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Michael Grubbs (Wakey Wakey): One Tree Hill, Music Placements & Collaboration

Joining us this week out of Brooklyn, New York is Michael Grubbs of Wakey Wakey. Michael is also known as “Grubbs” from One Tree Hill, where Wakey Wakey’s music was featured. The band’s 2010 album Almost Everything I Wish I Said The Last Time I Saw You hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseeker’s Chart, and they’ve released 2 more successful albums since then.

The band has a dedicated fanbase – and this is shown through their “Salvation” album exceeding their crowdfunding goal by 141% and the numerous tattoos fans have of Wakey Wakey lyrics. Their latest album, “Overreactivist” is out now, and in this interview we hear more about Michael’s career, music placements, collaboration and the importance of community within Wakey Wakey’s fanbase.

Chris Keaton - sidebar 30-roses-sidebar


  • Michael shares how he was ready to quit his career right before his music got placed in One Tree Hill
  • We hear how Wakey Wakey got placed in One Tree Hill – and it’s all about being in the right place at the right time!
  • “It’s a matter of persistence and putting yourself in public situations where things could happen” – Michael Grubbs
  • Michael shares how he has mixed feelings about crowdfunding, despite running a successful campaign
  • “Wakey Wakey has always been the kind of band that means a lot to a small group of people” – Michael Grubbs
  • We hear how Michael thinks it’s important to cultivate a strong sense of community as a band
  • Michael shares why he’s releasing a series of cover collaborations with other artists
  • “Music is a weird career – we all love each other, but there’s a competitive side” – Michael Grubbs
  • “I know too many talented people that I want to hang out with – why not make something beautiful while doing that?” – Michael Grubbs
  • Ross includes a duplicate question in 20 Questions and it throws things into chaos
  • “Being a musician is about creating something in the world that doesn’t already exist” – Michael Grubbs
  • “I was discovered after being at a bar for 10 years, after playing piano for 20 years” – Michael Grubbs
  • “When I try to write music for film or TV, it’s bad – but when I write one that is honest, it gets placed” – Michael Grubbs


  • If you’re stagnant in your career, ask yourself if you love the art you are making
  • If you love the music you’re making, you have to keep making it
  • Music gets placed in film or TV because it’s specific and encapsulates a feeling
  • Your music career is a marathon, not a sprint
  • You see the same people on the way down that you see on the way up, so treat people well
  • Be present in the moment

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