interview with I Was Awake

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What are your names? / Who plays what? Chris Harvey – vocals, guitar Dan Goodhue – guitar Kyle Paradis – bass Sean Cahalin - drums

Where are you from? We all live in the Boston/North of Boston area but the band started and considers our home base Beverly, MA.

What year did the band form? I Was Awake formed in 2011.

What's your style of genre? Even though it’s a broad genre, I think Progressive Rock is an accurate description of our music. We incorporate elements of modern prog, metal, and alternative styles.

What inspires you? Other music, life, current events, beer.

How often and where do you rehearse? We typically rehearse as a full band twice a week.

How have you developed since you started with the music? We have definitely developed our songwriting and brought in more influences from when we started back six years ago. A lot of the earlier material was full songs written on guitars and then drums, bass, and vocals were added after. Now we find that we have some full instrumentals coming from some members, or riffs and parts brought in and we jam on them and create a structure to them.

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Outside of the band we all have full-time jobs. Chris works in video/audio production, Dan works in the food industry, Kyle works in lighting and also audio engineering, and Sean works in audio engineering as well.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? We typically do our own booking but we are always looking for someone else to aid in that. We also are interested in finding management for the group very soon.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We would be excited to be picked up by a good supportive label. Nowadays there is a lot you can do as a band without label representation, it’s easier than ever to create and release music. Something a label can help with aside from some financial backing is the proper support and marketing you need to be a successful band. Things like getting your music out there to the right audience, get you hooked up with the right people to keep momentum, get some legitimacy behind what you’re trying to do. Label representation isn’t the same as it used to be, but if you get a good relationship going with one, its definitely a good thing!

What made you decide to make this music? We just write what we love. We all have different influences, but I think it all meshes together nicely in our songs.

What are your songs about? Our songs are about a variety of topics: politics, relationships, playing music, abuse, addiction, loss, and hope are some that we touch on.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? The music comes from all of us. People will some times bring in full songs sans vocals, sometimes just riffs. We all work together from there to add to or make changes to create a cohesive song. Chris writes the lyrics.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? We have always started with the music. It would be cool to try and write lyrics first and then mold the music around those…would definitely be a challenge haha.

Do you compose in a certain environment? A lot of times we will come to the practice space with riffs or ideas and flesh them out from there. There have been a few times where people have individually come up with entire arrangements at home and then brought to practice to show everybody else and put together from there.

Have you done any covers live? Yes, we have covered “Zombie” by The Cranberries, “We Die Young” by Alice in Chains, “My Own Summer” by Deftones, “The Hollow” by A Perfect Circle, “Kings and Queens” by Aerosmith, “Street Spirit” by Radiohead (acoustic), “Nutshell” by Alice in Chains (acoustic), and “Mailman” by Soundgarden.  We are currently recording a couple covers, but which ones will be a surprise haha.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? We have done some all ages shows, 18+ shows, and 21+ shows. I’d say most of our concerts are 21+ though.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We try and switch up the set every show. We like to add in new tunes, bring back old ones, do a new cover here and there. There are some tunes that we generally play every show though.

What was your first gig like? Our first gig was at this dive rock bar in Salem, MA called “Dodge Street Bar.” It was a lot of fun. We played with a bunch of our friends’ bands and it was extremely well-attended. A great first gig for the band.

What was your latest gig? Our most recent gig was outside at Boston Common park in Boston, right in the middle of the city. It was great because it was all different genres and a lot of people that were passing through the park that would probably never have seen us stopped to check it out.

Have you had to cancel a gig? We have not!

Where do you plan to gig the coming year? We plan on doing our usual rotation here in the Boston area. Clubs like Great Scott, O’Brien’s, the Middle East Nightclub, Opus, Koto we tend to frequent. However, we really would like to hit the road and explore some places like Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Philly, maybe even further south than that.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? We’re pretty old school when it comes to music consumption. As easy as it is to download or stream an album, we’d rather have the physical media. There is something about a CD or vinyl, where you have the art and lyrics to explore while listening that downloading or streaming leaves behind. I mean don’t get me wrong, the accessibility that the Internet has created for music is amazing and we wouldn’t be able to exist without it.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? It has really changed things. It makes music more accessible than ever, but it also makes the industry a bit oversaturated. There is just soooo much music out there and so my artists trying to make a go of it, that it is hard to be heard or noticed sometimes. Also, I think it makes it harder for a musician to make a living.

What do you think of my work? You do a great job talking to bands and helping to expose the audience to their music. It’s great! Thanks for taking the time to do this J

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? We hope that it will get our music to new ears!

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? We definitely draw from both unintentionally. Depending on what we happen to be listening to while writing a new song, that’s probably where the influence and inspiration comes in. 

What have been your biggest obstacles? Time, money, exposure. We all have lives outside of I Was Awake, so finding the time to schedule shows rehearsal or recording is always a challenge. Everyone knows trying to make money playing music is tough, so we have to constantly throw our own funds towards recording, merch, music videos, etc. Trying to get our music to new ears whether it be online or at live shows is tough as well. Online there is so much to digest, whether its news or other music or entertainment. Also, people are not going out to shows like they used to.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Write good music, play fun gigs, make friends and memories.

Do you have any new material? We do! We have a new single and one of those surprise covers coming out in the coming weeks…stay tuned!

How can people reach you?,

What are your plans for the future? Just keep making music we like, keep gigging, keep enjoying ourselves!

Do you have something to add? Thanks so much for interviewing us! It’s great that you give a voice to so many bands.

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