By Chelsea Booth
In their debut self-titled EP, No Wonders authentically capture the uncertain nature of early adulthood; that period of time where you are no longer an adolescent, but you’re not quite an adult yet either.
Taking influences from bands like Whirr, Bombay Bicycle Club, Wavves, and Cloud Nothings, No Wonders’ music flirts with indie-rock nostalgia without ever getting derivative.
Where did the name No Wonders come from?
Mike: Kris just kind of came up with it.
Kris: “You’ll find no wonders here” was a statement —I felt— worthy of describing our music and I thought it was cool. Then we shortened it to No Wonders.
How did you guys meet?
Mike: Kris and I met in grade school and have been friends since. We all went to different high schools and we didn’t meet Alex until then. He [Alex] also happened to be my neighbor.
On the EP, you guys seem like you have great musical chemistry. When did you start playing together?
Mike: The three of us? I‘d say like two and a half years ago? We’ve all kinda played together, but didn’t actually meet to work on things until about two or two and a half years ago.
Being that this is your first EP, what was the hardest part of the process?
Kris: Definitely communication and being all together. Alex is up at college in Syracuse. It makes it hard for the three of us to meet and actually work on things.
Speaking of communication, is there one particular person in the band who does the songwriting or is it more collaborative?
Alex: Kris brought the basis and idea of the songs to us and then we all kinda collaborated on where the direction should go.
Did that collaboration process only happen when you were together or did you guys also communicate with each other on the Internet?
Mike: We would wait to work on songs in person, but we would share ideas online. Kris and I both work and have school and Alex lives up in Syracuse. It definitely took as long as two years. We had the demos done before Alex moved and Kris’ and my schedule wasn’t as busy. It was really spread out and felt like forever. Like we had a few writing sessions. Kris would do a lot on his own –guitars, bass, mixing– from his studio. We tracked vocals when Alex was home and did the drums in a couple hours at a studio out in Rockaway.
Tell me a bit about the EP’s cover art.
Mike: It was a picture that I accidentally took. I was scrolling through my camera roll a couple summer’s ago and noticed the picture had randomly appeared.
The best photos are always accidents. My favorite song on the EP is “Smile Softly.” Is there a story behind it?
Alex: It’s a rocket ship of a song. Kris had written the song a few summers ago and we decided to keep working on it. It went through a plethora of versions before we finally decided we were happy with the sound and direction of it.
Kris: It’s up to the listeners’ interpretation. I wanted it to tell a story and transcend its origins to a final resting place. It’s full of emotion and the toughest part was trying to communicate that with the right guitar sounds, to be quite honest.
Alex: I guess you could say it’s about wanting something so bad that in the end, you don’t really need– the realization that you don’t really need that approval or presence of that thing. It’s weird, I don’t know.