ARTIST NAME: Stay Awake
SONG TITLE: Brave New Normal
ALBUM TITLE: Portraits
RELEASE DATE: 06/03/21
GENRE: Melodic Punk
Formed in 2018, Stay Awake is the product of four expatriates living in Bangkok, Thailand. The experienced four-piece hail from all corners of the globe, mixing various punk, rock, and metal influences to produce hard-hitting music in the vein of Rise Against, Strike Anywhere, and Bad Religion, with the melodic sophistication and songwriting of greats like Hot Water Music and Boysetsfire.
Stay Awake’s most recent EP release ‘PORTRAITS’ in March 2021 has broken new ground and taken the band to a higher level; polished and well-produced, solid writing and lyrical content, plus the addition of friend and mentor Yotam Ben Horin (Useless ID) as a consultant during the production process…
I lost myself in the rabbit hole
It’s eating my time yeah
And all this dirt under my nails
Denials and Confessions
We all feel, beyond doubt
Welcome to the ‘Brave New Normal’
We all fear
Achilles new heal
Now, welcome to the brave new world
Welcome to the brave new world
We face each day behind a mask
2020 vision’s useless
My views conflict with those I love
And we shoot down our heroes
We all feel, we all doubt
Welcome to the ‘Brave New Normal’
We own fear, we all know too well
The human spirits never backing down
Download each lesson in your bed at night
Listen to the dogma every brave new site
Left and right-wing
Divide and conquer everyone
Paul Lindsay (Bass player)
Tell us how you build up the tune for this song.
It’s a good nostalgic melodic punk song with hints of 90’s/00’s skate-punk that remind us of things we personally listened to when we were younger. I think that’s why it tends to connect with fans of a similar age.
Tell us how fans are reacting to your music.
Really positively… People have been writing really great things and it’s always an amazing feeling to read that. I think seeing as we have all been affected by the pandemic in some ways, that people have also been able to relate to a lot of the EP’s content. Both EP’s have relatable content and, as dark as Portraits can be, we are always trying to push a positive message.
Tell us your point of view on the quality of production of today’s songs to old songs and point out what you think has changed.
I think the main difference is the accessibility to tools that allow us to compose. Anyone can download an app these days and begin writing music. This has had its downsides as well as ups, however, it’s amazing that people are being creative and we now have access to so many great musical minds and talented musicians but the quality of songwriting has dropped, especially within more manufactured genres.
Tell us any interesting experience in your music career that is significant.
I actually graduated college and university with a Diploma in Music and Audio Technology and a Degree in Sound Production. I started down the path of following music from the engineer’s perspective and have been fortunate to see and do some amazing things (festival work etc.). It did not last long though and lost its spark quickly. I knew I wanted to be involved in music, but this wasn’t it.
Tell us how you come across the lyrics of this song.
We tend to get quite politically and emotionally involved in events such as those over the last year. John our singer was able to channel his opinions on the different sides of things; uncertainty, governmental control, and conflicting views coupled with an almost Huxley-Esque dystopian viewpoint. Of course, we like to add our own spin on things and try to bring a positive message out from within the words with lyrics such as “the human spirits never backing down”.
Discuss how you plan to create a piece of timeless music that your fans can cherish forever.
We never really go into the studio with this thought in our minds. I think the feeling of having to create something is quite draining and we prefer to come up with things organically/spontaneously. When you are trying too hard, it stifles originality and creativity. Of course, we have thrown so many ideas away and we take our songs into the studio with the fans in mind at that point but it’s never going to please everyone.
Tell us what triggers your creativity.
Good question! Often our creativity comes from conversation, ideas, or feelings about things and obviously a good jam in the practice room. Again, trying to allow things to flow organically.
Tell us how you generate musical ideas for your composition.
Our lead guitarist Andy was always the ‘riff guy’ as is the case in many bands. He would come up with an idea and we would then build on it. With the new EP, however, we found that we were all very much involved. Each of us had our own input and it was a team effort from start to end.
Tell us your greatest song and state the reason.
I’m going to go for the one in this interview, Brave New Normal. It’s a close call though between that and ‘(We don’t need) California’ from our first EP – One Stone Away.
Both songs are great but the way we came up with Brave New Normal was just magic. We had the foundations in one practice. The way Andy came up with an intro, Uly smashed out a beat and I tried to bring something with a bit of punk-funk so that was fun. John glued it all together with some great melodies and that was it!
Discuss how you compose this song.
It just came out of nowhere really. A fun jam that turned into a hard, heavy yet bouncy and anthemic song…
Elaborate on the song.
It’s a snapshot of 2020 from both a lyrical and musical standpoint. I feel we put it together in a way that takes you on the rollercoaster of 2020, hits hard but leaves you with a positive mindset. That’s what we’re really all about.
Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
Stay Awake isn’t really about the clichéd ‘woke movement’ as some people might think, although I can understand why. It’s really about transcendence and transformation although this can be perceived differently, just as art is subjective.