Jeremiah Mahoney on bass, Alex Endres on percussion and Russell Hartman on saxophone.
What? formed in their freshman year, starting with Perrone and Steen. They discovered each other in music classes here at SUNY New Paltz, as they are both music majors, and they decided to start jamming together. Once Steen heard Perrone play the trombone in jazz class, they knew they’d work well together. Over time, they accumulated more band members, until last year when they finalized the group to contain the five of them. All five of them study or have studied music at SUNY New Paltz.
What? may seem like an odd name for a band, but it stems from their days of open mics. They used to give random names for their performances, until one day they decided to just write “What?” to gauge the reaction and maybe get a laugh from the audience. After that decision, the name stuck and they believe it’s “New Paltz’s Worst Dad Joke.”
The band emphasizes spontaneity and staying boundless. They don’t let limits define their music, and they let their love of music guide their progress and performance. They always hope to get the crowd dancing, and some of the best moments for them are looking out into the audience and seeing people really going wild. They hope their music can help people have a good time and forget about their day for a little while.
One highlight of their performances was at a house show, when they noticed the floor shaking due to everyone dancing and jumping so much. That’s how they knew their musical goal was achieved.
The group plans on putting together an album, as throughout the last month they’ve added a lot more new songs. They also plan on keeping up with their gigs around town, playing bars and house shows.
If you want to check What? out, they perform at Murphy’s Feb. 7, at 10 p.m. You can also follow them on Instagram @what_the band, on Facebook @What? – Band and on their Youtube channel “What?”
Check out What? The band at Bacchus on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10 p.m. as well!