The Sonder Bombs is a punk-emo band from Cleveland OH, featured in the Nov. Issue of Cleveland State University's The Vindicator magazine. We talked to lead vocalist, Willow Hawks about the local DIY scene, touring and more, here's the interview from that piece.
You’re currently signed to Take This To Heart Records but you’ve certainly put in the work to get there, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a local band.
So though our local DIY scene has been pretty supportive of us, getting into the Cleveland music scene at the very beginning was really difficult. Being taken seriously as a ukulele-based band was challenging. I’ve always felt the songs as punk/emo/whatever but we didn’t have the full band at the time to really actualize the style we were writing in. For months we were exclusively lumped in with folksy/bluesy acts because most bookers assumes we were just a cutesy uke folk project. Luckily BravoArtist, scooped us up and gave us opportunities to play with the bands/styles we felt represented us best. Since then, we’ve been able to play with some of our favorite bands in the world.
Touring for local bands can be tough, what has your experiences been like on the road so far?
Touring for us has been pretty fun, It’s exhausting & exciting. The DIY communities of other cities have welcomed us with open arms. It’s always really exciting when a band that we played with while we were touring comes through our town so we can hang out.
What is your favorite Cleveland area venue to play at?
Mahall’s in Lakewood is our favorite venue to play hands down! That’s our home base for sure. We all go as a group to see other bands pretty often so most of the time we are there even when we aren’t playing.
Your music is unique, every track is very clear and catchy, how do achieve this sound within the studio?
Windex & paper towels are key, just kidding. Steve Perrino & Maddie Finn were our producers/engineer for MODERN FEMALE ROCKSTAR and the way they were able to see so clearly what we wanted, really helped. They know seriously everything so whenever we incoherently ranted about the way we wanted a certain “twangy twinkly twisted whatever” they instantly deciphered our nonsense and made it happen. Our influences for this album are also very much the same kind of clean/catchy combo. We were heavily influenced by bands like Say Anything, Weezer, Hop Along & SOAD during the making of this record.
How has joining Take This To Heart Records helped grow your fan base?
Being a part of the Take This To Heart Records family has been great. We’ve made a lot of friends as far as label mates & new listeners at shows & over social media. Our local scene was really happy for us too.
What is something you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Surface level, our songs are bouncy, fun, energetic which is awesome. I think that the folks who really listen to the lyrics will understand our messages. So ya gotta listen to find out!