We receive messages and emails from fans from time to time not only regarding the band for booking, merchandise, videos, etc., but on occasion, we get asked questions more specific. Yesterday, we received one of the latter messages and we feel the need to share it and the response just for the sake of transparency and honesty.
The message addressed a few members of the band and went on to ask what we thought this fan should do in the way of bettering his guitar playing. Sean fielded the question. Here is his reply:
This is Sean. My best advice is to continue to play what you like, but also continue to stretch yourself. I started by playing along with rock songs I enjoyed the most (Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water", Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", etc etc etc), but I kept reading what the best players were doing. I read guitar magazines that showed Zakk Wylde's pedal board and amp settings and who he looked up to as a kid, different exercises that built up my fingers and gave me a feel for the fretboard, etc. Nowadays, you can always just watch other people's videos on YouTube and even view personal lessons as well. As long as you're developing an ear for what sounds good to you and keeps your interest in guitar, it's all good. I have personally never posted a video of myself just playing because, deep down, I know there are million way better guitarists than myself. But, that's just me. I continue to grow and play what makes me happy. In the last few years, I have spent way more time playing riffs that I thought up and finding ways that the band can utilize them as potential songs for us to play. About 20% of the riffs I come up with actually make it to a legitimate NOWAKE song and that's ok. It's what keeps me going. I no longer want to look up other people's songs and try to figure them out like I used to. Although, on the occasion that I do look up a YouTube video or tab on someone else's song, I usually find myself learning more usable styles that, in turn, becomes apparent in my music... so maybe I should spend a little more time jamming along with songs I hear on my Spotify or Pandora stations LOL.
Anyway, keep doing what makes you happy and keep challenging yourself. Have fun!
In a world of flashy guitar videos that leave you feeling like you will never be good enough, just do you. Play what is fun and continue growing in your craft. If you end up like Eddie Van Halen, playing for millions of people in sold-out arenas, great. If you end up being like the rest of us who just enjoy getting together and playing fun songs, perfect.
We are happy to announce 2018 dates including shows in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois! Click the "Shows" tab to check them out. Click the show's name to visit the official event page for more information.
Make this a year of ROCK and put these dates in your calendars now!
After several months of shooting and editing video, we are officially ready to release the music video for "Deviate" to the world!
We would like to thank George Cate for guest singing on the song, Scott Donegan for recording and producing the album, Dustin Royal for acting in the video, Alex White for capturing the drone footage for the video, and Jeff Moore for editing the video. Without you all, we wouldn't have been able to pull this off!
So, without further ado, we present "Deviate" featuring George Cate.
**Be sure to hit that HD 1080p button!**
Tuesday, we played what is likely to be our last show for 2017. We had a great year and capped it off with the big fundraiser for Pinkie Pals and then traveled to St. Louis for a show at The Firebird. JMcKee Photography captured some great pics and we have uploaded a bunch of them to our Facebook page. Go check them out!
Stay tuned for: 1) Our official press release for the total donation to Pinkie Pals. 2) 2018 shows. 3) New music!
Thanks to everyone who came out to a show in 2017, grabbed a copy of (or downloaded) the album we dropped this year and here's to many more!
We're excited to be returning to The Firebird in St. Louis, MO on November 7th. We have tickets on hand and need to sell some. We make a little bit back off the ticket price and have a minimum we have to sell. So, if you can make it down for an awesome Tuesday of hard rock, message or email us to get yours today! And if you feel like helping us out and can't make it down, you can always help support us by just grabbing a ticket or two anyway!
Also, we will be making our donation to Pinkie Pals in the coming weeks. If you wanted to grab a limited edition NOWAKE breast cancer awareness shirt, they're still for sale on our official Zazzle Online Store. Proceeds from those sales still go towards our donation until the end of October, so go check it out! Click "Merch" and you'll see the link to our online store.
Those that follow the band on all our social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) know that we love reaching out to our community and beyond to help those in need. Last month, we were able to make a donation and raise awareness for the need for supplies in the Houston, TX area after Hurricane Harvey ran it's course through that region.
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we have come up with a few ways to help a Hannibal, MO area breast cancer cause. We have a few limited edition shirts available on our official online store (Zazzle). The prices reflect a profit margin big enough to help us make a donation at the end of October. Please check out the site and help any way you can!
We will also have some of the pink stickers on hand in the coming days and will be pairing them with other physical merch (shirts, CDs, download cards, etc).
Stay tuned and thanks for your help as this is a great cause! We want to help those battling and who have fought this terrible form of cancer!
We have had an incredible summer and are looking towards a great fall! As we wrap up some great road trips and killer gigs, we look to the future. We have already begun writing some new tunes featuring our newest members, Austin and Ryan. With that being said, we'd like to roll out a new line of merch! As 2017 marks exactly ten years since Sean and AJ started the band, we have some budget-friendly shirts for everyone! We're calling it the "NOWAKE Ten Year Anniversary Player Spotlight" shirt series.
Head over to our Official Online Store to check them out as well a bunch of other new items! Click the image below to be directed to the new Player Spotlight collection! These will only be available online.
We have released some videos lately to help promote both the new album and our live show. Head over to YouTube and check them out! Just search "NOWAKE Gone" to see the latest (a lyric video for "Gone" cut by our bassist, Ryan). It should enable the autoplay feature and will roll out a bunch of the other vids after that. It is also at the bottom of this post.
Hope everyone is having an awesome summer. I know we are! We played Kansas for the first time as well as The Firebird in St. Louis and a bunch of other great venues! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all our shows, songs, news and shenanigans...
Here is Sean giving some insight into "Gone":
"I wrote this song while I was away from my wife and daughter in 2014 for 13 weeks at Columbia Fire Academy. It was a way of dealing with the separation from them at the time. I knew it needed to be an acoustic song to capture the feeling of that time, so we recruited Austin Birkhead (who was not a permanent fixture in the band at that time) to lay down the acoustic tracks in the song as he plays an acoustic like nobody's business! He went on to play the second half of the solo as well.
Our producer on this album (Scott Donegan) did an excellent job of capturing the emotion in my opinion.
If you like the song, please consider downloading either just the single or this entire NOWAKE album on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3, CDBaby.com or wherever you get your music at these day.
Thanks to Ryan Brent Gilmore for cutting the lyric video for us! Turned out very simple and clean just like I envisioned it! Oh, and Tank even has a cameo in it LOL. And who knows, maybe we can cut an official music video for it someday..."