A hectic schedule is a good thing for any band to have. Cleveland’s SomeKindaWonderful would agree, with the release of their self-titled debut album in June nearly getting lost in the shuffle of constant touring.
“We were so busy doing stuff that I almost forgot it was coming out,” laughs drummer Ben Schigel of the 12-track collection, which luckily did not escape the ears of fans that have made the single “Reverse” the most played track on Alt Nation and the fifth most played on KROQ in Los Angeles.
“For me personally, I was obviously very excited, and not too nervous because I really stand behind it and I believe that people are going to like it a lot,” said guitarist Matt Gibson of the album. “But we were so busy prior to it that a lot of that excitement may have gotten lost in the fact that we were so active, running around, playing shows and doing press.”
Call it the chaotic calm before an even more chaotic storm, but the band is ready for it, mainly because they know they have something worth doing all this work for. Mixing R&B, alternative rock, and pop, SKW’s sound is a unique one, and there’s a lot going on throughout the album, making it a collection you will come back to again and again, unlike some of the music around these days. And, well, that’s the point.
“You talk about groups in the old days and how they get into a different mind state, and a lot of it for us has to do with the fact that that’s what we listen to, for the most part, and that’s where our heads are at,” said Gibson. “We’re just going in there to try and make really substantial music that has meaning and purpose that people can relate to.”
“It was one of those things that we didn’t purposely set out to do,” adds Schigel. “It’s something inherent in what we do. I know Matt will still put in Simon and Garfunkel and I’ll still put in Steely Dan and Police and Genesis records, and that’s still what we listen to, so we want that to be how we are, where the kids that listen to us now are playing their kids our music 20 years from now.”
That’s a lofty goal, but also one every musician should be shooting for. Sure, the quick hit is nice, but no one wants to be defined by that one hit forever. In response, SKW has produced an album, not a couple singles and a bunch of filler.
“I can feel it when we’re writing,” said Gibson. “I know exactly what you’re saying with the stuff that’s here today, gone tomorrow, and when you hear that music, you don’t feel anything. So when we’re making this stuff, this is our heart and our souls coming out of our instruments and our voices, and if it feels that special, I feel like it has to be special. We’re not just going through the motions or trying to follow a trend. We’re trying to make great songs because that’s what we like.”
Tonight, the band visits Webster Hall in NYC, and in a heady few months for the city of Cleveland with the Browns’ drafting of Johnny Manziel and the return to the Cavaliers of LeBron James, maybe the town has room for another franchise in SomeKindaWonderful. Don’t expect that to change them if it does happen though.
“It’s exciting to see what happens from here,” said Schigel, “but we’re taking it one day at a time.”
“We’re just staying grounded,” said Gibson. “We carry our own guitars, we drive our own van, and we’re just so busy that we don’t have time to get distracted.”
SomeKindaWonderful play Webster Hall in New York City tonight, July 14. For tickets, click here