Tyler Greene

Awake At Last – Interview

Monday 30th April 2018

Awake At Last are a band that I’m always stoked about interviewing.  Each time we catch-up there seems to be a constant leap forward, as they continue to tour hard and perform even harder.  Life on the road is a big part of what these guys are all about, connecting with fans, and bringing their music to as many venues and stages as possible. They released their EP “Life/Death/Rebirth” a few months go now, which you seriously need to get on your radar if you haven’t given it a listen yet. It landed at #48 on the Active Rock Charts, stacked up over 100k streams on Spotify, has been requested by fans and spun on a number of radio stations, including SMX Octane!

Hello! It’s been over 2 years since we last spoke and it seems as though so much has happened since then. How are you all and what’s new for the band? 

We have all been doing great!  We’ve been able to keep a slow and steady climb as we continue to tour all over the country and interact with what is proving to be one of the most amazing fan bases ever.  We have a lot of ideas as far as branding is concerned and hope to put out some new music soon.

Your latest EP “Life/Death/Rebirth” has been out for a number of months now. How have you found the response to your music so far? 

It seems like our fans have been loving it.  It’s also been pretty well received by newer audiences and people who may not necessarily be into our genre.  I think that people dig the individualistic nature of the sound because they can’t really peg it as a certain genre, which makes it super exciting to know that we’re developing a sound all our own.  I’ve been blown away at how much support we’ve seen since the release.

You did a lot of funding for the EP through Indigogo. How was that experience and is it a platform you would consider using again to fund for future releases? 

I really like the idea of Indiegogo because it gives those fans who really love what we do a chance to be a part of those early phases and reap some rewards as a result.  I think that with the current meta of the internet, if bands and fans interacted more through 1 on 1 interactions, you can build the kind of fanbase who will always support and help build your career.  It becomes this amazing connection and it really helps with all the pressures of being an unsigned independent band.

You seem like a band that are constantly on the road touring your music. Do you enjoy life on the road, and how has playing so many shows helped your live performances? 

I love being on the road a lot.  It’s definitely not for everyone, but once you get into that mindset of waking up every morning with goals, and a plan to execute it becomes very liberating.  The more we play on the road the tighter the band gets and the tighter our bond as a band gets.  It’s my favorite aspect of what we do.  Even though the corporations have managed to almost turn our country into a giant shopping mall I find that the adventure is in the people you meet.  Interacting with all the people who love what we do, and even the new ones we just meet is extremely rewarding.

What about how you’ve evolved as a band? I’m constantly impressed by your drive, but what has been your main focus with “Life/Death/Rebirth?”  

We just want to continue to elevate and inspire people to pursue fulfilling lives, and do what they love and find a way to make a living doing so.  If we can be living examples that manifest destiny, and the law of attraction work then I hope that people will find the strength in themselves to also do what they love.  It’s too easy to get caught up in the societal machine of everything.  Depression and anxiety are at an all time high because people are taught to make the safe choices.  We want to light a spark in those who decide that making the adventure of your life about what you love doing the most is worth every trial and tribulation.

How are you feeling about performing at this years Vans Warped Tour? That’s got to be an experience for any band, and even more so knowing it’s going to be their final year. 

It’s an immense honor to be amongst the final bands to perform in the final warped tour.  It’s always been a huge staple in our scene and meant a lot to us individually as we grew up in the days when we thought it would never end.  I’m going to embrace and live that experience up to the fullest and continue to carry the torch for the bands of the genre, in hopes that even as warped tour fades, new festivals will rise to take its place and we can continue to evolve the music scene.  When one door closes, thousands open.

Spending time with your fans is something that you like to do after a show. How important is it for you to connect with your fans in this way? 

It’s one of the most important aspects of the band.  We wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have our amazing fans supporting us and helping us continue to live our dream.  We’ve been on shows with other bands where they will hang out at their vans all day before playing, but I think they’re missing out on one of the best parts of being a musician.  I’ve had amazing conversations with fans and it’s always made all of the hardships worth it.  It also creates a closeness with us and our fans and makes us feel like a unit.  It’s something we’ve always loved doing, and hopefully something we can continue forever.

I have to ask you about your single “Never Be A Memory” and the decision behind it being a stand-alone track? It’s a great song but hasn’t made it on to any of your EPs. 

Questions, and Never Be A Memory were both recorded and written during a transitional phase in the band.  In a lot of ways we were still trying to figure out what direction the band was going to go and after doing so it helped us figure it out.  It wasn’t necessarily meant to be a stand alone, it still resonates within the theme of doing what you love and pursuing your dreams, it was just built during a transition period, and when Life Death Rebirth ended up being a concept album there wasn’t really room for it on the EP.  But it’s still a fan favorite, and I’ve always dug the song.

Do you have much downtime outside of the band and are there any hobbies or other interests that you enjoy? 

The band keeps us pretty busy, but since we’re still independent and unsigned we all work jobs as well.  We all enjoy hanging out and we all have different vibes that we get into when we aren’t in the band. I know I dig role playing games, some of the others like the beach and such.  For the most part the band stays pretty focused on music because it’s the driving force behind who we are.

What are your plans for the year ahead, and what do you hope to achieve? 

I’d like to see the vision start to really come into itself.  We’ve been working on some new songs for a while and with any luck I’d like to see a release in our near future.  There’s a lot of branding and thought that has gone into this full length record.  I have a vision for what I hope it will accomplish and look forward to finding ways to bring the pieces together to make it happen.  With that I’d like to get a bit more visual and really help to tell the story of what we do, and why we do it hopefully inspiring others to pursue their passions and dreams as well.

Connect with Awake At Last via their WebsiteFacebook and Twitter

Awake At Last – Life/Death/Rebirth

Thursday 3rd August 2017

Track Listing:

1. Purgatorium
2. Analysis Paralysis
3. Dark Waltz
4. White Rabbit
5. Constellations
6. Reflections

Awake At Last are a band that I always get excited about.  They first contacted me in 2015 following the release of their King of the World EP and I really enjoyed their sound.  It’s always great to hear about bands and artists from the other side of the pond so I had to interview Awake At Last to find out more.  Since our initial chat things have been moving forward really well for the band; they contacted me again in 2016 to let me know they’d just wrapped up their next EP following a successful Indigogo campaign, and here we are now less than a year later and we can get our ears around their latest offering Life/Death/Rebirth.

Initially when I first listened to the album it reminded me straight away why I really enjoy this band.  So much energy has gone in to the release and there’s a clear progression from their previous material which has been well built upon.  I remember when Never Be A Memory was released, their first single in a couple of years since the King of the World EP and at the time it was apparent how much Awake At Last were evolving.

Speaking with guitarist Imran Xhelili last year ahead of the release he explained that “We’ve definitely pushed ourselves more musically – the guitars are definitely doing a lot more as are the drums, bass and vocal melodies. There’s a lot more energy on the new EP and we’re all confident in the change of direction the progression of our sound, since we would never want to release the same CD twice. We all came together a lot more on the song writing as a full band and were able to blend our influences into this new direction of Awake At Last.”

Opening track Purgatorium provides a great opportunity for lead singer Vincent Torres to showcase the range and quality of his well-established vocals.  The chilling opening is theatrical, with a gradual build-up and a soft sound inviting you in, and then when the progressiveness kicks in all hell breaks loose and you’re thrown straight in to a journey of an EP that tells a story of redemption.  Analysis Paralysis has a dark intro with mighty guitar work and a tasty riff, and opens the way for realisation that you’re in for a much heavier release, and lyrically it’s very poignant too.

It can be really difficult trying to stand out in such a competitive industry, but to me Awake At Last have always gone beyond their ambitions to make the band work, and it’s clear they’re not scared to push in to a genre that others have yet to dare tread.  Dark Waltz and White Rabbit are forcefully vigorous tracks and fill the release with a display that shows they’re not scared to move out of their comfort zone.  I especially enjoy the expression in the lyrics for White Rabbit, with Vincent declaring that “I’m not heartless I just use my heart less” it’s commanding, powerful and relatable.

Constellations is a howling track, and possibly one of my favourites on the EP.  The way in which the drums and guitars work together creates an absolute storm, and how they work the different paces the track goes through is intricate.  I was once told by a friend that drummers don’t get enough attention in bands and this has always stuck with me, so I have to make sure I point out how the drumming really stands out and accelerates in this track.  Keeping up the pace, Reflections brings the grunge and is a lot edgier, but after professing that “we care to much or we don’t care enough, I’m sick of the concept of falling in love” it takes us on a steadier step towards the end of the EP.

Life/Death/Rebirth is a solid release that’s tightly polished and one that Awake At Last should be proud of.  They continue to go from strength to strength and it would be great to see a full album next, or even have these guys signed.  They work hard, tour hard, and do everything they can to make the band work and get their name out there; it’s time these guys were snapped up to a label!  So if you’re in the neighbourhood looking for something new to grace your speakers, give Awake At Last a spin, you won’t be dissapointed.

Connect with Awake At Last via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.