"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where a recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
AWAKE: "Forever More"
U.K. progressive metal act AWAKE return with their sophomore release via Lion Music. Taking a step onwards from their debut (Illumination), Awake have delivered a heavier grittier sound second time round that retains the melodies and depth of its critically acclaimed predecessor. "Forever More" also marks the first album recorded with new guitar duo, the brothers Andy and Steven Coles. Regarding the lyrical slant the band state, "we wanted to convey our own personal experiences with love and loss and the hardships you face when you lose someone close to you. We hope that this is something people in general can relate to and we hope they can find meaning within the songs". Read on to find out more notes about the album, here's Awake's lead Vocalist, SIMON SHEDWELLS...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
We are really pleased with all the great reviews and positive comments so far. People seem to appreciate that we have grown as a band and it shows through in this album.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
We went into pre production for a few days, just to make sure the tracks were sounding as we had hoped. Recording the album didnít take as long as we had planned, it all went very smoothly and this gave us more time to spend on the production. It was about a month altogether.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We wanted to keep the Awake melodic and epic sound that the fans like, but we wanted more of a punch, a heavier sound with chunky riffs.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Neil was there to offer advice to us, but we wanted to take back the reigns on this album and produce it ourselves as much as we could. Tom Englund (Evergrey) produced the Illumination album so we were lucky enough to learn and bring some knowledge from that album to this one while stamping our own mark on it.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Yes! We were very meticulous and are very pleased with the final product.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
No not for this album. We tried it on a track on the previous album, which fitted the track, but we didnít see the need for this album and I wanted to keep the vocals as natural as possible.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
I don't think our sound live is very different to the recorded tracks. For me, it is important to be able to deliver the track as people expect and can sing a long to.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Personally it is "Closing The Doors". This was written about ending a chapter in my life and moving forward, itís a positive track, a new beginning. The lyrics for most of the album tracks relates to a band members life experience. We have always written about things we have experienced, be it as a band or in a more personal manner.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
No, not really, as I mentioned before we just write what we know about. It helps to get more emotion into the track.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
No, we are very happy with the fact that Lion Music let us progress in our own natural way. Some labels like to impose a specific sound or feel onto a bands sound, but we have full control how our music develops.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
There are plenty!! but not that I can share, haha. We are all really close like brothers and as they say, boys will be boys!
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
It is powerful and meaningful. It's something that you can relate to and interpret for your own situation. The heavy but catchy guitars hits you... a force all around, one that you'll never forget and will stay with you always. Its unique and itís AWAKE!
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
James Hetfield from the beginning was a huge influence. We once supported Jeff Scott Soto in London and he just blew me away live! I have to add in Superman too!
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Yes, I would like to thank everyone out there who has supported us through
the years, it does mean a lot to us and we really appreciate it. I hope you will enjoy this album and tell everyone to buy it! Haha. We hope to
bring you news next year on yet another album, so stay in touch with us on
our web pages and as always, stay AWAKE!!
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,