Their next show is at Tom's Bullpen on Saturday, Feb. 3.
Rock outfit Awake At Last had to be convinced they weren’t sleepwalking in 2017.
That was their best year yet. The band played the main stage on Warped Tour in Maryland and landed several dates around the country. They also co-headlined a string of gigs with fellow Warped band Hawthorne Heights in October.
But that wasn’t all. In December, Awake at Last debuted their new single “Purgatorium” on Octane, a radio rock station through Sirius XM. Well into January, the band had heavy rotation on the station.
Back in their neck of the woods, Awake At Last will rock out with their hometown diehards (“The Awakened,” as the fans are called) at Tom’s Bullpen Saturday.
Band co-founder Eric Blackway (lead guitar) dished on covering a song by hot rapper Post Malone, their plan for 2018 and more.
What are the band’s 2018 goals?
We’re still in the phases of developing the full plan for this year. But so far, this year our goals are to get on to bigger tours. We want to get on to more radio festivals and grow on the radio as well. After landing on Octane, that was a big success. We found that we do fit on the radio market with rock and we also fit with the “scene band” type of market, like the bands that play at Warped Tour. We’ve been researching a lot and working with people on getting into terrestrial radio too. We’d obviously like to chart on the top 20 for radio this year.
How did you make it onto Octane?
We actually were No. 5 in most spins for the week when we first got on Octane in December. They played us over 200 times. What they do is a test drive. Often you hire a radio guy and it takes a big budget to get on radio. But our fans actually started tweeting at Octane. Octane caught interest and decided to give us a shot. So they put us in the hyper spin; and the story went very well for us.
What’s been the effect of getting radio play?
Our CD sales and single sales went up by over 500 percent. They’ve never been pushed that hard before. We noticed a bigger fanbase and huge boost in streams. It’s only gotten better. We were in hyper spin for about six weeks and things have really popped off.
You covered Post Malone’s “Congratulations.” Why did you choose that song?
We wanted to do a cover and give something back to the fans. If you really listen to what the lyrics in “Congratulations” by Post Malone are saying, it’s almost the way that we feel: “Worked so hard, forgot how to vacation.” It’s about constant grind and constant work. Even before we appeared on Octane, people started recognizing us, giving us recognition for our hard work we’ve put into it. It just so happened the day after the Octane test drive ended was the day we dropped that video. It was pretty cool.
How did you get to gig with Hawthorne Heights?
That came when we were at Warped Tour in July. We were selling CDs in lines; and our guitarist Imran is friends with their booking agent. We ran into him and hit it off. He offered a string of dates to help us out. The Hawthorne Heights dates were great. We were always well received. We co-headlined next to them. It even felt like when you’re playing a bigger show in that position, people tend to check you out before the show happens; and they seem to get more excited about you.
Were they cool guys?
They were all very chill. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a long tour with Hawthorne Heights to really get to know them. But all of them were good guys.
You all have played a lot around the country. Have you gotten a little jaded about gigging in Dover?
We love coming back and playing for our home base where it all started. We’re in it for the fans. And it started in Delaware. We’ve always had a great following here and we love coming back and playing for our fans. I don’t ever see us not playing around here. It’s something we’ll always do.