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Interview with Daybreak Embrace

South Florida has a very explosive up and coming music scene. One of the local favorites is Daybreak Embrace.  Coming together they have formed an amazing, well rounded sound that will kick you in the teeth. Everything you want in a Metal / Hard Rock band. They started in the Miami / Ft. Lauderdale area in 2009. They have 2 Eps Tomorrow Awaits and Mercury. Both equally amazing, you just can’t stop listening. As a photographer, their live shows are hard for me to shoot, I just want to sit there and watch them. They have a great following and need to be heard everywhere. I had a chance to talk to them and give you a glimpse in to the world of Daybreak Embrace.

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Hey guys, please tell me a little about you.   

 James – From a small town in Ohio, I grew up in a large family. To remember back to when I first was interested in music, we can go all the way back to when I was in 3rd grade. My dad and I sang a duet in church, him playing guitar and me singing Amazing Grace. To be so young, performing for the first time in front of about 500 people, I quickly threw stage fright right out the window. Fast forward a few years, I took to many different instruments, and would look to sing big parts in plays and even started my own band by 14 years old. I could’ve easily been the biggest “band geek” of them all, playing in jazz band, marching band, and anything I could get involved in. Eventually, my own piece of small town USA became too small. After playing over 400 shows with a cover band, I decided to step up my presence in the music industry by relocating to Florida. First I would acquire a degree attending The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Arizona, then on to Fort Lauderdale. Within the first year, I answered many internet ads seeking a vocalist, auditioned for a few, and found there was one particular project that had everything I was looking for. Keny and Giann had been putting demos together and auditioning vocalists long before we met. Looking back now, it really does seem like it was yesterday. Then again, so does my performance in 3rd grade.

Keny – I play Rhythm guitar. I was born and raised in Miami and I started playing guitar when I was 14. I didn’t know anyone in bands or that really played seriously. My friends were really into alternative and metal music, and at that time I really hadn’t explored any kind of music; I didn’t know what I liked. I fell in love with rock music and I begged my parents to get me a guitar for my birthday. I was getting into bands like Nirvana, STP, Metallica and Bush and I loved the sound of distorted guitars. I knew that that’s what I wanted to do.

Dan aka Kard-Again – I was born in Brooklyn, NY but I was raised in Pembroke Pines, FL. Music has always been a part of my life since I can remember. When I was 5, my parents enrolled me in keyboard lessons and I’ve been playing music ever since. As I got older, my musical tastes drove me towards rock music thanks to bands like Korn, Incubus, Fuel, and Creed. I didn’t actually pick up the guitar until my senior year of high school at the age of 17. I took a Guitar 1 class in my final semester of high school, but I refused to stay on pace with the class. I couldn’t help but skip ahead of everyone. I was even told by the teacher that I was the most improved out of all his classes that year…Haven’t looked back since.

Ryan Dorries – Growing up in south Florida, I was a decent wide receiver in the neighborhood pickup games.  I was on track to be a normal kid.  Then one day a middle school friend showed me how he could play a popular rock song on guitar.  It was a new concept to me – that you could use your hands to sound like the music you heard on VH1!  His older brother had a bass which I picked up and after a bit of practice I could hit some (SOME) notes in unison with my friend and I felt the first “rush.”  That week I got a Samick 4 string and an amp of my own.  15 years later I’m at a point in my journey where the equipment might be a lot more sophisticated but the “rush” is like that first day.  I guess the hard part will be fitting a full bass rig in my coffin.

Giann Rubio – Born and raised in Homestead, Florida; I started listening to music in the womb. Mom always played classical music because I was so hyper; it was the only thing that calmed me down. Then I was born. My favorite bands at 3 years old were Genesis and Journey and still are! Picked up every instrument I could get my hands on and decided the drums were pretty cool. So I played a lot and got in a ton of bands, decided to start my own with the famous Keny and haven’t looked back!

How did the name Daybreak Embrace come about?

Keny – It was originally the name of one of our songs. We spent weeks trying to come up with a name, writing down more than 150 different ideas. Nothing was really sticking. Daybreak Embrace was one from James in one of those lists, but we didn’t pick it at first. He used it as inspiration for one of our really early songs. We did eventually settle on Blue for Sin, but we could never really get behind it. Somehow Daybreak Embrace made its way back into the conversation. We all liked the meaning that’s implied by it. Embrace each new day. It was positive, and in an industry where most band names had negative connotation we felt we could really get behind the name.

What is it like to be in this band? 

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Keny – It’s like hanging with 4 of your best friends all the time. I know it’s cheesy but it’s the truth. We are constantly cracking jokes and laughing all the time. A good portion of our practice is taken by just standing around in the rehearsal room on our instruments laughing in tears. Like most bands we have lots of inside jokes. With that said, it’s not always fun and games. We are in this together and we have lots of real issues to discuss. We try to keep the atmosphere light so that we can keep our sanity, because making things happen as an unsigned band can sometimes be a real challenge. There’s no need to add extra pressure to any given situation, it’s not necessary.

Dan – It’s a different type of band dynamic for me as I came from a band where I was in a leading role as a main writer. In this band, I feel that the blend of all the individuals can be better appreciated in the music writing.

How did you come together? 


Keny – It all started in my home studio, really. Giann and I were in a band for a couple of years and that band just broke up. We didn’t really know what to do from there. We went into the studio and started experimenting with riffs and chorus ideas just because we needed something to do. In the previous band I came up with most of the guitar stuff. Now we were collaborating and some really interesting things were happening. Things I never thought of before started coming out due to Giann’s influence. We eventually started looking for a singer and James responded to one of our Craigslist ads. He came over and we thought he was an amazing singer. The first track we really focused on was Sanctuary from the first album, Tomorrow Awaits. All of that early stuff Giann and I started on made its way to Tomorrow Awaits, actually. Tomorrow Awaits came out in 2010 and at the time we had a bass player, but unfortunately we parted ways with him and decided to look for both a bassist and a lead guitar player. We found Dan (Lead Guitarist) in that search and he has been with us on 2 tours. The latest addition to the band is Ryan (Bassist), he’s been a huge asset to us. He’s very solid musician and an all-around good person as well. We’re very lucky to have this line-up.

Dan – I was messaged by Keny’s wife via Facebook. She gave me Keny’s number and it all spiraled from there.

Why did you decide to play the genre you do? 

Keny– We all have different musical tastes; anywhere from Electronic, R&B, Alternative to Progressive, Metal and Funk. It’s a mixed bag of tastes and we all just throw our ideas into the pot. What you hear is what we like, literally. We get very passionate about our music and we don’t settle until it’s as good as we feel it can be. If we like it, then you’ll hear us play it.

Dan – Rock was what inspired me to play guitar in the first place. It would be sacrilege to NOT play Rock music in a band. 🙂

What band would you compare yourself to and why?

Keny – Well, I guess I’d have to compare us to Sevendust. They’re a band we all love and take inspiration from.  As to why I feel that we can be compared to them, it’s because we like our music energetic and easy to sing to. It’s wonderful to be able to hear music and feel something just based on the sounds and melodies. We strive for that and I think Sevendust does too. I hope others feel that way when they hear Daybreak Embrace.

Dan – I have a hard time answering this question because I feel like we are a smorgasbord of bands melded into 1. We have inspiration from all types of genres ranging from electronic house music to the darkest of metal bands. If I were to compare us to other bands, I would say we are a Breaking Benjamin / Sevendust sounding band.

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration and what is your usual songwriting process? 

Keny – I can only speak for myself when I say that I get inspiration from my band members. I can come up with some basic song ideas but it doesn’t really come together until I’m collaborating with the other guys. The process lately, though, has been a bit different. Giann and Dan have been writing lots of brilliant ideas on their home recording equipment and sending them along to the rest of us. We then get together in the rehearsal space to jam, and that’s when everyone really starts sinking their teeth in. Once we’re satisfied with the direction we’ll record the idea as a demo and really polish it up in ProTools. Demoing has always been a big part of our process from the beginning. It is the basis by which Giann and I started the project, really. It’s been that way since.

Dan – Inspiration comes from everywhere. I typically find inspiration from Spotify where I can find nearly any band. Typically, a member of the band will record a riff/verse/chorus and share it with the rest of the band. If the band is on board, we then jam the idea live and see where it goes.

What is your favorite thing about playing a live show? 

Keny – It’s that moment midway through the set when I look out and catch a person I’ve never seen in my life singing one of our songs. It’s looking over at my band-mates and smiling ear to ear because we love the songs and we’re having a blast playing them. The crowd’s cheer, the adrenaline; the validation that, yes, the music is connecting with someone just as it does for me. It’s just fun.

Dan – The fans. I absolutely love the energy that people give us from enjoying our music. It is the most addicting drug in existence.

What are your fans like? 

Dan – Daybreak Embrace-36They are the best. They are extremely supportive and they help the band spread the word whenever we have upcoming shows.

Keny – 100% agree with Dan. Our fans are so enthusiastic to get others to hear the music. They always bring friends to our shows and we love hanging with all of them.


What is the future like for Daybreak Embrace?


Dan – We plan on finishing up new material within the next few months and also plan on touring throughout 2016.

Keny – We plan on spending as much time as possible on the road as soon as we can get some new material released. The most success came when we were on the road so we are going to double down on touring.

Who are your influences and inspiration – musical and non-musical? 

Keny – Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Jimi Hendrix, Tool, Metallica, Filter, Prong, Sevendust, Mindless Self Indulgence, Pendulum, Incubus, Megadeth, on and on and on.

Dan – Influences for me are Dream Theater, Incubus, Disturbed, Nothing More, Alter Bridge, Zedd (yes Zedd), Deorro (yes again), Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, and the list goes on…

What have been some of the most memorable moments?  

Dan – Definitely opening the show for Nonpoint at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale and playing on the Shiprocked cruise with greats such as Limp Bizkit, Sevendust, and Buckcherry.

Keny – Hands down it was Shiprocked 2015. It was so surreal rubbing elbows with people I grew up listening to; Filter, Sevendust, Chevelle, Living Colour, Metal Allegiance, Limp Bizkit, and P.O.D. Hanging out with Mike Portnoy on the beach! It was Unbelievable.

What is the musical END GAME for Daybreak Embrace? What would you like to accomplish most?  

Dan – I don’t feel that there is an END GAME per se, but I feel that the band would like to be able to make this their career and full time job. Being able to create music and play that music for people is the best feeling in the world. Step 1 would be to find that label that is willing to take us on and allow us grow into the band that we are developing.

Keny – No end game; keep this train rolling; we’re going to keep gaining speed. Go further. Push harder. This is what we want to do for the rest of our lives, and I think we all agree that we’ll try to make that happen by any means possible. Daybreak Embrace-37

 If you could be doing only 1 thing and money was not a factor, what would you want to do? 

Keny – Recording and touring. I love to play live shows and seeing and hanging out with our fans. I also love to hear a song start as nothing but a click track and turn into a fully fleshed out piece of artwork.

Dan – Touring the world.

What has been your biggest rock star moment? 

Dan – When we were with Chris Cagle (country singer) in Georgia. After the show, he wanted us to sit with him during his meet and greet and sign our CDs. We had a line of people waiting to meet us and it was the first time I had ever done anything like that before. Definitely was a rock star moment for me.

Keny – Yea I’m with Dan on this one. I’d never done a signing before. Chris was playing to thousands of people that day and he said on stage he found his new favorite rock band, Daybreak Embrace. He then invited us to sit with him during his signing and sign our CD’s along with him; another surreal moment for me.

Want to hear their music and see what they are up to? Go and check out their sites at:







About Melaine Schweighardt

Metal!!! I am never without a camera, I am never without music, I can not live without coffee... I cook, I manage a band (shameless plug Modern Day Outlaw), I shoot people with my camera, and I drink tequila and whiskey... That's me in a nutshell! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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