Wonderboom is one of the most formidable rock acts in the country. They’ve been around for over two decades and recently released ‘Rising Sun’. The album is the group’s first in seven years and their rock and roll spirit is alive and well. The singles ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘Great Escape’ have done phenomenally well for the band and it’s great to see them continuing the legacy they’ve left on the local rock space. This week, lead singer Cito Martin chats to us about the new record, how Garth McLeod’s death impacted the group and performing live.

Congrats on the new album! The album is your first in seven years. What took so long?

Well, I suppose we just weren’t ready until now. It’s been a real test of patience to hold out on releasing anything before we were satisfied with what we had. Worth the wait.

The death of Garth McLeod, naturally, took a massive toll on the band. How did the band deal with his passing going forward?

It took a very long time for us to accept his passing and performing live was the best remedy. Jono had some big shoes to fill in the drumming department, but he’s done a great job doing so.

You’ve been playing live around the country despite not releasing any new music. Did you test out some of the new songs live and does the crowd’s reaction impact the creation of the song in studio?

Absolutely! I think the fact that we’ve spent the past four years gigging non-stop had played a big role in the songwriting process. We’re essentially a performing band. Experimenting in the studio and workshopping in the rehearsal room was just part of the creative process. When you try them out live, you get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. In the past, our studio recordings sounded very different to how we played those songs live. Now, it’s all cohesive.

You named the album ‘Rising Sun’ – what inspired that title?

Besides the title being the name of one the songs, Rising Sun represents the new chapter that we, no-doubtedly, feel we’re experiencing. It’s more an internal affirmation of a new journey WONDERboom is embarking on – a new dawn. After what seemed to be a long night, the sun will always rise; no matter where you are in your life.

You’ve just released your new single ‘Southern Light’ as well. Tell us a bit about that song.

‘Southern Light’ is one of those songs that evolved and rewrote itself. It’s about discovering love outside your doorstep after a long and far search. A play on the beauty of the Northern Lights, we have our own beautiful skies.

You’ve been in the industry for 21 years. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

Don’t get caught up in the peripheral crap. Focus on what actually matters – the music.

What’s the one thing you want people to take away after listening to your music?

Two things… Rock & Roll.

Now that the album is out, what do the next few months have in store for you?

The next few months will be very busy for us as a band. We want to perform live for as many people as possible, release more singles and videos and hopefully make some new friends – lots of new friends!

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