How did you form your band, what was the beginning of Awakening Sun?
Ernestas: I formed the band in 2011. The line up has completely changed since then and I`m the only one that`s left from the original band. Kevin joined us in 2014. I found him on Youtube, proposed to join our tour for 1 month, he agreed and that`s how we met Kevin. I`m doing vocals and lead guitar, Narvydas has the rhythm guitar, Levis - Bass Guitar and Kevin is with drums.
Why did you join a Lithuanian band?
Kevin: Well, it was a surprise for me as well. 3 months before Ernestas messaged me, I started my own Youtube channel exactly with the purpose to reach international bands. His proposition was exactly what I was looking for, it seemed like a perfect fit, so I joined.
How do you practice, since you are not located in the same country?
Kevin: We meet up a few days before every show.
Ernestas: We practice separately. We all know our parts and we practice them on our own time. The most important thing is that everyone does their own part well and when we are together, we can just practice a few times and we are good to go. When we are together we focus more on the show elements.
How would you describe the genre of music you're playing?
Kevin: I guess it`s more like groove metal.
Ernestas: Yeah, for us the most important part is to keep it groovy. Our music is a mix of hardcore, death metal and progressive metal. Our upcoming album Into the Light will have some fresh metal influence as well. Some songs are more aggressive, heavier and faster just to make the crowd go insanely wild.
How do you create your music? Do you wait for inspiration or you have a more systematic approach?
Kevin: We don`t have a specific schedule. When we are ready to write a new song or an album, we get together or send each other some stuff. From that point on we work on a song.
Ernestas: It`s never systematically. Whenever I pick up the guitar for jamming, I find some cool riffs, which I continue to develop. We usually create songs from random jam sessions.
Which artists have influenced your style of music?
Kevin: For each of us it`s different, but we have some bands that we all like, for example, Architects. Sometimes I listen to a band not because of the music they are playing, but because of the way they perform. We all really like Decapitated – a metal band from Poland, Lamb of God, Machine Head, Slipknot, Gojira.
Ernestas: I also enjoy some hardcore stuff like Stick to Your Guns, White Chapel. Those bands have influenced me. Music comes to us from everywhere, but these are probably the most important influences we have.
Kevin: Especially for the new album Into the Light, it`s a mixture of all of the mentioned bands.
Ernestas: We have put different styles and genres just all together. When you hear one song that is really heavy and brutal, you would expect the next one to be the same, but it will surprise you with its melody and groovy rhythms. Of course, the whole album comes together, and songs are connected, but you can feel the differences between them.
What feeling would you like your fans to leave your shows with?
Ernestas: Broken joints, broken jaws. (laughs)
Kevin: I guess the energy is the most important thing we would like to give to our fans. They go home and they're like: “wow, this was amazing!” They should leave with an overwhelming feeling.
Ernestas: Not to forget the show and to always want to come back for more. Usually, when I go to a good show, I talk about it for weeks and check when I can see them again.
How does the metal scene in Lithuania differ from the Netherlands?
Kevin: It`s smaller and totally different genre-wise. Eastern Europeans enjoy more heavier bands, while in the Netherlands we have a lot of female fronted bands. People really dig that.
Ernestas: Another thing I have noticed is that the scene in Lithuania is very divided. Some will listen to death metal, some to black metal and some to modern metal and those guys will never meet up. They don`t support even the local guys if they play in a different genre. If you mix up 3 different genres, none of them will like you and they will all say you are not “true”.
Kevin: Yeah, you are not true death metal or thrash metal.
Have you been to the Devilstone festival before?
Kevin: Ernestas is going every year, but I have been only once. It was an amazing experience!
Ernestas: Yeah, the festival is very nice. They started with only metal stuff, but now you can listen to lighter stuff, heavier stuff – whichever way you like. For real metalheads, it`s harder, as they want only pure metal.
Your concert will be on the first day, you can just put on a great show and relax for the rest of the festival. Some artists you are planning to check out?
Ernestas: I`m planning to see Steak Number Eight. I have wanted to see them already for 5-6 years. Brutus from Belgium seemed interesting.
Kevin: I want to see Au-Dessus, but also BA. from Lithuania. Devilstone is that festival where you can discover different bands. I already know for sure that I will see a band, which I have never seen or heard before and I will love it!
What kind of advice would you give to artists that are just starting their career?
Ernestas: Never stop. You must put hard work in.
Kevin: Yes, never stop and don`t be lazy. Be organised, because people will see if you don`t have your shit together. Take every chance you are offered, because you can never know when the 2nd one will come.
After Devilstone, when and where can your fans here you perform again?
Ernestas: Right now, we have finished our new album, everything is completed. When we will finalise, who will release our new album, from that point on we can plan tour dates. Maybe we will do an album release show in October here in Baltics. But we want to play and hit the stages as soon as possible.
Have a great festival and welcome to the Monster family!