Awaken I Am have just released their highly impressive new album Blind Love via Victory Records. We honestly can’t stop listening to the album and it’s fast becoming one of our favourite albums of 2017. We caught up with the band’s guitarist Ned Jankovic to learn more about the album and find out what they have planned.

 
SCENEzine 
Firstly, huge congrats on the album we are big fans. You must be super proud of how it turned out?
 
Ned Jankovic 
Thank you so much! So much time and love was put into this record so we are all so very proud with the final product and that it is finally out!!!
 
SCENEzine 
Can you describe how the band’s sound has progressed from Shields & Crowns to the new album Blind Love?
 
Ned Jankovic
When we were writing Shields and Crowns we were quite heavily influenced by a lot of post-hardcore bands. We are still quite proud of that record but when it was time to write the new record we all agreed that we wouldn’t hold back in regard to genres and if we felt like writing a pop song, why not right? We each have such various influences it would of been silly not to experiment with our influences and see what comes out? The biggest change has been it’s much more of a rock record than say a post-hard-core record. We also really wanted Adam to shine on this record so with the instrumentals we hold back just a little bit and really just compliment Adams vocals and really let him shine.
 
SCENEzine
Were there any other bands or guitarists that influenced the song writing on the album?
 
Ned Jankovic 
There was a few but I think the biggest influence was our producer Taylor Larson. As a producer and as a guitarist he brought so much to the table in regards to song writing. He really helped shape the songs as they are and bring in such a fresh outlook to the band. Besides that, I think we listened to a ridiculous amount of Don Broco so I think some of their style creeped into the music for sure but how can you say no to such a rad band like that?
 
SCENEzine 
Is there a story behind how you chose the cover art for the album?
 
Ned Jankovic 
When we were discussing our artwork, we had quite a few ideas but not of them really gelled with the music. I am glad we waited until the album was completed before we decided on artwork because we all had a real good listen to the record and honestly what came up which I think shaped the ideas was this record had a dark overtone but not in a negative sort of way, more like a soundtrack to the city life. Bright, Neon lights. that kind of vibe!
 
 
SCENEzine 
The title track “Blind Love” is super addictive. Can you tell us a bit about the meaning behind that song?
 
Ned Jankovic
Lyrically I will have to leave that one as Adam would be much better at explaining! I could only really explain that was one of the first tracks we wrote for the record and helped shape the overall tone of the record!
 
 

SCENEzine
Another stand out track is “Wolves” how did that one come about?

Ned Jankovic
That one is one of Luke’s favourites and one of my favourites live. Musically it actually started off as quite a heavy song but Taylor saw beyond that and stripped it down to make a really wicked rock song! Lyrically, it’s a song that looks at all those self-absorbed people and making you reevaluate what truly matters. When people are only there for you and when it benefits them, we consider them Wolves.

SCENEzine
We also really like the song “Hindsight” did that one come easily in the writing process?

Ned Jankovic
Actually yes! Originally in the demo process, I thought this one would take a while to develop but as soon as we took it into the studio that one flowed and was done in a day or two! Such a surprise since that song is the most left of centre track for us, but another big favourite within the band!

SCENEzine
You’ve toured Japan, played in the USA and supported some great bands in Australia and New Zealand. Is there any particular live career highlight for you so far?

Ned Jankovic
As a band, two things stick out for us for sure! Firstly, was our first Japan tour. We did not know what was going to happen but just being able to go overseas we were stoked. But, in the end over surpassed all our expectations. The crowds were wicked and Japanese fans are just some of the best out there.

Secondly and my personal highlight was being able to play So What?! festival. Just playing the same festival as Underoath was such a mind blown moment.

SCENEzine
A huge part of the bands’ appeal is Adam’s unique vocals, was that a big reason that made you initially want to join the band?

Ned Jankovic
100%. Adam has such a unique voice where you could throw any style of music and he can find a way to make it sound a million times better! I’m also a sucker for a soulful voice and Adam has that in spades! Which, makes me happy that he got to shine a bit of that soulfulness in the new record. Shields and Crowns have such a heavy vibe and for Adam, it was 100% intensity so with this record its cool to see him flow a bit more and take some steps back and really shine.

SCENEzine
Lastly, can you give us some insight into what the rest of 2017 and early 2018 holds for Awaken I Am? More tours, new music videos?

Ned Jankovic
Right now we will be playing around Australia 2017 but 2018 we will be more touring international and hey! hopefully some more new material 😉

(interview by Christian Ross)

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