Whosah hits the Student Sound stage

The local indie pop band will play at Northrop Plaza on Wednesday.

Grace Kramer

Pressured to name their band in order to compete in a high school competition, Spencer and Dave Grimes turned to a game of Bananagrams. Vowing that the first six letters pulled would be the band’s name, the brothers created Whosah.
“It seemed like a word we had never heard before that seemed fun,” Dave Grimes, the band’s drummer, said, “and we were a band that nobody had ever heard before, and we wanted to have fun.”
 
Now, six years and a few rotating bandmates later, Spencer and Dave Grimes as well as their younger brother Mack Grimes, Dallas Erdahl and Nate Flynn are Whosah.
 
The band is playing at Student Sound, the concert series on Northrop Plaza that features University of Minnesota student musicians.
 
After winning the Spring Jam Battle of the Bands competition three years ago, Whosah is no stranger to University stages. Two of the band’s members graduated from the U,
while guitarist and keyboardist Mack Grimes is a Computer Science student set to graduate in 2017. 
 
“Being immersed in that many students and that many musicians made me realize that we should take this seriously,” the band’s lead guitarist, 
 
Erdahl, said of his time at the University. “I remember thinking, ‘We’re kind of good,’ and then seeing other bands and going, ‘Oh nope, we’re not.’ ”
 
The band still comes back to the University to play at one of their favorite venues.
 
“As far as a place that feels like home, I really love the Whole,” Erdahl said. “I was here for four years, so I would hang out there and go to shows.” 
 
They describe their current sound as “indie pop.” 
 
Their songs such as “Better Than Us” are feel-good tunes with head-bopping choruses. They have an electronica, synthesized sound that has been compared to Walk the Moon and Hellogoodbye. 
 
Whosah has taken a while to create their unique sound, and they come from different musical backgrounds in terms of taste.
 
Erdahl’s musical influences include the Maine and Smallpools. Dave Grimes has a more alternative taste, listening to Passion Pit and the 1975, while Spencer Grimes is more into folk music. Together, their tastes mesh to create Whosah’s upbeat, pop sound.
 
“We’ve all decided that this is what Whosah sounds like,” Erdahl said. “We’ve gotten more focused on the sound we want, more cohesive, tighter.”
 
Whosah has performed all over the Minneapolis area and plays shows in Wisconsin, Iowa and Chicago, Ill. 
 
“We mostly do local or regional shows, but we were able to go on a tour in June,” Dave Grimes said. “We sat in a van for two weeks. Everybody took off work; that was awesome.”
 
Often, the band members have the opportunity to gig for other local bands. Whosah has a strong relationship with bands such as the Millennium, Step Rockets, Time Atlas and artist Josh Clutter.
 
“I think that has really focused our sound,” Dave Grimes said, “We get an idea of ‘OK, this is the richness of music in general, what do we want this band to do?’ ”
In 2013, the band released their record “It’s Not Just Me In Here,” and in 2015, they released a remixed version of the album.
 
For their forthcoming album, the band took a trip to record in Nashville, Tenn., in March. The first single, “Living in a Ghost Town,” is set to be released this fall. 
 
As for the release of the album in its entirety, “Game plan: soon,” Dallas said.