When much-loved Kiwi band Sons of Zion perform in Tauranga this summer you can guarantee they’ll be coming with a new set and some new music.
Four members of the six-piece band, Matt Sadgrove – bass/engineer, Sam Eriwata – vocals/percussion, Rio Panapa – vocals/guitar, and Joel Latimer – keys, have touched down in Los Angeles to create their first international album.
Travelling to the heart of the world’s entertainment industry, Sons of Zion are seeking some fresh perspective from the eclectic and artistic surroundings of Venice Beach.
After 12 years together, lead vocalist Rio Panapa says it was the perfect time to head abroad to draw inspiration for their third album, which they hope to release in time for summer.
“As a band we are always pushing ourselves to be the best artists that we can be. And coming to a place like L.A. has given us new inspiration and re-energised our hunger to create music,” says Rio.
The band will spend the next few days at Larrabee Studios, an iconic venue that has hosted some of the biggest names in music for more than four decades. They will join the long-list of creatives to have recorded there including legendary artists such as Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Tupac, and the Rolling Stones to name just a few.
“For the boys it has been a lifelong dream to record in a place like this, knowing that some of the biggest songs ever created were made in this same space,” says Rio.
“We can’t wait to share what we come up with, with our fans back home in New Zealand,” he says.
Sons of Zion songwriter and bassist, Matthew Sadgrove spent four years in Los Angeles early on in his career and is thrilled to be back in his old stomping ground after recently producing tracks for Stan Walker and Six60.
“L.A. has an energy and a buzz about it that really inspires you to create and push harder than you would normally at home.
“I forgot how much I missed the feel of this city,” he says.
Singer Sam Eriwata says the band’s sound had evolved over the years due to a natural progression of growing up and being comfortable to make music that felt right for them in their current stage of their lives.
“Over the next week we are just focused on getting new ideas on the page and recorded. The trip so far has been really beneficial and we can’t wait to get into the studio today,” says Sam.
Sons of Zion will be back in New Zealand in time for the New Zealand festival circuit, set to play at One Love, Soundsplash and Bay Dreams where they will perform their new music live for the first time.