Maurizio Zanella Photography

Mimmo Ripa, who has his own solo project, “Aboutmeemo,” and Ania Chmielewska make up “Bursting Wonderland,” a musical project founded in Ireland. By merging alt-rock, grunge, and 90’s rock vibes, the duo creates a genuine sound. Their album, “David vs. Goliath,” was released on February 28th, and we had the pleasure of discussing it, as well as “Summer’s End,” the album’s third single, which we reviewed.

First things first, what brought you two together? And what sparked the idea of creating “Bursting Wonderland.”?

The first contact had as protagonist one song, “UP HERE”, which is a ABOUTMEEMO tune included in the first album in 2016.

Ania at that time in Poland heard the song and contacted me in private letting me know how much the song was inspiring her in that particular time of her life.

Then not long after she decided to move over in Ireland where now we both are based.

In your EPK, you mentioned that the project’s name is based on the opposite of your personalities. Would you say that this difference affected your music somehow?

That’s correct:) “bursting” represents Mimmo, explosive, pragmatic and cynical, driven to debunk the usual people fake and comfy positions they assume in order to survive and stressed to look “cool” rather than courageous honest. “Wonderland” is Ania, a much more calmer soul, believing in kindness and magic, praising the beauty behind most of the things alive and not.

It’s a good question as I never thought of it before but I can easily say on 2 legs that it defo comes out from the music fusion.

The instrumental parts are edgy, punchy and sharp by Mimmo’s nature while Ania paints them with her honest vibe of innocence and delicate melodies.

We are quite Hard rock/pop in a sense.

What words would you use to describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?

Eerie, energetic, intimate, grungy, old school

Mimmo already has his own project, “Aboutmeemo.” So, what are the perks of working as a duo that a solo project does not have?

UPSIDES: Be able to wander freer as a composer and artistic producer as having an element as Ania in the project brings new challenges and a need of detaching from my own usual songwriting to embrace new options a bit more impersonal and outside my intimate introvert zone. Understand what’s needed and when needed considering the fairness of the awareness to mold the best of what we can achieve together.

DOWNSIDE: Compromise isn’t an easy thing at all, isn’t it?

How do you draw inspiration for crafting a new piece?

It can be starting from anything, a melody that may come unexplained suddenly during the days, or a certain topic that may catch our interest, or decide on purpose to write about someone or something.

In general thou so far, Mimmo is in charge of music composition and arrangement and the vision of the production wanted while Ania writes lyrics and vocal melodies.

We start from a riff or a nearly finished new piece structured already thought previously the meetings.

Would you walk us through the making of your first album, “David vs. Goliath”?

The origin of this project there was band first.

After myself and Ania agreed to start this together, me on composition and Ania on vocals we went looking for band members. Total catastrophe!! After many, and after many tested to be musicians wanna be, reluctant to rehearse, lacking commitment but full on be demanding on how supposedly democratically they should have been at centre of discussions and involvement without giving what was needed,( guys go busking its better) we landed on 2 names that accompanied us for a while in the first stage of the band.

But all after a few months of hard work and planning to record (we had 12 songs in 3 months of practice) me and Ania understood that we had potential and we had to have a special respect for our creations, the songs, and do not let anything or anyone jeopardize our babies. Most of the problems weren’t coming even from clashes of personality or ideas but the lack of passion in the commitment towards a band.

So we decided with a lot of effort to take all this on our shoulders! We had enthusiasm, to the aims and the will to achieve, the potential and self motivated to continue. From that point on we called this, a duo project or family business.

We went through 1000 hassles here and there, logistically as every suffered piece of work before getting born but also prob much more than usual.

People not actively working in this field cannot really understand how many wanna be musicians are actually existing out there. Those are time wasters and band breakers, so beware of words, the proof is in the singing ” quoting Ken Tamplin 🙂

We went to record in a rec studio in the west of Ireland, the worst experience ever. Unorganized, expensive, approximating everything, dirty and malfunctioning ( trainspotting style at the time.

The process lasted 3 times the amount of time needed just because of this fucking guy engineer that was all over the place, inviting his bad to practice while we were on a recording session, asking for more money than agreed in begin, losing files… really a fact as the usual borderline situation in Ireland.

So we took eventually those files, and finish to record some more parts in another studio in Galway( studio sure, literally a room with a pc, one mic charging 40e per hr).

It was a struggle and a never ending adventure, we promised to make it through, to record and release no matter what, we felt like for such a simple thing like this we were challenging the whole Irish big machine. We were poor and always on the verge to lose control but we did. That’s why this was a fight, David vs Goliath fight.

Could you name a favorite track from the album? If so, why that particular one?

Mimmo: Hard to say after knowing the songs so well and after hearing them 10000 times. The fav one always slips off from the first position to give space to another to take that place. In fact I believe the album has 10 favorite songs in it (hard to choose which single to choose every time too:)) But since I got asked I’d say that IT WILL PASS it’s my fav.(next single maybe??)

Ania: I could never answer this question. These songs are like children to me, therefore are being loved equally, I have no favorites and just like kids, each one is different, every song has its own story and vibe and feels too connected to all of them, so impossible for me to choose only one.

We truly enjoyed your single “Summer’s End.” We’d like to know everything there is to know about it. The idea, the songwriting process, the production process, the recording process, all of it.

Thanks a mill!!

Summer’s end is the personal story and journey of Mimmo narrated by Ania.

It’s a simple romantic and symbolic story of a young positive boy that strives to find his true path in life, which really is the best prediction that could lead him to the personal satisfaction of his expectations. Expectations are always a minefield territory full of disillusioned anecdotes. All lost once arrived in Ireland… ah man 🙂

The video features in fact some friends, Mimmo native town in Italy, “Radio terronia rock”,and Antonio Zannone on camera that we cant wait to work together again prob for the next video clip.

What was it like to work on the album with the French label M&O?

Mimmo: No comment really…

Ania: There were 2 types of contracts we had with labels. One was 4 month promo, the other is digital distribution to streaming services. So there wasn’t much work to be done apart from sending a lot of material as for logos, pictures, trailers in all formats suitable..Defo not like they show it on movies and not like listeners imagine it.

You two work well together, and the chemistry is obvious in your music, but would you think someday of adding other members?

Absolutely not!! 🙂

Finally, thank you for your time! Would you tell us about your upcoming plans?

Thank you very much for this great interview, we enjoyed it!

We are at moment still in promotion of “David vs Goliath”, and we plan to release as single at least 2 more songs.

We are also in the process of making a second album! Songs are ready and in these days we are looking after the drum sessions. It’s gonna be a different album than the previous in vibe especially.

Will be in full BW style, with no copy and paste, no special effects and robot musicians in it but compared to David vs Goliath its gonna be faster and more energetic Rock but also versatile and introduce new aspects of our personalities in music evolution.

We live together in the countryside of Connemara in Ireland, and here we make everything at home, from the making of the songs to recording and productions to homemade jams and marijuana plants. It’s inspiring.

Another great news to spread is that in this album could be participating a special guest as Sylvia Massi, which we are honored as you can imagine..maybe about the mix, or maybe a different collab? STAY TUNED!