WONDERWORLD is a band that I have missed out on. But that has been corrected with this interview. Answers by Ken. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
I am a word buff so when I find a band name that excites me I want to know the reason behind the choice. So how did you pick your name?
-Roberto, Tom and myself met while we were recording an album with Ken Hensley from Uriah Heep. Tom and I had been playing with Ken many years, but Roberto was the new guy.
We instantly hit it off, so it was my suggestion that we also form a power trio out of this band. Because our common ground was Hensley and Heep, it felt natural to pick a name from their catalogue. Wonderworld is, like Hensley says, my personal, perfect world I to whenever I need it, so to us it felt like the perfect name.
There are so many genres and sub-genres today that it is hard to keep track of them all. So what was it that made you pick the style you play?
-We consider ourselves playing classic hard rock. Not heavy metal or other sub-genres. The reason for it is that we sound like we do, when we put on a guitar and count to four, so it not by choice but a result of of who we are as musicians.
What influences you in creating your music? What is/has been the single greatest influence?
-I can only speak for myself…Rob has different influences of course. There are so many things that influence my writing. A big part of it is of course what you grew up listening to, but throughout the years I pick up inspiration from seeing a good movie or a TV series, watching sport or whatever I find inspirational. As for single greatest influence, I can’t really name just one, because there are so many acts and so many songs that made me who I am. I can only mention Van Halen and Gary Moore as two big influences, and being so different as they are, sort of gives you the idea. Throw in some Queen in the mix and it’s a good start 😉
How important is it to have a message as a band?
-Personally I don’t think it’s important. However that depends on what the message is. If the message is “relax, enjoy life and have some fun” which could be the message you get from a band like Van Halen, then I’d say it’s a good message….but not important. Bands with a strong political agenda like U2 I don’t like so much. I like their music, but not the message so much. So, let the music speak for itself and don’t worry too much about sending a message.
Is image an important factor to the bands appearance?
-I guess so. Although not as much as during the 80’s…thank god. But it will always be a part of the band, and some people care or worry about a bands appearance too much I’d say. As with your question about a bands message, I think also when it comes to image, it should be natural and the music should be the main focus. Whether you have long hair or short hair, a leather jacket or a hawaiian shirt shouldn’t really affect it too much.
How important is it to have an album cover that stands out to grab people’s attention in this day and age?
-it is important of course. Everybody wants to be noticed. However, probably not as important as the days of CD and vinyl with the music stores full of music. Now it’s all online, and you very often only see a small thumb nail of the artwork and not a physical artwork on a vinyl in a store. However a really bad album cover will of course work against you, if it stands out as very cheapish with ugly colours or bad photos and photoshopping.
What kind of respect do you get from your local scene?
-Probably easier for people in the local scene to answer, but my perception is that we have great respect locally and not only in the rock scene, but in the music scene in general. People recognize solid musicianship and good craftmanship in song writing and performance. Not everyone has to like what you do, but solid work will always be a fact and not a subjective opinion.
How massive is it to get response from places you have never heard of?
-It’s always fun to get feedback from parts of the world that we haven’t heard from before. Throughout the years we have gotten some response from most corners of this world, but every now and then there are still new areas that picks up on our music and write to us. We find that very inspiring!
Is playing live still a great way to get new fans to discover you?
-Absolutely! I’d say it’s a very important factor for a band like us. We are mainly a live band, and always have great fun on stage…never knowing what will happen, jam and have fun. So being a great live band will always get us new fans. I think it’s important that a band function well as a live act…especially in this genre of music. There are a lot of other genres in music, where live performance isn’t so important, and radio, streaming, videos etc. have a bigger impact.
What does the future have in its womb?
-Now we are launching our third album, so there will be some press work related to that. We have just released the first official video from the album with the song “Stormy Night”. We are looking at live dates for the fall and winter, and that will keep us busy until we start writing a few new tracks and look into the 4th album, I guess