Awakened are an up and coming metalcore band from the Western areas of Sydney. Having recently released their entire self-titeld debut EP for free on their Bandcamp and with a gung-ho attitude towards their music, the band is ambitious and going about it the right way We chat with the group in our latest AUSSIE FEATURE.
How are you guys finding the response to the EP?
Kane Allan (Vocals): [It has been a] Pretty good response. Had a pretty good share through our YouTube and Bandcamp. A lot of our close friends bought it and gave us some honest feedback, which is always good. We were happy with the product but obviously there are areas in it that we would like to improve on but for our first EP we’re stoked on it.
Who did you work with in terms of the production of the EP?
Mark (Bass): We went through Attack Recording Studios. Dean was pretty good with it, really helpful. Helped us change a few things we needed to change but couldn’t work out ourselves. It was definitely to our benefit.
Kane: Dean got onto us pretty early actually. We did a song in February with him which we won through a competition. We smashed it out in about a day with him and it was cool, it was our first time recording professionally in a studio. A few of the guys had recorded through school but this was the first time as one unit I guess, recording like this. He ran us through it and gave us all the tips and tricks and he stayed in close contact and was great guidance for us.
What did you find most challenging about the record?
Anthony Wilson (Guitar): As the person who wrote most of the songs, I guess it was trying to write stuff that stayed interesting. There are so many other good bands out there like, how do we be different enough to capture interests and all that. When I first wrote in my bedroom, it was so relaxed. I was just doing whatever you know? But the pressure came one when people started listening to it.
James Wilson (drums): Probably the hardest thing was going through high school and the music I guess. I’d only ever really played your generic punk sort of music like Green Day and Blink 182 and all that, then jumping straight into a metal band and learning and doing all the hard stuff Anthony had done in a short space of time was really challenging. I was just trying to teach myself as much as I could in that short time.
Mark: I think from the other side of things we spent so much time together. Like whole nights and weekends together just talking about it all and seeing what we needed to change and improve and we were taking as much shit out of each other as possible to keep it interesting. Like when James is doing drum tracks, that’s his job and you don’t need to be there so you try and keep yourself entertained. You’re always stoked to be recording but it can also be pretty stressful at times when some people have different ideas to what you have. Most of the time James’ ideas are wrong.
James: Oh yeah?!
Why did you self-title the EP? Is there a reason behind it?
Kane: For us, it’s our first proper release. There’s two reasons really. One: we didn’t want to do some big ten word CD name that no one will remember. We’re still very small, very local so anything to get our name out there was good for us. Remembering the band name is good but having to remember the EP name as well might be difficult if you’ve seen them passing through a pub one night. The more important reason however is that we weren’t really telling one story on this EP; each song had their own stories but if you out them together it kind of represent what we’ve done as a band. No better way to name than name it after ourselves.
So what are your thoughts on the local scene at the moment? Is it looking good from your perspective or is it a bit stagnated?
Kane: We call ourselves a metalcore band and a metalcore band is a bit different to the scene up here, it’s a bit dominated by Djent and deathcore at the moment in Sydney. That can be a little challenging for us but we do see in bands we play with is talent. There is a shit load of good bands out there who are really just killing the scene, kicking ass. The problem that we find in the alternative scene is that there are only so many venues that will have you and only so many venue owners that will put on these type of shows and with so many bands out there, it can be a bit tight to find shows to play. We find the scene in general to be loaded with talent but a bit slow in people coming to shows. It would be good to see a few more people come out to these shows and it would be good to see a couple more local bands support the bigger national, international acts as they make their way through.
A photo posted by Awakened (@awakenedaus) on
Where do you see Awakened, this time next year?
James: Headlining Download festival!
Kane: In twelve months we’ve already come so far and kicked a lot of goals we thought we wouldn’t have by now. In twelve months from now we would love to be playing more shows more frequently with more bands. We would have liked to have been to all states in Australia and hopefully we will be looking at putting out our second release whether it be a full track album or another EP.
Mark: We’ve only been a full band for about twelve months already, and myself having learnt an instrument just to join, have already come so far. I think in twelve months time my aim would be to get a name nationally, that’s the goal. That would be achieved by touring, by people seeing your band live. To support a few international acts as they come through would be amazing too. Anything like that, I could die happily.
Anthony: We all pretty much share the same goals really. We weren’t serious musicians in any form before this. The idea of being on a tour bus or whatever with four other sweaty guys getting drunk every other weekend was just awesome.
That’s really cool guys, I think we can probably finish about there-
Anthony: Oh shit! Can we get a visual on this, uh, Kane just put out his testicles mid interview!
Well there’s a first time for everything I guess…
Anthony: You’ll put this in right?
I suppose! Take a photo and out it on your instagram and I might chuck the photo in.
Anthony: Hey, if you want to out something like that in, we released our first merch piece as a band as a giant black dildo we all signed.
Yes, I saw that, I was impressed!
Anthony: What impressed you? The size or what we did to it?
The fact you took time out of you day to sign a giant black dildo impressed me.
All right, guys thanks for your time!
You can stream the band’s self-titeld debut EP in full below: