Much-loved Kiwi band Sons of Zion turn a dream into reality this week, recording their first international album in the same space legendary musicians Bob Marley, Alicia Keys, Tupac and the Rolling Stones have recorded before them.
Four members of the six-piece band, Rio Panapa (vocals/guitar), Matt Sadgrove (bass/engineer), Sam Eriwata (vocals/percussion), Joel Latimer (keys), have touched down in Los Angeles seeking some fresh perspective from the eclectic and artistic surroundings of Venice Beach.
After 12 years together, lead vocalist Rio Panapa said it was the perfect time to head to the heart of the world’s entertainment industry to draw inspiration for their third album, which they planned 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,” Panapa said.
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,” Rio says.
“We can’t wait to share what we come up with, with our fans back home in New Zealand,” he said.
Sons of Zion songwriter and bassist, Matthew Sadgrove, spent four years in Los Angeles early on 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,” Sadgrove said.
“I forgot how much I missed the feel of this city,” he says.
Singer Sam Eriwata said 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,” Eriwata said.
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.