Exclusive interview for hellfest.fr: AWAKENING SUN [Ernest (vocals & guitar) & Kevin (drums)]
“Writing songs and playing live is the best feeling ever” – Ernest – Friday 17 June 2016
How have you guys been since I last saw you two years ago?
Ernest: Pretty good! We’ve had a few tours since then. We’ve played with Sepultura. We’ve played with Anaal Nathrakh, we played some big shows and got bigger, better responses, more offers to tour and are looking for some contacts to get over to the United States. Today is Hellfest! We are playing today at 6!
When I first interviewed you, Kevin had just joined the band, obviously it worked out…
Kevin: Yeah, it’s going great! It’s great to be an international band. You can promote the band in Holland and Lithuania.
Ernest: Ever since Kevin joined the band we sound a lot better live and we are a lot more professional. It’s good to not have session drummers. Writing music is just easier. It’s not even hard to do it over the Internet. We do Skype and stuff. We just send it over and Kevin knows what we need to do. We just meet up before the shows, sometimes we don’t even practice, it’s just tight!
Kevin: We have become a very close team. It’s awesome to have the same view for the future.
That’s what I’ve admired abut you guys – how driven you guys are! How do you keep pushing?
Ernest: It’s the dream that made me star the band to tour as such as we can and play live shows. You work a daily job and do normal family stuff and it goes down again and again. Going on stage for even one show is like going to the doctor and being healed. It’s the best feeling you can get. It’s what we want to do for a living and push it as hard as we can.
How close do you think you are to achieving this goal?
Ernest: We weren’t really satisfied with our last record. We felt like it didn’t properly represent us. We want to build it up and make it sound perfect. We want everything to keep moving forward and totally work for us.
Last time we spoke you said you would give yourself two years before calling it quits unless it was going well. Obviously it’s been going well.
Ernest: Exactly! We had a ton of tours since then, especially opening for Sepultura in an arena. That was cool. We never tried to talk to them until the manager invited us back. When we got their the vocalist was uploading a video of our show to his Facebook profile and complimenting us. I was like “Wow, really?” Apparently he really dug it and thought we just needed to find the right people. For us that was sick! It wasn’t just random stuff, it was honest! So then we did yet another tour!
Are you booking all your own tours right now?
Ernest: Yes. At the moment we are not planning on touring until November. We have just been focused on the new album and will be for the next few months. We need to start tracking everything for it to be done by the end of July.
Who are the two other dudes in the band? They look about sixteen!
Ernest: The bass player is 22 now, he just cut his hair so he looks like a kid. The guitarist is 23, he is a new member. We couldn’t find a guitarist who would write for us and be a dedicated member, he likes to play jazz and stuff. He brought in a lot of new stuff and the music became a lot more progressive. It is a lot more technical now. It’s no longer as standard, he really brought a lot to it. He’s also writing a lot of stuff on the new album which rules.
You’ve had a lot of lineup issues over the past few years – is it resolved now?
Ernest: Since the beginning of this year we’ve had a new lineup and we are not planning on changing anything. We’ve got a strong line-up, three of us have been together for years now.
So what do you love so much about music?
Ernest: It just keeps me going. No matter how I feel music is what always keeps me in the mood. It makes you really happy about everything. Writing songs and playing live is the best feeling ever.
Kevin: It keeps you alive.
How do you feel about the Hellfest experience?
Ernest: It’s the biggest festival we have ever been to. The atmosphere is great. Hanging out backstage with all these big bands and seeing those nightliners outside it’s like an affirmation that this is the thing that we want to do.
Kevin: We want to reach that level!
Do you have any words of wisdom?
Kevin: Come to our shows!
Interview: Matt Bacon.