Awolnation

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Awolnation
AWOLNATION in performance (Los Angeles, 2012).jpg
Awolnation live in 2012
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active 2009–present
Labels Red Bull
Associated acts
Website awolnationmusic.com
Members
Past members
  • Jimmy Messer
  • Billy Mohler
  • Dave Amezcua
  • Christopher Thorn
  • Devin Hoffman
  • Hayden Scott[1]
  • Drew Stewart
  • Kenny Carkeet

Awolnation is an American alternative rock band, formed and fronted by Aaron Bruno, formerly of Under the Influence of Giants, Home Town Hero, and Insurgence. The band is signed to Red Bull Records,[2] and their first EP, Back from Earth, was released on iTunes on May 18, 2010.[3] They released their first studio album, Megalithic Symphony, on March 15, 2011; it featured their most notable hit, "Sail", which peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100,[4] #4 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart,[5] and #5 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.[6] The song has been certified 6× platinum by the RIAA[7] and has sold 5,500,000 copies in the United States.[8] As of February 29, 2016, the album has been certified platinum.[9]

The band's second studio album, Run, was released on March 17, 2015.

History[edit]

Creation, Back from Earth (2009–2010)[edit]

Aaron Bruno was approached by Red Bull Records in 2009, asking if he wanted free use of the Red Bull recording studio in Los Angeles.[10] He recorded a few songs in the studio and ultimately signed with the label, calling it more of a "partnership", and was allowed to make the recordings that he wanted. Bruno has been with numerous bands before he created Awolnation, including Home Town Hero with Drew Stewart and Under the Influence of Giants with Dave Amezcua. Bruno writes all of his songs himself, but confides in close friends and family or respected artists for guidance.[11] The name Awolnation is derived from Aaron Bruno's high school nickname. In an interview with Kristin Houser of the LA Music Blog, he stated that he "would leave without saying goodbye because it was just easier, so that's where the name AWOL (slang from the military acronym for Absent Without Leave) came from."[12]

Megalithic Symphony and Touring (2011–2014)[edit]

The band released their debut album Megalithic Symphony digitally on March 15, 2011, and physically on March 29, 2011 on Red Bull Records. Megalithic Symphony features a total of 14 tracks, including the singles "Sail", "Not Your Fault", and "Kill Your Heroes" (produced by Brian West). Bonus tracks are also offered with the purchase of the digital album depending on the outlet. These tracks include "Shoestrings", "Swinging from the Castles" and "I've Been Dreaming".

The band's first single, "Sail", peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Rock Songs[13] and has gone platinum in the US[14] and double platinum in Canada. "Sail" was featured in the episode "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" of CBS's television show The Good Wife, commercials for the Fox television show House, Nokia's commercial for Lumia and PT's commercial for 4G LTE, and is also the background music for Under Armour's "Are You from Here" commercial, featuring Derrick Williams. "Sail" was covered by Macy Gray (included on her album Covered) and by DevilDriver (on their album Winter Kills). "Sail" was also used for a Sonya Tayeh routine in So You Think You Can Dance season 9, episode 6; at the end of the episode "Dog Soldiers" in season 1 of Longmire; and featured on the soundtrack of the thriller horror movie Playback released in March 2012, as well as featured throughout the film Disconnect (2013) starring Jason Bateman in an incredible[citation needed] rare[citation needed] serious role. The track gained even greater exposure when it was featured during BMW's Olympic Opening Ceremony and in commercial spots throughout the Olympic broadcasts. "Sail" was used during CBC Hockey Night's opening tease in Canada on February 18, 2012, prior to a game between the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. It was also used as of March 2013 in commercials for History Channel's new series, Vikings. The song has also inspired conversations among bioethicists. "Sail" peaked at no. 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100, 27 on the Australian charts, 33 on the New Zealand charts and 17 on the UK Singles Chart. "Sail" was also used on wingsuit flyer Jeb Corliss's YouTube film 'Grinding the Crack',[15] which as of June 2017 has had over 31 million views.

Another of the band's songs, "Burn It Down", is featured in the Sons of Anarchy episode "To Be, Act 1", and is also one of the in-game radio songs in Saints Row IV. Also one of their songs "Guilty Filthy Soul" has been featured in the episode "Break On Through" of The CW television show The Vampire Diaries. The band's songs "Sail" and "All I Need" are featured in the season 1 episode "Gun!" of Common Law. The band's song "Sail" was also featured in the season 4 episode "Hot for Teacher" of Pretty Little Liars. "Kill Your Heroes" is featured at the beginning and the end of season 3, episode 2 of the Canadian TV series Rookie Blue, and the remix of "Sail" together with Innerpartysystem was played in episode 8 of the same season. It was also used in the episode "The Wake-Up Bomb" of Covert Affairs. Furthermore, "All I Need" was used in the season finale of the NBC show Whitney and "Kill Your Heroes" is in Season 4 episode 9 of The 100.

On June 6, 2012, the band released an Extended Play, "I've Been Dreaming", for free download in their official website. The extended play includes 3 unreleased songs, ("I've Been Dreaming", "Shoestrings", "Swinging From The Castles") and recorded live versions of "Kill Your Heroes", "Not Your Fault", and "People" that they played in Toronto.

They released two new songs, "Thiskidsnotalright"[16] and "Some Kind of Joke".[17] "Some Kind of Joke" appears as the second song on the Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall – Music Inspired by the Motion Picture soundtrack. The track "Thiskidsnotalright" is featured in the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us. Beacon audio did a Kickstarter for a limited edition speaker.[18] They have released a Deluxe Edition of Megalithic Symphony that includes "Thiskidsnotalright," "Some Kind Of Joke", "Everybody's Got a Secret", songs from their EP I've Been Dreaming, as well as remixes of other songs from Megalithic Symphony.

"Megalithic Symphony" and Sail's immediate success exposed the band to fans of all different genres of music. They were starting to gain diehard fans by playing various music festivals and consistently touring. Between the years 2011 and 2014, AWOLNATION played 306 shows, 113 in the year 2012 alone, supporting the album and its singles.[19]

Run, Touring, and Christopher Thorn's return (2015–2016)[edit]

3 singles were released: Its lead single, "Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)", was released in January 26, "Windows" on March 3, and "I Am" on May 17.

The band released their second studio album, Run, on March 17, 2015. The album received polarizing but positive reviews, and the band received its first Metacritic review; with the album getting an aggregated 68 out of 100, from 6 critics.

On April 7, 2015, they made an appearance on Conan.

On or around September 3, 2015 Bruno confirmed that long time guitarist Drew Stewart had left the band to spend time with his family. He was replaced by Irontom guitarist Zach Irons. In an interview with Premier Guitar, Irons says he got a call from Aaron while on the road with his band Irontom supporting AWOLNATION during the Run tour. Aaron asked if he could step in for Drew. Zach says it took him four whole days to learn all of the songs where he barely slept and there were barely any rehearsals.[citation needed] An interesting note about Zach's playing is that he is right handed, but plays guitar left handed.

On December 1, 2015, AWOLNATION released a B-side track from Run named "Wichita Panama" for the Red Bull Records "Red Bull 20-Before-16" December event.[20]

On February 22, 2016, AWOLNATION released the videoclip for the song "Woman Woman" for the Red Bull Records.[21]

In a live Facebook Q&A session, Aaron mentioned that his favorite song to play live with AWOLNATION is usually the newest song that they have started playing live.[22]

On June 20, 2016, the band announced that it was cancelling many dates of its summer headlining tour so it could serve as the opening band for the Prophets of Rage tour. This announcement was met with consternation and upset by many of the band's fans, many of whom took to the band's Facebook page and other social media outlets to express their displeasure at incurring non-refundable expenses planning to attend imminent shows that were cancelled unceremoniously and at the last minute.

On July 8, 2016, AWOLNATION released an alternate version of Run named Run (Beautiful Things), where the repeating lyric "capable of doing terrible things" is replaced with "capable of doing beautiful things." The music video for this shows a person in a cloak with the AWOL helmet holding a purple lantern while emerging from the sea. At times, the scene cuts away to a mermaid with the person as she swims away at the lyric "run."[23]

During the tour with Prophets of Rage, Zach Irons left the tour during the second leg to tour with IRONTOM. In his absence, original guitarist Christopher Thorn replaced Zach on a handful of shows starting in Tampa on October 1, 2016. This would mark the first time Thorn played with the band since around March 2012.

AWOLNATION toured over 80+ plus dates in support of the album "Run" including multiple festival appearances and their own headlining tour that brought the band to Europe and South America.[24]

Third album and future of the band (2016–present)[edit]

In a late 2016 interview, Aaron mentioned that he has a vision for what the next AWOLNATION album could sound like. Bruno explains that on the last 2 AWOLNATION efforts, he would come up with whatever he was thinking, play it, and then eventually record it. While he still plans to use this method to some degree, he plans on possibly changing AWOLNATION's style a bit. "I think people are getting really burnt out on hearing robotic instrumentation and robotic vocals. And while I've never had robotic vocals, I've had a lot of electronic elements." Aaron hopes that guitar driven songs will be brought back to the forefront of Alternative Music. "It's been a little abandoned, and it seems like most labels have been chasing songs like "Sail" and all the other songs that followed in its path." [25]

By late 2016/early 2017, AWOLNATION had started posting cryptic messages to their various social media accounts in regards to a new album. The main theme of these posts seem to reference inspiration for new songs, recording new material, and the future of AWOLNATION. One of these photos was of Aaron sitting down on an amplifier with a guitar in his hands.[26] Another was of Aaron and drummer Issac Carpenter with guitar in hand.[27] Some of the hashtags included with these photos were #2017, #trilogy, #newalbum and #thesagacontinues [28]

On January 24th, 2017, Red Bull Records confirmed on their Facebook page that AWOLNATION was indeed back in the studio. [29]

On February 7, 2017, bass player Marc Walloch posted a photo on Instagram of him in Aarons' personal home studio with producer Eric Stenman, confirming his involvement in the work of a future album.[30]

In March 2017, longtime keyboardist Kenny Carkeet announced his departure from the band to spend time working on material for his own electro-alternative band "Fitness." [31] Singer Aaron Bruno also took to e-mail to offer an update to fans on the state of the new album and the future. [32]

Musical style[edit]

Awolnation's music has been described as alternative rock,[33][34][35][36] electropop,[37][38][39] synth-pop,[33] indie rock,[36][40][41] indie pop,[36] industrial rock[42] electronic rock,[43] dance-pop and dance-rock.[44]

Band members[edit]

Current members

  • Aaron Bruno (AWOL) – vocals, guitar (2009–present)
  • Isaac Carpenter – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2014–present)
  • Marc Walloch – bass guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2014–present)
  • Zach Irons – lead guitar, backing vocals (2015–present)
  • Daniel Saslow – programming, keyboards (2016, 2017–present)[45][46]

Former members

  • Jimmy Messer - lead guitar, backing vocals (2009–2010)[47]
  • Billy Mohler - bass guitar, backing vocals (2009–2010)[48]
  • David Amezcua - bass guitar, synths, piano, organ, backing vocals (2010–2013)[49]
  • Devin Hoffman - bass guitar (2013)[50]
  • Hayden Scott – drums, percussion (2009–2013)[48]
  • Devin Bronson - lead guitar, backing vocals (2014 filled in for Drew Stewart for 2 shows)[51]
  • Drew Stewart (Drublood) – lead guitar, backing vocals (2012–2015)[52]
  • Christopher Thorn – lead guitar (2010–2012, 2016)[53]
  • Kenny Carkeet (Y.A., Awol Assassin) – keyboards, programming, backing vocals, rhythm guitar (2009–2016)[52]

Timeline

Discography[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hayden C. Scott (haydencscott) on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  2. ^ "Sorry...". Red Bull USA. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  3. ^ "iTunes Store". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  4. ^ "AWOLNATION – Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ "AWOLNATION – Chart History: Rock Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ "AWOLNATION – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "The Biggest Hot 100 Hits to Peak at Nos. 25-1". Billboard. 
  9. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". Riaa.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "AWOLNATION Delight Fans With 'Wild,' Punk-Influenced Shows - Exclusive Video". Spinner. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  11. ^ "Interview with Awolnation musician Aaron Bruno". Puregrainaudio.com. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Aaron Bruno of AWOLNATION". LA Music Blog. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  13. ^ "Sail - Awolnation". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  14. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - October 02, 2012". Riaa.com. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  15. ^ Jeb Corliss (22 August 2011). "Jeb Corliss " Grinding The Crack"". YouTube. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "AWOLNATION Fight 'Injustice' on 'ThisKidsNotAlright' Song Premiere | Music News". Rolling Stone. 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  17. ^ "Tijdlijnfoto's". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  18. ^ "AWOLNATION Sail Into Studio for Megalithic Encore". Redbull.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "AWOLNATION Concert Map by year: 2016 - setlist.fm". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "Red Bull". Red Bull. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  21. ^ Ferris, Glen (22 February 2016). "AWOLNATION reveal all in new Woman Woman video". Red Bull Records. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "Facebook". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  23. ^ Wicks, Amanda (8 July 2016). "AWOLNATION Release Video for ‘Run (Beautiful Things)’". Radio.com. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  24. ^ "Search for setlists". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  25. ^ "Sound file" (MP3). Ia801508.us.archive.org. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  26. ^ "Instagram post by AWOLNATION • Jan 7, 2017 at 7:43am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  27. ^ "Instagram post by AWOLNATION • Mar 2, 2017 at 2:07am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  28. ^ "Instagram post by AWOLNATION • Jan 4, 2017 at 4:06pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  29. ^ "Security Check Required". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  30. ^ "Spill Sounds". I.reddituploads.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  31. ^ "Kenny Carkeet Is Moving On To New Adventures". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  32. ^ "A Message From Aaron". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  33. ^ a b "Awolnation Megalithic Symphony". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  34. ^ "Awolnation Run". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  35. ^ "Aaron Bruno of Awolnation on Run, Their Intense Touring Schedule & More". Thepopbreak.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  36. ^ a b c "Awolnation". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  37. ^ "Awolnation". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  38. ^ "Awolnation". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  39. ^ "Aaron Bruno's Awolnation almost never set 'Sail'". Axs.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  40. ^ "Awolnation Run". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  41. ^ "Awolnation tickets". Excite.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  42. ^ "Awolnation Run". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  43. ^ Dolan, Jon (March 17, 2015). "Awolnation's New Album: Run". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Awolnation ‘Run’ Makes A Few Stops Between Sprints". Antiquiet.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  45. ^ "They’re Back: AWOLNATION Rocks Houston Whatever Fest". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  46. ^ Ashley Daisy (13 March 2016). "Hollow Moon // Awolnation". YouTube. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  47. ^ "6/19/10 Santa Monica, CA - Pac Sun Summer Solstice BEACH BALLYHOO!". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  48. ^ a b "07/16/10 New York, NY (Williamsburg Waterfront)". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  49. ^ "11/02/10 London (Old Blue Last)". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  50. ^ "Meet our new bass player ALF devinhoffman #AWOL2013". Twitter. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  51. ^ "AWOLNATION (new song) "Kooks Everywhere" live at VOODOO 2014!". YouTube. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  52. ^ a b "09/27/14 Sao Paulo, BR - MIX Festival". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  53. ^ "10/14/11 Pensacola Beach, FL (DeLuna Fest)". AWOLNation Builders. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 

External links[edit]