Most rock bands measure success in terms of wealth: huge bank accounts, supermodel girlfriends, oceanfront mansions, fancy cars, living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. One local rock band measures success in how many people in the area which they call home that they’ve inspired to do something to their best ability through hard work and determination, one fan at a time.
I caught up with South Florida-based Daybreak Embrace at The Culture Room last night in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where they reaffirmed their status as the best unsigned band in the local area putting on a phenomenal 30-minute set. Their stage presence rivals those of bands who tour worldwide, highly entertaining and energetic mixed with just the right amount of fan interaction where each audience member was made to feel special. A tourist from Ohio who happened to be taking in the show had asked me about Daybreak Embrace before the set as he had never heard of them. Without ruining the surprise, I told him, “Just wait and see for yourself.” After the set, he approached me and said, “They just gained one more fan!”
That’s exactly how the five members who make up this alternative rock band measure their success - one fan at a time. Drummer, Giann Rubio explains, “ I came to this very venue when I was a ten year old kid watching Slayer and I was like ‘Wow...one day I’m gonna make this stage’ and I did. What I’m looking for is to do exactly what happened to me when I was younger, to finally get in front of enough audience members where you can inspire somebody else and pass the torch.”
Getting to this point does come with its share of sacrifices. Without the financial backing of a record label or investor, they willingly and without hesitation finance their entire being as a band. From instruments to amps and even the lights on stage are all paid for by the band members so they can continue to do what they love.
The fact that the entire South Florida region is without one modern rock station doesn’t deter them from finding ways to increase their fan base, although I’m sure it would certainly help. Pooling their resources with other local bands playing shows together has been a win-win for each of the bands and fans alike. Lead singer, James Wamsley explains that fans of each band will show up in support of their favorite and suddenly discover the talent of another band, increasing each other’s fan base. But people need to get out of their houses and see the talent live. Rubio elaborates, “It’s always power by numbers. If you have enough people that actually go to the venues and see the shows, then they would see the range of talent here. There’s so much talent in South Florida, there’s not enough people going to venues to witness it.”
How much of this is fun for them and how much of it is work? Guitarist, Kenny Figueroa tell me “100 percent fun! Though loading and unloading the equipment is a chore, it’s all fun for us, that’s why we do it.” Wamsley adds, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Humbly, they don’t seek the million dollar deals that most aspiring bands search for. James says, “We do this for the love of it. And in the five years we’ve been together, there’s nothing worth giving up for the love of it. So we’re not looking for a label, we’re not looking for anything. We’re doing what we love. If we’re able to maybe sustain our lifestyle doing what we love and spending more time doing it, then that’s what we’re looking for.”
Keep an eye on their Facebook page as new shows are constantly added at a moment’s notice. Get out and go to a show, support your local rock bands. You’ll be surprised at how much talent is out there!