Sep 292004
Authors: Sarah Fallik

“Europa” may sound like a tribute to our allies across the Atlantic, but it is actually the first full-length recording of the Fort Collins band Until We Wake.

The five members of Until We Wake pride themselves on the depth and intricacy of their songs.

“Fans of complex, heavy music will definitely enjoy it,” said Mike Schaffer, lead singer of Until We Wake, “We’re definitely one of the most challenging bands in the state.”

Like many of the band’s lyrics, “Europa” has metaphorical significance larger than its name suggests.

Until We Wake titled its first full-length CD “Europa” after the cold and dark moon of Jupiter that has limited possibility of life. Europa is a metaphor for the group’s improbability of being discovered as a band of the Midwest, rather than a coastal band.

“Europa,” soon to be released, has kept Until We Wake busy recording, which has in turn slowed down the band’s tour schedule.

“We’re just getting into fall booking,” said guitarist John Bridgeford.

The band’s next show will be Oct. 16 at the Starlight Theatre, 167 N. College Ave., with local bands 8Om, Ion and Shanked. Members of “Until We Wake” are eager to play anywhere that they can, but they have particular fondness for the Starlight.

“It’s like playing a show with your family,” said vocalist Mike Schaffer.

Guitarist Ryan Day, who prefers to be called Rye Pye or Pye, also favors the comfortable atmosphere of the Starlight for the group’s shows.

“They treat you with respect and work with you,” Pye said.

In addition to numerous performances at the Starlight, Until We Wake has played shows all over Colorado, including Pinkies, the Aggie Theatre and the Gothic Theatre, with a secret show scheduled for Halloween.

“Part of the costume is that we’re going to be playing as another band,” Schaffer said.

About two and a half years ago, Until We Wake started with only three of the current five band members. With Bridgeford, Day and CJ Vallely on the drums, the band set out to find a vocalist and bassist. Schaffer was soon picked up as vocalist, but the band had a more difficult time finding a bass player.

“I was out Friday and Saturday nights wherever I could stand up on a chair or a table in a room full of people going ‘Does any one know a bass player?'” Schaffer said.

The search ended when the trio found Daytron Hicks, a bassist from Alabama who had only been in Fort Collins a few days.

Members of Until We Wake have difficulty classifying their sound, but they say they can be loosely classified as “progressive hardcore psychedelic metal.”

“Somewhere in the world there is a Widespread Panic show that is out of drugs because of this band,” Schaffer said.

In addition to its complex lyrics, Until We Wake also offers much diversity in the music it plays.

“They’re very diverse from song to song, but they’re also very diverse within each song,” Bridgeford said.

Musically, the sound can range from melodic vocals most comparable to the Deftones to angry screaming more comparable to hardcore metal bands.

“One of our challenges and one of our strong points is that we have something for everyone to identify with,” Schaffer said.

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