Wake to Wonder
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Wake to Wonder

Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, South Africa | SELF

Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, South Africa | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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“Hold your hope in your hands. Point your fingers to the sky. With broken wings my soul still flies.”
These are the inspirational words of Wake to Wonder’s lead singer Adam Boyd. Meet the wunderkids that reigned from the ashes of music.
Vanderbijlpark’s well known progressive rock band includes Adam Boyd (Guitar and lead vocals), Grant Coetzee (Lead guitar), Graeme Swale (Drums) and Werner Ainslie (Bass and Backing vocals). Established in August of 2007, the band has made a name for itself not only in South Africa, but also internationally. They performed at the Latvian Grand Prix as well as the Faces Festival in Finland and many other events across Estonia. Their most recent breakthrough happened during their European tour: they were requested to write and compose the theme song for the ADAC Masters in Germany.
The ADAC is the second biggest motocross series in the world and motor industry, consisting of more than 17 million members. This was where the musical wonder of Wake to Wonder was introduced internationally in August of 2011. Wake to Wonder has made several TV appearances and radio broadcasts, including airings on Mnet, MK and broadcasts on radio stations such as Highveld stereo and 5FM.
The spontaneous band not only forms a musical prodigy, it also shows a soft spot for love and care. In the past year Wake to Wonder has been more involved in charity and sharing their patriotism with our ever-growing liberal country. If you want to join in on the conversations and be an obsessive fan, like them on Facebook and follow them around on Twitter @waketowonder. Be that stalker.

See Wake to Wonder perform live on July 14 at the Barnyard Theatre in Vereeniging. This show will also feature bands such as Newtown Knife Gang, Second Time Round (which will perform as a band for the last time), also ‘Thundermerwe’, State Society and ‘Die Hartbreek Revolusie’.
- Tamen de Lange on www.vaalweekblad.com

"Wake to Wonder’s European Tour"

SA band, Wake to Wonder recently embarked on an epic European Tour. What happens on the road, may stay on the road, but we thought it was worth a shot fishing for juicy details anyway, hence why we endeavored to interview the guys after they landed back on home turf. We kid, we kid. Sort of. Either way, these guys had a trip of a lifetime. Not only did they perform live at the Latvian Motocross Grand Prix, meet Stefan Everts and were named special guest at the German MX Masters, the ADAC have even asked Wake to Wonder to write the theme tune for 2012. Big props to these guys! Read more for the interview and footage from the grand opening of the Adrenalin Arena along with their performance.

What prompted you guys to do a European tour?
Well the European tour was an idea that developed when we met our current manager Tinus Nel. He has raised international motocross champion riders such as Grant Langston (World Champ in 2000/American Champ 2006), Tyla Rattray (World Champ 2008), Richard Van der Westhuizen (8 time South African Champ), Ben Townley (World Champ in 2004), Tanel Leok (Double Junior World Champ) and Matiss Karro(Junior World Champ) just to name a few. We also have a lot of riders from all over the world that love our music. This includes the riders we mentioned as well as for instance Ken Roczen, the current MX2 World Champion and youngest World Champion ever. This, along with the great demand from the European people and festivals sparked the tour. We find it so awesome that our music is enjoyed by such a diverse and often non-English speaking fan base.

What are your fans like in Estonia and Latvia?
Estonian and Latvian Fans are some of the craziest and fun party people we have ever come across. They know how to keep the hype up and to keep the atmosphere electric. In both countries we played motocross related events sharing the room with riders, fans, teams, Latvians, Estonians, Germans, Russians, French, English and so on. Multi-cultural fun but I reckon the Estonians definitely partied the hardest and came out even in Latvia in great numbers. In Latvia we played to about 6000 people over both nights and in Estonia we got introduced to their people’s extreme love for vodka the hard way.

We’re pretty envious that you guys got to see places like Adrenalin Arena, were special guests of Red Bull and got to see international MX stars in action and meet Stefan Everts. Are you guys big fans of the sport?
Yeah we are fans of the MX scene, it was a whole new world to us and we just fell in love with it from the first race we attended. Riders are some of the hardest working people. It almost reminds me of the South African band scene in terms of work rate and passion. We had the pleasure of meeting some interesting and influential people in the motocross world and spent time in the pits with Stefan and many others, we got to see what really goes on behind the scenes and how much work is involved before every race. We would like to thank Red Bull for spoiling us to the VIP life at the events. It was amazing.

Tell us a little bit about being special guests at the German MX Masters Championship event?

This was an extremely cold and rainy weekend. ADAC were excited to have us, we were just as excited to be there and taste the culture. ADAC really went out their way to accommodate us, from a performance marquee, stage and top of the range sound equipment to a five star hotel, all organized for Wake to Wonder as the only band for the weekend, After our performance ADAC approached us and offered us the opportunity to write their theme tune for their 2012 series which is a great honour as they are a 20 million people strong community.

The crowds you performed to overseas, have they been your biggest thus far?

Latvia was a big one for the band as mentioned early where we played to about 6000 people over the weekend as well as performing live on MX-Life that streams worldwide. In South Africa we have played a couple of big shows, I reckon our biggest being to about 5000 people. It’s great playing shows like that but on the other hand we don’t have a preference as to big or small shows in SA. We love our intimate shows and we love our festival shows. Each one has its own plus points

Have you ever tried anything like MX?

Never tried it, I would love to try it sometime but I think this could end badly.

How do the European ladies compare to our ladies back home?

Estonian ladies are definitely some of the most beautiful women in the world, although South African Girls are up there with the best of them I have to admit. There was a strange phenomenon that we noticed in Estonia. Even the ladies with three kids and one on the way look like super models.

The conclusion that we came to was there is something in the water, although this didn’t help our appearance much when we were there.

Did you encounter any European groupies?

No comment for 75% of the band as they would like to retain their current relationships. Ha-ha. Adam had two girls on either side following him around at one show which was rather funny.

What was your craziest moment of the trip?

There are so many to choose from, Adam almost getting beaten up and thrown off stage by security after a rogue fan decided to move to the mic whilst Adam was dancing around. They both were wearing the same colour shirt and even though there was a 40-year age gap between them the security never seemed to take note. Another one was trying do dodge prostitutes by acting like you’re on your mobile in Germany’s Reeperbahn in the St Pauli district near Hamburg as well as getting into a fight with a drunk guy who was trying to break our tour bus windscreen with a police baton. The list goes on and on but some things are better left unsaid.

Which was your favorite place in Europe and why?

I think there are two places that stood out, one being the Latvian GP, the crowd was amazing and the feedback was great and the food was epic. The second was our acoustic set on the Baltic Sea aboard a Tallink ship, a liner with all the bells and whistles including a sauna, jacuzzis, a casino as well as a supermarket. It was our first experience on such a huge ship and Graeme struggled to find his sea legs so to speak. Ha-ha. Germany was also fantastic, such a clean and well organized country.

All the countries had something different and unique to offer and we would go back to all of them in a heartbeat
- LW Mag

"Fokof School of Rock"

Walking into The Assembly on Saturday night, my expectations for the evening were admittedly low. I’m an optimistic person (at least I tell myself I am, denial runs strong in my family) but I was completely unfamiliar with the three bands that would be opening for the main act of the night – a little-known group called Fokofpolisiekar. You may have heard of them.
Now, for most people the chance to see Fokofpolisiekar alone would be enough. But you see, I’m not most people. I’m a complicated man; I have needs and desires that sometimes even I don’t understand. No, the issue for me was that I had no idea what to except from each of the three relatively unknown bands that would be playing before the “old staple” came on stage. Would they completely suck? Would my ears have to endure hours of torture on a scale that only people who have listened to a James Blunt song all the way through can truly understand? Beer can only do so much, my friends.

Putting that concern aside, another problem I had was that I’m just not a huge fan of Fokofpolisiekar.

Wait! Where are you going? Come back!

What I meant to say was, I completely understand their popularity amongst certain circles and they’re damn good at delivering the type of music their fans want from them. I’m just on the outside looking in, as it were.

The reason I’m telling you of all of this is because, despite my preconceived notions of what the evening had in store, I was absolutely blown away by the talent on display throughout the night. As each band came on stage followed by me silently groaning to myself, imagining the impending ear travesty I was about to endure, my negativity was proven unfounded again and again. Basically, it was fucking awesome.

It’s no secret that Fokofpolisiekar have a massive, cult-like following. Their punk rock stylings have helped them steadily build a rabid fanbase, who eagerly attend the band’s every gig and performance. I’ve heard their music before (at this point you’d have to actively try not to, if you’re living in South Africa) but despite many friends singing their praises for years, I’ve never given them a fair shake, always being the one guy to ask, “What do they have against police vehicles exactly?” This is usually followed by blank stares or the shaking of heads.

After Saturday night I have a more complete understanding of the phenomenon.

They played some of their more well-known tracks and some of their newer ones, such as “Antibiotika”, “Ek Skyn (Heilig)” and “Vernietig Jouself”, and the crowd ate every second of it up and asked for seconds. By the time they got to their namesake track, “Fokofpolisiekar” (for those who haven’t been paying attention), Francois – the leader singer, but you probably already knew that – didn’t even need to sing as the crowd did all his work for him, shouting every word and jumping enthusiastically to the energetic chorus.

What’s even more impressive is that lyrical lynchpin Hunter Kennedy wasn’t able to be there, so they had Jedd Kossew from Van Coke Kartel stepping in for the night. And… you wouldn’t even have known the difference.

Now here’s where things get interesting, event though we’re going back in time to before Fokofpolisiekar’s performance. The three supporting acts for the night were The Runs, Baarmoedergevoel and Wake to Wonder. These bands were personally selected to open for Fokofopoliseikar after sending in demos and band biographies as part of a special competition the band decided to run during the World Cup. Some of them have been on the scene for a while, while others are relative newcomers. Either way, they had to have some talent in order to be selected. Right?

While the name conjures up horrible, horrible images in one’s mind, The Runs got things off to a solid, rocking start. You might even say they kicked a fair amount of ass, if that’s your thing (I don’t know how you roll). The Cape Town-based band consists of lead singer and guitarist Gabriel Shmabriel (I wonder if that’s his real name), lead guitarist Andrew Esterhuizen, bassist Timmy Gaud and Nick Gordon on drums. They claim to strive for an “energetic groove-based rock sound with a punk attitude” and that’s exactly what they delivered. They almost have a distinct 70’s rock sound, with some 90’s thrown in here and there. Think of them like a more modern, South African version of The Clash. They were seriously tight and the crowd, who seemed unfamiliar with the music, got into it easily. The overall reaction was exceedingly positive, and I’d definitely listen to them again. Now they just need to do something about that name.

Next up were Baarmoedergevoel, an Afrikaans (surprise!) band hailing from Cape Town. Their music is self-described as “a blend of melodic guitars, funky bass lines and creative drumming”. Think of it like if the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters all had sex with Jan van Riebeeck – Baarmoedergevoel would most likely be the result. I wasn’t completely sold on them, to be honest. They weren’t bad by any means, but I didn’t feel they were as tight as they could have been either. I listened to their album the day after they played, and I felt they weren’t as good live as they seem to be in a studio. Having said that, if the worst comment I can make is that they sounded better on the album, it means they do have the talent and the potential to go places. The lead singer, Dawid van Vuuren, seemed like he’d been doing it for years, coming off extremely comfortable on stage and interacting with the audience like an old pro. I almost forgot I was watching a relatively new band. The rest of the band, Jakoos Scheepers on lead guitar and backing vocals, Jaco van Niekerk on rhythm guitar, Geran Steyn on bass and backing vocals and Paul Lötter on drums, all knew what they were doing – I just think being the second band of the evening didn’t do them any favours. But hey, they handed out free albums and I’m all about the freebie (curse these Jewish genes!).

Now we come to it.

The real surprise of the evening came in the form of a band from Johannesburg called Wake to Wonder. Kak name, good band. Consisting of lead singer and guitarist Adam Boyd, guitarist and background vocalist Paul Jansen Van Vuuren, drummer Cam Gardner and bassist Werner Ainslie, Wake to Wonder came together in 2007 and from what I saw last Saturday, are well on their way to staking a claim in the South African music scene.

Of course, at the time I didn’t know any of this and when they came on stage I expected an imminent fail. I wasn’t the only one; the people next to me had dubious expressions on their faces when they came out. I think the reason for this lay in the fact that lead singer Adam Boyd is quite a small guy. I have to admit that when he came on stage I turned to my mate and said, “I didn’t know the Jonas Brothers were performing tonight.”

Like a cross between Anberlin and 30 Seconds to Mars (I know, just go with it) these guys quickly turned skepticism into immense approval, winning over the crowd with their truly excellent guitar skills, impressive bass riffs, original and intelligent lyrics and the overall confidence with which they performed. Boyd’s vocals were solid, going from soft to screaming with ease. The true testament to their talent though, came when they performed covers of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”. Now, if that sounds cringe-inducing in writing, you can imagine how many eyebrows were raised when it first became apparent what they were doing. It could have easily come across as pretentious and karaoke-like. Instead, they made the songs their own – changing enough to give it a unique, South African flavor, while keeping enough of the original in there to make the songs completely identifiable. After they pulled that off, I (and it seemed everyone around me) was sold.

Fokofpolisiekar may have been the main act of the evening, but in my opinion the night started and ended with Wake to Wonder.

- www.mahala.co.za


Album - SALUBRIOUS (Jan 2010)
Album - Descarify (2012)

"Descarify" - Theme song for the European ADAC masters
"The silence" - Rotation on South African music television
"Cold" - Rotation on South African music television

Mr Potato Man (is a ladies man)
Discord in Harmony



Wake to Wonder hail from the Vaal Triangle in Gauteng, South Africa, and have been stirring up a storm since they were established in August 2007. Their innovative tunes, mixing melodic vocals with powerhouse drums, in-your-face guitar leads and melodies and dynamic bass riffs have put them on the map in the South African music scene as well as generated a steadily-growing international footprint for the band internationally.
The band's strong repertoire and dynamic stage performances have gained them rapidly growing acceptance, and they have featured in numerous television appearances on MNET, MK, Eastern Mosiac, TGL, MX-Life (Broadcast to 190 countries) and other stations. Several radio stations, including Radio Highveld, 5FM and various campus radio stations have featured interviews with the band. The Band has had alot of radio play for singels like "The Silence (2011)", "Cold (2009)", "With You (2011)" and "The Need (2010)" on National stations like Highveld 94.7 and University stations across the country. The band's "Mr Potato Man" shot to number 1 position on the Radio Highveld Homebrew charts and featured in the top 10 for 16 weeks, and the band's second release, "Discord in Harmony" shot straight into the top 10 in the Homebrew charts at number 3. "Mr Potato Man" entered Ryan Seacrest's Top 8 at 8 charts in third position as well.

The print and electronic media have also taken notice. Wake to Wonder have featured in articles in the Citizen, People Magazine, LT Magazine, LW Magazine, The Riff, Mahala, SA Music News, ADAC monthly magazine (Germany), Hot Venues Magazine and others. Internationally the band featured in a well-received and extensive article on motocrossplanet.com, Europe's biggest English language online publication dedicated to the exciting adrenaline sport of motocross racing.
The band have played in virtually every major festival in South Africa, including Woodstock, Thornfest "the camp", Seasons Wither, Aardklop, Jo'Burg Burning and many more. They have performed alongside some of SA's top bands as well as international acts such as the platinum-selling American band The Ataris (made famous by their song "Boys of the summer"), hardcore Dutch legends No Turning Back, Ska punk outfit Red 5 Pointed Star from Slovenia, UK metal band Seven year Kismet as well as Platinum selling pop rock outfit from Ireland ‘Ash’ .
Wake to Wonder embarked on a two month national tour during February 2010 to promote their album SALUBRIOUS. This included dates in Pinetown, Durban, East London, Cape Town, Potchefstroom, Secunda, Welkom, Bloemfontein as well as their home town Vanderbijlpark. The tour was a great success and promoted the band to a higher level of consciousness amongst their fans, and gaining many new converts.
The band set their eyes to Europe in 2011 and after a extencive marketing campaign and planning the band was on their way, setting out to Europe on a 3 week tour in July 2011. Wake to Wonder played at the Latvian Grand Prix, Faces Festival in Finland, numerous performances in Estonia as well as at the ADAC masters in Germany where the band have been asked to write the theme music for the 2012 series

The band in 2012 set out to write the Theme song for the ADAC masters and ended up with the song "Descarify". ADAC being one of the largest automotive companies in the world has more than 18 Million members and we are proud to announce the "Descarify" has been chosen as the Official ADAC Masters theme song for 2012. The band will also be returning to europe later this year for another tour.