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Articles Home » Music Talk » AWAKEN I AM The Beauty in Tragedy Interview By Nina McCarthy
AWAKEN I AM The Beauty in Tragedy Interview By Nina McCarthy


The Beauty in Tragedy

Interview By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio


As their first US tour came to a close in March of 2018, tragedy struck AWAKEN I AM on their home soil in Brisbane, Australia. On the morning of May 15, guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley’s 24 year old life was cut short by the hands of an intentionally reckless driver, whose unsuccessful attempt took the wrong life. While in the US, the band was able to cut “Dissolution,” sadly the final recording starring Oakley (previously released April 30, 2018).

Following the accident, the remaining members of AWAKEN I AM returned to the US and dove straight into writing/recording with producer Taylor Larson (The Word Alive, Asking Alexandria). Apart from two songs written before his passing, the other three tracks serve as a tribute to Oakley. Some directed towards their fallen brother, others at the responsible party and the songs from those sessions proved to be both cathartic and inspiring. Drummer Luke McKenzie divulges, “’Dissolution’ was the last track we had the privilege of recording with Connor, he was so proud of it. We shared the same dream with him and we hope to make him proud by keeping that dream alive with The Beauty In Tragedy.”---*Quoted  from the Awaken I Am Bio


Awaken I Am kick off 2019 with a heavy touring schedule.



BRR: About a year ago was your first US Tour and you’re coming back soon. Are  there any particular cities you are looking forward to going back to?

We are super excited to play some more California dates, they were so much fun on our first US tour. We are just excited to revisit each city on this run as well as visiting a few new ones for the first time.

BRR: You took a tragic event and made a beautiful album aptly entitled The Beauty in Tragedy to release your grief. Discuss how the music helped you come to terms with Connor’s death.

Through the writing, recording and release process we had to confront the situation every day. Being put in that position forces you to be very real and raw with the situation and go through the different stages of grief.


​BRR: What tracks are your personal favorites and which were the most challenging to record?

We are so excited about all of the new tracks and it's hard to pick a favorite but both “Kin” and “The Stages Of Grief” which were written about Connor and the situation were very difficult to record.

​BRR: How meaningful is it to have “Dissolution” included on this release?

So much, it was the last song that we had the privilege of recording with our brother Connor and this tied in really well with the whole release.

BRR: This most recent tour you did with Secrets in Australia was the first time you played “Indifference” live on tour. What was the crowd reaction?

We played “Indifference” last in the set and you could tell that fans were waiting to hear it. As soon as they heard the beginning guitar lead there was a great reaction from the crowd and so many people singing the lyrics back to us.

BRR: ​What can your US fans look forward to on this upcoming tour?

New music, we are releasing The Beauty In Tragedy on April 26th which is also the start of the US tour so we will be playing most of those tracks live.

        TOUR DATES

Mar 21  Adelaide, Australia
Mar 22  Melbourne, AU, Australia
Mar 23. Sydney, AU, Australia
Mar 27  Canberra, Australia
Mar 28  Newcastle, Australia
Mar 29  Brisbane, AU, Australia
Mar 30  Auckland, NZ, New Zealand
Mar 31  Wellington, New Zealand


Apr 26  San Diego, CA
Apr 27  Anaheim, CA
Apr 28  Henderson, NV
Apr 30  Mesa, AZ
May 1  Albuquerque, NM
May 3  San Antonio, TX
May 4  Fort Worth, TX
May 5  Houston, TX
May 7  Margate, FL
May 8  Orlando, US, FL
May 9  Atlanta, GA
May 10 Chapel Hill, NC




Victory Records


(Photos courtesy of Victory Records)

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