Dover rock band talks new single and playing Inkcarceration Festival this summer

The idea that people are spending too much time on social media has inspired Dover rockers Awake at Last’s new single, “Dead Generation.”

The song dropped Friday, Feb. 8 on iTunes.

“There’s a lot of people that are detached from others,” guitarist Eric Blackway said. “In the video you’ll see Vince [Torres] is trying to make contact with people, but they don’t really respond. It’s similar to how people are more into being online on Facebook or whatever, other than communicating in person.”

The single is from Awake at Last’s new concept album “The Change,” which explores different human emotions, Blackway said. Early summer is when the album is slated for release.

Friday also marks Awake At Last’s new 12-day tour with friends The Funeral Portrait, beginning in Richmond, Va., and ending in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 17.

In July the Dover band will play the Inkcarceration Festival in Ohio, featuring big names Shinedown, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch and more.

A number of the bands in the lineup are from the 2018 Louder than Life Festival in Kentucky, which Awake at Last was scheduled to play, but couldn’t because the three-day fest got canceled due to flooding.

Blackway dished on how the band turned lemons into lemonade after Louder than Life, how they’re stepping into the role of social media influencers and on playing Inkcarceration.

How does your band walk the line of needing social media to build your fan base while also telling people they should communicate more offline?

We use online for marketing and we get on Twitter to talk to our fans. But when we’re actually at the shows, we’re available to our fans too. When they come to a show, they can usually meet us at the merchandise table or come see us hanging around. Vince loves to talk to everyone, and we all do.

How has stepping into the role of being an influencer impacted the band?

We know that if we post something, people will see it. We haven’t pushed too hard on the influencer side, but it is something we’re starting to use. For example, we could use our influence if we start a clothing line in the future. A lot of bands do it.

What does it mean to you to play Inkcarceration Fest?

We’re really excited about that one. There are a lot of great bands on the lineup. Actually, it features a lot of the bands that were on the Louder than Life Festival, so it’s great.

How did Louder than Life getting canceled work out better for you guys?

Our agent hit up the promoters around the area. They told them we were on the lineup for Louder than Life. Obviously it got canceled, so they asked if they were interested in picking up any new shows.

Even though the festival wasn’t going to happen, bands were still coming through to that area. So when that happens, it’s always worth a shot to try to get booked for a show in the area.

The promoters said, “I just picked up a show. I have some room. Are you still interested?” We asked, “Who’s the show with?” They told us the concert was with Asking Alexandria and were like “yeah, let’s do this!” Those guys are currently one of my favorite bands. It was awesome because it was just us and them playing that show.

Did you get the chance to talk to anyone from Asking Alexandria after playing with them?

We actually didn’t get the chance to. They were on the tour bus. But I hear they’re really cool guys. If we played more than one date with them we probably would’ve eventually gotten to know them.

As your popularity has increased, how do you all deal with more people reaching out to you for favors?

We look at everyone with open-mindedness. But we’re going to help out people who’ve been there for us, rather than some people who are trying to move in now.

Also, it depends on how people present themselves. As we’re starting to become influencers more ourselves, we think about how people reach out to us. Recently this band reached out to me that dropped off from doing a show with us a year ago. They’ve been [missing in action]. Then a week ago they decided to send me their new album. They didn’t say what they wanted, but I know what they’re implying.

I just don’t think that was a very good way of hitting me up. If you’re reaching out to influencers or looking for help from someone, you should get on a friendly basis first, and then you can bring up what your motive is. 

What do you enjoy about touring with The Funeral Portrait?

The most exciting part is we know exactly what we’re getting into when we go on tour with them. We’re friends. There’s no it’s-awkward-getting-to-know-you days. Some bands are cool. And some bands don’t want anything to do with you, even if you’re on a tour with them. 

Name three essentials you need while touring.

The number-one essential is a Planet Fitness membership so you can always hit the gym and take showers. Obviously you need a tooth brush and an extra pair of shoes, because you never know what the weather is going to be, or if your shoes are going to be soaking wet. You don’t want to be wearing nasty shoes on tour.

Since 2018 was a big year for the band, what needs to happen in 2019 for it to feel bigger?

Gaining more [social media] influencers will help. We need to keep touring and push the new album.