Morning After, rock for a new day
By Denyse Bayer
By Denyse Bayer
There are those that labor and those that create and all of which make up Morning After.
After a year on Rockfords music horizon, Morning Afters popularity continues to rise. Instead of being eclipsed by the notoriety of other local acts, Morning After has worked with these bands to broaden their audience and attract the attention of new fans. The hard work and brotherly cooperation reap even bigger rewards.
With several recent opportunities to headline at local clubs, Morning After welcomes the chance to return favors by giving other area bands a chance to play on the bill with them. Shining with fans and colleagues alike, Morning After continues to rock their audiences day after day. The bands lead singer, Jay Crabb, explains the bands approach to its audience as, We try to get down deep into them and get them moving, not just get their aggressions out.
Regardless of where they play, Shooters East, Hard Times or their practice space off South Main Street, Morning After band members put on an incredible show. This is not surprising to anyone, considering the amount of energy, talent and heart that Arnie Cardenas, bass; David Cardenas, guitar; Crabb, vocals; and Jason Conerly, drums, put into each performance. As their manager, Randy Dublo, explains, Its a constant endeavor to pursue excellence.
At a recent show at Shooters East, Morning After scored the opening spot of a holiday show with L.O.C. and The Pimps. In spite of the late afternoon start time, Morning After held the growing audiences attention with their original music and some very well-executed cover tunes. Songs such as the powerful Babylon and the bass-laden Left Behind kept the audience watching the stage.
Hearing their renditions of Disturbeds Down With the Sickness and AC-DCs Shook Me, the crowd cheered and howled at Morning Afters take on these favorites. As they closed their set, several audience members rushed up to the stage to shake hands and exclaim, Man, that was great!a typical scene at any Morning After gig.
Veterans of the Rockford music-go-round, the members of Morning After take their newfound popularity in stride. No rock star attitudes or big egos exist among them. According to Conerly, Were all nice guys. Anyone can come up and talk to us. After the show, we go out and talk to the people. Were happy to hear what they have to say. To me theyre the listener. Its their opinions that count.
Utilizing their common visions and common goals, Morning After sets out to rise above negativity. As Crabb explains, The concept of Morning After represents a freedom of taking everything that surrounds you that presses you and causes stress and escaping it. Like your vacation, your perfect day. To me, when Im playing, Im not living that moment that day. Its my morning, its something thats fresh. I love to do it. Music is an outlet for me for my daily stress. When Im playing on stage, or just practicing or just by myself, I just escape. Im in a new realm. I just want people to experience that when they hear us. Where they feel like everything around them disappears, and they can be caught up in the moment.
Crabb goes on to say, No matter whats happening in your life, no matter who you are, theres always that morning after. Theres always that opportunity the next day to fix or correct or to change or anything you need to do to get back on track in life. Thats what I felt when I thought of the name. No matter who you are, no matter what it is, there is always the morning after to take care of it.
Arnie Cardenas adds, We all put something aside. We went through whatever, and we woke up to the morning after. Its the next day, the new dawn Weve all played in bands that were good but didnt go anywhere. We all got together and decided this is serious, this is what were going to do. Its the new dawn. Its the morning after.
In addition, Cardenas states: We pretty much had the same goals. We want to make an impact on Rockford. We want to get to the point here in Rockford where Rockford decides to put out its best. As far as the rock scene, we want to be a part of that. After thats accomplished, we want to write that one song, that song thats going to get us somewhere, thats going to get our name out there. We dont want to play garages or small clubs. We really want to go for it. Id just like to say that I tried.
Morning After also gives credit to their manager, Randy Dublo, and his staff of volunteers for making the band a success. Assembling an efficient team of roadies to load in, load out and keep up with any technical issues, frees up the band to work strictly on their music. Dublo also hired graphic designer Sara Piccirilli of Onyxlian Studio, who designed the eclipsed moon logo for the band and designs all the bands merchandise and products.
Dublos goals include both the bands future and the future of Rockfords music community. My goal is to establish a working relationship with all of the prominent bands. To work with them and for them to work with us. Im working on a relationship with bands out Chicago and that area. Were going to be working into Madison pretty soon.
To me, its a big strategic type of game. Its a chess game. Were moving into the right places at the right times and developing relationships and everybody working together in the local music scene and not just cutting each others throats. We help them out, and they help us out. We appreciate what they do, and they appreciate what were doing, and eventually we can help each other out.
Summing up the management teams role in the band, Dublos states, We dont make the music, we make it possible. In other words, there are those that labor and those that create and all of which make up Morning After. It makes me feel good when all these guys have to do is show up and play. All they have to worry about is writing the music and playing the music. Theres a management team to handle everything else.
For a new band in Rockford, Morning After fares well. According to Crabb, Thats one thing that Im proud of. Weve only had a handful of gigs as a new band, and weve already opened up for L.O.C. and the Pimps. To me, that tells me that we are doing something right. We werent just a band that was placed to open up with them. We were actually up to par with their music. A lot of people were really enjoying what we were doing. It makes me feel good
Get down and get moving with Morning After at their upcoming gig: Friday, Oct. 12 at Elixur with Suspect.