Wonders – Capturing Time

Tuesday, 11th July 2023

Lovers of European power metal always appear on the lookout for the best albums in the scene year after year. For this scribe’s money, the second album from Wonders Beyond the Mirage is another excellent example of fertile material containing all the requisite components to captivate and exhilarate all who are exposed to this band. Featuring members with past and present ties to Firewind, Serenity, Temperance, Fallen Sanctuary, and Even Flow among others, the high-quality attention to detail in all regards of the performances, production, tones, artwork, etc. should be well rewarded in garnering a wider following. We spoke with guitarist Pietro Paolo Lunesu about his early musical memories, the formation of Wonders, how the new album differs from the debut, being a part of the Limb Music roster, a love of running, walking, and fishing, plus insight into the future of these busy musicians.

Dead Rhetoric: What can you tell us about your earliest memories surrounding music growing up in childhood? At what point do you remember discovering heavier forms of music, and eventually wanting to pick up an instrument and start performing in your own bands?

Pietro Paolo Lunesu: I remember that as a child in the house there was a VHS tape entitled Viva Santana. From there I became curious and passionate about music, a fundamental role was determined by my parents who initially enrolled me at the conservatory to learn the first concepts of music. Around the age of 12-13, I listened to bands and guitarists like Carlos Santana, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Yngwie Malmsteen along with bands like Dream Theater and The Police. From all this music I listened to it was natural to start a band with my brother. Initially we played rock/blues, but over the years we became passionate about power / progressive metal, and from there it is history.

Dead Rhetoric: Discuss the formation of Wonders – as the lineup consists of skilled players with lots of experience in many other well-respected bands. What did you want to achieve musically as far as substance and style that may have been different than your previous work?

Lunesu: I wanted a compact and solid band, where no time was wasted, but with concrete ideas where everyone could make a small contribution in professional terms. I think the results speak very clearly. The style is more or less similar to the first album, the substantial difference is that the new album is much more powerful with speed metal influences than the previous ones.

Dead Rhetoric: Beyond the Mirage is the second and latest album for Wonders. Tell us about the songwriting and recording sessions for this material – and where do you see the major differences between this album and your debut from 2021 The Fragments of Wonder? Were there any surprises, obstacles, or setbacks to overcome during this process?

Lunesu: I already had some songs from the new album during the promotion of the Wonders’ debut album, the last songs I wrote at the end of the promotion of the debut album. Compared to the debut album everyone worked at home because of the many commitments of each member we could not see each other all together. Let’s say this was the only obstacle. For the rest everything went very well and I am happy with all the creative processes and management of this album.

Dead Rhetoric: Bob Katsionis not only is a fabulous musician, producer, and engineer for the band – he also designed the cover art for the new album. What is it like to have a multi-talented person in the group who can execute many tasks at a professional level – and what did he want to get across with this concept that works so well for the band?

Lunesu: I can tell you that Bob for me is a genius. I wanted production communication to come with one person, where even Limb could talk fast and easy only with one person, and not with many people. Because in this musical world many people are slow, you have to have smart and fast people. And Bob is the right figure for Wonders and to handle this kind of thing. I think the cover is very beautiful and reflects the message of this album of three people who look to the future with optimism by setting life goals.

Dead Rhetoric: The style of Wonders encapsulates a mix of European melodic power metal with some AOR influences. What do the members of Wonders enjoy about this blending of diverse influences, do you think at this point there are specific trademarks that have to be there in an ideal composition for Wonders?

Lunesu: I think what you mentioned is the style and trademark of Wonders, with the new album we have accentuated and put as an influence speed metal. Surely for the next album we will put some other influence to be able to grow further in terms of music. I think Wonders must grow with each album.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel about being a part of the Limb Music roster – a label well-suited to the style of music you’ve developed? Can you also discuss the importance of being on the right record label even in today’s ever-evolving music industry?

Lunesu: I think we are on the best label in the world. There are many labels in the music industry, but Wonders is on the absolute best label.

Dead Rhetoric: What would you say are some of the biggest challenges Wonders currently faces in terms of building the brand of the band, especially on a global scale?

Lunesu: Finding two hundred thousand Euros to organize high-level shows, so that the music of Wonders can spread even faster throughout the world.

Dead Rhetoric: What would you say are three of the most important albums that helped shape your outlook on the power metal scene? And what’s the best concert memory you have attending a show, purely as a fan – plus what made that show so special and memorable to you?

Lunesu: I want to mention these albums in my opinion spectacular for my musical growth:

Stratovarius – Visions
Angra – Fireworks
Vision Divine – Send Me An Angel

The most incredible concert was that of Manowar at the Gods of Metal Festival in Italy in 2002. I was 18 years old, I think they did an incredible show. I was with my older cousin and my brother, my first metal festival ever. I have great memories about it, everything was amazing and fantastic.

Dead Rhetoric: How will the members of Wonders balance the activities related to the band and their other outside bands/projects – especially considering the workload that Bob and Marco have? Is it a case of priorities and time management to achieve the best results – plus proper, consistent communication amongst the band members?

Lunesu: I can tell you that we communicate very quickly with specific dates. I manage this aspect myself, and I can tell you that it is not easy. But I always manage to organize everything, now that it is a habit, it is natural to me.

Dead Rhetoric: What sort of hobbies, interests, and passions do you have outside of music that you like to engage in when you have the free time and energy to do so?

Lunesu: I like to run along the seafront here in Sardinia we have many beaches, and when I can I keep fit by walking or running, recharge my energy and think of new musical ideas. Another passion is fishing, when I can with a friend I go fishing. Even if we almost never catch anything like fish (laughs).

Dead Rhetoric: Can you think of a specific time in your life where you were able to overcome a struggle, setback, or failure – which then set you up for a future, better result or success down the line? Especially in terms of your musical career…

Lunesu: It was in 2015, I had lost my whole band because the other members did not believe in the musical project that I had realized in many years of effort, we were alone with my brother. That moment deeply marked my soul. But being stubborn, I reassembled a new lineup and we went on tour with Orphaned Land. I had no singer and I sang, I sang with desperation and with the desire to realize my dreams.

Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the horizon for Wonders over the next twelve months as far as activities, shows, promotion, work on the next album? Are the members going to have other side project or album appearances that we can also look forward to?

Lunesu: I’m already working on the new album with my brother. I refused some proposals, because I just want to keep the bands I own, there are already three and I think they are enough. Marco is currently a part of Serenity and Bob follows many musical projects. I hope they can have time for Wonders, but I have no doubt about this. Thank you for this wonderful interview and greetings to all the readers!

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