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Musician rises from the ashes

Port Coquitlam's Corey Hawkins is on a high, tending microphone and rhythm guitar with his Tri-City-founded rock band, Azimyth, whose newly released debut album by the same name is electrifying listeners from the Vancouver club scene to as far away a

Port Coquitlam's Corey Hawkins is on a high, tending microphone and rhythm guitar with his Tri-City-founded rock band, Azimyth, whose newly released debut album by the same name is electrifying listeners from the Vancouver club scene to as far away as China.

Hawkins has come a long way given that, two years ago, his life couldn't have gotten much lower.

Now a 28-year-old Riverside secondary graduate, Hawkins watched as a stormy economy drained his private brewing business.

It left him $74,000 in debt and having to unload a lot of his personal possessions to offset his burden, including his car.

"I was as depressed as you could be," Hawkins told The Tri-City News in a recent telephone interview. "You can basically do one of two things at that point:. Do something rash, or push on and keep going. I chose the latter."

Wise move.

After rejoining Port Moody brothers Arlen Chudley (drums) and Rory Chudley (bass) following a one-year hiatus the group took after having been together since high school, Hawkins drew up a blueprint for a studio album.

The next year, Azimyth flew to Chicago - along with its new lead guitarist from Seattle, Andy Laissue - to record with Nirvana engineer Steve Albini and polish it with Tom Baker of Nine Inch Nails' fame.

For Azimyth, the rest is, well, not history but perhaps the beginning of it.

From being voted into the Top 20 on the prestigious The Fox 99.3 FM Vancouver Seeds 2011 fan's choice list to a Beijing radio station playing Azimyth's Save Me on its airwaves, the band has never been so hyped, so tight, so ecstatic.

"I've never seen Arlen and Rory so happy," said Hawkins, sounding like a proud big brother. "Steve has fit in so well, too. He's just amazing. I didn't think in a million years we'd get [the Seeds recognition].

"It says a lot about what people want in Vancouver - good honest rock n' roll," he said.

The name Azimyth was simple mistake during a conversation.

While driving through Vancouver's swanky Shaughnessy district with an ex-girlfriend, she misunderstood Hawkins and his off-the-cuff idea for a band label.

She said, "'As a Myth?' I like it."

At first Hawkins chuckled, then thought about it a bit more. Then a lot more.

"We took the name, played around with the letters a while and came up with Azimyth," he said.

And so they were sold on the name.

Now they had to sell people on their music.

Last month, Azimyth's debut album was released to an exuberant sold-out crowd at the Granville Street bar Joe's Apartment and, according to the band's website "set a venue record for merchandise sales and brought the band into a new creative era."

Said Jonathan Fluevog, owner of PoCo's Vogville Recording, in a news release: "Azimyth delivers and distinct and energetic sound.

"I am impressed by their dedication and professionalism and look forward to collaborating with them again in the future."

A future that now, indeed, looks extremely bright.

lpruner@tricitynews.com