Awake At Last is a hard-hitting, melody driven rock band from Dover, Delaware. Formed in 2011, the band continues to tour, play shows, write and record music, and has so much more in-store. Thus, they have gone on to release their latest "Questions". Find out about their plans ahead and some insight as well.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
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.
2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?
After juggling a lot of different ideas it was originally going to be Alive At Last. But considering the fact that we (Eric and I) knew that at that moment we were going to make every sacrifice necessary to truly chase this dream we saw it as a sort of spiritual Awakening, like we knew our Purpose and henceforth we were Awake At Last.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Being from Dover, Delaware is tough for us as a band… There was a great music scene in the earlier 2000's, but slowly but surely more and more all ages venues kept shutting down for whatever reasons and we’ve been practically reduced to a few decent bars which is good for 21 and up shows but a lot of what the band wants to do is to inspire younger adults to rise up and chase their passions as well. There are a few good bands from our area, some seeing some decent success, but as a group we’ve all been sort of performing CPR on Delawares music Scene. But don’t get me wrong… there are still a lot of amazing fans we have at our home town and they are all amazing. We’re trying to expand our
family and grow even more. I think with the introduction of the Firefly Music Festival Delaware is starting to show some promise for future opportunities for musicians.
4. How would you describe your style?
This is always the hardest question to answer. All of the members take inspiration from all sorts of different aspects of music but I do think we’re reminiscent of bands like My Chemical Romance and The Used, but even that is using the comparison loosely. We want to bring all of the energy of pop,
punk, and metal, but blend in elements of classical composition and composed orchestrations that back up the high energy rock and roll. Add on top of that the high energy theatrical Vocals and you have our sound.
5. What's the story behind "Questions"?
Questions was written during a time of Crisis. I was struggling a lot with my own limitations and
the real world was kicking my teeth in. There was also a lot of different ideas coming from each band member which I think gave questions the sort of aggressive edge it ended up with. But it was
also me taking a shot at fate and questioning everything it was I’ve experienced thus far not just as an artist, but as a human being during these crazy changing times. I think overall the song maintains
the positivity we always thrive off of, but also expresses the discord and frustrations of being a twenty-something in this era of art and expression.
6. Will there be an official music video to accompany this single or just a lyrical video? Why go the route of releasing a lyrical video as opposed to an official video?
It hasn’t been discussed as a band yet, but that’s not saying that we wouldn’t eventually do that. The band is going through a re-branding of sorts and in that process we’ve all discussed the possibility of all these things and I’d like to release an official video to go with “Questions”, but we chose to go with a lyric video instead because rather than having a visual aid for the song it was the message in the lyrics that I really want people to think about so I wanted to put that out first so they could learn the words, and in learning the words relate to them.
7. Where can this single "Questions" be found upon, a future EP or album or it's just going to be that just a single?
I think we may keep it as just a single… then again we don’t know for sure, we’re discussing all possibilities. If it remains a single I like that it sort of gets to stand alone in that aspect. We were trying a lot of different ideas out and trying to find a direction for the band to go in and I think questions shows a lot of that confusion and yet it all comes together in a song that still remains one of my favorites we’ve written.
8. Where are you in the process of the new material? Do you have an idea as to what it will be, a new EP, album, etc.
We’ve been writing out skeletons for songs for months now and are moving into the “Take them into the garage” phase where we take the songs and perform them alongside each other and feel them out. In other words give the nervous system to the songs and then once we’ve felt them out we’ll begin a demoing process to put some muscle fibers on them then finally into the studio where we flesh them out and make them living entities. We are all excited for what is to come and we’re not holding anything back.
9. How does the new material compare to your previous EP release "King of the World"?
We continue to drive the concept of positivity through our music and that won’t change. One of the things I do think will be different is that our messages are becoming more precise, and we’ve experienced new struggles so finding ways to overcome those struggles has driven us to a point. The music will still keep the darker minor elements, but we are conceptualizing the human experience through our hardships and there may be an air of aggression but I want to maintain the theatrics in my words and how I sing them.
10. Are you guys signed or unsigned? If you aren't signed why take the DIY approach to releasing your material and promoting yourselves?
We are currently unsigned. Though that’s not to say we’re opposed to the idea of being signed. We want to do this no matter what. If we can get label support that’d be great, but until that happens we aren’t going to let anything stop us from using the tools available through social media and the internet to be heard and to build our fan base. Not to mention the DIY movement is starting to become a thing. I love meeting bands who are in the same boat… there’s a sense of comradely and it’s amazing how much we bond together and help each other through the journey
11. If you aren't signed, what should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
I think that what I would like the labels to know about us is that even though we’re not necessarily world class yet we’ve been grinding on the road for years. A lot of labels will sign bands and then once the band is required to produce results under time frames sometimes they burn out or weren’t ready for the pressure that comes with being in the music industry in this day and age. I know that we’ve worked from the very bottom and have fought and bled for this band. We’ve become
accustomed to a lifestyle of earning a low income and having less because In all honesty we don’t care. If a label would just take a chance and see what we were capable of I know that my team with all our abilities could take on any challenge that would face us. We’ve run our band ourselves and have built a fan base. With the support of a label that just expands our market and provides us an opportunity to change that many more perspectives.
12. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
The future is uncertain. Ideally we’d love to get some sort of label support and tour with bands as support so that we could prove ourselves and build the fan base. We have so many ideas that we think will help the music industry find itself again and pull itself out of the mainstream nonsense that gets aired everywhere. We are real people with real struggles and real messages and if in a future we can elevate the consciousness of our fans, friends, families, and loved ones than that is exactly the future for us.
13. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Awake At Last is available through all social media outlets:
Our website is www.awakeatlastrock.com
We are also available through these outlets.
Bandcamp, itunes, google play, Pandora, soundcloud, Iheartradio,
Thank you so much for the interview, and I’m sorry it took so long to get it back to you. Been crazy busy on these tours. I appreciate the opportunity and hope we can continue to work together Natalie.