Formed in 1986 by vocalist Troy Payne and guitarist Richard Witherspoon in Columbus, Ohio USA – The Wake made its’ first studio recording “Procession” using session musicians on drums and bass in 1987. Bassist James Tramel and electronic drummer Scott Rozanski were recruited later the same year. This lineup quickly recorded first versions of tracks like: “Burial”, “Shelia”, and “Locomotive Age”, creating a rough template for what would become The Wake’s signature sound.
Acoustic drummer Daniel C. replaced Rozanski early in 1989. Driven forward by Daniel’s acoustic drum sound, the band moved substantially towards the rock and roll end of the sonic spectrum. Hoping to add yet another dimension to their sound, keyboardist Robert Brothers was added to the mix in 1990.
In a move to gain exposure, the band started Blaylox Records. Named after the band’s mascot cat, the label proved to be the perfect outlet for the band’s creativity, and a vehicle for spreading the band’s sound far and wide. Bolstered by the sales of the their demo cassette - The Wake burst on to the NYC goth club scene with their 7” vinyl single “Harlot” in 1990.
Following on the success of “Harlot”, the band released a second 7” - “Sideshow” on the Blaylox Records label in 1992. The combination of the popularity of these two singles, and the moxie of an influential NYC DJ, led to the band signing with Cleopatra Records in 1993. Considered by many fans of Gothic rock as a “landmark record”, The Wake’s debut album “Masked” was released in October 1993.
After the completion of the “Masked” tour, the band parted ways with bass player James Tramel. New bassist Steven Creighton was brought into the fold before the release of the “Christine EP” in 1995. The EP had a decidedly industrial/dance flavor, thanks in part to the re-mixes supplied by Rosetta Stone. The single “Christine” (mixed by The Wake and Zane Eric Brown) broke onto the top ten of Alternative Press’s Dance Club charts where it remained for months. Also in ‘95, the still popular “Christine” video was filmed in and around Mexico City during the tour supporting the EP.
In 1996, The Wake joined forces with former Ministry engineer “Fluffy” on their third CD – “Nine Ways”. The album was recorded and mixed at both Chicago Trax, and the Chicago Recording Company.
Just before the release of “Nine Ways”, guitarist and co-founder Rich Witherspoon left the band and former MCA recording artist Mark Gamiere was enlisted to take over at guitar. Though no studio recordings were made with this lineup, Gamiere provided live tour support from 1996 to 2000. Other lineup changes include the late J.T. Murphy replacing Steven Creighton on bass in 1998. The band turned bass playing duty over to a hard-disk recorder in 1999 before giving way to an extended hiatus in 2000.
Fast forward to 2008: The Wake surprise fans with “BLACKlist” - a “best of” compilation DVD with bonus un-released material, rare tracks and video. Released on MVD/Cleopatra.
Released on Blaylox Records in 2010 - The Wake's single “Emily Closer” was recorded and self-produced before being mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk.
December 2013, The Wake announce the imminent release of a new single - “Rusted” and remix by legendary musician/producer John Fryer. Released on Blaylox Records.
To date, The Wake has been featured on thirty plus compilations world-wide. In addition, the band has amassed an impressive and diverse list of opening dates with bands such as NIN, Skinny Puppy, Christian Death, Innocence Mission, Alien Sex Fiend, And Also the Trees, and Shadow Project - touring extensively in the US and playing dates in Europe and Mexico.