Wake The Sun are from Long Island, New York, but are they really a New York band?
One may ask the question of how they fit into the modern New York City music scene with their bluesy rock served straight up with heaps of southern-fried guitar shred.
“We don’t, really, if I’m being honest,” said Dillon Mealey, singer, guitarist and principle songwriter. “It’s not as dark or as heavy as a lot of the bands that are known to frequent the area, so it’s kind of nice. We don’t have a lot of competition, as it were. But people seem to enjoy it either way.”
Mealey grew up in upstate New York and absorbed the music his mother used to listen to like Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison and old southern blues records. “Always in the back of my mind, it’s always an underlying factor when I write my music, is to have that Southern, bluesy, rock influence,” Mealey explained. “That’s what permeates the music and what has developed in the band subconsciously.”
Mealey’s bandmates bring their own influences to the table. “Our guitarist (Tommy Perrotta) is more into ’80s hairband kind of stuff,” said Mealey. Which explains the shredding guitars. “When he first joined the band he was bringing a lot of that flair, so we had to ask him kindly to sort of dial it back and get a more classic blues-rock style, and he’s since come to that level.”
Bassist Jeff Alvarado likes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath and Rage Against the Machine. Drummer Marco Gill is influenced by more modern music like Circa Survive, The 1975, and The Killers.
“When we coalesce it becomes Wake the Sun,” said Mealey.
Wake The Sun formed in 2015 and did two coast-to-coast tours that lasted seven weeks each. During that time the band honed their sound, road tested their songs, and eventually recorded their excellent self-released debut album “Through the Night” in 2018.
“I was writing the album in the van, so the title ‘Through the Night’ chronicles getting to the next city, driving all the way through the night,” said Mealey. “A lot of the songs encapsulate that vibe of being on tour, the trials and tribulations, being away from home.”
The band is still pushing their “Through the Night,” but they have a whole album worth of new material that they are itching to get in the studio and record. They plan on fitting some new tunes into their setlist during this tour.
As much as they are appreciated in their home city, Wake the Sun’s hard rockin’ music always makes a big impression on Southern audiences accustomed to the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and classic rock.
“Last time we were down south it was overwhelming,” said Mealey. “We were not expecting the overwhelming gratitude and everyone really loved the music, so it was cool.”
He adds, “We got a lot of ‘hell yeahs!’ after songs.”