I Woke Up Early For My Funeral's Brandon and Ryan Live the Life that's Worth Living


Rock n' rollers I Woke Up Early For My Funeral have released their debut EP they like to call "Us Against The World". It's built upon a philosophy of writing and creating music that's in itself creative, original, diverse, and digestible. Frontman vocalist Brandon James and guitarist/pianist Ryan Christopher discusses this debut and plans for playing shows as well as touring and much more!


1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

The band was created by guitarist Ryan after previously signed/national bands Vagabond, Lennon decided to call it quits. He dabbled in writing/producing theater and soundtracks, but quickly came back to a band scenario, being head strong with a new focus. At first, the project was focused with a female lead but with her departure Ryan then found Brandon who came from a national act Turning Point and knew he had a voice for I Woke Up Early For My Funeral. We then paired our band with one of the best bassist in Orlando John, and a drummer who had toured nationally Josh, the band was forged and ready by late 2012!

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Ryan: I created the name as a saying to motivate me and others to wake up every day and live your hearts desire, chase your dreams, live for the moment, and just enjoy life. Basically one day I was analyzing human relationships and our lives as a whole, then started thinking about how we all travel different roads that would eventually lead to the same destination our funeral. So I came up with the phase as a motivation to wake up early for my funeral and seize my life!

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

The band is based out of Orlando, Florida and the scene here is full of talent! We spend a lot of time touring around Florida but playing in Orlando is always a great time for us with great artists. Some bands would be A Brilliant Lie, Familiar Sin, and a ton of others!

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Brandon: The lyrical theme is love, tragedy, and hope. Those 3 words can cum up the world and our music as a whole.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Ryan: A lot have influenced us and we have such a variety of bands that we like but as far as our sound and style, I think we are modeled and styled after bands like Stone Sour, Led Zeppelin, Jane's Addiction, Avenged Sevenfold, who have all forged their own sound and kept it diverse. It's interesting from song to song and our songwriting philosophy has become keep it diverse, original, creative, and digestible. We definitely live in the hard rock world but have elements of alternative, classic, active, and metal all thrown together.

6. Is there any story or concept behind the "Us Against The World" title?

Brandon: The concept behind the title is two people who found something love and each other, worth fighting for in this crazy world of ours. Together as a team they could overcome any obstacle life has given. Unfortunately this bond was broken and so heartbreak was the final conclusion.

Ryan: I also think at some point in everyone's life they feel like it's them against the world! Everyone has moments of feeling alone and weight the world on their shoulders.

7. Who produced "Us Against The World" and what was it like working with them?

Ryan: It was produced by Dan Manata who's done work with Familiar Sin, Milka, and Chris Short and us as a band. Both of those guys are great and have worked with a ton of local bands. But we definitely needed to work with people who were cool with us, taking a major role in the recording process as we're a hands on type of band, we tracked the principal instruments in my home studio  dubbed the "Funeral Parlor". It was a really creative, relaxing, process because there was no time constraints and the environment was on point! Then came the finished mixing at Chris' studio in Orlando called the Alpaca Ranch Studios, everything just came together really well for everyone.

8. Who did the cover art for "Us Against The World" and how much input did you have on it?

Ryan: The cover artwork was a picture I found lying around a public domain and it just represented the "Us Againat the World" title so well, it featured a group of kids holding hands and taking on the world. It forces the viewer to create a story, allowing the viewer to create a personalized image for themselves. It also gives you a sense of ownership. A lot of our art tends to have that type of imagery and that creepy vintage feel was rad and the Disney masks were also cool because we live right here in Orlando so the picture just felt so right!

9. Do you guys have a favorite off this EP?

Ryan: I love all of our songs and each one stands on it's own style and story. But my personal favorite off it would be "Soul Changes" it has a heaviness to it both musically and story wise. Brandon's vocals are really powerful and moving on it.

10. What are your upcoming touring/show plans?

Ryan: Right now we have processions a term we use to call our shows/tours all over Florida. So working with booking agents will help us spread our sphere of influence to the East coast then the national terrains ans the rest of the world!

11. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Ryan: All of the major sites Facebook, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, etc. You can purchase our music from iTunes, Amazon, CDBbay, Bandcamp, etc. The good thing about our name is that it's so unique that we are the only one's that ever pop up!

12. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Ryan: Hopefully they get some kind of emotion or feeling from our music. I want to cause reactions and feelings, like when I was a kid listening to music, it was my world, my air, my religion, music is and always has been my first love, best friend and thing that I live for and can't live without. If the listeners get attached to our music whether it's the lyrics or the music whatever I hope that we inspire and make that person's life a better one because of our music.

13. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Ryan: We are going to be touring, recording, and multitasking like crazy to constantly keep things interesting and fresh! We believe in releasing small volumes of songs/EPs taking our time and budgeting to make those full albums in a archaic notion. I believe that by constantly doing something new it keeps the fan, listener, and audience interested, especially in a world where we are constantly bombarded by art. Our fans which we call "The Awakened" can always expect us to present the music, art, and ideas that are always fresh and creative.

14. Any final words of wisdom?

Ryan: "Wake up everyday and live your hearts desire. Travel different roads, because we all have the same destination, live learn, love, but be who you dream of being, believe what is important as a necessity of live and be contagious!"

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