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The Wake Up - Newsletter Interview: The Wake Up

14 Feb 2020 // An interview by Steve Shyu

The Wake Up are one of the most ambitious groups in Aotearoa today. Hailing from Palmerston North and initially consisting of drummer Caleb and guitarist Chris, two became three with the addition of the talented Laura behind the microphone. With almost half a dozen singles officially available on Spotify, the group have promised they're only just getting started.

Muzic.net.nz's Steve S. got the privilege of catching some Q's and A's with the trio to discuss their Kiwi influences, personal impacts of social media, and their time spent on X Factor New Zealand.

First round’s on me; what’ll you guys be having?

Laura: Rum and coke.
Chris: CC and dry.
Caleb: Merlot.

What was it like competing on X Factor New Zealand? And how did the two lads' cross paths?

Caleb: Disenchanting, but it made me realise how much effort we needed to put into our music.
Chris: It was a super eye-opening experience of what really goes on and what it's like behind the scenes of those shows. I actually met Caleb briefly when he needed a hard case for his gear for X-Factor, I had just started working in the local music store so I ended up selling it to him. Funnily enough, both our old bands ended up on the same flight up to the auditions and we got chatting from there.

How did the duo become a trio? What made you decide Laura would be the group’s leading lady?

Chris: We needed a new vocalist, and through mutual friends we found out about Laura, she came and auditioned and we all vibe'd, so we went with Laura and she hasn’t left since. She became the leading lady because neither of us two dudes look good in a dress, haha.

Straight off the top of your heads - Top five favourite bands, go!

Laura: Six60, Demi Lovato, Paramore, Twenty One Pilots, Billie Eilish.
Chris: All Time Low, A Day To Remember, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Pierce the Veil.
Caleb: Paramore, Anberlin, Relient K, Those Dancing Days, Muse.

What are some key ingredients and distinguishing features that goes into a song by The Wake Up?

Chris: Lots, and we mean LOTS of harmonies and backing vocals. Plus, random noises from everyday things, like juice boxes and reversed sounds.

In what ways has growing up in Palmerston North influenced the creation of your music?

Chris: It was difficult growing up there with not as many people sharing the same tastes in music. It made us look harder into music we individually liked, and not just what was on the radio that everyone else was into.

How was the song Pretty Little Caption written? Were there any events that inspired the song and lyrics?

Caleb: I started writing the concept for that song about 4 or 5 years ago when I first started to work with design and social media as a creative intern for a local business. I was also simultaneously trying to build my own pages and create my own content. I started creating and posting things I didn't even believe in to look cool and to gain likes from people I didn't even know. I basically edited out all of the bad parts of our existence and portrayed myself as this perfect person that I could actually never hope to live up to in the real world. It wasn’t until after I caught myself out when I realised that almost nothing we see on social media is real.

Right now as I'm writing this, I can think of several people I know who are experiencing pain - some of the worst pain in their lives, in fact - yet every day, without fail they're sharing images and quotes and hashtags as if nothing is wrong. It's almost like the real world doesn't matter or even exist once they click onto any of their social media apps. Pretty Little Caption is about those people.

Are there any unusual musical genres that inspire you and would like to experiment with on future releases?

Laura: Personally, I'd like to include a little bit of jazz into the mix.
Caleb: I'd like to incorporate more symphonic stuff.
Chris: Disco, like some Nile Rodgers-type guitar would be a bit of fun.

If you could work with any producer in the world, who would it be and why?

Caleb: Jack Antonoff, 'cause he's a god of production.
Chris: Sam Hollander, because he has produced and co-wrote some of my favourite bands' music growing up.
Laura: Finneas Eilish, I love the music that him and his sister have put out.

Which Kiwi bands/artists have you been listening to lots of recently?

Caleb: Supermodel, Skinny Hobos, Midnight Youth, Openside.
Chris: Dead Favours, Robinson, 48May, Goodnight Nurse.
Laura: Ooh... Bene, Six60, Drax Project.

The Wake Up have released half a dozen singles in 2019; what do you guys have planned for 2020? Upcoming gigs or music videos?

Caleb: There's an EP of six songs with a music video to be released, and a few more singles, including our track called Worthy, which was mixed and mastered by Mike Dwyer from The Bunker Recordings in New York. He’s worked with Shawn Mendes, The Lumineers, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Jade Bird, Ryan Star, and Vance Joy to name a few!


About The Wake Up

Both Drummer Caleb and Guitarist Chris met in 2015 when both local bands were going to compete on XFactor NZ, but after a short appearance on telly neither band won, and they went back home to Palmy... only for both to then bump into each other, drink a hot cuppa, record furiously, hone their skills on their instruments and take on the newly appointed singer Laura fresh from Music school, With at least a albums worth of songs already recorded, they set to release a single each upcoming month for 2019!

With a truck load of influences behind each of the 3 members in the band a few stand out in the imaginary musical venn diagram, Such as Paramore, Fall Out Boy & Pink
But don't let that hide the eclectic mix of other artists that inspired their songs along the way.
Truly songs built to remind you of that great summer time vibe, bringing a smile to your face.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Wake Up


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