Picture from left to right (Jack Spear)
Inspired by his father’s musical abilities, Alex McCracken, 22, advertising, learned guitar at a young age, and later became a part of something bigger, his own band called Wake the Street.
“I never really thought I would actually be talented enough to play in a band and have a good following of my own, but it was always a dream of mine,” McCracken said. “[While I was] learning to play my favorite songs, I came to realize that I might have a voice if I really work on it.”
In high school, McCracken began learning to play his favorite songs by Cartel, and soon found out that he could write lyrics with meaning behind them.
“I showed my next door neighbor and best friend, Jack Spear and he thought that I could have something going for me, but with a lot of work,” McCracken said. “I took the criticism and worked my ass off.”
Every day after school, McCracken would play guitar and sing for up to three hours.
“I would blow off all my homework until late at night,” McCracken said. “I fell in love with music, and couldn’t get enough.”
Later, McCracken discovered that pop rock was the genre he would want to pursue when starting a band. During his first semester of college, McCracken and his high school sweetheart parted ways. Dealing with the break up, McCracken decided to try and write his own song, which later became known as “All in Time.”
“It was acoustic, but I envisioned it to be played with a full band,” McCracken said. “That’s when I decided, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
As a result, McCracken started looking for band members to make up Wake the Street. The band now consists of five people: Alex McCracken (lead vocals/guitar), Derek Bonanni (bass), Anthony Cavallo (guitar), Chris Lungo (lead guitar), and Cole Bonanni (drums).
According to McCracken, choosing a name for the band was one of the most difficult parts of getting started. Cavallo, McCracken, and Lungo decided to go to Cavallo’s house one night to think of a band name. Late at night, they turned up their amps to play loud and proud.
“On our way down the hall, we passed Anthony’s brother who asked what we were going to do, we told him ‘we’re gonna jam really loud all night!'” McCracken said. In response, Cavallo’s brother said, “Are you crazy, do you want to wake the street?”
Wake the Street became official in December of 2009. On Dec. 19, 2009, the band played its first show at Hogue Barmichaels in Newport.
“It was pretty crazy because we had over 100 people there for us, which is really unheard of for a bands first show,” Bonanni said.
The band’s musical inspirations are Cartel, Anberlin, AFI, the Beatles, and the Foo Fighters.
Currently, the band has been playing at local venues like Chain Reaction and the House of Blues to gain respect amongst the pop rock scene, according to Spear, the band’s manager.
In May, the band recorded its first 7 song EP, “Following Spotlights,” at the Noise Coalition Studio in Costa Mesa. The album is available for purchase on iTunes.
“We plan on working really hard these next few months to finish up writing some new material to get back into the studio this winter for a spring release,” McCracken said. “This album is going to be huge for us. The songs are not just about love and girls, but of world problems, ideas, and our love for music.”