Band of the Week: The Sonder Bombs

MEET THE BAND: Willow Hawks (vocals, ukulele), Jimmy Lo Fi (electric guitar), Jake Stephens (bass), Eric Heald (drums)

NOT JUST ANOTHER CUTESY GIRL: Willow and Lo Fi met through a mutual friend. They initially just jammed to see if they might be compatible. "I never had a band or played with anyone. It was just me in my bedroom. We clicked and just started the band." Willow says. Willow taught herself to play ukulele by watching YouTube videos, and she decided to play the instrument in her band with Lo Fi. "It was hard because I couldn't find any real influences or bands that used the ukulele that we wanted to emulate," Willow says. "It's all cutesy girls playing soft love music."

PREPARING TO LAUNCH: Last year, the band wanted to launch its Facebook page with some music so it recorded a couple of demos. "Baby bands often don't include music with their Facebook pages, so we threw together a demo and then uploaded it," says Willow. "We were surprised that we got this far with just two demos." The band describes its sound as "driving, crunchy drums layered with super distorted guitar leads." They've even coined the term "uke-punk" to explain its approach. "We all like so many different things," says Willow. "The Pixies are amazing and they have a female bassist so it's inspiration all around. We also like the pop-punk band Say Anything. They have super crazy lyrics, which I always appreciated. They mash a million different genres into one song. Weezer is another big influence, especially in terms of writing leads."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band's three-song EP shows off the group's indie pop sensibilities as songs like "Doubts" and "End of My Daze" feature fuzzy guitars and infectious harmonies. The band recorded the EP itself at the apartment that Willow and Lo Fi share. "We had a perfect idea in our heads, and it was stressful to achieve it," says Willow. "We almost scrapped the whole thing but after six months we had it done." The band has written a handful of new songs and plans to record a full-length as the followup to the EP.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Sonder Bombs performs with Sweepyheads, the Venus Flytraps and Skuff Micksun at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, at Mahall's.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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