To mark their 30th anniversary The Wonder Stuff release their eighth studio album, 30 Goes Around The Sun, on March 19th 2016 - thirty years to the day since the band first walked into a rehearsal studio in the heart of The Black Country in 1986.
All Roads Lead To Stourbridge.
The band chose to revisit its old stomping ground of Stourbridge to record the album and even managed to persuade renowned heavy metal and hard rock producer, Simon Efemey (Paradise Lost/Napalm Death/The Wildhearts), to return to his home town to produce the record.
Vocalist/guitarist Miles Hunt says; "Simon was one of the first guys to ever record The Wonder Stuff, in 1987, at the rehearsal studio he owned in Stourbridge back then. In the early touring days of the band he was also our live sound engineer, he's back doing the live sound with us again these days. Without him ever coming straight out and saying that he has never liked our previous albums, he has always made it known to me that he's been frustrated that we've never made a record that has captured our live sound. We figured it was time for him to put that straight."
Whilst the line-up of The Wonder Stuff may have changed since those early days (original bassist Rob 'The Bass Thing' Jones and drummer Martin Gilks both sadly now deceased) Miles Hunt is still leading the charge, ably supported by his fellow band members Mark McCarthy (bass guitar since 2003), Erica Nockalls (violin and vocals since 2005), Dan Donnelly (guitar and vocals since 2014) and Tony Arthy (drums since 2014).
Hunt; "I bought myself a new Gretsch guitar in the December of 2014 and by the end of January 2015 she had given me five new songs. I was over the moon and figured that I'd have a new album written by the end of March and could take the rest of the year off. Not so... by April all I had was those first five songs and it felt like nothing else was in the post. At the suggestion of our new drummer, Tony Arthy, the five of us got together in a studio in Stourbridge and jammed out any ideas that came to mind. Within three days we had the rest of the record written. I think by actually getting in a room together and playing through any idea that any member of the band had, just as we used to in the early days, has given this record a real sense of urgency."
Two thirds of the album's music has been written collectively, but as ever it is Hunt that has been in charge of the lyrics; "I shall be 50 years of age in the same year that this album is released and while I don't necessarily feel like a whiny older guy the temptation is always there to give into my age. Although it has to be said, as a younger man I could do a fair old bit of moaning too! But being back in Stourbridge has been a charm for my lyric writing. Seeing old mates and generally being exposed to the wonderful vein of humour that seems to run through everyone native to The Black Country has helped me no end."
The Wonder Stuff will be touring in conjunction with the album's release, of this Hunt remarked; "The Wonder Stuff is a live band, that's why it exists. Some people might be happy to spend months or years sitting in studios noodling around with computers, but that isn't why I got into the game. I need a regular fix of the full sensory overload that is a gig, there's nothing to equal it."
The Wonder Stuff 30th Anniversary Tour
Featuring very special guests The Wedding Present* and support from The Lottery Winners
Friday 4th - Southampton, Engine Rooms
Saturday 5th – Brighton, Concorde 2
Wednesday 9th – Belfast, Limelight
Thursday 10th – Dublin, Academy
Friday 11th – Liverpool, O2 Academy (with special guests The Icicle Works)
Saturday 12th – Cardiff, Tramshed
Thursday 17th – Bristol, O2 Academy
Friday 18th – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town
Saturday 19th – Birmingham, O2 Academy
Thursday 24th- Glasgow, O2 ABC
Friday 25th – Newcastle, O2 Academy
Saturday 26th – Leeds, O2 Academy
Saturday 2nd – Nottingham, Rock City
For full details, please visit: www.thewonderstuff.com
*The Wedding Present play on the following shows: Bristol, London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Leeds.