Art from trash? WU’s conviction
Image: Cliff Pusher

Art / Whatever Underground is an element of Honolulu’s DIY punk scene that’s ten bands strong and growing. What’s different about this group than its predecessors? In addition to avoiding promoters who are, “trying to make a buck,” Travis Wiggins, one of WU’s founding fathers, says that he—along with partners Annie Hollis, Corby Plumb and Thomas Minalo—aims to promote Honolulu musicians by promoting their visual artistic abilities, as well.

“How many of [our] members are involved in other kinds of art? You have a guy that does silk screening, a guy that does aerosol art, photographers, sculptors, people who make zines; it’s really a multimedia kind of thing,” Wiggins explains.

Maybe it’s easiest to tell you what Whatever Underground is by telling you what it’s not: It isn’t a booking agency or a promotional company, although they do both of those things. It isn’t an art club. They’re not even that exclusive, although they have been known to avoid working with a band for being too misogynistic and negative. “I would say [WU] is a collective of artists and musicians trying to support each other,” says Wiggins.

However you put it, maybe it’s best to see them for yourself. Their upcoming show, No Guts No Galaxy, is about art, more than music, because, as Wiggins says, “We just thought it would be nice to have a show where we’re all not rushing around loading amps. We’re showing that you can make art. You know, I wanted to see an art show, so I called and made it happen.” This might be the most obvious lesson to learn from WU. If you want it, do it yourself.

Mercury Bar, 1154 Fort St. Mall, Wed., 1/2, 8pm, free, [], []