Under Review


Awake At Last front man Vincent Torres talks biggest influences, Life/Death/Rebirth and more


By James Jackson and Chaise Crumpler

October 30, 2017


Awake At Last was created in 2011 in Dover, Delaware. Their sound has changed throughout their three E.P.’s but front man Vincent Torres remains the staple of their sound.

Torres caught up with Under Review to talk about his biggest influences to want to start a band and why he chose music as a career.


THE BEGINNING

“I was bullied pretty hard as a kid, in high school and middle school,” Torres said. “I was always trying to change myself to try and match what I thought was going to be popular or kinda cool.

“I only sang like in choir, I even played a little piano before I got a guitar. I don’t think I got a guitar until I was like 13 or 14.

“I guess the best thing that made me realize that’s really what I wanted to do was I finally worked up the courage to actually perform with the band at like the high school talent show in front of all the people that I’d been by in the past.

“Once I did that, it seemed like everything changed. Everyone was so much more accepting, it was the first thing I did that was my own idea, something that was truly me.

“Music was such a big deal for me, it helped me through some of the toughest and hardest times of my life.

“I hope that my music can do the same thing for other young 13 or 14 year old teenagers who may be dealing with those types of issues too.”


Awake At Last released their new E.P. Life/Death/Rebirth in July.


“Making the album was pretty cool,” he said. “I was going through some dark times, so in the music you’ll hear a little bit of a darker theme in those earlier kind of songs.

“I was trying to do something about the depression I’ve been struggling with for a couple years because it was starting to take away from my personality a little bit and I didn’t like that so I started looking for deeper meaning in spiritual text.

“I started getting into Tibetan Book of the Dead and it kinda gave me the concept for the record because it talked about when a spirit passes on you meet these seven buddhas who all sort of represent a different aspect of the human consciousness.

“At first, they show up as peace and that peace gets distorted as you have to overcome these obstacles and challenges that they sort of create for you in order to decide where your soul goes.

“I got the whole concept of the record from kind of doing that and I guess the record was sort of my way of being a storyteller. Telling the story of a character who is going through that experience in his afterlife. Purgatorium being the beginning of it all and Reflections being the end as he starts to realize that he’s experienced throughout his life.

So it’s a way to get people to think of those deeper aspects and think more about love, fear, pride. Even greed, joy and happiness.

“We’ve sold more copies of Life/Death/Rebirth than anything we’ve ever sold before. Last time I checked it we were at like 2,000 units sold.

Selling 2,000 records this day in age with all the streaming is almost unheard of especially from a little band from Delaware.”


To the fans of Awake At Last, Vincent had a special message to them.


“Thank you,” he said. “We live in an era right now where you don’t necessarily need to be tied to a record label if you have amazing fans who are willing to support what you do and help you accomplish your dreams.

“We always tell our fans, if you can’t talk to your friends and family about things you can talk to us. We’re all living, breathing examples of how chasing down all the obstacles of life trying to do what we love.

“I know a lot of fans are fellow artists, a lot of our fans really take pleasure in the music and love listening to it and it helps them through the harder times.

“Without them helping us, we wouldn’t be able to return that gift in music. So I really would like to thank them all. I wish I could meet them all, hug them all and have long conversation with them. Without our fans we wouldn’t be anything, we wouldn’t even exist because we’re a fan driven project.

“We’re a DIY band, we don’t have a record label helping us with any sort of budgeting or funding. It’s all been fans. We crowd funded Life/Death/Rebirth and we were able to put it out thanks to our fans.

“Thank you, is the best thing I can say. I wish I could express more gratitude than that word but that’s really what it comes down to. Without our fans and families we wouldn’t be able to do this.”


If you would like to support Awake At Last, visit their merch store:

http://awakeatlast.merchnow.com/

IMAGES:

Courtesy photo from Awake At Last