Warped Tour reenergizes Naugatuck band
NAUGATUCK — With their performance at the Warped Tour still fresh in their minds, the Naugatuck-based band A Will Away is back in the studio working on a new album.
After winning the 16th annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands this summer, A Will Away played at the Warped Tour in Hartford on July 22.
“Warped Tour was pretty wild. I don’t know how else to describe it,” A Will Away’s lead singer Matt Carlson said. “We had a bigger turnout than we could have expected. What started out as a front row crowd of fans, friends and family, turned into this monstrous crowd.”
He said one of the amazing things about being a part of the Warped Tour was how many national acts were there.
“Pretty much everywhere you looked, there were national acts everywhere,” Carlson said. “We’ve played with national acts before but never this many at the same place.”
Carlson said that although the band members have played many live shows and are comfortable being on stage, they were nervous about playing at Warped because of the size of the venue and the amount of national acts there.
“But it didn’t matter because our crowd carried us through it. We had the best audience we’ve ever had,” Carlson said.
Carlson said that playing at the Warped Tour reenergized the band and got them back on track.
“We were on a hiatus before the show, we were reassessing everything,” Carlson said. “We jumped on the Warped Tour and it’s been nothing but activity since then, with show offers and interviews. There’s not a venue that won’t book us after we’ve mentioned we’ve played the Warped Tour.”
Recently A Will Away played with Promise of Redemption, an acoustic act formed by the former lead singer of Valencia.
The band’s next venture is to finish its newest full-length album.
“We started getting our record finished, which is really exciting,” Carlson said. “We have put a ton of money and ton of time into this, but studio time is really expensive. We work full time and have normal life expenses, and those things get in the way of being a band.”
He explained that many bands, when they put out an album, do so with the backing of a record label. The label usually pays for the band’s studio time and other related expenses.
“It is impossible to do it without a label’s backing, but we decided to do it anyway. We are hoping to get a label’s attention,” Carlson said.
The band is turning to its fans in hopes of raising funds for the new record. It has set a goal of raising $2,500 by Sept. 15 using the fundraising website Kickstarter.
“Anything as small as $1 helps. We accept up to $1,000, but we don’t really expect people to contribute that much,” Carlson said.
The band already has a production date for its album and tour dates to follow it.
“We are planning on having that record done by the end of November and touring on it starting on the end of December,” Carlson said. “It will be out a few weeks before that tour and we can’t tour on an album that isn’t produced.”
While the album isn’t completed yet, the band knows that it will be a 10 track album which plays on a specific theme.
“We have eight or nine tracks picked, but there is a mild dispute about which of the last ones will be on the album,” Carlson explained.
Carlson said the album will be more serious and mature than the band’s previous recordings.
“The way I would describe the music on this album is intense, very emotional, and approachable in the sense that, from a lyrical standpoint, we’ve left ourselves as open books,” Carlson said.
The album, which will be titled “Product of Your Environment,” plays with the idea that people are influenced and continue to grow and change in their settings, Carlson said.
“When we started the band we were all about to or just graduated high school. … We all wanted to be full time musicians, but we had all signed up for college. We left Naugatuck to pursue other ideas and interests that normal people do,” Carlson said. “All of us ended up having these unique experiences and we realized that people are products of their environments.”
Carlson explained that, when the members came back together, the realized how much they and their friends had been changed by their experiences away from Naugatuck. They wanted their music to represent those changes.
“The story from start to finish is really our own coming to age tale,” Carlson said. “It turned into realizing that people are changed by their environments, whether it’s where they came from or where they are, people are products of their environments. Our music is a product of its environment.”