community · depressed · life changing · lonely · Michael Grubbs · Mike Grubbs · music · music can save lives · One Tree Hill · OTH · Wakey!Wakey!

Wakey!Wakey! – The band that changed my life

“Loving a band with all your heart is something you understand when it happens to you. On the surface, others can see it as a petty obsession, but they’ll just never know the feeling of putting so much faith into a few people on the other side of the world. Its hard to explain it to them, the listening to a song on repeat, the waits for new albums, the excitement and surreal sensation when you finally see them live. They dont understand why the lyrics booklets give you a sense of comfort, or why you paste photos of them all over your bedroom walls. And they cant understand why one band could matter to you so much. And you think to yourself, Because they saved my life. But you say nothing, they wouldn’t understand.” 

  Alex Gaskarth

I can’t even describe how much I agree with Alex Gaskarth! People always say that music can’t change your life and that one specific band can’t make such a big difference in a person’s life. I am here to prove them all wrong!

Let’s revind to 2010 when I had just moved 80 miles away from the town where I had lived almost my entire life. Suddenly I found myself in a completely unknown city where I didn’t know a single person.
At university I only had lectures on Monday and Thursdays to the other 5 days of the week I was just sitting at home all by myself with no one to talk to about how I was feeling. My mum had her own problems to deal with so I keep quiet about how I was really feeling and the depressing thought in my brain grew bigger and bigger.
But then I found the band that changed my life. I spent most of my afternoons watching “One Tree Hill”. When I reached the end of season 6 one of the episodes started out with a song playing in the background and the song immediately caught my attention and I just knew that I had to find out who it was by.
Since I was very behind on watching the show it only took a quick Google search to find out that the song was called “War Sweater” and it was by a band called Wakey!Wakey! and that’s where it all started. I immediately knew that this was a band I need to hear more of. And if the amazing songs wasn’t enough, the leadsinger, Michael (Mike) Grubbs, is also a very handsome guy.

Fast forward to February 2011 – at this point I have been completely obsessed with Wakey!Wakey! for just over three months and the obsession is only getting worse. For Valentine’s Day, Wakey!Wakey!s record label are having a poster sale where you can buy a Valentine’s Day Wakey!Wakey! poster set and as the loner I am, I immediately bought it and could not be more excited about receiving them. A few weeks went by and they finally arrived and immediately went on my wall. Later that evening I tweeted about the posters being on my wall and not long after I received a tweet from a girl named Tsuua asking if I had ever heard about Team Wakey! which turned out to be the most amazing Wakey!Wakey! support group consisting of people from all around the world. At the time there weren’t a lot of members but I could already feel that this was going to end up feeling like a family! Time after time I can feel that I definitely wasn’t wrong about that. I have met some of my closest friends through Team Wakey! and sometimes I don’t know what I would do without the world of Wakey!Wakey!

Since then I have been to 4 Wakey!Wakey! shows – London and Copenhagen in 2011 and Hamburg and Copenhagen in 2014 and I seriously wouldn’t trade those shows for anything.

Heaven, London 2011
 Little Vega, Copenhagen 2011
 Übel und Gefährlich, Hamburg 2014
BETA, Copenhagen 2014

Each of those shows has a very special place in my heart since those four show were so different. London in 2011 was very special because it was my first Wakey!Wakey! show but also because it was on my 21st birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday. This was also where I got to meet quite a lot of other Team Wakey! members – both at the meet and greet before the show but also after the show.
Copenhagen 2011 was special because it was the first ever Wakey!Wakey! show in Denmark. This show brings back memories like the squeaky door, a wigglestick sign and Mike messing up the lyrics. This was also the show were Mike helped me win a bet by letting me kiss him on the cheek for a picture.
The show in Hamburg was also amazing. Even though Mike’s set was a lot shorter than we were used to, he still put on the best show of the evening and we didn’t even stay behind to hear the guy who played afterward. Instead we went outside the venue to just hang out with Mike until he had to leave.
And now moving on to the show in Copenhagen last year. That concert is honestly the best concert I have ever been to! The venue was quite small and we were standing right at the front. Just seeing Mike’s face has he looked around at the crowd and the biggest smile appeared on his face. Just like I felt at home, so did Mike. Even though he played for quite a while, I still wish the concert could have been ten times as long. However that still wouldn’t have been enough. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of going to Wakey!Wakey! shows.

People always ask me why I don’t spend my money on seeing really big bands instead but they clearly have never experienced the amazingness of an intimate show and even thought the 4 shows have been completely different in size, I have always felt like I was the only person in the room and for the entire duration of the concert nothing else mattered. I always feel at home at those shows.
Part of it is because of the amazing people that are part of the fan base and who are always there for you if you ever need them. Wakey!Wakey! fans are the coolest people I have ever met. The atmosphere at Wakey!Wakey! show is amazing and it feels like a big room of friends I just haven’t met yet.

However an even bigger part of it is Michael Grubbs and his amazing personality. Before meeting him in 2011 I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. What if he thought I was a horrible person? What if I made a complete fool of myself? I know this sounds silly but this is the guy whose songs helped me through the roughest time of my life and whose songs had changed the way I look at life. His songs changed my life. I was quickly proven wrong! As we were walking up the stairs to the backstage area, he turns around and says “Watch out. I might fart” and that’s when all my nerves disappeared. Even though he did tell me to shut up and give him at hug at the end of the night, it has been just like seeing an old friend every time I went to a Wakey!Wakey! show since then. Mike is no longer “just” the leadsinger of Wakey!Wakey!, he’s a friend who I just don’t see so often but who I know has written a song for every situation I might encounter in life.
Mike always takes time to come down to the merch table after the shows to sign stuff, take pictures and just talk to anyone who has stayed behind to meet him. I wish more musicians were like him.
Another thing I love about Mike is that he tells so many stories. Both true and untrue stories. One that stands out to me is the story of how he thought Copenhagen was this magic place full of fairies and that if he was lucky then going to heaven would be like going to Copenhagen. When I told him that he said that the last time he was here, he looked at me and said “I say a lot of shit, don’t I?” and I can only agree!
Mike is the reason I can no longer listen to Rihanna song without laughing.
Because of him I laugh whenever someone mentions something about dancing.

So here I am just over 4 years later and as I am writing this I can look up at a frame full of tickets, photos and the memories from all the shows and online fun we’ve had over the years. People always ask me why I spend so much money and time on travelling to see bands and why I spend so much time online. I don’t have a good explanation for it but I think that if they had experienced what I have experienced and have the memories that I have, then they found feel the exact same way as I do.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I could go on and on about this forever but I better end this now! Sorry about the length of that but I just had so much to say and so much love to share. If you made it this far, I just want to say a big thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you have enjoyed it!

I will leave you with some links in case you might wanna check out the awesomeness that is Wakey!Wakey!: Facebook Twitter YouTube

P.s. Michael Grubbs, if you’re reading this, probably aren’t, but still… Thank you for being you. Thank you for always making me laugh. Thank you for writing the songs that help me through life. Thank you for creating the music that has brought so many amazing people into my life. And last but not least; Thank you for the amazing hugs and for always letting me be the one to let go first.

australian · discover · interview · music · my own way · new · sam clark · singer

Repost of my interview with musician Sam Clark

Interview with musician Sam Clark

 Photo by Mathieu Bitton

This is reposting of the interview I did with Australian musican Sam Clark back in 2013. He agreed to let me email him some question and the following interview is what came out of that

But first a huge thank you to @SJCOfficialFans on twitter for helping me with the questions and for generally being awesome and uniting all the SAMurai from all over the world!

Just to get to know about Sam’s musical background, we first asked about when he first started to sing and this is what Sam told us

I started singing with a purpose when I started to play guitar. I was 15 years old and quickly got bored with simply playing guitar and moved onto singing and playing.”

Every successful musician needs a supportive family behind them so we also asked about Sam’s family and this is what he said

My family were kind enough to pay for singing lessons which helped me immensely. They have always wanted me to balance whatever makes me happy with whatever keeps me alive and that gave me the courage to chase my dreams.”

and since musical talent often runs in the family we also asked if any of his family members play music but no one in Sam’s immediate family does

When being asked about his musical inspirations, Sam says the following

My musical inspirations are constantly expanding/evolving. My earliest musical memories are dancing along to Peter Coombe and my parents playing albums by people like Van Morrison and Billie Holiday. I remember making mix tapes to play on my parents battery operated stereo while I rollerbladed in the car park across the road. The first albums I ever bought (I’m not quite sure of the order) were RHCP – Californication, Smash Mouth – Astro Lounge and The Offspring – Americana. This was when I was about 12 years old.From there my musical tastes have evolved dramatically. When I was 15 (and just starting to play guitar) I’d been listening to a lot of Ben Harper, Jack Johnson etc – mainly acoustic based music – but I also listened to a lot of hip-hop, Rap, Metal, Punk, Rock, and everything in between and was soon to join a cover band inspired by Simon & Garfunkle. I definitely was drawn more to guitar driven folk/pop/rock based music which is definitely clear in my music today. Right now I’m listening to Jack Peñate, A$AP Rocky, Macklemore, Jónsi, MuteMath, Sigur Ros, Other Lives, Daft Punk, Young The Giant, The Cold War Kids – my next iTunes purchases will probably be some songs by The Trouble With Templeton or Georgia Fair after seeing them at a gig this last weekend.”

Furthermore Sam told us that the first song he remebers ever listening to is “Peter Coombe – Newspaper Mama”

Rather closely linked to this we asked him about his favorite album by another artist to which he said “Ohhh woowwww… tough one… Again constantly evolving but right now Jack Peñate – Everything is New.”

Every musician has that special place they want to perform, that musisican they would love to open for and those musicians they would love to collab with so we of course asked Sam about all these things.

About where the would most like to perform, he said Wow, what a question. Since watching the Incubus Live at Red Rocks DVD I have always wanted to play there! Maybe one day…”

When it comes to who he would like to open for, he said “Right now I reckon it’d have to be Jack Peñate.” so maybe that can be at Red Rock

And last but not least, if Sam could collaborate with three other musicians (living or dead) he said the following ”Right now (as this list constantly evolves) Jack Peñate, Sameer Gadhia from Young the Giant or Jón “Jónsi” Þór Birgisson” and we are sure that some kickass songs would get out of a collabs like that!

We were also curious about where Sam usually gathers songwriting inspiration ajd what his usual songwriting process is to which Sam said

Life in general. Things that I feel passionate about one way or another (love/hate). I usually write chords just before melody just before lyrics.”

Members of Sam’s fanbase are called SAMurai and we were curious to hear if his SAMurai ever influence his music and Sam told us that every time he logs on and read the comments left for him, they affect my mood and how his day will turn out so the SAMurai inspire him every day.

Sam does not hide that his fans mean everything to him so we asked him to describe his fans in three words and he said “S.A.M. Sexy, Amazing, Magnificent”that is quite a lot to live up!

If you already know Sam or have read my earlier post about him you’ll know that Sam released an EP called “My Own Way” and when being asked about what song from the EP that means the most to him he said “My Own Way – it is about my split from my label and management” Sam also told us that he has never regretted leaving the management and recordlabel

We also asked Sam which of his own songs he is most proud of and why to which he said ”I think my unrecorded song Take Me By The Hand is one of my most honest songs. Honesty in music is unfortunately a rarity these days.”

Just to keep it all from being too serious and music orientated, we decided to also ask about Sam’s favourite food and what his drink is when he goes out. To the food question Sam’s answer was “Vegetables” and about the drink he said “I’m taking six months off drinking this year so generally water but I do love an Old Fashioned.”

Since Sam is both an actor and a musician, we thought it would be interesting to hear which of the profesions he would choose if he had to only choose one of them. This is what Sam said In terms of a career – acting as it is (ever-so-slightly) more stable.”

Furthermore, we thought it would be interesing to hear what he would be doing if he was not singing or acting to which he said “I have no idea but I’d make sure I enjoyed a big part of whatever it was. I’d love to buy and renovate houses and then sell them. I like being creative and making things.”

We also asked best advice he has ever been given is

Tough question… I’ve been given lot’s of advice and some advice is valid once you reach a certain point in your life. This is one of my favourite quotes though – “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein.”

When it comes to hidden talents Sam says that he has plenty but one is that he can gleek on cue. (If you don’t know what that is then don’t google it!!!! :P)

And no interview without asking about celebrity crushes. Here is what Sam said:

Gotta be Jennifer Lawrence right now but I also find Marion Cotillard incredibly talented and beautiful – oh and I also just fell in love with Betty Yeowart from The Trouble With Templeton.”

I think the last question is on the mind of every SAMurai. We asked what we can expect from him in the future and if there’s anything he’d like to share, upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums to which he said “Hopefully a lot more music, acting and the crossover of those two things! In the meantime you can stay up to date with what I’m up to via my website samclarkofficial.comwhere you can catch up with my blog posts and find links to all my official social networking sites etc!”

I’d like to end this by saying a huge thank you to the awesome Sam Clark for answering all my questions and for generally being an awesome and kind guy!