Awake At Last – Interview

Monday 26th October 2015

Line Up:

Vincent Torres – Vocals
Eric Blackway – Lead Guitar
Imran Xhelili – Rhythm Guitar
Jon Finney – Drums
Tyler Greene – Bass Guitar

You guys have clearly got something good going on, and a huge fan base, but there’s little information about you to be read. Tell me about how it all began for you guys. Where did it start and how did you all meet?

Awake At Last was formed in 2011 by lead singer Vincent Torres, and Guitarist Eric Blackway. The two musicians had played in multiple projects prior to Awake At Last but it wasn’t till after some time apart that they formed the band. The initial EP “Awake At Last” saw a little early success and got some radio play, so the band decided to tour on it. We went to California and back but because of some differences we had to replace the original Drummer and Bassist. We got drummer Bryan Mills and recorded the “Mansion Of Memories” EP right before current bassist Tyler Greene joined. Once the line-up was complete the band took to the roads and began touring all around their regional area. Eventually the idea to switch Vincent Torres to Lead Vocals and hire on a new guitarist came up and Imran Xhelili joined the group. The group continued to tour until Bryan Mills was unable to and then we got Drummer Jon Finney which completes the Quintet.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Awake at Last, how would you describe your music and what you’re all about?

Awake At Last tries to always portray an air of positivity but we also channel the struggle and the hardships that come with the obstacles that all to often tend to get in the way. Our music takes elements of pop, metal, and punk and introduce a darker minor twist, but we also try to include orchestrations, and classical elements. Add onto that the theatrical and aggressive-ish singing and you have our sound.

What’s your writing process and how do you create music as a band. Is it something you do collectively, or does each member bring their own ideas to the table?

We actually do all of the above. We usually plan the songs out ahead of time using tools on our computers then we take the ideas to the garage and flesh them out so that we all have a say in the creation and we all have the ability to pour our creativity into each song.

Who are your inspirations and how do you draw upon them?

This is a tough question. All of the band members take inspiration from all sorts of different groups. As a singer I take a lot from bands I grew up listening to like My Chemical Romance, and the Used but I’m also a huge fan of theatre and I always try to include those dramatic elements as well. We all bring our own brand of chaos to the table then once we get it all together we all make sure we agree with the outcome.

Being in an unsigned band has huge financial costs, but it’s clear you’re really trying hard to push things as a band. You look after your own social media, create your own website, run your own tour bus, as well as managing all your press, etc. Are you finding that you have to do other things outside of the band to help keep things afloat?

Absolutely. The music industry has changed… but the internet provides all the tools necessary to push yourself a long. We all work different jobs outside of the band but we maintain that the band is our primary investment and anything we do is to push the band forward until we can get the backing of a label, or management company. We all work jobs outside and inside of the music industry.

You’ve got a busy tour schedule coming up in October and November, having only just finished your end of summer tour. Are you looking forward to being back out on the road, and can fans expect any new material to be performed?

Being on the road is the absolute best part about doing what we do. In a world very numbed by social media, and technology being on the road and being able to actually reach out and meet your fans and provide a human experience is what makes it all worth it. We are performing our new song Questions and we’ve also been playing our other new single that hasn’t been released yet called Never Be A Memory which we will be filming a music video for in the near future. It is amazing to meet and hangout with the awesome people the universe puts in our path and is in many ways the reason we are able to keep doing this. Our fans keep us alive.

Are you taking anyone out on tour with you, or are you planning to slay this one yourselves?

We usually bring out a roadie or a friend to help with some of the behind the curtain stuff, but I think on the upcoming run we’re going to be attacking it on our own.

What are your plans after the tour? Maybe another EP or album?

We are working on filming a music video for our other single, and we are in the creation phase of writing a new EP which we are all extremely excited about. I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been up to. Our struggle translates through our music, but so does overcoming said obstacles. I’m extremely excited for what is to come.

You’ve just released a lyric video for your new single ‘Questions’. When can we look forward to a full video release?

We are still in talks about whether or not we will be doing an “official” video for ‘Questions’ but we haven’t dismissed the idea and it could very well be in the near future.

What’s the ultimate aim for the band, and how do you see yourselves progressing?

We love what we do and our goal is to reach out and help elevate the people who are looking for something to believe in. We have worked harder than any of us have ever worked in our lives in creating this band and ideally we’d love to be signed by a label and put on support tours. We’ve already laid most of the foundation and we already know what it means to suffer and the pressures that come with the music industry but we are ready to expand our market and play for more and more people to continue to grow and elevate our friends, families, fans, and loved ones. We will continue to fight no matter what the cost.