Eh up, this is Joe C again, first of all thanks to everyone who read the “emo is fucking dead uk edition” post, it seems to have worked!
So this one is about my old band and a kinda official statement/info bomb about these shows we’re doing. Mostly waffle, some info.
What Price, Wonderland? is myself, James Wright and Andy Hemming. We formed when we were maybe 13/14 under various names and for the most part was basically mates jamming in a garage playing really poorly conceived covers by bands we liked such as Rival Schools, At the Drive-in etc. After a year or two we decided to try and do a proper band with “our own material” inspired by the mailorder DIY scene and bands we had been told to go see live by bigger kids we met on forums such as Collective-zine and the Kerrang! forums (rock on dude!), in the pre social media / Web 2.0 world.
Originally we had a second guitarist, Clyde Bradford, you may know him from another band of cry babies who are now outstretching everyone in this little scene…. Andy met Clyde at a Zao (yeah the Christian melodic metalcore band) show when we made some flyers asking for a guitarist to play stuff in the vein of “Indian Summer, Cap’n Jazz and Assfactor4”, which in retrospect was a fucking ask, but somehow we ended up doing something like that. We did some shows and some ill fated demos under the name The Snowman, including some pretty hilarious shows with some top anecdotes I won’t bore you with here. Suffice to say at 15 we didn’t really know how to socially interact with people outside our dumb little group and we sacked Clyde, not even really sure why, but it doesn’t matter as we’ve ended up being close friends for years now (sorry Clyde). We then dropped the “The”, called ourselves Snowman, I put out a 7″ with the money I saved from dropping out of school and working in washing machine sales and we subsequently imploded, again we were teenagers, no real reason why.
We made friends probably a few weeks later and decided once again to take the band another step more seriously. There was literally no one else around where we lived who liked this music anyway, so the theme of us breaking up and reforming with a new band and pretending it was a new thing was inevitable. This time though we decided to add a second guitar again and Mitch the Witch aka Mike Coley (yep of Belly Kids fame!) joined us but left after one recording. So back with the original three piece lineup we actually started to be a band. We did two slightly dodgy 7″s which we dropped the songs from not long after releasing and played with a bunch of bands. Meanwhile we were both working out how to be human beings and how DIY/punk rock could be the ultimate vessel for our shit.
I can’t speak for the other two, but the first record I can still listen to/stomach is “Claim”, which also marks our first record with our a long time recording man Boulty of Stuck on A Name (both this 7″, the first lp and the Syn Error split were done in his loft). We didn’t really know how to do a genre, but we loved a lot of the emo stuff around on Ebullition, Level Plane etc at the time and kinda got lumped in with that stuff. We played with bands like Raein, Louise Cypher, Daitro, Ultra Dolphins and probably loads more I have forgotten. Musically we tried to mix stuff we liked together without really caring if it fit (remember doing that before you started bands on sub-genre specific forums and Facebook groups?!), our favourite bands were stuff like Yaphet Kotto, Off Minor, His Hero is Gone, Infest, Cap’n Jazz, Blame Game, Assfactor4, Mohinder, Captain Speky… we didn’t really know which genres these fit into but liked bits from all their sounds and took where we pleased. Kinda funny to think we actually tried to play Cap’n Jazz chords over blastbeats and didn’t get laughed down by absolutely everyone, I dunno it made sense to us.
We went on to tour the UK a few times and got the touring bug we never lost. The most inspiration time in our life as a band was probably being asked to go to the continent with the band Syn*Error, completely on faith we turned up after a few Myspace messages between the bands and learned probably more about ourselves and music in that space of time than any other before or to come. We did another lp and some splits and kinda stopped as we lived far away and were becoming involved in our styles of music completely separate from punk rock.
We played the odd show, but didn’t really write new material and that leaves us where we are now. James went on to play in Bird Calls and Kin Shot, Andy is now in Arkless and I played in Plaids and now Soul Structure. The band never really ended and although at times we lost touch, we never stopped being friends at all. One ill fated reunion to play with Raein at the Brudenell in Leeds a few years back kinda put a spanner in things until I checked my personal Last.Fm page to find out what bands my girlfriend might want on vinyl for Xmas I saw a message from 6 months ago asking for WPW to play this fest in Berlin. Not thinking the other guys would do it I started seeing if perhaps Soul Structure could play, presuming the offer had passed long ago, but to my surprise within a day we had set up this fest slot, a warm up show in western Germany and a final goodbye show at the amazing DIY Space For London….
Thursday May 5th – DS4L with a mega lineup of old and new friends
Friday May 6th – Western Germany headline show on the way across to Berlin
Saturday May 7th- We Built The World And Miss The Stars fest in Berlin https://www.facebook.com/events/909323962491133/
Then we’re dead.
current and ex bands: