by Katie Rankin
Wake Up Earthquake formed one night in 2009 when lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Rayner was playing at an open mic. Afterwards drummer Josh Simon approached him and said, “We need to play in a band together.” At that time Rayner and bassist Vaughn Murphy were already jamming.
“It wasn’t so much a serious thing, just kind of learning how each other plays,” says Rayner. “And Vaughn happened to be there when Josh asked me.”
“We kind of had to bring him in, he overheard,” jokes Simon.
The band used Rayner’s songs written on acoustic guitar as a building block for a heavier rock sound. “We’re going to start to gradually get into more collaboration, working on the music together, so it’s more everybody’s ideas,” says Rayner.
The band have a self-described 90’s rock sound, citing the music of Bush, Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam as major influences. “We grew up on it,” says Simon.
“It’s very 90’s. Whether that’s still in we’re willing to make it new again,”
Murphy says they like trying out different themes when writing music. “Like we might have song that switches up time signatures a couple times.”
Finding your place in the local scene can be difficult for a new band and Wake Up Earthquake’s sound isn’t the norm. “We don’t necessarily have that indie-pop catch as well as the folk scene that seem to be really thriving here. We know all those guys though so it’s not hard to acquire shows with them,” says Rayner.
However, the band says since it’s such a close knit music community it’s important to make an effort to stay present. “The big thing for us is we want people to come out and enjoy the music and to hear us play. We want to get people out not just to socialize, but to be moved by the music,” says Murphy.
The band isn’t limiting themselves to playing at just bars, but play acoustic sets at coffee shops, as well as benefit shows. “You reach people you wouldn’t normally reach. You get people studying- regular people who might not come out to the bar scene on Friday night,” says Murphy. Rayner agrees that this change of space helps keeps the band’s performances fresh.
Catch Wake Up Earthquake at Hunter’s Ale House on Thursday, January 5th with other bands TBA. All proceeds will go to help the medical and travel expenses of Shayna Conway.