Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Flashback: Wondermints (December 12, 1996)

By Alan Haber Pure Pop Radio

Listen to Wondermints’ Darian Sahanaja and Nick Walusko on Pure Pop Radio (December 12, 1996):

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From the Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation archives: Wondermints’ debut, self-titled album, released on the Big Deal label in 1996, provided more than ample proof that Darian Sahanaja and Nick Walusko were a collective force to be reckoned with. Steeped in the hallowed traditions of melodic pop, but not afraid to bank slightly left or right in the service of a surprising and inventive approach, the band was in the pocket from the start.

Speaking of left and right turns, and the surprise of an inventive approach, Wondermints’ second album, Wonderful World of Wondermints, originally released on the Japanese label Toy’s Factory, was an all-covers affair that could be seen as a step backward for a band looking to define itself by its original songs. Far from it, the album was nothing less than a career-defining experience, even better and minty than the band’s debut.

Recorded quickly at the request of Toy’s Factory, the band not only covered a baker’s dozen quirky sixties and seventies gems, reimagining them as if they were band compositions, they also covered themselves by running once more through “Tracy Hide,” which appeared on Wondermints. When all was said and done, the band owned every song on Wonderful World, from the Brian Wilson-penned “Guess I’m Dumb,” first recorded by Glen Campbell, to the 5 Stairsteps’ classic “Ooh Child.” Wonderful World, for which drummer Michael D’Amico and the versatile Probyn Gregory became band members, was an explosive achievement for a young band.

During this interview, Darian and Nick talked about Wonderful World of Wondermints, their young career, and how they first played with Brian Wilson. Since this show first aired (and it hasn’t been heard since then), Wondermints have, of course, gone on to back the legendary Brian Wilson in both the studio and in concert. But it all started just over 20 years ago. This interview captures Darian and Nick in fun form and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that my voice has indeed been an octave (or two) higher, but no less engaged during a conversation with two of melodic pop music’s best and brightest.

This show is presented in scoped format due to copyright concerns, which means you won’t hear the songs as you listen. We present the following list of YouTube links to rectify the situation:



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