Jakes' dad: Naming this song "Wake The Dead" might seem a little macabre to some people given the circumstances, but those who knew Jake know that he'd get a laugh out of it.  It's a theme that a lot of kids (and parents)  can relate to.  It's about kids playing their music too loud in their room, whether on a stereo, banging drums,  guitar blasting through an amplifier or whatever.  Sometimes It just gets on parents' nerves.  When I was a kid, I got jumped sometimes by my parents for having my  130 watt Peavey amplifier "dimed." (volume on 10)  Another time, my dad thought I had screwed up his Zenith console stereo because I had the weird sounding middle part of Led Zepplin's Whole Lotta Love cranked.  Sometimes you crank it up because you're happy and sometimes you crank it up because you're sad and it helps to kill the pain.    Loud music is just part of growing up, whether it's Alan Jackson or Marilyn Manson.  Even though I was Jake's dad, I am still young enough inside to remember what it was like to be a kid and be ragged on by parents about playing their music too loud, so this tune was written from the kid's  perspective, not the parents.

Jake got a 4 track cassette recorder for Christmas about 4 months before he died.  He left about 10 minutes worth of recorded material.  Mostly tidbits of stuff like Ozzy, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and messing around.  I extracted what I could to help build the song.  I had about three or four false starts where the idea just didn't seem right.  I felt it had to be something that Jake would approve of since his stuff was going to be a part of it.  Also, it had to be simple enough that Jake could have actually recorded it with me if he'd been here.  He couldn't have handled the guitar solos parts, but the rhythm parts he could.  I recorded the song in Jake's room, which I've turned into something of a small home studio.  He'd have approved.  

Besides Jake playing on the intro part, verses and a couple of pick slides thrown in,  I recorded almost all of the guitar work using Jake's black Epiphone Beast through a Splawn modded Marshall 1987x and a hot rodded 70s Marshall Super Lead.  Speaker cabinets were miked in a separate room so the volume wouldn't kill the dog!  The middle "heavier" part with the rap was originally an idea I got from Jake's tape, but I couldn't salvage and clean up the analog cassette well enough to make it work in the song, so I had to rerecord it myself.... but it's pure Jake.  When Jake's friend Andy heard it for the first time, he smiled and said "yeah, that's Jake!!"  The lyrics are mostly mine, but some were from Jake's diary.  I'm sure Jake would say "gee Dad, YOUR parts sound soooooo 80's, especially that Axl Rose-like scream in the opening.".....at which point I'd probably smile and tell him to bite me!  

All vocals and instruments are just Jake and me.  Intro is courtesy of The Adams Family movie.  No big deal.  It's just a silly rock song, but I think Jake would have liked it.  The only thing that would have made the experience better is if he had been here to write and record it with me.  But in a way, he was.

WAKE THE DEAD - download MP3


Wake The Dead

copyright 2005-2009 Jim Austin

Music & Lyrics by Jim & Jake Austin

Billy grabbed a shovel cuz he's gonna dig a hole

And now he's banging on a tombstone cuz it's time to rock and roll

He's gonna wake the dead

Wake the dead


Jamming in your room, an overwhelming metal sound

Until your dad comes busting in and says to turn that damn shit down

You're gonna wake the dead

Wake the Dead


Blaring, blasting, everlasting, yeah!

Like it, love it, Dad can shove it, yeah!

But everybody seems to take away my fun


You need to feel it, and breathe it, and let it take control

You need to crank it, yank it, spank it, cuz it's only rock and roll

You gotta wake the dead

Wake the dead


You feel the need to feed a drunken lust for sound

So loud it makes the dead rise up and jump right outta the ground

You're gonna wake the dead

Wake the dead


Skulls are rattling, Windows shattering, boom!

Monstrous thunder, pulls you under, boom!

But everybody seems to take away my fun

And even people seem to think that I am dumb.............but I'm not!


I withdraw into my sanctuary where I am the ruler, the master, in my kingdom of pain

And the musical kaboom from inside my room keeps me nailed to a cross in a world that's insane

These walls that surround me give you the history of WHO I am, ...WHAT I am, ...WHO I was,... WHAT I like,... WHERE I've been, ...WHAT I want,... HOW I feel,... and did I say WHO I am, I am, I am, I am?

I'm not a bad kid, nope, just persona non grata, so I insulate myself from the sonically challenged

While the soda pop and candy bars and donuts on the floor brings the sugar demon forth and he makes me want to roar!