Out of New York City, Wake The Sun brings a lot to the table. The band is a mix of old rock and new rock. Their sound is somewhere between Rival Sons and The Black Keys meets The Who. The band’s latest release is a single called “Tell ‘Em All Again.” The song is a soulful rock arrangement that spans generations of influences. Alternative Addiction spoke with Dillon Mealey, vocalist and rhythm guitarist as well as new lead guitarist James Rubino, about their new single.
“From when the band started, our idea was to make something with a retro feel but have that New York grit going on too,” explained Mealey on the core sound of Wake The Sun and what’s changed with the new single. “I think of it like we've sharpened our edge. We came into the sound that we've been trying to get into all along. The past album was all over the place. It's still us obviously but the songs we're releasing now is what we feel like we were meant to be. We've found our sound, our image, and how we've been supposed to be doing things. This is our most refined thing that we've done.”
The band coming into their new sound has to do with the current lineup. The band features Mealey and Rubino but Jeff Alvarado on bass and Andrews Valbuena on drums too.
“The band has had several different versions,” said Mealey. “We've brought in a new drummer and a James as our new guitarist and that happened this past January. So, it's been hard to get everybody in the same room and working together but we've been doing things remotely and it's been working out.”
“I joined the band by answering a Facebook post,” added Rubino. “I had never done that, but I did, and we started talking. That was before COVID and everything was locked in. Since then, we've faced the speed bump that everybody else has but we've still been moving forward anyway, and I think we've gotten some good music out of it. It's definitely the most interesting music that I've been a part of.”
So, with Rubino and Valbuena joining the band late, Wake The Sun has had to work on a lot of their chemistry in different locations. They’ve written songs through Facetime and emails and they’ve gotten to know each other by working remotely rather than working in a practice space. “Tell ‘Em All Again” was even a song that Mealey and bassist Jeff Alvarado wrote before Rubino joined the band. They got their parts done on the song before going into self-isolation/quarantine and they were able to have Rubino record his parts on his own.
“There were a lot of calls and Facetime and a lot of communication, but that's really what helped us keep the vibe,” explained Rubino. “Even though we weren't in the same room together it allowed my guitar part to be raw and honest and it was cool to connect with the rest of the band and what they were saying in the song.”
Rubino and Mealey talked a bit about James joining the band so late and how that shaped how they worked in the studio. It was interesting to get both of their perspectives on the same subject knowing that they’re working relationship was still in its infancy.
“For my lead stuff I'd love to tell you that it took one take but that's not the case. There was a lot of trial and error and a lot of refinement. The general picture though, that was there from the very beginning from the gameplan that I was able to get from Dylan and Jeff about the sound,” said Rubino.
“I have to give James credit too,” added Mealey. “A lot of it was him sending me something and kind of getting what we were going after. James is such a welcome addition to this band. He's kind of the missing piece that we've been looking for so long. It was painless to figure it all out honestly.”
What’s next for Wake The Sun? A new single. The band is waiting to release it until it makes sense to do so, but Rubino and Mealey were able to discuss it and how hyped they were to put it out.
“We're stoked on it. We think it's the best thing we've done. That was the first time we've been able to get together with the social distancing guidelines in place, but it was good,” said Mealey. “From my perspective, it tells a story. A lot of times in the past I've written songs that have a vibe, but with this song I conveyed a message, and the lyrics have some meaning. I'm proud of it,” he added.
“It's one of those songs that I want to put on in the car and drive to no place in particular,” said Rubino. “It's a solid jam that always hits you with something else.” -aa