Why Sound explores new paths with ownership change

Why Sound, the only all ages venue in Logan, Utah, has changed ownership for the first time since its inception. On July 1, 2015, local musicians Jett Fesler and Adam Stiletto took over operations of the venue and recording studio from founding owner Tim Moes.

The new owners have pushed the venue in new directions since their purchase. In the last month, Why Sound had its first stand-up comedy night as well as a slam poetry event which they plan to make a fixture on the venue’s calendar. “We’ve done two (slam poetry) shows and each one has just been killer,” Fesler said. The venue recently brought on ten instructors to start the Why Sound Academy, a conservatory with classes to help refine the skills of any musician regardless of playing style.

In addition to the academy and new events, Fesler and Stiletto intend to launch two record labels around the beginning of next year. With one focused on indie rock and the other focused on punk and hardcore, both will be operated in conjunction with Why Sound. “With the recording studio there already it’s going to be so much easier,” Fesler said. “We don’t have to outsource for studio time.”

Regardless of the current state of the music industry they believe it will be a worth while endeavor for the artists they plan to sign. “There’s no need to have a label, but it’s nice to have that kind of backing and support,” Stiletto said. “It opens doors toward more opportunities if you’re on a roster somewhere.”

The new owners learned a lot of the inner workings of the venue by having a consistent working relationship with former owner Tim Moes. “I’ve been booking shows there and playing shows there since they opened,” Stiletto said. While Stiletto was booking and promoting punk and hardcore acts at Why Sound, Fesler negotiated an internship with Moes. Fesler said he made a deal to run the venues soundboard for free in exchange for instruction. As a result, Fesler has been expanding is knowledge of audio engineering under the tutelage of Moes for the past year and a half.

The decision to sell came when Moes and his wife had to find new employment. Moes said he was teaching audio engineering courses for Utah State University at Why Sound when the university terminated all their adjunct professors. He and his wife have since relocated to New York state where he is a professor at the State University of New York. Moes said selling the venue was bittersweet, but he is encouraged by what Fesler and Stiletto have done with Why Sound. “They’re making it better,” Moes said. “I’m really impressed with what they are doing.”