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WHEN THEY WAKE: "Be Your Own Hero"
WHEN THEY WAKE - Melodious, emotional, melancholic - three words that pretty much sums up the Swiss EMO/Melodic rock power-trio of When They Wake. Elected 'Best New Talent' in a contest by The Swiss radio station Radio SRF3 in December of 2012, the lads are now releasing their debut double album (2CD) - "Be Your Own Hero". Find out more about the modern rock album, here's the singer/guitarist of the band: Stephan Kaiser...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
The reaction from press and our fans has been really good. Many people appreciate the idea that we made a double album which represents our hard and our softer side.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
The recording and mixing of the double album took about 1 year from start recording to release.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to recording
Since we have a wide variety of sound we didn't go for just one sound. For Disc A it had to be a really hard and aggressive sound of the drums, and also we used a lot of dropped C and Bb guitars. There are many screams on disc A. We never performed live since I took over the lead vocals, so it was just studio work and not about capturing the "live sound". But maybe it will be a different process for the next album.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process
Since me (Stephan, guitar player, singer and songwriter) also produced the record, we didn't get any input from another person. Except for the song "Satellites". It was produced by a friend of ours, he didn't really change the song structure or anything, but we wrote the lyrics together. For this particular single it was cool to have a second opinion.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Yes, all of the 3 bandmembers are very pleased with the outcome, since it was kind of a low budget production because we could record everything except the drums in our homestudios.
Did the producer (or you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
I wouldn't call it weird, but I used the transient designer on guitars or some cool Fuzz effects. Also for some background loops I used many of the Soundtoys plugins.
Please inform us about your favourite songs off the album
My favourite song is "Satellites". It just has everything in it and for me personally it's perfectly arranged and written. The song speaks about how you can make your dreams come true and find your own guiding light to make your own way through life. Also lyrically a great song for me is the title track "Be Your Own Hero" and I think the drum beat is really cool too because it's not a usual beat.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while
The songs speak about loneliness and how you can overcome it. But there was not any special mood, some were written when I felt really lonely or some when I felt like really aggressive and was in a bad mood. There aren't many happy songs on there because I am not really able to write good songs when I am happy;-)
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
I told our drummer about 500 times that he has to be tighter, so that was our word for the rest of the recording session. It has to be tight tight tight!!! :-)
What ever made you record a double album as your debut?
In the beginning there were many ideas for song, so we picked 14 of the best ideas and made it into songs. Then, some days after I came back from a trip to Rio, the idea for the song "Satellites" came to my mind. All of us felt like it needed to be on our album. So there were 15 songs, and we had to record drums for this song again anyway. It didn't make sense to us to record 1 song and so we decided to write 5 more songs and make a double album instead.
You're not afraid that your mega 2-CD release may/might scare away potential buyers?
... Of course we were thinking about it, that fans who like our harder songs wouldn't like the softer ones. But we were surprised that many of them like both sides, which is really cool. Some of them prefer on or the other CD, but that's also the cool thing, they can either listen to CD A or CD B.
How would you describe the new CD to any potential new fan?
On the one hand hardrock-style, aggressive but still catchy songs and on the other hand melodious, emotional and varied tunes sometimes also going into experimental.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
My personal hero is Matt Bellamy from Muse because he is a genius!! But all 3 of us listen to very different music and we are also open to new styles.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
I would just like to thank all our fans. We are thankful that there are people who like and enjoy our music and visit our live shows.