As part of my blogs on here, Matt has allowed me to post some Unsigned Interviews that I have done, which may introduce you guys to some new bands, which can only be a good thing.
First up NeverWake. As Halloween has just gone I had to pick NeverWake as they are all about the weird, the dark fantasy site of life, which is perfect for today. From Pittsburg, US, NeverWake create a sound can only be described as acombination of haunting gothic melodies with metalcore riffs topped with powerful screams, it’s head banging at its best.
If you are a fan of Avenged Sevenfold should definitely check them out. Their debut album ‘Vitality’ was released on August 5th 2011 which you can listen to here and pick up on Itunes. I also got a chance to ask NeverWake some questions, it’s long but a good read. Shows exactly the dedication a band needs when making music. You know a band is serious about what they do when fame and money is not on their priority list. Check out the interview down below.
Where did you get the name NeverWake?
When we were writing all of our material we were on a roll. We kept shooting out ideas that were in all different directions. So we took the big picture and categorized all our songs and kinda sat back and said ‘we’ve pretty much created our own little dream-world here’ and the more we listened to the music we were making, it reminded us of this surreal world in where you NeverWake up. So we took the name and ran with it.
Who are your musical and non musical influences?
That’s a good question because both sides evenly influence us. Well like we just mentioned, we were on a roll with writing material at one point. And I’m pretty sure one Tim Burton movie spawned the whole thing. I, Johnny d, would write down one idea and hand it to Marcus and James, they would get inspired and write something and hand it to me and each other and from there we kept writing and writing. So before you know it we were all spending our Saturday nights watching movies like “The Corpse Bride” and “Coraline” on repeat. And it all started from all that creepy eerie weird stuff you experience when watching a Tim Burton movie. Not to mention we’ve always frigging loved Halloween to the fullest. I mean we start getting Halloween fever mid-June.
But we’ve always been influenced by A TON of music. I know for sure that James and me grew up side-by-side listening to hard rock like god smack and drowning pool and disturbed. And it’s all because my father is a musician and he would play all those songs out live. And we’d always go see him. So we started to get into it a little bit more. I started playing guitar and got James to pick one up. We started writing and listening to heavier stuff. And before you know it James just started digging deep into the metal side and was showing me all these bands like Children Of Bodom, Trivium, and All That Remains. So then we both became these metal heads but still grew up and had the roots of hard rock. All the upcoming radio friendly bands sounded the same. So we thought, “why isn’t this (metal) on the radio”. We knew it sounded awesome, and we know the rest of the public thinks it sounds awesome too, they just didn’t know it yet because they’re too busy listening to the radio. So we came up with our own way to merge the two and let people experience the aspects of metal while still feeling a hard rock melody.
Where do you find the inspiration for your lyrics?
The bottom line is, we don’t have bad lives, and we’re not terribly depressed or angry at the world. These lyrics are extremely symbolic about our own experiences and are twisted, distorted and transformed into a much darker fictional fashion – almost like a story.
What was the inspiration behind “Vitality”?
It’s pretty much an album proving that we aren’t just some small unsigned band that’s gonna be shoved aside. We work at this everyday like it’s our job, because it is our job. You know most people don’t start their jobs until the have their degree and they’re out of school. But we started this way back in senior year of high school. And all those weekends that we had opportunities to go do regular teenage things, we were actually in my basement writing songs, practicing, planning out our album, planning out the following albums and really creating our own world. And the overall picture of Vitality is that we have created our own world and its something that has the potential to live, grow, and spread to society. But at the same time it’s the beginning of this long journey, in which we are going to have to overcome obstacles and keep pushing forward.
What is your outlook on the record industry today especially for bands without a label (unsigned)?
The answer to this question is the exact meaning behind Pulse, the third track off of “Vitality.” It is so hard to be an unsigned band. I mean you are in charge of writing all your material and at the same time on the other end you are responsible for all of you promotion, marketing and every aspect that deals with the business side. And all this responsibility is split up between your band members, who have about as many connections as a hobo on the street. It’s all up to you to grasp everyone’s attention, and when they’re all looking, you have to slap the record industry in the face and say “Hey look at us.” From there they can choose what to do with you. Many bands get discouraged when shut down by labels or things don’t go their way, but we are ready for anything because everything happens for a reason. To a certain extent it can be a matter of luck (you know being at the right place, at the right time) but we want it to be much more than that. We want to be recognized by our music. We want the industry to realize that we have the potential to be the ‘authors of a series where everyone stands in line and waits to get the next book.
One thing you would change about the record industry?
The one thing we’d like to change would be the biggest change and that would be to take it back to the artistic side, not so much about the money. The idea is to sign “artists” to a label, people who can provide a form of art that’s unique and original. It’s not about signing the people who will make you the most money.
What makes you different to other bands out there signed and unsigned?
It doesn’t really matter if we are signed or unsigned because we will still be doing the same things we love to do. But being signed would make it easier for everyone to hear our music like it is intended.
What makes us different is that we take metal and introduce it in a mainstream fashion so that the public can actually experience metal. Hopefully then they will begin to dig for other music like we did. And overall, we have somewhat of a story to tell so that people will come back and ask for more.
If you weren’t in music what would you all be doing?
That’s too hard to answer because if we weren’t in music we would probably still be doing music. We were raised by it and we know nothing else. We were born into it and that’s what we’ve been doing our whole lives so if we weren’t doing music we might as well not even exist.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for new bands these days, and how do you as a band deal with these obstacles?
Pretty much everything down to the inch is an obstacle. There’s no guidebook. You pretty much write your own guide and make your own path. And we’ve made it through so much already that we are ready to take on anything. You have to stay optimistic about every little thing.
What’s in the future for Never Wake?
We’ll like we said we are creating our own story that people will want to come back and ask for more. And we already have it all planned out. So if you’re with us now, there’s quite a journey ahead for you to be a part of. In the near future we are set to be shooting a music video to be released sometime in late October.
Any advice for bands starting out?
You have to be passionate about your art. Many bands are in it for the “rock star” lifestyle, and that’s the wrong way to look at it. That’s more of the icing on the cake. And if you are passionate you should never stop. Every day think what you can do to help out your band.
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