Why (Canadian band)

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Background information
Origin Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Genres Rock
Years active 1993 (1993)–present
Website www.whytheband.com
  • Brian Cook
  • David Kuusselka
  • Dave Bergmuller
  • Eric Norquist

WHY is a Canadian band, formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1993, which uses its music to promote and support positive causes. They released their first album THE NAKED SOUL in 1994. Their most recent album released was The Leap (2013), with singles "Weep" and "Do It Scared." WHY had two hit singles from Red (2007), "The Surface" and "Red", the latter winning song of the year on Winnipeg radio station KICK FM. WHY also gained further notoriety with their video and hit single "Prisoner of Hope" in 2010.[1] They are currently recording their next album.


WHY first took shape in 1993 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The name for the band was created by lead singer Brian Cook. As Cook explained, "I was watching a TV special on John Lennon around 1992, and there was a part filmed the day he died and fans were all around his and Yoko’s New York apartment with candles and signs, and one sign just said 'WHY.' No question mark, just three capital letters, and I thought, 'That’s the most used word in our troubled world.' Henry Thoreau said, 'Why is the beginning of knowledge,' so it seemed right for a band with so many questions."[2]


Soon after their formation, WHY released their first album The Naked Soul, and followed it up with The Rise and Fall of the Question Mark. After playing shows in support of the latter album, the band underwent a line-up change and did not release their next album, The Lazarus Effect, until 2002.[3] It was around this time that WHY began its involvement with the Make Poverty History campaign. Copies of the Lazarus Effect album (the title song having already received air play in major markets across Canada) were given out before U2 concerts in Ottawa and Montreal. Other copies were made available at Make Poverty History and online at cdbaby.com, with a portion of the proceeds from the album going directly to the charity. The single Keep My Peace also received a music video.[4]

In 2007, WHY released the album RED. The single (and title track) "Red" was serviced to radio worldwide. "Red" held #1 on Winnipeg radio station KICK FM's Top 40 chart for 4 weeks in a row, and was named "Song of the Year". The second single "The Surface" also charted, hitting #1 on KICK FM and #5 on THE Q FM in Victoria, BC, and was named in the Winnipeg Free Press' Top 10 songs of 2007.[3] WHY played many shows in Winnipeg supporting the album, and appeared on A Channel's The Big Breakfast, playing their hit song Red. WHY was also showcased in Canadian Music Magazine that same year.[3][4][5] In an interview with online magazine Interference, singer Brian Cook explained that the album RED was based on everything which the color represents: anger, joy, passion, danger, heat, for example.[2] After the album was completed, Cook became aware of the (RED) campaign and offered the use of WHY's single "Red" at no cost. However, the (RED) campaign never picked up the song.[2]

Soon after the release of RED, WHY underwent another line-up change. During this period, WHY released singles "We Started Out (Somebody's Baby)" and "More or Less" as part of Ray Zahab's next film Running the Sahara.[6] This gained them further notoriety and the band soon back in the public eye with their current line-up.[7]

In late 2009, WHY began recording for their next album, due out in the fall of 2011. During this period, they recorded and released their hit single and video "Prisoner of Hope," which charted #6 on Winnipeg's KICK FM. The song was also picked up by several other radio stations throughout Canada. Devastated by the earthquake in Haiti, WHY decided to donate 100% of funds raised by downloads of the song from cdbaby.com and iTunes to UNICEF. UNICEF featured the video for "Prisoner of Hope" on its website, under "Featured Videos."[8] During the summer of 2010, the "Prisoner of Hope" video was entered into a contest for an opening slot before Bon Jovi in Winnipeg and made it to the finals, losing to Canadian pop star Sierra Noble. Later that same summer, the video was again entered in a contest, Winnipeg radio station Curve FM's "Rock on the Range" Contest, and made it to the finals. Prisoner of Hope was played on Curve FM and members of the band were interviewed on air.

Since then, WHY has continued to record the rest of their upcoming album, and has released the single "Crash into the Future". The band has also recorded a re-mix version featuring Grammy nominee Fresh IE. On World's AIDS Day, 2010, WHY played a benefit concert which also included music by Fresh IE at the Winnipeg Convention Center.[9]

WHY released their fifth album, The Leap, in 2013.

WHY have been the opening act for the following recording artists: Danko Jones, Ill Scarlet, Edgar Winter and Uncle Kracker. WHY were recently voted “Best Rock Band In Canada” by INTEL CANADA star search.

Charity work[edit]

Singer Brian Cook's devotion to WHY's charitable causes began before the creation of the band. He was involved with World Vision and sponsored a child. He also acted as a World Vision representative, showing films and speaking about World Vision's mission. The band has donated proceeds from their albums to The Global Fund, Make Poverty History, and UNICEF.[2]

WHY where invited by Bono's ONE Campaign to film a performance of an iconic protest song as a part Agit8, for the G8 to draw attention to extreme poverty. WHY covered the Rolling Stones' song “Gimme Shelter” and invited Winnipeg R&B singer FLO to join the rooftop performance. WHY‘s performance was featured on ONE's international site, and footage from WHY's performance was featured in the Official ONE trailer. WHY were the only Canadian rock band asked to participate.

WHY continues to support Make Poverty History, UNICEF, and other causes, and is committed to raising awareness about these organizations through its music. WHY's music has been featured on the websites of the charities Impossible 2 Possible and WaterCan, in fundraising efforts for OXFAM and UNICEF, and on Brad Pitt's MySpace page.[5]

Other causes[edit]

  • The Birth of Hope
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
  • (RED)
  • A Fan's Purpose
  • Level Ground Trading Ltd., a fair trade company
  • EDUN, a fair trade clothing company
  • Music Rising, an instrument replacement fund for musicians of the Gulf Coast
  • Watercan
  • Impossible 2 Possible[4]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Brian Cook (lead vocals)
  • David Kuusselka (lead guitar)
  • Dave Bergmuller (drums)
  • Eric Norquist (guitar/keyboard/bass backing vocals)



  • The Leap (2013)
  • Red (2007)
  • Lazarus Effect (2005)
  • The Rise And Fall Of The Question Mark (2001)
  • The Naked Soul (1994)


  • Suddenly Bang (1998)



  1. ^ "WHY". Myspace. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Artist Profiles & Interviews : U2 Interference – U2 Fans, Pop Culture Webzine, & More". Interference.com. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  3. ^ a b c "Canadian Musician Showcase » Blog Archive » Why - July/Aug 2008". Canadianmusician.com. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d "WHY | Alternative rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada". Whytheband.com. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  5. ^ a b "Why Artist Page". radio3.cbc.ca. CBC Radio 3. Retrieved 27 February 2011.  External link in |work= (help)
  6. ^ "South Pole Quest on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  7. ^ "WHY | Winnipeg, MB, CA | Alternative / Rock / Pop | Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos". ReverbNation. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  8. ^ "Канал користувача unicefcanada". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  9. ^ "WORLD AIDS DAY CONCERT Winnipeg - WORLD AIDS DAY CONCERT at Winnipeg Convention Centre". Eventful. Retrieved 2011-08-17.