Borough band vies for spot on Warped Tour

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The Naugatuck-based band A Will Away is vying for a chance to perform in the Warped Tour on July 22 at the Comcast Theater in Hartford.-CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Where there’s A Will Away, there’s a chance to play at the Warped Tour.

The local Naugatuck band rose in popularity during the 16th annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands. To take part in this competition the band had to upload at least one song onto the website www.battleofthebands.com. A Will Away uploaded four songs, the most popular being The Fight, The Flight.

Fans then voted for their favorite band, with the top four winners at each of the Warped Tour’s 42 locations playing on the Ernie Ball stage. Voting closed two weeks prior to the Warped Tour’s concert date.

A Will Away is vying for the July 22 Warped Tour date at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford.

A Will Away’s drummer Sean Dibble has high hopes for the band winning a spot in the Warped Tour. If the band wins, this will not only be the first time he performs in the tour, but also the first time he sees it.

“I’ve never been to the Warped Tour. The first time I want to go is when I’m playing,” Dibble said.

Vocalist Matthew Carlson said even if they win the chance to perform, they probably won’t know their schedule until the day before the show.

“A lot of it is based on what the national acts are doing. They throw you in with who you sound the most like,” Carlson said.

Carlson described A Will Away’s sound as a combination of pop rock and alternative rock with influences from heavier rock genres.

“We use pop hooks with heavy rock tones. That’s what makes the sound so successful. We smash together every rock influence you can think of,” Carlson said.

A Will Away formed in January 2011 out of a chance encounter. Carlson explained his mother and guitarist Ryan Cool’s mother met in a grocery store. They began talking about how their sons were musicians and decided to get the two of them together to play.

Carlson and Cool went along with the idea, only to find that their musical styles were a good match.

Once they began playing together, they reached out to some other musicians. Dibble was one of the first people that Carlson contacted about forming a band.

“I’ve known Sean, our drummer, since I was 5 years old. But lost contact because I went to private school and he went to public school,” Carlson explained.

Guitarist Collin Waldron and bassist Aaron Johnson rounded out the band’s lineup.

In the 17 months A Will Away has existed, the members have recorded a demo called The Beautiful Zero, an EP called Not Far From Home, and will soon be releasing Product of Your Environment, their first full-length album. The EP can be found on iTunes and Spotify.

Also in that time, Johnson moved to Florida. Carlson explained that the band sometimes flew him up to play gigs, but it was becoming too expensive. The Warped Tour is special occasion, however.

“He has officially left the band, but he will fly up for Warped,” Carlson said.

For A Will Away, playing the Warped Tour would be an enormous break, but that has not stopped them from thinking about the future.

“We’re going to try to get this new record out as soon as possible,” Dibble said.

As for other live shows, Carlton said the band receives five or six offers a week to play and may be playing a Battle of the Bands at Toad’s Place.

The winners of the 16 annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands are expected to be announced this week. As of this post, the winners had not been announced.