Awolnation (usually stylized as AWOLNATION) is an American electronic rock band, formed and fronted by Aaron Bruno, formerly of Under the Influence of Giants, Hometown Hero and Insurgence. The band is signed to Red Bull Records, and their first EP, Back from Earth, was released on iTunes on May 18, 2010.
Aaron Bruno was approached by Red Bull Records in 2009, asking if he wanted free use of the Red Bull recording studio in Los Angeles. He recorded a few songs in the studio and ultimately signed with the label, calling it more of a “partnership”, and was allowed to make the recordings that he wanted. Aaron Bruno has been with numerous bands before he created Awolnation, including Home Town Hero and Under the Influence of Giants. Bruno writes all of his songs himself, but confides in close friends and family or respected artists for guidance. The name Awolnation is derived from Aaron Bruno’s high school nickname. In an interview with Kristin Houser of the LA Music Blog, he stated that he “would leave without saying goodbye because it was just easier, so that’s where the name Awol [slang from the military acronym for Absent Without Ordered Leave] came from.”
The band released their debut album Megalithic Symphony digitally on March 15, 2011, and physically on March 29, 2011 on Red Bull Records. Megalithic Symphony features a total of 14 tracks, including the singles “Sail”, “Not Your Fault”, and “Kill Your Heroes” (produced by Brian West). Bonus tracks are also offered with the purchase of the digital album depending on the outlet. These tracks include “Shoestrings”, “Swinging from the Castles” and “I’ve Been Dreaming”. “Sail”, peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Rock Songs and has gone platinum in the US and double platinum in Canada. “Sail” was featured in the episode “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” of CBS’s television show The Good Wife, commercials for the Fox television show House, Nokia’s commercial for Lumia and PT’s commercial for 4G LTE, and is also the background music for Under Armour’s “Are You from Here” commercial, featuring Derrick Williams who was on the Minnesota Timberwolves but is now on the Sacramento Kings. “Sail” was covered by Macy Gray (included on her album Covered) and by DevilDriver (on their album Winter Kills). “Sail” was also used for a Sonya Tayeh routine in So You Think You Can Dance season 9, episode 6; at the end of the episode “Dog Soldiers” in season 1 of Longmire; and featured on the soundtrack of the thriller horror movie Playback released in March 2012, as well as Disconnect (2012). The track gained even greater exposure when it was featured during BMW’s Olympic Opening Ceremony and in commercial spots throughout the Olympic broadcasts. “Sail” also during CBC Hockey Night’s opening tease in Canada on February 18, 2012, prior to a game between the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. It was also used as of March 2013 in commercials for History Channel’s new series, Vikings. The song has also inspired conversations among bioethicists. “Sail” peaked at 17 on the USA Billboard Hot 100, 27 on the Australian charts, 33 on the New Zealand charts and 17 on the UK charts. “Sail” was also used on wingsuit flyer Jeb Corliss’s YouTube film ‘Grinding the Crack’, which as of December 2013 has had 25 million views.