New EP "The Beauty In Tragedy" out on April 26th!
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 intentional 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 (released April 30, 2018).
Following the accident, the remaining members of AWAKEN I AM dove straight into the writing/recording process with producer Taylor Larson (The Word Alive, Asking Alexandria). Apart from two songs written before his passing, all the titles entirely focus as a tribute to Oakley. Some directed towards their fallen brother, others at the responsible party - those 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.”
On the EP’s title, McKenzie adds, “Through all of the pain our goal was to take a completely tragic situation and make something beautiful from it which brought about the name The Beauty In Tragedy. Recording this album was a chance to be sad, angry, confused and try to find a way to come to terms with the grief the best we can through music.”
Longtime friend (and sometimes fill-in for the band), Jay Sibthorpe, stepped in to record the new tracks. “Jay was very close with Connor,” says bassist Ryan Oxford. “Having Jay here makes it the best thing in the world as a result of the most horrible situation. Having someone who did not mean anything to Connor would have been probably one of the hardest things to adapt to.”