The Canadian rocker Devin Townsend first cut his chops as lead singer for Steve Vai
's band in 1993. He has since released a series of albums under his own name, with his group Strapping Young Lad, and as Devin Townsend Project. This song comes from the second Devin Townsend Project album. In our interview with Townsend, he told us the story behind it:
"Awake" was a dream. I often go through periods where songs appear in dreams and scenarios appear in dreams, and I wake up in the middle of the night sort of humming the melody and then recognize it: "Oh, wow, that's something that is new." And if I'm prepared enough and aware enough, I can scramble out of bed and jot it down. A fair amount from my back catalogue that is written in that sense, and "Awake" was one of them. That whole rhythm was from this dream, and I just woke up singing the melody. I mumbled it into my iPhone and emailed it to myself and fell back asleep. When I woke up and listened to the email, I was like, "Oh, that's actually not that bad." So I wrote that one down.
Lyrically, it was about that period of time where my process was changing from writing like a stoner to writing like a dad. The slant I was trying to go for lyrically was about taking your head out of the smog that it had been in for a certain period of time and recognizing what could potentially be there.